The city is named for Francisco de Orellana, who explored the confluence of the Coca River and the Napo River. It is believed that he set sail from the current location of the town eventually making his way into the Amazon River seeing the "Amazon" or tribes in which the women also fought. Eventually Francisco de Orellana made it to the Atlantic. He made a second expedition leaving but died on the Amazon delta unable to find a way through.
Also in this city is located the 19TH "NAPO" JUNGLE BRIGADE (Army of Ecuador), which develops military courses as "Selva", "Tigres", "Reconocimiento de Largo Alcance", "Operaciones Rivereñas" and "Operaciones de Asalto aéreo".