Located in the lowland part of the Oriente, close to the foot of the Andes, Tena is a large, thriving town. It isn't beautiful but it feels relaxed and safe to walk around.
The nice part is in the centre by the river. You can visit an island that serves as a wildlife refuge, where a monkey climbed on my head and refused to leave. There are some bars and restaurants close to the river and it is a nice place to go at night.
In Tena you can organise a rafting trip or a jungle tour along the Napo River which is accessed from Puerto Misahualli. You can also visit Archidona where there are caves and petroglyphs. Read about my visit to the caves here.
WHERE TO STAY AND EAT
There are quite a selection of hotels of different standards. The restaurants looked to be fairly similar, offering traditional food at cheap prices. We ate some good pizza near the river. Click here to find out where to stay and where to eat in Tena.
Tena is on the main highway which has recently been repaved. The most direct route from Quito is via Baeza, a short distance to the north. It takes a few hours to get south to Puyo from Tena. For more information about the routes click here. Puyo - Tena