Puyo is still a small town but one which is growing and sprawling at the end of the road that leads down to the Oriente from Ambato via Baños. It is also on the highway which connects many of the towns in the Oriente. The Puyo river runs through town and connects with the Pastaza which continues on towards the Amazon.
It is possible to organise jungle tours in Puyo although they are not going to the most pristine parts of the rainforest. For this reason they are more accessible and cheaper and my experience was a lot of fun. (read more here)
Even within Puyo itself there are quite a few interesting things to do:
Los Monos is an animal rescue centre for trafficked wild animals, mostly monkeys located in the forest near Puyo. (http://paseolosmonos.webs.com)
The Botanical Garden Las Orquídeas is a beautiful and fascinating place to visit. A guided tour costs $5. It is located in the suburb of Intipungo, a 15 minute car journey from the centre.
La casa del Arbol is as the name suggests a house built into a tree, owned and built by Jaime Saltos. You can visit this and nearby caves and stay in cabins. Located 6km out of town on the way to Shell.
The Omaere park has several trails through an area of forest close to the centre of town.
You can also visit the water park, the etno-archaeological museum, enjoy a shamanic spa at the Monte Selva eco-park or volunteer at the Sacha Yacu animal rescue centre (http://sachayacu.org)
Click here to find out where to stay or where to eat in Puyo.