Nature reserves

Ecuador nature reserves tours wilderness sanctuary trips

Nature reserve tours

Ecuador is one of the most biodiverse countries on the planet. Its unique natural resources are protected in some of the worlds finest nature reserves, offering easy access to wonderful wildlife encounters.

Galapagos National Park

The Galapagos Islands is one of the last wilderness sanctuaries, it is most amazing how easy visitors can approach animals and be so close without causing fear or miscomfort. The efective protection and efficient management of this wildlife reserve has helped preserve unique species found nowhere else. We offer travellers a chic no frills Galapagos experience, you can enjoy this natural paradise on board our fleet of Galapagos Boutique yachts.

Yasuni national park & Limoncocha biological reserve

The Amazon rainforest is the main source of freshwater on the planet, it is also the largest living laboratory with thousands of species of medicinal plants, trees, birds, mammals, insects, reptiles, amphibians all in need of protection. Ecuador has created several national parks and wildlife reserves to protect its rainforests, we offer travellers the opportunity to explore 2 important protected areas of the Ecuadorian Amazon on board the unique comfort of our riverboat the Manatee Amazon Explorer.

Cotacachi Cayapas wildlife reserve

This reserve extends from the high Andes above 4910 mts above sea level crowned by the Cotacachi volcano down into the coastal lowlands reaching 1mt above sea level. It contains the Choco rainforest one of the worlds top 10 hotspots for biodiversity and endangered species. The reserve protects altogether 500 species of birds, several species of mammals, reptiles and 2000 species of plants in 10 diferent wildlife zones. We offer unique experiences with nature at the comfort of our sustainable tourism project at Kumanii Lodge.

Other nature reserves

From our inception we have specialized in showing the wonders and unique nature Ecuador has to offer to our travellers. We have a strong commitment to preserving the natural resources of Ecuador and we work side by side with national parks and protected areas to educate visitors and local communities. We can offer trips to all of Ecuador´s protected areas and private reserves as well, below is a list of some of the natural areas we offer trips to. We can customize an itinerary for your passengers visit.

Protected Areas in Ecuador

The Protected Areas National System of Ecuador (Sistema Nacional de Áreas Protegidas - SNAP) consists of 33 protected areas scattered throughout the whole national territory. Among them, 9 National Parks, 2 Biological Reserves (out of which one marine reserve), 10 Ecological Reserves, 1 Geobotanic Reserve, 2 Reserves for Wildlife Production and 1 Wildlife Reserve, 5 Wildlife Sanctuaries (one of them, Pasochoa, will be managed until 2010 by the non-governmental organization Fundación Ecuatoriana para la Protección y Conservación de la Naturaleza - NATURA), 2 National Recreational Areas, and a Bi-national Park, El Cóndor, born thanks to the Peace Agreements signed with Peru.

Below we list the protected areas according to Ecuador´s 4 distinct geographical regions, the Pacific coast, the Andes, the Amazon rainforest and the Galapagos Islands. Some national parks exist within two geographic regions and are located within more than 1 province.

The Pacific Coast (coastal lowlands)

El Oro

  • Ecological Reserves: Arenillas
  • Wildlife Sanctuaries: Isla Santa Clara 


  • Ecological Reserves: Cotacachi - Cayapas, Mache Chindul, 
    Manglares Cayapas - Mataje
  • Wildlife Sanctuaries: La Chiquita, Manglares Estuario Rio Muisne


  • Ecological Reserves: Manglares Churute
  • Reserves for Wildlife Production: Manglares El Salado
  • National Recreational Areas: Parque - Lago 


  • National Parks: Machalilla
  • Ecological Reserves: Mache Chindul
  • Wildlife Sanctuaries: Isla Corazón, Manglares Estuario Rio Muisne 

Insular (The Galapagos Islands archipelago)


  • National Parks: Galápagos
  • Marine Biological Reserves: Galápagos

The Andes 


  • National Parks: Cajas 


  • Reserves for Wildlife Production: Chimborazo 


  • Ecological Reserves: El Angel


  • National Parks: Sangay
  • Reserves for Wildlife Production: Chimborazo 


  • National Parks: Cotopaxi, Llanganates
  • Ecological Reserves: Los Ilinizas
  • Strict Reserves: Otonga
  • National Recreational Areas: El Boliche


  • Ecological Reserves: Cayambe Coca, Cotacachi - Cayapas


  • National Parks: Cotopaxi
  • Ecological Reserves: Antisana, Cayambe Coca, Los Ilinizas
  • Strict Reserves: Otonga
  • Geobotanic Reserves: Pululahua
  • Wildlife Sanctuaries: Pasochoa
  • National Recreational Areas: El Boliche


  • National Parks: Llanganates, Sangay
  • Reserves for Wildlife Production: Chimborazo

Oriente (Amazon rainforest basin)

Morona Santiago

  • Bi-national Parks (with Peru): El Cóndor
  • National Parks: Sangay 


  • National Parks: Cotopaxi, Llanganates, Sumaco
  • Ecological Reserves: Antisana, Cayambe Coca


  • National Parks: Sumaco, Yasuní
  • Wildlife Reserves: Cuyabeno


  • National Parks: Llanganates, Yasuní


  • Ecological Reserves: Cayambe Coca, Cofán Bermejo
  • Biological Reserves: Limoncocha
  • Wildlife Reserves: Cuyabeno

Zamora Chinchipe

  • Bi-national Parks: El Cóndor
  • National Parks: Podocarpus