LAGUNA CUICOCHA EN COTACACHI CAYAPAS ECOLOGICAL RESERVE

+593 2 2 50 5310, +593 96 29 35 271

info@parks-and-tribes.com

No sexi videos but solid informative texts

 

 

PARKS AND TRIBES

 

LAGUNA CUICOCHA, COTACACHI CAYAPAS

 ECOLOGICAL RESERVE FACTS

  1. Geology

  2. Hydrology

  3. Conservation staturs

  4. Things to do

  5. Vegetation

  6. Mammals

  7. Birds

  8. Other critters

  9. Getting there

  10. Best tours

LAGUNA CUICOCHA EN COTACACHI CAYAPAS ECOLOGICAL RESERVE: Regional map.

LAGUNA CUICOCHA EN COTACACHI CAYAPAS ECOLOGICAL RESERVE: Topographic map.

Things to do

TOP 10 THINGS TO DO IN COTACACHI CAYAPAS ECOLOGICAL RESERVE: Best tours, Detailed maps, Cuicocha in boat, etc.

 

Laguna Cuicocha

 Located at 20 km west of Otavalo is Ecuador's most beautiful crater lake Laguna Cuicocha. A short distance from the entrance to the park is a beautiful visitor center and a few hundred meters further is the community tourism complex with a restaurant. There you can buy the tickets for a beautiful guided boat tour on the lake which around the island where you can enjoy waterfowl. You can also do kayak and scuba go diving; for the last two activities you need previous authorization from the park administration. Laguna Cuicocha is at the southernmost point of the Cotacachi Cayapas Ecological Reserve, to which it is connected through a mountainous corridor. In fact, Laguna Cuicocha is the only truly accessible location of the Cotacachi Cayapas Ecological Reserve.

 

FIND OUT HOW THE RESERVE IS PART OF OUR ECUADOR NATURE / CULTURE TOUR

 

LAGUNA CUICOCHA EN COTACACHI CAYAPAS ECOLOGICAL RESERVE: Modern Visitor Center.LAGUNA CUICOCHA EN COTACACHI CAYAPAS ECOLOGICAL RESERVE: Exposition at Visitor Center.

The Laguna Cuicocha visitor center is one of the most modern ones in the country.

Exposition at the visitor center.

 

LAGUNA CUICOCHA EN COTACACHI CAYAPAS ECOLOGICAL RESERVE: orchid: Epidendrum jamiesonis.LAGUNA CUICOCHA EN COTACACHI CAYAPAS ECOLOGICAL RESERVE: Bromeliad at Cuicocha.LAGUNA CUICOCHA EN COTACACHI CAYAPAS ECOLOGICAL RESERVE: Pampas Grass, Cortaderia jubata, is very common in the park.

 

The visitor center has a small botanical garden with flowers  of the area like this orchid: Epidendrum jamiesonis., as well as bromeliads and Pampas Grass, Cortaderia jubata.

 

LAGUNA CUICOCHA EN COTACACHI CAYAPAS ECOLOGICAL RESERVE: Park Entrance at Cuichocha.LAGUNA CUICOCHA EN COTACACHI CAYAPAS ECOLOGICAL RESERVE: Tourist accomodations and boat excursion marina.

The park entrance at Laguna Cuicocha.

The community resort with the marina for excursions.

 

LAGUNA CUICOCHA EN COTACACHI CAYAPAS ECOLOGICAL RESERVE: Visitors in excursion boat Cuicocha.

Visitors can enjoy the view from land or from an excursion boat at Laguna Cuicocha.

 

The Gorky Campusano trail around the lake is self-guided. The Cuicocha offers an amazing view of the entire valley of Imbabura form where San Pablo Lake, Otavalo, Altos de Mojanda and Atuntaqui can all be seen.

Piñon lakes: (4,000 masl): A lake complex north-west of Urcuqui with Lake Donoso (2.5 km long), Lake Susacocha and Lake Cristococha should be mentioned, covered with pajonales. In Piñon you can fish for rainbow trout, do some great bird watching at tjhe camp site.

