Explore the Jumandi Caves

There are many natural wonders to visit in Ecuador, amongst which are locations such as the Jumandi Caves that are steeped in history, beauty, challenge and adventure. Just outside the quaint and picturesque city of Tena is the small town of Archidona. It is not only home to magnificent buildings and a quiet lifestyle but the Jumandi Caves are located here. Visitors travel from both towns to explore these magnificent caves. Once on the route to the caves, travelers will realize they are on an unforgettable journey.

The caves symbolize a turbulent time in the history of Ecuador. As was the norm in the 1500s, during the wars that erupted between the Ecuadorians and the Spanish who were trying to invade their land, numerous brave and memorable heroes arose. Jumandy was just such a leader. He went about hiding the women, children and elderly, and began to unite various tribes to make a stand against the invaders. On a mission to get the Sierra tribes to join, he was betrayed by the tribe, and fled to the caves in an attempt to escape his Spanish pursuers. But they caught him in the caves and later executed him in Quito.

The caves were therefore named in honor of him, and are known as the Jumandi or Jumandy Caves. All visitors are required to hire a professional tour guide for the trip due to the size of the caves. There is a forty-five minute tour, as well as a four hour tour available. Visitors will be able to swim in natural pools carved in the rock by flowing water streams, and climb over breathtaking waterfalls to reach the caves. There are also medicinal mud pools, and visitors are invited to rub mud all over themselves. Inside the caves, visitors will see and touch stalagmites and stalactites and try to move around without waking the resident bat colony.

Due to the varying terrain and having to get wet in certain stages, visitors are advised to wear sturdy hiking boots and take either flashlights or head lamps along to explore the caves, as lighting is only available at the entrance of the mountain. Discovering the Jumandi Caves is a memorable excursion that is recommended for all ages and fitness levels.