ArtsAutosBooksBusinessEducationEntertainmentFamilyFashionFoodGamesGenderHealthHolidaysHomeHubPagesPersonal FinancePetsPoliticsReligionSportsTechnologyTravel

Exploring the Tropical Rainforest of Ecuador

Updated on September 16, 2015
Ecuadorian Rainforest
Ecuadorian Rainforest | Source

The tropical rainforest, for many, is a wonderland of exotic animals, brightly adorned birds, towering trees and unfathomable mystery. It is a place that is frequently dreamt about but seldom visited. Movies such as “Avatar” and “Predator” espouse its beauty while subtly alluding to its imperceptible dangers. It is a refuge of fantasy and a nightmare of uncertainty. The tropical rainforest is a destination of adventure and discovery.

Tropical Rainforest Facts

The tropical rainforest can be found within a narrow band that circumvents the earth between the Tropic of Cancer (23.5o N latitude) and the Tropic of Capricorn (23.5o S latitude). This region corresponds with the tilt of the earth, marking the winter and summer solstices. Twice a year every point within this sector will experience the direct rays of the sun.

Although the tropical rainforest occupies less than six percent of the world’s land surface, eighty percent of the earth’s biodiversity can be found within its boundaries. Rains in excess of 125 cm (50 in) per year and the protective covering of the forest canopy provide a terrarium like atmosphere conducive of plant and animal survival.

Rainforest Environment

The forest environment can be divided into four distinct layers. The uppermost or emergent level includes trees that extend from 40 – 80 m (130 – 260 ft) in height. These behemoths tower above the canopy and must be resistant to high winds and the direct rays of the scorching sun. Birds of prey, bats, butterflies and some monkeys find refuge among the branches of these giants of nature.

Molinuco | Source

Below these lofty titans lies the canopy that forms a protective envelope for the flora and fauna of the woodland below. Blocking ninety-nine percent of the solar radiation, it is a labyrinth of foliage, vines and branches providing sustenance and security for a myriad of birds, snakes and amphibians that call it home.

Beneath the shield of the canopy, plants exhibit oversized leaves that are mandatory to absorb the restricted light penetrating the dense foliage. Insects are bountiful and the humidity reaches its zenith. This region is referred to as the understory, where large cats such as jaguars and leopards roam the jungle floor and tree frogs sing in melodious harmony.

The final level is the forest floor or shrub layer where little vegetation can survive the lack of sunshine. Organic material decomposes rapidly in this region providing nourishment for the sparse survivors. Giant Anteaters, large rodents, quaint foraging birds and mammals inhabit this uninviting environment.


When traveling to the tropical rainforest, arriving in the target country is the easiest part of the journey. From this point it must be decided how to reach the destination quickly and safely. This will depend on the country and their transportation infrastructure. Many countries, such as Ecuador, have an abundance of ground options that are both secure and reliable. The road system is modern and well maintained, thus facilitating travel alone or in small groups. Other nations, however, may require that the traveler acquire the assistance of guides or tour agencies to insure one’s safety and expediency. Internet research should be utilized in advance of travel, scrutinizing the intended countries ground transportation options and employing the most advantageous means of reaching the final destination.


An additional item that requires thorough research before setting out on a trek to the tropical rainforest is lodging. While there are many lodges and reserves offering eco-packages, other options may be available, especially to the frugal traveler. Small towns located near or possibly within the boundaries of the forest could offer less expensive accommodation while affording access to these target areas. Some locations permit camping, providing a more intimate contact with the environment.

Travel Precautions

As was mentioned earlier, the tropical rainforest is home to eighty percent of the world’s animal population. It is therefore advisable to take precautions when entering this possibly hostile environment. A few preventative measures can help avoid uncomfortable or dangerous situations while ensuring a more enjoyable visit to these areas of unparalleled beauty.

  • Never Travel Alone – Although there is an inherent desire to be one with nature, it is never advisable to travel alone in areas where nature may wish to make the visitor too much a part of the environment. Even on small reserves where it appears safe, a habitué is recommended to at least inform someone where they will be and when they will return. A slight misstep could result in a mishap with no one to provide assistance.

