Ecuador national parks are a must on any itinerary exploring this South American country. Ecuador is one of the most biologically diverse countries on the planet, which is a large part of why ecotourism has taken off in recent years—more and more travelers have discovered the pleasures of getting out of the cities and seeing what nature has to offer. In the Cotopaxi National Park and beyond you will encounter snow-capped volcanoes, exotic wildlife such as delicate hummingbirds and butterflies of every color and shape, opportunities for whale watching tours, and more. If you’re a nature enthusiast, you might just think Ecuador is paradise.
Above all, the Ecuador national parks ensure that all of this diverse wildlife is correctly protected. With more than twenty national parks and reserves in the country, Ecuador will be preserved as it is for future generations to enjoy as well. Some travelers might think of Ecuador first for its history and beaches, but it has an incredible amount to offer outdoor enthusiasts. Climb a volcano in Cotopaxi National Park, encounter rare butterflies in a misty cloud forest reserve, watch whales in their natural environment along the coast, and take your first baby steps into the Amazon Rainforest all in one trip.
If you want to explore the Amazon Rainforest, one place to begin is Cuyabeno Ecuador. From here, there are many eco lodges and rainforest camps to choose from where you can stay for a couple days while exploring the rainforest. These ecologically sensitive accommodation choices will use solar panels, and work closely with the local people. Eco-conscious travelers will feel very comfortable staying at the lodges in Cuyabeno Ecuador before exploring the national parks. These lodges are also useful for putting travelers in contact with bilingual guides who can help illuminate what precisely they are seeing in the rain forest.
Ecuador national parks are full of activities no matter how adventurous you want your trip to be. From bird watching to climbing and hiking, these preserved areas are full of outdoor adventure. Spend a day mountain biking, horseback riding, or mountain climbing if you want to get the adrenaline pumping. If you’re looking for a more relaxing experience, cloud forest tours and bird watching will fit the bill. From the Andes to the Amazon to the coast and beyond, there is an incredible range of unspoiled scenery for travelers to explore on their trip to Ecuador.
Even travelers without an adventurous bone in their bodies will want to check out the national parks. Cotopaxi National Park, for example, is only an hour and a half south of Quito, and is therefore very easy to be seen in a day trip. For an option that is even closer to the capital city, plan a daytrip to see the Pululahua Crater, just 30 minutes north of Quito. This inactive volcano offers one of the most lush, beautiful sights in the country. From the eco lodges of Cuyabeno Ecuador to the Mindo Cloud Forest and the highest point in the Andes Mountains in the Chimborazo Reserve, this country is full of scenery and natural attractions that will leave you wanting to plan more outdoor Ecuador vacations.