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BEST NATIONAL PARKS IN ECUADOR




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National Parks and Protected Areas of Ecuador

The National Parks System of Ecuador  has 47 protected areas of different categories. The differentiation between the different categories often is not all that clear and certainly not a criterion to decide whether or not you could be interested in an area. Some national parks are difficult to get into, while some of the reserves are are so good, that they should really be a national park. With so many parks and reserves to chose from, what really matters to you is which are the best national parks of Ecuador. Below you can see the map with all the areas. Click here for:

bullet

Printable pdf list of all national parks and protected areas of Ecuador;

bullet

Introduction to the National Parks System by the Ecuador National Parks Service (Spanish only).

Map Best National Parks Ecuador

Best National Parks of Ecuador

The Scoring System

We gave a scoring to the areas, so that you may have an idea what could be important areas for you to visit. The scoring is from 1 - 5; the latter being very good, while comparing between these areas in Ecuador, in order to distinguish among them. 

 

While most areas are scenic, some stand out for dramatic landscapes that are not found as abundantly in the other areas. All areas with snow-caped mountains have scored high. Tropical low-land areas score high if there are lakes from where birds and other wildlife can be watched. Access scores a 5 if there is very convenient road-access to good trails or well-organized access over water that can be easily contracted. Ecological interest is based on whether or not a visitor can actually experience and see and experience the biological highlights. Overnight facilities score high if in or very nearby the port of access of an area. 

 

SCORING TABLE *  **

 

Scenic

Access

Ecological interest

Overnight Facilities

BIOLOGICAL RESERVES

Cerro Plateado Biological Reserve

 

 

 

 

El Condor Biological Reserve pdf ***

3

1

3

1

El Quimi Biological Reserve pdf

 

 

 

 

Limon Cocha Biological Reserve pdf

4

5

3

5

ECOLOGICAL RESERVES

Antisana Ecological Reserve pdf

3

2

2

1

Arenilla Ecological Reserve pdf

2

4

1

3

Churute mangrove Ecological Reserve pdf

3

3

4

3

Cofan-Bermejo Ecological Reserve pdf

2

2

2

1

Cotacachi-Cayapas Ecological Reserve pdf

5

5

4

5

El Angel Ecological Reserve pdf

5

3

5

3

Ilinizas Ecological Reserve pdf

3

3

2

3

Mache Chindul Ecological Reserve pdf

 

 

 

 

Cayapas Mataje Mangrove Ecological Reserve pdf

5

2

5

2

FAUNA RESERVES

Chimborazo Fauna Reserve pdf

5

4

3 (vecu˝as)

3

Cuyabeno Wildlife Reserve **** pdf pdf-visitantes

5

5

5

5

Manglares el Salado Fauna Reserve pdf

2

3

2

2

Puntilla de Santa Elena Fauna Reserve

 

 

 

 

GEOBOTANICAL RESERVE

Pululahua pdf

5

5

2

5

MARINE RESERVE

Galapagos Biological Marine Marine Reserve pdf

 

 

 

 

Galera-San Francisco Marine Reserve

 

 

 

 

NATIONAL PARKS

Cajas National Park pdf pdf-visitantes

5

5

4

5

Cayambe Coca National Park pdf

5

3

5

1

Cotopaxi National Park pdf

5

5

3

4

Galapagos NP National Park pdf

5

5

5

5

Llanganates National Park pdf

3

1

3

1

Machalilla National Park pdf

3

5

5

5

Podocarpus National Park pdf

3

3

5

1

Sangay National Park pdf

5

2

5

1

Sumaco-Napo-Galeras National Park pdf

3

1

4

1

Yacuri National Park

 

 

 

 

Yasuni National Park pdf

3

3

3

1

NATIONAL RECREATION AREAS

Isla Santay National Recreation Area

 

 

 

 

Los Samanes National Recreation Area

 

 

 

 

Quimsacocha National Recreation Area

 

 

 

 

El Boliche National Recreation Area pdf

3

5

3

4

Playas de Villamil National Recreation Area

 

 

 

 

Lago National Recreation Area pdf

2

5

1

3

WILDLIFE REFUGES

La Chiquita Wildlife Refuge pdf

2

4

2

4

El Pambilar Wildlife Refuge

 

 

 

 

El Zarra Wildlife Refuge pdf

 

 

 

 

Isla Corazon and Fragatas Island Wildlife Refuge pdf

2

3

2

2

El Morro Mangroves Wildlife Refuge

 

 

 

 

Rio Esmeraldas Estuary Mangrove Wildlife Refuge

 

 

 

 

Rio Muisne Estuary Mangrove Wildlife Refuge pdf

2

2

2

2

Pacoche Coastal Marine Wildlife Refuge

 

 

 

 

Pasachoa Wildlife Refuge pdf

 

 

 

 

Santa Clara Island Wildlife Refuge

2

2

2

2

* We have a pdf with the entire list of protected areas of Ecuador.

** We have an introduction to the protected areas sistem of Ecuador in Spanish.

*** We have detailed pdf reports in Spanish on a variety of areas that you can download from the respective links.

**** The area names with links take you to the corresponding web pages.

BEST NATIONAL PARKS IN ECUADOR

AREA

NATIONAL PARK HIGHLIGHTS

Galapagos National Park

Rather obvious

Cuyabeno Faunistic Reserve

The only low-land Amazon area with lakes and micro channels from where one can observe wildlife and watch birds as well as Amazon Jungle Animals and Amazon Rainforest Plants on Ecuador Amazon Expeditions to Cuyabeno National Park.

Podocarpus National Park

Interesting forest with the only South America coniferous trees

Las Cajas National Park

Very scenic high land paramo landscape with many beautiful lakes

Chimborazo National Park

Besides being the furthest point from the center of the earth, the area has a small herd of introduced vecunas.

Cotopaxi National Park

Beautiful scenic volcano top 

Pululahua

Charming volcano close to Quito. Great for a morning visit when chances of decent weather are best

Sanguay National Park

With three volcanoes and beautiful lakes, this area can be extremely beautiful, but the skies are rarely clear and the chances of spending all your stay in the fog and drizzling rain are extremely high. Only for very hardy outdoors people.

Cotacachi- 

Cayapas National Park

A cable cart takes once close to the top of the Pichincha mountain top, part of falls in the Cotacachi Cayapas reserve. Highly recommendable for the fabulous view of Quito.

Machalilla National Park

This area has a very rare transition forest from wet conditions in the North and the Peruvian coastal desert in the south. The landscape has suffered from human intervention, but there are still very valuable pockets of deciduous forests and bottle shaped trees. The beaches are accessible and offer plenty of over-night facilities.

Cayapas Mataje Ecological Reserve

These are the best Mangroves in Ecuador. The area is little visited and it takes a bit of an effort to reach San Lorenzo and find a boat to take you around.

 
Best National Parks Ecuador:  Cuyabeno Ecuador. Best National Parks Ecuador: Cajas National Park
Best National Parks Ecuador: Galapagos National Park Best National Parks Ecuador: Mangrove Park

 

The Cuyabeno Lodge is owned by Neotropic Turis Cia. Ltda., an Ecuadorian corporate social responsibility tourism corporations under Ecuadorian law. Read how our Lodge helped rescue the Cuyabeno Wildlife Reserve. Disclaimer. Site Map.

Cuyabeno Lodge / Neotropic Turis Office in Quito, Ecuador:

Shyris Park Building, Av. de los Shyris N36-188 & Av. Naciones Unidas, Office 608, 6th floor.

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