When we showed up in Tena, we were hoping to do some Ecuadorian whitewater kayaking. There were tons of shops advertising gear, but we were hesitant to go down alone without a guide, especially our first time out. Needless to say, we ran into another kayaker who invited us to go along with him on the Jatunyaku (Jatunyacu) as “safety” boaters on the river. We had our share of rough moments that day, partially because of our poor equipment and partially because we were pretty rusty already at paddling. Needless to say when we pulled over to explore this little ravine, the whole group was more than excited to get out of their boats and jungle hike. Did we see anything amazingly cool on the hike? No, but it was pretty fascinating hiking into a ravine that could only be accessed by the river. We certainly saw our share of giant spiders and huge jungle plants, but there’s something special about going to a place that’s difficult to get to, it feels something a bit more off the beaten track.
Fortunately we survived our day on the river and unsurprisingly we weren’t asked to safety boat again. Danny tackled the river a few more times over the time we were there and with better equipment seemed to have a much better time of it.
This picture was taken inside the ravine/canyon as we hiked in and out. Unfortunately the Ecuadorian government is planning to build an enormous hydroelectric dam across the river, washing out the rapids and likely washing out areas like this as well.
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