One of the most magical and beautiful places in the Ecuadorian Amazon Rainforest is Puerto Misahuallí, which is located just 40 minutes by car east of Tena, Napo. Puerto Misahuallí is known for its wild monkeys, which roam freely through the central park and along the banks of the Rio Napo beach, making mischief with tourists who walk distracted by the beauty.
In Puerto Misahuallí you can enjoy a wide variety of extreme sports, hiking along trails within the Amazon Rainforest, visiting indigenous communities in the area, swimming in the river, enjoying the local wildlife and of course, tasting its delicious gastronomy. In this guide you will find the best things to do in Puerto Misahualli in one day.
Where is Puerto Misahualli located?
Puerto Misahuallí is a rural parish belonging to the Tena canton. It is located 40 minutes by car from Tena, and near Puerto Napo; 25 kilometers southeast of Tena at the confluence of the Napo and Misahuallí rivers. Misahualli is also a river port in the Amazon region.
How to get to Puerto Misahualli?
The closest international airport is located in the capital city of Quito. From Quito you can take a bus at the Quitumbre terminal to Tena and from there make a transfer to Puerto Misahualli. The buses run regularly and the trip is approximately 5 hours and cost between $5 to $10.
Another option is to go by private car which takes the same travel time as traveling by bus. Keep in mind that the roads in the Amazon region are not in good condition in certain sections, so we recommend going with a vehicle in optimal conditions.
The best things to do in Puerto Misahuallí in one day:
1. Adventure Sports
Extreme sports are the most popular activities in Puerto Misahuallí. You can go tubbing, kayaking and rafting on the Río Napo.
2. Hiking in the Amazon Rainforest
The Ecuadorian jungle has the most diversity of fauna and flora, so hiking through the Amazon jungle is something you must do when you visit Puerto Misahualli. Depending on where you go hiking you can visit different waterfalls, see monkeys and take photos with giant Ceibos trees. We recommend that you bring insect repellent and waterproof clothing so that you can better enjoy the walk.
3. Visit indigenous communities in Ecuador
One of the activities you must do in Puerto Misahualli is to visit a local indigenous community; Shiripuno and Muyuna. In this sector live several tribes of the Quichua (or Kichwa) community, which through community tourism you can take a tour to learn more about their dances, their ancestral music, their gastronomy and where you can observe wild animals.
In my case I did a cleanse with the local shaman. The cost of entry to the community is $5 per person and cleanse is $5 more per person. In order to reach the different communities you will have to go by boat and the prices are already established.
4. Visit the AmaZOOnico animal rescue center
One of the most popular activities to do in Puerto Misahuallí is only accessible by motorized canoe. We normally do not recommend going to zoos unless it is a place where they rescue animals that have been abused, injured or rescued from illegal animal trade. At the AmaZOOnico animal rescue center you will be able to see animals that inhabit the jungle, but that perhaps otherwise would be very difficult to find and visualize in their natural habitat. Among the animals that you will be able to see are the toucan, parrots, parrots, spider monkeys, chorongo, jaguars, alligators, anacondas, boas, and other exotic species.
The most important thing is that this center aims to rehabilitate and later reintroduce the animal in its natural habitat. The ride from Puerto Misahuallí to the rescue center takes about 1 hour and the entrance costs $3 per person.
5. Enjoy the local gastronomy
You cannot leave the Amazon or Puerto Misahualli without trying the “Maito de tilapia”, the “chontacuro”, the Guayusa tea and the famous Amazonian chocolate.
- Maito de tilapia: Typical dish of the Amazon region consisting of a fish wrapped in banana leaves, cooked on charcoal and served with yuca and salad.
- Chontacuro: A totally exotic dish. It consists of the larvae of the worm that inhabits the Chonta plant, which is served roasted, accompanied by yucca and salad. Its roasted flavor is described as having a similarity to pork rinds.
