When I was choosing photos for the book, Ecuador Por Mis Ojos, I had so many of the Napo Province that I had some tough decisions to make. I had to think carefully about how to describe this place that is both part of the Ecuadorian Sierra (the mountains) and the Ecuadorian Oriente (the Amazon Basin to the east).

In fact, the Napo Province helped me decide that the book should be presented by altitude, starting with the highest places then descending high Andean slopes to the west coast and the Amazon basin to the east. Such a presentation could help show the diversity of geography in this small country.

And that’s why this introduction to the Napo Province is made up of photos from the paramo, the highlands. Later in the series, you will get to see two more sections of the Napo Province – the cloud forests and the Amazon basin.

The gateway to the Napo Province is the small town of Papallacta, famous for hot springs and hiking. It is a place to see hummingbirds and orchids. It is often rainy and wet but when the sun does shine, it will burn the pale skin of this gringa in fifteen minutes or less. The combination of being on the equator and the high altitude make the sun’s rays especially dangerous.

The terrain of the high paramo is rich in wildlife, despite the often barren looking hillsides. It is a great place to photograph birds, like the Ochre-breasted Antpitta, or to fish high mountain pocket lakes. This land is also home to the endangered Spectacled Bear.

And the wildlife can be seen from the window of your car. Once we saw a buck with full rack standing on a cliff looking out over the open highway, grandly observing cars as they drove by.

I hope these photos will encourage you to explore the area around Papallacta and get to know just a small part of the Napo Province. These photos barely scratch the surface.

Click on any photo to open a slideshow with further descriptions of each photo.

If you would like to read more about the Napo Province near Papallacta, check out some of these articles:

Ecuador Por Mis Ojos

Recently, the Instituto Geografico Militar of Ecuador and I released a book of photography, Ecuador Por Mis Ojos. This post shares photos from that book.

If you would like to see other photos from the book, please check out: