Tena, the capital of the Napo Province, is an attractive and friendly city in the Amazon rainforest. Known as the “cinnamon capital” of Ecuador, and originally founded by missionary explorers, Tena has emerged as one of the top industrialized centres of Ecuador. It is home to a major regional hospital and many tourist related businesses, including a small airport and a vital bus terminal.
Tena is a popular launching point for jungle, kayaking and rafting tours in Ecuador’s Amazon rainforest region. The entry to the city is marked by a statue of the indigenous hero Jumandy, who courageously led an uprising against the Spanish colonizers in 1578, and was subsequently executed.
At the confluence of the Tena and Pano rivers in the centre of town lies a popular pedestrian bridge, “el puente peatonal”. The rivers become the Tena River, which soon joins with the Misahualli and eventually flows into the Napo River. The Napo winds its way south into Peru, and is in effect the 9th largest tributary to the Amazon River.
The town is popular with travellers, since it is known as being peaceful, orderly, clean and more geared towards tourists. Many inexpensive hotels, tourist agencies, and restaurants cater to backpackers who commonly use the town as a jumping-off point for trips into the rainforest. Tena is surrounded by forested hills and is located at the edge of the Andes, which are visible to the west.