 

Mojanda Lakes: (about 3,500 masl): Caricocha, Huamicocha and Yanacocha. They are located south of Otavalo.

Cotacachi volcano of 4,949 masl: You can climb to the top of this active volcano. Its melt water runs into Lake Cuicocha. You can reach the trail head from a side road of the road that leads to Lake Cuicocha.

 

Volcano yanaHurco of 4,538 masl: This is the best place to look for the Andean Condors which are know to nest in this area.

Yanayacu: Located 1 km north-west of Cotacachi are hot springs.

Nangulvi: Located in the Nangulvi valley, 3 km from Apuela, are volcanic hot springs, with temperatures up to 71 degrees C.

 

Lodging: Along the highlands surrounding ​​the reserve are small accommodations like: Hosteria Los Pinos, Hosteria El Mirador and Hosteria Tumbabiro. There are also community inns linked to the UNORCAC-RUNA TUPARI project and there is the Cuicocha Lodge,  at the lake. In the lowlands, is a cabin in Charco Vicente in the San Miguel District within the reserve, while three community tourist operators in the buffer zone are: Playa de Oro, KUMANII Lodge and San Miguel Lodge.
 

Mountain biking: This is practiced along the Cuicocha - Antenas provincial road.

 

Los Cedros Biological Reserve at 1,400 masl: 60 km northwest of Quitoa and west of Cotacach.

 

Salto del Bravo: Small natural beach surrounded by tropical vegetation, located near the Agua Clara and Bravo Grande Rivers.  To get there, it takes four hours from Bourbon to San Miguel by boat on the Cayapas River.

 

Cascada de San miguel: 100 m waterfall, which be reached after an 8 hours hike from Charco Vicente. This waterall is close to the confluence of the Rivers Lachas and Santiago, at about four hours by boat from Bourbon, which can be reached along the Santiago River until the town of Playa de Oro.

Back to menu

 

Conservation status and facts of the Cotacachi-Cayapas Ecological Reserve

The Cotacachi-Cayapas Ecological Reserve was created on August 29, 1968 by Executive Decree No. 1468, published in the Official Register of September 24, 1968 r.o. No 17.

It is the most important reserve in the western Andes for protecting ecosystems from almost the snow line to almost sea level in one single protected area. Its ecosystems belong to the Biogeographic region of the Choco the region with the highest rainfall in the world. In fact, only a very small part of the original Ecuadorian Pacific forests are still intact and the rest of the Andes flanks have mostly been deforested; remaining forests are fragmented and heavily intervened at best. Thus the Cotacachi-Cayapas Ecological Reserve and the Awe Forest Ethnic Reserve are two of the last relatively intact areas representing the altitudinal gradients of vegetation and natural ecosystems of the Pacific Andes.

2 Zones: the lowlands and the highlands. The former extend from the flanks of the Andes to the Coast and the highlands cover the altimontane region passing through the Cordillera de Toisan.

Back to menu

 

Geology

The Reserve has an area of 243,638 ha and its altitudinal range varies from: 30 - 4,939 masl.

It is located in the north western part of the Andes, and  belongs to the Biogeografical region of Choco The oldest geological formation of the Reserve is Macuchi with 100 million years, which comprises most of the Cordillera de Toisan and a large part of the Cayapas sector.

 

LAGUNA CUICOCHA EN COTACACHI CAYAPAS ECOLOGICAL RESERVE: Paramo with shrubs.LAGUNA CUICOCHA EN COTACACHI CAYAPAS ECOLOGICAL RESERVE: River through Andean Cloud Forest.

Semi forested paramo.

More to the west, the mountains slope down quickly with deep inaccessible valleys and wild-water rivers.


The most recent formations are recent undifferentiated volcanic deposits of less than one million years old, covering almost the entire upper part of the Reserve.

More to the west, the terrain descends rapidly towards the extensive plains of the coast by a several of sub-mountain ranges, such as the Toisan, Cayapas and Lanchas mountains.

