Overview: Amazon Region of Ecuador
Ecuador is divided into three continental regions — the coast, the Andes Mountains and the east, which is part of South America’s Amazon Basin — and one insular region, the Galápagos Islands. The Amazon Basin also spreads into Brazil, Peru and several other countries. Covering 2.7 million square miles, it is the largest rainforest in the world.
Only a quarter of the people who live in the jungle region live in urban areas; the rest, who are mostly indigenous, live in rural areas. Most people work in agriculture, livestock breeding, hunting, fishing and wood harvesting. Others are employed in commerce, manufacturing, construction and transportation.
The Amazon rainforest region of Ecuador is located on the eastern side of the Andes, a chain of mountains that runs the length of the country from north to south. This area is further divided into the Lower Oriental Zone, virgin jungle with abundant forests and swamps; and the Upper Oriental Zone, an area with milder weather and a larger population. The average temperature of the region is the mid-70s.
The region has the typical lush vegetation associated with the rainforest ecosystem, and it is noted for its wide variety of trees and medicinal plants, as well as gold, silver and oil. The area holds a staggering array of flora and fauna, with 4,500 species of orchids and butterflies, monkeys, macaws, parrots and pink river dolphins.
This region is divided into six provinces: Pastaza, Napo, Morona Santiago, Zamora Chinchipe, Orellana and Sucumbíos. This area of Ecuador is home to 694,000 inhabitants; nearly 60 percent are mestizo (a blend of indigenous Amerindian and white), and 34 percent comprise seven main groups of indigenous people.