National Parks in Ecuador

Ecuador’s National Parks and Reserves boast an extraordinary diversity of landscapes, ranging from mist-shrouded cloud forests to pristine coastal ecosystems. …
Top Activities and Attractions in National Parks in Ecuador

National Parks in Ecuador

National Parks & Protected Areas of Ecuador

By: Sonia St-Michel & Ryan Maxwell

Ecuador is one of the most beautiful, biologically diverse countries in the world, and fortunately its countless natural wonders are protected in twenty-plus national parks and reserves. Within these areas you can experience unmatched scenery and an incredible array of flora and fauna. Whether you are in a misty cloud forest reserve, paddling through mangroves on the coast, or on the summit of the world’s highest active volcano, you will discover why Ecuador is one of South America’s most popular outdoor adventure destinations.

The Galapagos Islands were designated as Ecuador’s first national park in 1959; the first Mainland Park, Cotopaxi, was established in 1975. Since these two parks were founded the Ecuadorian government and private institutions have set aside dozens of other large parcels of land. It should be noted that while Ecuador has been vigilant about creating parks, it has not always proved serious in maintaining its protected areas. The country’s wonders, even within national parks and reserves, are not safe from development and environmental degradation. Due to this, visitors are encouraged to travel responsibly and be mindful of the different customs, ecosystems, and environmental regulations of Ecuador during their journey.

National Parks and Reserves by region (for detailed information, follow the links to the respective regions):

Andes National Parks and Reserves

Ecuador’s highland region boasts several spectacular Andean national parks, each offering unique landscapes and biodiversity, along with opportunities for outdoor adventure and cultural immersion.

  • Cajas National Recreation Area
  • Chimborazo Reserve
  • Cotacachi-Cayapas Ecological Reserve
  • Cotopaxi National Park
  • El Angel Ecological Reserve
  • Ilinizas Reserve
  • Pululahua Geobotanical Reserve
  • Podocarpus National Park

Amazon National Parks and Reserves

The Amazon National Parks and Reserves in Ecuador stand as testament to the country’s remarkable biodiversity, encompassing some of the most vital ecosystems on the planet.

  • Cuyabeno Reserve
  • Limoncocha Biological Reserve
  • Yasuní National Park

Andes-Amazon Parks and Reserves

The Andes and Amazon regions share some of Ecuador’s most interesting national parks and reserves, where the transition from high altitudes to rainforests allows nature to express itself in breathtaking ways.

  • Antisana Ecological Reserve
  • Cayambe-Coca Ecological Reserve
  • Llangantes National Park
  • Sangay National Park
  • Sumaco-Galeras National Park

Galapagos Islands and Coastal National Parks and Reserves

Ecuador’s Pacific Coast is home to mangrove and tropical dry forests that play vital roles in the region’s ecosystems. The Galapagos Islands National Park, a wonder in its own right, along with the coastal parks and reserves, are must-visit destinations when exploring this region of the country.

  • Bosque Protector Cerro Blanco
  • Machalilla National Park
  • Mataje-Cayapas Mangrove Reserve
  • Manglares Churute Mangrove Reserve
  • Galapagos Islands National Park




Provider Spotlight

Free Galapagos Trip Planner at Galapagos Islands .com – easily plan your Galapagos vacation online, find great value, and a wide selection of customized Galapagos cruises and vacations.

Galapagos Tour Experts – Adventure Life Specialize in luxury Galapagos cruises, and land-based Galapagos tours. Adventure Life can help you design the perfect trip to Ecuador. As seen in Outside Magazine, NatGeo, and the New York Times.

Voyager Galapagos Tours has excellent Galapagos cruise deals & last-minute offers, and land-based Galapagos tours (aka Island Hopping).

Galapagos & Ecuador Insiders use their local expertise to assist you in planning the perfect Galapagos cruise or Ecuador tour for your precise budget, needs, and interests.

Latin Trails craft customized journeys to the Galapagos Islands, the Ecuador mainland, the Amazon rainforest, and Peru. They operate the highly-rated Galapagos cruising yacht: Seaman Journey and the day tour yacht the Galapagos Hopper.

Bespoke Galapagos – Pioneers in Galapagos tourism. Two generations of sailing and shipbuilding showcase unparalleled knowledge in creating the most unique Galapagos Cruises.

Gulliver Expeditions – Learn more about our Ecuador Tours, Peru Tours, Ecuador Climbing Expeditions, Galapagos Land Tours, and Machu Picchu Tours. Gulliver Expeditions offer fantastic travel experiences since 2005.

Surtrek Galapagos Cruises – have offered exceptional custom-designed trips to the Galapagos for over 20 years. They now bring their brand of off-the-beaten-path trips to other countries in South America such as Peru’s Machu Picchu, Bolivia’s Uyuni Salt Flats, and Chile’s Atacama Desert.

ViaNatura – provides excellent value Galapagos cruises on the Monserrat yacht, a luxury cruise experience on the Hermes yacht, and a variety of tours in Ecuador and Peru.

Exclusive Galapagos Cruises, part of the EQ Touring group – specializes in private Galapagos yacht charters. They can help your group find the perfect yacht that matches your needs at a price negotiated by a true insider that has been doing charters in the Galapagos for decades.

Awe-inspiring Attractions

Top Activities and Attractions in Ecuador
Diseño sin título
Road riding used to be a dangerous, bumpy proposition in Ecuador, but a recent boom in road building and improvement has created many roads with wide enough shoulder for cycling…
Sitting on a picturesque white-sand beach nestled in la Bahía, it was hard to imagine anything that would stop a passerby from missing the natural spectacle that unfolds each evening in the small fishing village of Crucita….
Diseño sin título (13)
We have assembled a comprehensive list of Ecuador’s top museums, including their hours of operation, addresses, and phone numbers…
Diseño sin título (14)
Immerse yourself in the rich cultural tapestry of Cuenca through its captivating museums, where history, art, and heritage converge to tell the story of this vibrant Ecuadorian city….
Besides Carnaval and Semana Santa, celebrated nation-wide, notable festivals in the Highlands include Latacunga’s Mama Negra, and Otavalo’s Inti Raymi and Yamor….