The sub-Andes toward the region of the Oriente holds many limestone caves, particularly within the Santiago and Napo Limestone Formations. The Jumandi Caves remain some of Ecuador's most stunning natural wonders steeped in history. These days, the caves embody the tempestuous time in Ecuador's history when indigenous Ecuadorians found their land occupied by the Spanish. As the story goes, one indigenous leader, Jumandy, worked to unite Ecuador's indigenous tribe against the Spanish until he was betrayed and forced to hide in the cave system. Though Jumandy was eventually caught, his cavernous refuge was named in his honor.
The cave system offers slick stalagmites and stalactites, mood pools, streams, and waterfalls. It's a memorable excursion for travelers, though a professional guide is required to lead you through the cavern's varying terrain.