Located 12 kilometers from Cotacachi in the subtropical area of Intag, the Cotacachi-Cayapas Ecological Reserve is considered one of the most important protected areas in the world due to its high biodiversity and the presence of endemic species.
The Reserve is divided into two regions: the lower zone that extends from the Andean boundaries of the coastal plain and the high zone in the province of Imbabura that ascends towards the Andes.
The location of the Reserve, along with the altitudinal range it covers, are the main reasons for such high biodiversity. This area contains one of the richest ecosystems on the planet. The Reserve also reaches the provinces of Imbabura and Esmeraldas. The 506,000 acre park was created on August 29, 1968.
In the lower areas of the park, animals such as anteaters, spectacled bears, otters, tapirs, tigrillos, boa snakes and jaguars can be found. In the high zone wolves, deer, rabbits and birds call this home. It is also possible to spot, if you get lucky, condors, pumas, and armadillos.