Ecuador is characterized for beautiful national parks full of a diverse and generous nature, and for friendly people willing to give you the best for an excellent tourist experience. The cost, the sierra, the Amazon and the Galapagos Islands have a wide diversity of ecological and cultural parks, where visitors will learn about every detail of Ecuador.
The country has a total of national parks scattered throughout its geography:
El Cajas National Park.Located in the Andes, in the South of Ecuador, in the province of Azuay. It has 232 lakes located on extensive valleys which regulate and keep the streams in the area through its drainage. El Cajas is the origin of important rivers (Tomebamba or Mazán) that supply drinking water to the city of Cuenca and provide electricity to a big part of the country. It is characterized by the formation of large elevations of land, a sub-alpine rainforest, and a very characteristic fauna such as the water mouse or the llama.
Cotopaxi National Park.Located on the border between the provinces of Pichincha and Cotopaxi, it is the second national park in the country. Its boundaries include the Cotopaxi volcano. In its ecosystem, we find pines, herds of wild horses, bears or condors.
Galapagos National Park. Founded in 1959, it was the first National Park inaugurated in the country. It is divided into several ecosystems and has endemic plants as well as a very characteristic local fauna (turtles or iguanas, among other species). It is part of this park, the so-called North Seymour Island, which origins are in the elevation of underwater lava. It has a low, bushy vegetation, and a sizeable population of land iguanas and sea lions. Also the island of Santa Cruz, a sleeping volcano on which live a total of 12,000 inhabitants, and it features animals such as the Galapagos tortoises among its fauna. Here, you will find the Charles Darwin Research Station.
Llanganates National Park. Located between the provinces of Napo, Pastaza, Cotopaxi and Tungurahua. Inside it you can find El Cerro Hermoso, the highest elevation of the Park. Its flora and fauna are considered true indigenous representatives of the country.
Manchalilla National Park.Located on the South coast of the province of Manabi, it consists of a terrestrial zone and a marine area of vast expanse. Its attractions include the beach of Los Frailes and La Isla de la Plata. We can find in it up to 81 species of mammals, 270 birds and 143 of fish.
Podocarpus National Park. Located in the provinces of Loja and Zamora Chinchipe, more than a hundred Lakes are part of this park. It has waterfalls, canyons, and several types of mammals and plants.
Sangay National Park. It is located between the provinces of Morona Santiago, Chimborazo and Tungurahua. We find in it more than 322 lagoons, three volcanoes and extensions of upper montane forest. The Park is divided administratively into two zones: the high, with snow-covered volcanoes and rivers; and the low, with a tropical rainforest.
Sumaco-Napo-Galeras National Park. Located between three provinces (Napo, Orellana and Sucumbíos). Among the fauna we find sloths, pumas and leopards.
Yasuní National Park.Located between the provinces of Orellana and Pastaza, it was declared as a biosphere reserve by the Unesco in 1989. We can find in it 150 species of amphibians, 121 species of reptiles and more than two thousand species of flora.