The unavoidable starting point for many of Ecuador’s most fascinating jungle tours, Coca will be most visitors' unsexy introduction to the Río Napo. In the 1990s the town was transformed by the oil industry from a tiny river settlement with dirt roads into a hot, teeming mass of concrete. The capital of the Orellana province since 1999 (and officially known as Puerto Francisco de Orellana), Coca is the last real civilization before the Río Napo transports you deep into the rainforest to the Parque Nacional Yasuní and beyond into the Amazon basin.
Though decidedly not a destination in itself, Coca isn't altogether charmless – an attractive little park adorns the center, and a pretty malecón (waterfront) runs along the riverfront, anchored by the excellent Museo Arqueológico Centro Cultural de Orellana (MACCO) that opened in 2016. A stunning new suspension bridge now spans the Napo, taking traffic bound down Via Auca towards Tiguino (another starting point for rainforest forays).