Cueva de los Tayos

The Oriente

Near Limón Indanza, 112km southwest of Macas, a trail leads to the extensive Coangos cave system, where there are multiple caverns spiked with stalactites and stalagmites. Five kilometers of passageways can be explored, including the spectacular Cueva de los Tayos, which at 185m depth is Ecuador's largest publicly accessible cave. Some caving routes here require technical equipment, with a 65m vertical descent necessary on one route. Underground rivers await on other routes for the adventurous.

The Cueva de los Tayos itself is so named for the rare oil bird (a nocturnal, fruit-eating bird that’s prized by the Shuar for its medicinal oils) which you can see hereabouts.

Even for routes not requiring technical equipment, you’ll need gloves, rubber boots and a flashlight (or two). Caving trips are better (and far safer) when you go with a guided tour from Macas.