The unavoidable starting point for many of Ecuador’s most fascinating jungle tours, Coca has been through many transformations over the years, and its current look is a lot better than its previous ones. The capital of the Orellana province since 1999 (and officially known as Puerto Francisco de Orellana), Coca is the last real city 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 is no longer just a charmless transport hub. 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 suspension bridge now spans the Napo, taking traffic bound down Via Auca towards Tiguino (another starting point for rainforest forays).