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The Pastaza is the largest province in Ecuador and the one richest in biodiversity (species richness). To the north of Pastaza are the provinces Napo and Orellana, to the south is Morona Santiago, to the east is Peru, and to the west are the provinces Tungurahua and Morona Santiago. The population is about 62.000 inhabitants.

The region is named after the Pastaza River, which runs through and makes up the boundary of the province with the Morona Santiago province in the south. The Pastaza River has its headwaters in the province of Tungurahua, flowing south-east towards the Amazon Basin and passing through the popular town Baños. From here it meanders on to the Napo in Peru, a tributary of the mighty Amazon.
Pastaza River

In Tungurahua and some parts of Pastaza, the Pastaza River is a very fast whitewater river with class 4 rapids, and is often used for whitewater rafting.  

The road from Quito to Baños and Puyo “The Troncal Amazonas highway” parallels the Pastaza River from Baños to Puyo, passing through seven tunnels, and four major waterfalls. The waterfalls are touristic destinations for many Ecuadorians (Agoyan and Pailon del Diablo being the most popular.)

The landscape in Pastaza is mostly mountainous in the western part of the province and becomes relatively flat toward the east as it nears the Peruvian border with rivers and plains characterizing most of the province.

The highest elevation is 1.820 meters (5,970 ft). The climate is warm and humid due to the almost 4-6 meters of annual rainfall closest to the western mountains, but with significant amounts of rainfall throughout the province.

The flora of the region is absolutely spectacular. A few local parks have been developed with myriad natural orchids from the area and admittance to these parks is relatively inexpensive. 

 Pastaza River