Tag Archives: Tena

Ecuador and the Amazon Basin

The border crossing from Peru into Ecuador is one of those crossings where everything changes. The scenery changes dramatically, from the dry Peruvian desert into lush rolling hills covered in sugar cane and banana plantations in a few short kms. Ecuador produce the most bananas in the world, almost twice as much as their nearest rivals, Costa Rica – they are everywhere.

I need to find a fuel station fast, my bike’s running on fumes. At $2 a gallon, it’s the cheapest fuel I’ve had since Nigeria and I’ve arrived empty. A few wrong turns later and I locate a fuel station, fill up and then on to find some local road insurance.

Most of my trip prep has focused on the bit up to Peru. I know surprisingly little about Ecuador, apart from the bit about bananas. The FCO’s Travel Advice page does not make for good reading, armed robberies, express kidnappings, drug cartels, volcanoes, earthquakes, landslides…


I had planned to blast through Ecuador, avoiding armed robbery, and then meet up with some friends in Colombia. But after reading about the Amazon I decided to spend some time in the Amazon basin before continuing north. Ecuador has the highest biodiversity per sq km in the world and has lots of impressive national parks. Unfortunately lots of the land is under threat from oil exploration and the Amazon has a marked increase in pollution from oil production. My cheap fuel comes with guilt.