The name “Omaere” means “nature of the rainforest” in the Waorani.
The Omaere Ethnobotanical Park was one of the first ethnobotanical parks in all of Latin America. Ethnobotany is the study of the relations between cultures and the plants that surround them. Whether it is for medicinal, shelter, spiritual, or nutritional use, plants are a fundamental part of life for the indigenous peoples of the Amazon. Here in the Park you can visit traditional houses, where we teach about the Shuar and Waorani cultures and show some of their weapons and tools. We are located in Puyo, Ecuador, just a few minutes walk from the city center. Visit us in the Park; the entrance fee is $3 adults, $1.50 students, $0.50 children. (Each group should pay a minimum of $5.) Walks are guided and last 1-2 hours, depending on the interest of the visitor. The park is open every day except on Monday from 9am until 5pm. People in a big hurry can see some of the main points in half an hour. While on the trails, you will have a chance to feel the aroma of orchids, the taste of cinnamon, the spines of Cat’s Claw Vine, and be painted with Achotillo sap. Please call ahead to make a reservation if you need an English speaking guide.
You can discover a great diversity of useful plants along our trails during the guided walks. These may last one or two hours, depending on the time and interest of the vistors. Those who are in a rush may see the principal points in half an hour. The walks are led by native guides, biologists and volunteers. During the walk, you will see a large variety of edible, medicinal and cultural plants, together with those used to build homes. You will also learn about the Shuar and Waorani cultures, including their social life, arquitecture, arms and tools. There is also the opportunity to enjoy nature in general, in all its beauty.
Omaere is located on the outskirts of the city of Puyo, along the “Paseo Turístico del Río Puyo,” a trail along the Rio Puyo, to the northeast of the city. To arrive, head out of town towards Tena, but before leaving town, turn right on Calle Cotapaxi at the “Coka” gas station. Follow this street three blocks, to the Malecón del Río Puyo. where you will see statues of women of the seven ethnic groups of Pastaza Province. From here, cross the footbridge over the river, pass by the Hostal El Jardin and Hostal Flor de Canela, and continue 200 meters more until you see the entrance to Parque Etnobotánico Omaere, just before the second large bridge.
Please bring an umbrella or raincoat, because it rains frequently in Puyo. In fact, Puyo means cloud or mist in the local Kichwa language.