Traveling by boat makes a magical change to the usual bus trips so just sit back and watch the jungle swim by as you pass stilted communities perched on the river bank. The trips make for interesting bird and people watching. On longer trips you are likely to pass huge platforms of bamboo and logs transporting the wood down stream to the mills of Limones and Borbon. These structures tend to have a man at either end manouvering.
Rio Cayapas (also Rio Santiago) gives you access to another relatively unexplored corner of Ecuador, rich in nature and the different cultures of the Afro-Ecuadorians and indigenous Chachi Indians. The suggested trip below gives information on Borbon and Santa Maria, 3 hours up river, but there is a wealth of hidden spots in this area. The communities live off logging, agriculture and fishing here.
Places to stay in Rio CayapasHostels: Yes
Mid-range Hotels: No
High-range Hotels: No
Places to eat in Rio CayapasThe best place to stay in Borbon is Brisas del Rio Santiago with clean bedrooms, fan and private bathroom for $5. The friendly owner, Briasnay Betancourt, can tell you times of boats that take you further up river on either Rio Santiago or Cayapas, and the balcony gives you good views of the river and local activity. The block back from the hotel has a number of adequate restaurants serving what you would expect. Back from the hotel on the opposite corner is a nice bar, El Quilambo de Mayor and next to here is a small, interesting Centro de Artesanias selling bamboo ashtrays and wonderful hats. Saturday is market day when the simple concrete dock is filled with people selling everything from dried fish to saucepans, woven palm baskets filled to bursting with crabs and the latest pirate DVDs. Santa Maria is a small missionary town, about 3 hours boat trip up river from Borbon. Rooms can be found by asking for the house of Pastora Jaramello or walking directly up the stairs where you disembark and taking a left at the Virgin Mary shrine. Her house is the 2 storey, faded yellow house with red doors. Rooms are very simple with a shared bathroom and cost $3. She cooks up tasty food but give her plenty of warning. In the morning you will wake to the smell of freshly baked baguette rolls!
Details about Rio CayapasCommunity
Events in and around Rio Cayapas