Crimson-rumped Toucanet
Crimson-rumped Toucanet | Source
  • Insects – Due to the tropical environment of the rainforest, flying, crawling, and jumping creatures abound. Although many may be harmless, traveling in jungle areas below 1,500 m (5,000 ft) increases the possibility of encountering disease-bearing insects. An Internet search of the target areas will reveal any health risks that have been identified for the location and the precautionary measures that should be employed.
  • Animals – Many of the creatures roaming the dense foliage of the wilderness are beautiful and quite harmless. However, there are many animals that require cautious consideration. Certain beasts such as bears, monkeys and large cats are obviously menacing but the smaller inhabitants such as snakes, lizards and frogs can prove to be innocent looking yet formidable foes. Proper clothing and precautionary measures can prove to be an effective deterrent to aggressive jungle dwellers


The tropical rainforest is a must-see destination for the avid adventurer. Its unprecedented beauty and diversity delivers an environmental experience that is incomprehensible without a firsthand encounter. It should be placed on the wish list of every traveler who wants to understand the true nature of the world and its hidden treasures. 


This website uses cookies

As a user in the EEA, your approval is needed on a few things. To provide a better website experience, uses cookies (and other similar technologies) and may collect, process, and share personal data. Please choose which areas of our service you consent to our doing so.

For more information on managing or withdrawing consents and how we handle data, visit our Privacy Policy at:

Show Details
HubPages Device IDThis is used to identify particular browsers or devices when the access the service, and is used for security reasons.
LoginThis is necessary to sign in to the HubPages Service.
Google RecaptchaThis is used to prevent bots and spam. (Privacy Policy)
AkismetThis is used to detect comment spam. (Privacy Policy)
HubPages Google AnalyticsThis is used to provide data on traffic to our website, all personally identifyable data is anonymized. (Privacy Policy)
HubPages Traffic PixelThis is used to collect data on traffic to articles and other pages on our site. Unless you are signed in to a HubPages account, all personally identifiable information is anonymized.
Amazon Web ServicesThis is a cloud services platform that we used to host our service. (Privacy Policy)
CloudflareThis is a cloud CDN service that we use to efficiently deliver files required for our service to operate such as javascript, cascading style sheets, images, and videos. (Privacy Policy)
Google Hosted LibrariesJavascript software libraries such as jQuery are loaded at endpoints on the or domains, for performance and efficiency reasons. (Privacy Policy)
Google Custom SearchThis is feature allows you to search the site. (Privacy Policy)
Google MapsSome articles have Google Maps embedded in them. (Privacy Policy)
Google ChartsThis is used to display charts and graphs on articles and the author center. (Privacy Policy)
Google AdSense Host APIThis service allows you to sign up for or associate a Google AdSense account with HubPages, so that you can earn money from ads on your articles. No data is shared unless you engage with this feature. (Privacy Policy)
Google YouTubeSome articles have YouTube videos embedded in them. (Privacy Policy)
VimeoSome articles have Vimeo videos embedded in them. (Privacy Policy)
PaypalThis is used for a registered author who enrolls in the HubPages Earnings program and requests to be paid via PayPal. No data is shared with Paypal unless you engage with this feature. (Privacy Policy)
Facebook LoginYou can use this to streamline signing up for, or signing in to your Hubpages account. No data is shared with Facebook unless you engage with this feature. (Privacy Policy)
MavenThis supports the Maven widget and search functionality. (Privacy Policy)
Google AdSenseThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
Google DoubleClickGoogle provides ad serving technology and runs an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
Index ExchangeThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
SovrnThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
Facebook AdsThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
Amazon Unified Ad MarketplaceThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
AppNexusThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
OpenxThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
Rubicon ProjectThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
TripleLiftThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
Say MediaWe partner with Say Media to deliver ad campaigns on our sites. (Privacy Policy)
Remarketing PixelsWe may use remarketing pixels from advertising networks such as Google AdWords, Bing Ads, and Facebook in order to advertise the HubPages Service to people that have visited our sites.
Conversion Tracking PixelsWe may use conversion tracking pixels from advertising networks such as Google AdWords, Bing Ads, and Facebook in order to identify when an advertisement has successfully resulted in the desired action, such as signing up for the HubPages Service or publishing an article on the HubPages Service.
Author Google AnalyticsThis is used to provide traffic data and reports to the authors of articles on the HubPages Service. (Privacy Policy)
ComscoreComScore is a media measurement and analytics company providing marketing data and analytics to enterprises, media and advertising agencies, and publishers. Non-consent will result in ComScore only processing obfuscated personal data. (Privacy Policy)
Amazon Tracking PixelSome articles display amazon products as part of the Amazon Affiliate program, this pixel provides traffic statistics for those products (Privacy Policy)
ClickscoThis is a data management platform studying reader behavior (Privacy Policy)