Ecuador National Parks

Ecuador National Parks with their Incredible Natural Wonders. It is one of the greatest outdoor adventures.


Within these protected areas you will experience an unmatched scenery and an incredible array of flora and fauna.

Machalilla National Park

Location: Province of Manabi
Area: 55.095 hectares 136.143 acres.
Altitude: 0 - 1.850 meters; 0 - 6.070 feet

Machalilla has archaeological sites along the shoreline of the Pacific Coast: on La Plata, the Ahorcado and Salango Islands.

You can also find small anthropological museums on Salango and Agua Blanca. The landscape is composed of beaches and sea steppes, bays and coastal forest.

This Ecuador National Park is also known as the continental Galapagos because the species found here are similar to those in the Galapagos Islands.

The Machalilla National Park, contains one of the largest tropical dry forests remaining in the world.

Machalilla's unique and varied geography, along with the rich cultural heritage of the region, have made it one of Ecuador's most popular new vacation destinations.

Main Attractions:

  • Humpback Whales seasonal visits: July to September
  • Sea Birds: Blue footed boobies, Waved Albatrosses, Great Frigate Birds
  • Extensive tropical dry forests with large coastal Kapok trees


In the Province of Esmeraldas is noteworthy for its exuberant vegetation.

The Majagual Forest is the Reserve's principle attraction and is home to the tallest mangroves in the world, some of which reach over 60 meters in height.

It has five trails that can hiked with ease. Giant crabs, parrots, and herons, among other species, all dwell in the area. The climate is humid and tropical.

At over 204,420 hectares in size, the Reserve's coastal Pacific region enjoys a tropical climate. Some of its attractions include the beaches of El Salto de Bravo, very close to the junction of the Lachas and Santiago Rivers.

The vegetation includes various species of ferns, trees, lianas, and herbs.


This reserve is part of the Ecuador National Parks located between Esmeraldas and Manabi provinces, has a variety of microclimates within its borders.

In some sectors there is constant moderate rainfall. This territory constitutes one of the last remnants of humid tropical forest in western Ecuador.

The most frequently spotted animal species here are monkeys, guantas, and pumas. There are also various types of birds present in this area.

Cotopaxi National Park

Location: Provinces of Cotopaxi, Napo and Pichincha
Area: 33.393 hectares 82.516 acres.
Altitude: 3.400 - 5.897 meters; 11.155 - 19.347 feet.

The Cotopaxi volcano is the highest, permanently snowcapped, active volcano in the world.

This majestic colossus offers nearby lakes and streams and spectacular Andean landscapes.

This is one of the most beautiful Ecuador National Parks and is the ideal attraction for nature loving visitors.

Main Attractions:

  • Andean Condor
  • Possibility of visiting archaeological sites
  • Lakes, streams, hiking paths and camping areas

Cajas National Park

Location: Province of Azuay
Area: 28.808 hectares; 71.186 acres.
Altitude: 300 - 3.500 meters; 984 - 11.483 feet

The Cajas National Park has 230 glacier lakes that dot the area. Geological formations and caves complement the landscape.

This Ecuador National Park is rich in scenery, biodiversity, and recreational opportunities, mainly trekking and hiking.

Main Attractions:

  • Mountain toucan, Andean condor
  • Large Polylepis Forest

Podocarpus National Park

Location: Provinces of Loja and Zamora Chinchipe
Area: 146.280 hectares; 361.466 acres.
Altitude: 1.000 - 3.600 meters; 3.281 - 11.811 feet

More than 100 lakes were left here by ancient glaciers.

This is one of Ecuador National Parks with many crystal clear streams and waterfalls.

Walks lasting several days can be made within the park. Enjoy beautiful landscapes.

Main Attractions:

  • Home to many endemic species like the Jocotoco Antpitta
  • Protects unique South American Conifers

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Cayambe-Coca National Park

Location: Provinces of Pichincha, Imbabura, Napo and Sucumbios
Area: 403.103 hectares, 996.089 acres
Altitude: 600 - 5.790 meters; 1.969 - 18.996 feet

This Ecuador National Park is dominated by the snowcapped Cayambe volcano, with 18.996 feet, it's one of the highest volcanoes in Ecuador.

Great for mountain climbers. Source of the Coca river where Francisco de Orellana ventured to finally discover the Amazon River.

Main Attractions:

  • This is an important Andean Condor Bio-reserve
  • Carunculated Caracaras, Hawks
  • The dominant type of vegetation is the Paramo (moorlands)
  • San Marcos Lake offers a beautiful camping spot

Pululagua Natural Reserve

Location: Province of Pichincha
Area: 3.383 hectares; 8.360 acres
Altitude: 1.800 / 3.356 meters; 5.906 / 11.010 feet

Impressive view of the crater from the "Ventanilla" view point. Access to the crater and nearby mountains. Geological formations and thermal springs.

Main Attractions:

  • Inhabited crater
  • Andean vegetation: Paramo
  • Near Quito and the Middle of the World Monument

El Boliche National Area

Location: Province of Cotopaxi
Area: 1.077 hectares: 2.661 acres.
Altitude: 3.000 - 3.600 meters; 9.843 - 11.811 feet

Rolling hills and valleys, streams and sites where you can truly rest. This recreational area was created to reintroduce the white tailed deer.

Main Attractions:

  • Camping areas and lodging facilities
  • Hiking paths and administrative center

Chimborazo National Park

Location: Provinces of Chimborazo, Tungurahua y Bolivar
Area: 58.560 hectares; 144.705 acres
Altitude: 3.800 - 6.310 meters; 12.467 - 20.702 feet

Chimborazo, a snowcapped volcano, is Ecuador's highest mountain: 20.702 feet. It is great for mountain climbers.

Main Attractions:

  • Basic infrastructure. Two shelters where you can stay overnight.
  • Andean Condor, Andean Fox, Llamas, Chimborazo Hillstar Hummingbird

Sangay National Park

Location: Provinces of Tungurahua, Chimborazo, Morona Santiago
Area: 271.925 hectares; 671.941 acres.
Altitude: 900 - 5.230 meters; 2.953 - 17.159 feet

Sangay is an active volcano located in the Amazon Tropical Rain Forest of Ecuador

This Ecuador National Park has large areas which are the product of recent eruptions, pioneer plants can be observed.

Altar and Tungurahua volcanoes are found in the vicinity. Mountain climbing can be practiced on both.

Main Attractions:

  • A location that combines the Andes with the Amazon Rain forest scenery
  • Amazon Tropical Rain forest
  • Waterfalls, basic accommodations and camping sites

Galapagos National Park

Location: Province of Galapagos, 1,000 km off the continent. (612 miles).
Area: 693.700 hectares; 1'714.170 acres.
Altitude: 0 - 707 meters; 0 -5.600 feet

This is one of the most recognized Ecuador National Parks with a group of spectacular, volcanic Islands with outstanding wildlife. This is the world's most impressive National Park.

Main Attractions:

  • Giant tortoises, marine & land iguanas, lizards, Darwin's finches, blue & red-footed boobies, albatrosses, cormorants, frigate birds, penguins, flamingos, sea lions, dolphins and whales.
  • There are seven different vegetation zones, differences are notable among the various Islands.
  • Typically dry tropical forest, with numerous endemic species: mangroves, cacti and shrubs.

More About Ecuador

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If you have questions about Ecuador National Parks, You can post them on our Ecuador FAQ Page and if you'd like to request more information about our exciting Amazon Jungle Tours or from our highly recommended Galapagos Land Tours to explore these Islands, You can Contact us here

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