December 8, 2017: Two bicyclists on the Cascades route near Banos.

©Ksenia Ragozina/Shutterstock


Puyo is an enigma: whereas most towns make efforts to spruce up their centers and leave the outskirts stagnating, this place does the opposite. While it retains some vitality as the capital of the Pastaza province, overall this is just a built-up town with little to attract you. Regardless, anyone traveling in southern Oriente is quite likely to pass through. Dense green jungle flourishes close around the town’s edges, and – thanks in part to travelers from Baňos making the hour-long drive down to do a rainforest reconnoiter – accommodations are good and plentiful, with some highly recommended jungle tour operators located here.


Must-see attractions

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