Although Tena is most commonly used as a launching pad for jungle tours in the upper Napo region, there are a few places nearby you can visit independently. To the north of Tena, a trip to the colonial town of Archidona can be combined with a visit to the Cavernas de Jumandy, the most developed and easily accessed of many caves in the area, or one of the two local forest reserves, the Reserva Ecológica Monteverde or the Reserva El Parra. Beyond here, the scenery en route to Baeza concertinas into a range of forested gullies and ridges as you pass between two remote protected areas, the Parque Nacional Sumaco Napo-Galeras and the Reserva Ecológica Antisana.
Heading 7km south of Tena brings you to Puerto Napo, where there’s a road bridge over the eponymous river. Two roads branch off the main highway to the east at this point, servicing either side of the upper Río Napo. Along the northern bank, one runs for 17km as far as the port of Misahuallí, the long-established embarkation point for tours of this region. On the southern shore, and joined by a bridge from Misahuallí, the other road passes several tourist cabañas, the Estación Biológica Jatún Sacha and, 28km down the line, the crossing point by boat over the river at La Punta, from where the road dribbles on for a couple of kilometres as far as Ahuano. Meanwhile, the southbound main road from Tena and Puerto Napo continues to Yuralpa where a French oil company has its operational base. A bridge and 7km of road are the only things missing to make the link from Puerto Napo to Coca, but the inevitable rise of the oil and lumber industries in the area means they won’t be long in coming.