Limoncocha National Biological Reserve
229 miles from Quito, in Napo Province, this 13,000 acres reserve
is equipped with basic tourist infrastructure.
FAUNA: There is a large concentration of fauna in and around Limoncocha
Lagoon, especially 347 bird species (e.g. tinamous, needle ducks,
herons, ducks, falcons and hawks, turkeys, parakeets, parrots
and macaws, churn owls and orioles), great caymans and tortoises,
a variety of fish and multiple insect forms, while in mammals,
there are marsupials, bats, monkeys and agoutis.
FLORA: The vegetation is typical of varzea zones, with aquatic
and semiaquatic plants which serve as habitat for the great
variety of birds. Microscopic algae give the water a lemongreen
color and are responsible for the heavy fish population.
OTHER ATTRACTIONS: The singularly beautiful lagoon landscape was formed by the ancient course of the Napo River. A Quichua community lives here, and canoe trips can be made to observe the fauna,
while one can get a look at the jungle vegetation on walks through the forest.
Manglares Churute Ecological Reserve
Located in Guayas Province, the park covers 86, 589 acres, which
are located 25 miles from Guayaquil. There is a certain amount
of basic tourist infrastructure, but there is no place to stay
FAUNA: A fluvial lake is ideal for observing aquatic birds, especially the canclon (horned screamer) and tortoises; in the low part of
the park there are inlets inhabited by ducks, pigeons, herons and woodpeckers; mammals such as the howler monkey, agouti, paca,
anteater and badgers; and invertebrates such as shrimp, crabs
FLORA: The most important vegetation is the mangrove formations. Stands of laurel, balsa silkcotton, oak, guayacan and ebony can
be found in the dry land forests, with many orchids and bromeliads
complementing the scenery.
OTHER ATTRACTIONS: The reserve contains hill with footpaths leading to them, canoe trips are also available through the mangroves,
where many birds, invertebrates and various forms of life typical
to this ecosystem can be observed.
Pululahua Natural Monument
Located in Pichincha Province, its, 8,359 acres are only 24,6
miles from Quito. It has basic tourist infrastructure.
FAUNA: There is a variety of birds here: hummingbirds, tanagers, flycatchers, toucans, churn owls and gulls. Mammal life includes
paramo wolves, ocelot, armadillos, spiney rats, squirrels and
gazelles. There is an interesting insect population, in multiple
forms and habitats.
FLORA: The paramo is dominant, while foret nuclei support paramo grass, palms, alders, tree ferns, laurel and walnut, with several
orchid and anthurium species.
OTHER ATTRACTIONS: There is an impressive view of the crater from the Ventanilla (small window) Mirador. The visitor can walk to
the center of the crater and climb nearby mountains to observe
the geological forms and thermal springs.
Cotacachi Cayapas Ecological Reserve
The 752,235 acres of this reserve are located in Imbabura Province
87,6 miles from Quito. It has basic tourist infrastructure.
FAUNA: The fauna is varied, due to the size of the park and variations in plant life. There are condors, hawks, tangaras, anteaters,
sloths, ocelots, raccoons, pacas, armadillos, fox, rabbits, deer
and paramo wolves.
FLORA: Various forms of vegetation are found here, from the rain forest to the paramo. The vegetation is very rich in herbaceous
species, shrubs and trees, as well as vines and ferns.
OTHER ATTRACTIONS: The landscape varies a great deal, from volcanic lakes and streams to rivers with rapids and waterfalls. The Cayapa Indias live here. Walks with a guide can last eight days, from
the top to the low areas.
Cayambe Coca Ecological Reserve
Located in Pichincha Province, 60 miles from Quito, this reserve
covers 914,270 acres and has basic tourist infrastructure.
FAUNA: Birds are represented by the condor, caracara and hawks.
The paramo wolf, coati, rabbits, foxes, spectacled bear, deer
and armadillos also live here.
FLORA: Primary forests and extensive paramos support paramo grass,
valerian, ferns and lycopodium.
OTHER ATTRACTIONS: The area is dominated by snow 173;topped Cayambe
Volcano, which is a favorite of mountain climbers. San Marcos
Lake, among others, is a beautiful camping spot.
Chimborazo Fauna production Reserve
144,702 acres are reserved in Chimborazo Province, equipped with
basic tourist infrastructure, 109 miles from Quito.
FAUNA: For several years, a program for the reintroduction of
vicuña and llama has been going on in conjunction with the Indian communities which
live in the area's paramos. The swordbilled hummingbird
and the condor are found here, as well as wolves, pumas, deer,
marsupial rats and rabbits.
FLORA: Paramos dominate the scenery. Quinua, the sacred plant
of the Incas, grows here. It has a very high protein content and
is an important local food.
OTHER ATTRACTIONS: Chimborazo, Ecuador's highest mountain (20,696
feet above sea level), is a snowcapped volcano, a great attraction
for mountains climbers, as well as those who simply appreciate
beautiful scenery. There are two shelters, one at 15,744 feet,
and the other at 16,406 feet, where one can stay overnight.