When we first entered town, heading straight for the zocalo, I was immediately distracted. I thought I saw a monkey just run past me, snatch a soda from a kid, open the bottle and attempt to drink the contents. I say attempt, because figuring out how to hold the bottle of soda right and not splash it all over the ground the monkey had not figured out yet. It was funny and sad at the same time as the kid, clearly traumatized, looked on. Did we laugh, you betcha, not the kid though.
So what do you expect when the main statue in the city park is Monkeys? A zoo without walls is what I’d call it. Going into stores, restaurants, coffee shops, and probably someone’s home if you’re’ not vigilant keeping your place monkey proof, these monkeys run the town.
Misahualli, the passageway to Coca, by canoe down the Napo River is the gateway to Ecuador’s Amazonian jungle. There is much to do here. Whitewater rafting, hiking, visit a butterfly farm. You can see some of the many butterfly species found in the jungle including the beautiful blue morpho butterfly. Our main reason for visiting was to experience the jungle, taking a canoe down river to visit an authentic village.
We found what we were looking for, taking a long skinny canoe just inches above the rushing Napo river to a Kichwa community. At the Kichwa community there were dances, a food making demonstration, shaman services, a small zoo and a gift shop. After exploring the community we took the boat back to Misahualli for lunch.
Overall a great experience and introduction to the Amazon, less the monkey business.