Tena & Surroundings
Tena is the capital of the Napo province (population 21.000), and is crossed by both the Tena and Napo rivers. Tena lies about 190 km to the south-west of Quito in the north of Napo province. Napo enjoys the reputation of being the safest province of Ecuador.
The general athmosphere in Tena is quite relaxed and pleasant. Along the riverside in the centre you will find many shops, restaurants and bars. There is a daily market near the central buss station. The presence of the Indian Quijos-Quechuas, the real soul of Tena, makes it beautiful, colorful and exotic.
Shops and stores
are many shops and two markets in town, which is a 5-10 minutes
walk from our house. The nearest to our house is a small indoor food
market, and a pretty good food store.
Next come the main shopping
streets with stores that sell such items as electronic devices for the
home (washing machines, microwaves, vacuum cleaners etc.), TV and
Audio, matrasses etc. Here you'll also find an internet "cafe", two
restaurants and a bank. Across the river is the other main shopping
street which leads to the bus station where there is a very large food
and non-food market. To name just a few: a decent butcher, another good
food/convenience store and stores that sell small appliances for the
house such as coffee makers, there a TV/Audio store, a store with items
for the garden and home improvement equipment, etc.
In the immediate vicinity of Tena lies in the biosphere reserve of the Sumaco-Galeras national park, just north of Tena.
In the west lies the biosphere reserve of Antisana and in the south the national park of Llanganates. The region belongs to the Rainforest and is the entrance to the mighty Amazon rainforest.
White water rafting and kayaking
Many travellers come to Tena to enjoy the excellent water quality for rafting and kayaking. The alto Napo, Anzu and Misahualli rivers in the Tena Area drop down from the Eastern Cordillera of the Andes to the Amazon Lowlands. This tropical rainforest region around Tena offers yearround challenging 1- day rafting excursions with many rapids and a beautiful tropical surrounding with a rich flora and fauna.
Tena has a relatively mild and comfortable climate. Tena is situated at an altitude of 500 meters above sea level on the slopes of the Guacamayos mountain range. Due to its elevation it is drier and cooler than you might expect. The heaviest rains come in June, July, and August, but even then it usually doesn't rain all day and when it does, the rain is pleasant and warm. Temperatures don't fall below 17 degrees and average 25 degrees Celsius.
Lying on the equator the evenings starts early, at 18:30 Night begins to fall, to begin the day again at 06:30.
Travel Around Tena
The bus to Quito takes about 4 hours by the recently constructed new road. The route from Quito is quite spectecular. It first climbes to 4100 meters to the pass of Papallacta (la Virgen) after which it descends to to 540 meters to reach Tena. The road passes trough the elfin forest, where a humid cloud, caused by warm humid air streaming from the rainforest against the cooler Andes, forms a peculiar biosphere. Waterfalls seem to come out of the granite massifs as if connected to a huge pressure pipeline.