If you’re heading into the Ecuadorian Oriente, better known to layman as the Amazon Jungle, you may want to launch your trip from the oil towns of either Coca or Tena. Both of these cities are attractive in their relative ease of accessibility and their position on the doorstep of all that lush rainforest to the east. These towns are unattractive in that, well…they’re ugly and offer food that at times can challenge a billy goat’s stomach.

But there’s good news. First, remember you’re not there for fine dining but adventure: both of these towns supply that. Second, by the time you’ve reached either of these towns your stomach has likely already been put through the proving grounds of bus stop eateries and you’ve already been introduced to some of the new bacteria that make local food threatening to gringos with unproven digestive systems. Now, that’s not to say that toilets you visit aren’t going to look like a Jackson Pollock painting when you’re finished; but again, if you’ve penetrated into either of these largely off the map cities you have a lust for adventure.

Hit up the food markets, take your pick from any of a myriad of cheap food stalls and keep your fingers crossed. You’ll be dining with the Quechua people, who despite centuries of oppression by the Spanish still maintain a strong sense of culture. Once you’re in the Amazon you’ll be dining with these same good folk, but then it’ll likely be piranha you’re eating, piranha you yourself have caught earlier that day. And the rumors are true, they have lots of small bones for you to choke to death on…the eating adventure continues!

Photo: Dogymho

Previous articleTraveled Earth’s Mike & Ashley’s Top 5 Worst Travel Experiences
Next articleBerber Baby Shower, Morocco
A traveler all of his days it seems, Chris was born in the Deep South, grew up in New England, and has lived most of the last decade in Southern California. When not rambling around all corners of the States, he might be found teaching High School English in San Diego… or shepherding in Spain, or farming in Chile, or combing beaches in Southeast Asia. There’s no telling. He’s been known to be a boxer of kangaroos in Australia and a deer whisperer in the High Sierra. It’s been more than a decade since his first intoxicating steps on foreign soil, and his wanderlust seems to have waned little. Perpetually curious about what’s just up around the bend, surely as long as his better half stays willing, he’ll be traveler ever and anon.


Please enter your comment!
Please enter your name here