Puyo, Ecuador - Polarsteps

Puyo, Ecuador: Puyo, dating back to 1899, sits next to the Puyo River, which dumps into the Pastaza River which dumps into the Amazon River. The population is around 37,000 in the city, but the entire metropolitan area has around 62,000 people. The city sits at the base of the foothills of the Andes Mountains at 930 meters (3051 feet) above sea level. The history of the area actually goes back to 1797 but that's a rather convoluted story filled with political dealings. It was in the middle 1900s that the city started to grow with significance. Its economy is based on trade, tourism, and agriculture. There are many options for eco-adventurers. And, there are walking tours of several natural areas in the city and more outside, many waterfalls in the general area, a water park with a wave pool and the country's tallest water slides, an exotic bird park just outside of town, the cathedral Nuestra Señora del Rosario de Puyo in the center, and the Malecon which has a tower at the end where you can see the entire city from the top. So, my impressions: I like Puyo. I like it enough that it is on my top-10 list, and it is the only town on that list, so far. Puyo doesn't have any great, classic architecture. Still, the city is, in my opinion, just the right size for walking from end-to-end in any direction, just the right temperature day and night, and has enough parks to make it enjoyable. The city center is lively and active, most people walk the city because the streets are narrow making the flow of traffic slow and difficult. I did find at least a half-dozen coffee shops in this town, which is quite surprising because, in all of the towns I've visited in Ecuador, I've seen almost no coffee shops. Oh, and I met a man and his daughter in a coffee shop, both from the States. After talking to them for a while he invited me to his house for dinner with his family. They live in a neighboring town, very close to Puyo. He and his wife have 9 kids, 6 of their own and 3 adopted Bolivian children. The time with Rudi and Carla's family of musicians was very enjoyable, and after dinner, Rudi and one of his sons played a song for me. Rudi is a former national champion fiddle player, and is, of course, incredibly good. If you're curious, look for Rudi Booher, you can find a few of his recordings on Spotify, apple music, youtube, Facebook, Deezer, and other sites. Some have his name spelled Rudy, others Rudi.
  1. ChipW
  2. My South America Journey
  3. Puyo