- Guayusa tea: Traditional tea from the Amazon region, which is usually served with meals or accompanying breakfast. It contains caffeine, so it is a good energizer to start the day.
- Chocolate: Also in eastern Ecuador it is common to find chocolate. One of the activities carried out in Amazonian agriculture is harvesting, roasting, grinding and obviously tasting this sweet treat.
6. Visit the Viewpoints of the Area
The best viewpoint are located in the Shipati Lodge. This lodge has 3 viewpoints where you can see the great Amazonian vegetation and its river. Other viewpoints that are worth visiting are the 3 Communities Viewpoint and the “El Ceibo” Viewpoint. The entrance to these viewpoints is $2 per person.
7. Take photos of the wild monkeys of Puerto Misahualli
The most interesting thing to see in Puerto Misahualli are the monkeys that normally wander around the central plaza or along the banks of the Napo River. You will see them very close so be careful with your belongings, because these monkeys are very naughty and they tend to steal things. Please do not try to touch them and worse to feed them. Let’s enjoy wild animals and respect their space and home.
8. Visit the Cascadas de Latas
On the way to Misahualli from Puerto Napo you will see the entrance to the Latas waterfall. It is located within a private property with small entrance fee of $1.50 if you are Ecuadorian and $2 if you are a foreigner. If you travel by bus, the entrance to the waterfall is 10 minutes by bus from Puerto Misahuallí. The trail to the waterfall is approximately 45 minutes. The waterfall is open until 4:00 PM.
9. Take a bath at Puerto Misahuallí Beach
The beach in Puerto Misahuallí is a very popular spot in the Amazon and especially very touristy thanks to the capuchin monkeys that go for a walk in the morning. I repeat, be careful because the monkeys love to take your things.
10. Visit the Caverns of Jumandy
To get to the Jumandy caverns you must take a bus to Tena and from there you can take a taxi to the Jumandy caverns tourist complex or if you have a private car you can drive directly to the complex.
Entrance to the caves is $4 per person; $2 to enter the complex and $2 more to enter the caverns. The complex has a restaurant, parking, swimming pool and bathrooms. Keep in mind that the caverns are very dark and even if you have flashlights. If you are afraid of tight spaces or the dark, it may be better not to enter.
11. Misahualli Butterfly Farm
The Misahuallí Butterfly Garden is located near the Central Park. Here you can find dozens of Blue Morpho butterflies among other butterflies and learn more about their life cycle.
What should I pack for Puerto Misahualli?
- Waterproof pants
- Sneakers or walking shoes
- Insect repellent
- Bathing suit
Where to sleep in Puerto Misahualli?
Depending if you want to camp or if you prefer to sleep in a hotel, here we have you the best options:
- Suchipakari Lodge: I had the opportunity to stay with them and the truth is that I loved it. A super nice place surrounded by nature. We were able to observe several frogs, tarantulas, and at the moment they are helping to rehabilitate a baby toucan. Its rooms are super comfortable, they offer delicious food and several tourist packages of things to do in the area. Its social areas are first class, it is the best place to rest in the jungle with all the comforts of the case. There is no cell phone service but they have WIFI.
- Selina Tena – Accommodation with option to sleep in shared rooms. It has space for coworking, yoga, night activities and other entertainment options for guests.
- El Jardín Lodge – It is located in the upper part which allows you to have majestic views of the union of the Misahuallí and Napo rivers, one of the main direct tributaries of the great Amazon River.
- Banana Lodge – It is a family-run Bed & Breakfast hidden in the Amazon jungle, on the banks of the Misahualli River and a 10-minute walk from the center of Misahualli.
- Shipati Lodge – It has a beautiful view of Puerto Misahuallí, where you also have the option of camping for $3 within the viewpoint clearing.
- La Casa del Suizo – It has 77 rooms in a semi-luxurious space in the middle of the Amazon, on the banks of the Napo River. It has a bar, swimming pools, gazebo; and offers its guests various activities as well as adventure sports.