Cayambe Coca Ecological Reserve | Galapagos Unbound

Cayambe Coca Ecological Reserve

Established in 1970, the Cayambe Coca National Park and Ecological Reserve protects 400,000 hectares of Andean forests and páramos throughout the provinces of Imbabura, Napo, Pichincha, and Sucumbios. Within this area, there are diverse habitats including cloud forests, subalpine forests, grasslands, and glaciers. One of the greatest attractions of the region is the Cayambe Volcano from which the reserve gets its name. Beneath its height there’s a system of 60 lakes within this park known as Papallacta, and visitors can see Lake Papallacta, Papallacta Hot Springs, and more.

Cayambe Volcano lies in the center of the reserve, and its lofty heights can be seen from a great distance. As Ecuador’s third highest, and luckily dormant, volcano, Cayambe draws a lot of visitors. Cayambe is not the only peak to poke at the skyline, however. The reserve also features Sarahurco and Puntas, both respectably high and offering beautiful hikes. The reserve’s newest volcano, Reventador, remains active and does not see as much hiking action for good reason.