 

LAGUNA CUICOCHA EN COTACACHI CAYAPAS ECOLOGICAL RESERVE: Andes flanks.LAGUNA CUICOCHA EN COTACACHI CAYAPAS ECOLOGICAL RESERVE: Cloudforest in the clouds.

The Andes  flanks with extremely steep slopes.
 

There are three volcanoes in the park: the Yanahurco peak (4,538 masl), the Cotacachi volcano (4,939 masl) and the Lake Cuicocha volcano. The Mount Yanahurco is a dead volcano which has been eroded by Pliocene glaciers. The Cotacachi Volcano is a stratovolcano which was also eroded during the Pleistocene, shaping it into a rocky pyramid.
Back to menu

Hydrology

The temperature varies between 4 and 24 - C and annual precipitation between 1,000 - 5,000 mm depending on the elevation and exposure to the Andean winds.

Back to menu

 

LAGUNA CUICOCHA EN COTACACHI CAYAPAS ECOLOGICAL RESERVE: Paramo creek.LAGUNA CUICOCHA EN COTACACHI CAYAPAS ECOLOGICAL RESERVE: Paramo lake.

Many creeks cut through the paramos.

One of the many paramo lakes.

 

The eastern part of the Reserve consists of very mountainous paramos with lots of rivers rocky streams, and in poorly drained areas, dozens of lakes  and marshes of different sizes.

 

LAGUNA CUICOCHA EN COTACACHI CAYAPAS ECOLOGICAL RESERVE: Paramo bog.LAGUNA CUICOCHA EN COTACACHI CAYAPAS ECOLOGICAL RESERVE: paramo cushion vegetation.

Extensive water-drenched bogs are important water containers.

Cushion plants are important water buffers as well.

 

The natural vegetation is grassland, with soils between sods covered by moss that retain a large quantities of water in the poorly drained highland plains. Moreover, cushion plants abound which also absorb lots of water. That is why the reserve is considered a hydrological "sponge".

The interior of the park has extremely rugged terrain with steep slopes giving rise to white water rivers and streams and lots of waterfalls.

 

LAGUNA CUICOCHA EN COTACACHI CAYAPAS ECOLOGICAL RESERVE: Waterfall in the cloudforest.LAGUNA CUICOCHA EN COTACACHI CAYAPAS ECOLOGICAL RESERVE: Waterfall in the jungle.

The Reserve has many waterfalls.

 

Only the Cotacachi - Cayapas Reserve covers only elevations from paramos to sea level in the Western Andes. This accounts for a great diversity and endinism, ranging from the paramos in the highlands surrounding the Cotacachi Volcano, to the moist premontane forests along the San Miguel. Important rivers that originate in the reserve and then drain to the Pacific Ocean are: Santiago-Cayapas, with the largest watershed in the Reserve, as well as the Esmeraldas and El Mira Rivers watersheds.

 

There are 24 micro-watershed in the Reserve, 8 of which have their total area within the reserve while the others have their largest areas outside the protected area. The Santiago-Cayapas River watershed comprises the sub-basins of the Santiago, Agua Clara, San Miguel and Cayapas rivers, of which the sub-basin of the Santiago river, located in the western part of the reserve, is the largest area within the watershed. The micro watersheds that drain the Mira River watershed originate in the upper and northern part of the reserve, while the microbasins supplying the Esmeraldas River watershed (Guayllabamba River subbasin) are located in the southern part of the reserve.

 

The caldera of the Cuicocha volcano has a diameter of 3 km, which lies at the foot of the Cotacachi Volcano. Its interior slopes are very steep. Within the crater, is a crater lake at a level of 3,068 masl and of 132 m deep, without superficial drainage. With an area of ​​657 ha it is the largest permanent freshwater lake of the Andean highlands of Ecuador. It came to be after a collapse of the caldera which was then filed with melting water and rainfall. Two little islands raise from the surface: Teodoro Wolf and Yerovi Islands, separated by the Canal of Dreams.

 

LAGUNA CUICOCHA EN COTACACHI CAYAPAS ECOLOGICAL RESERVE: Cuicocha Crater Lake.LAGUNA CUICOCHA EN COTACACHI CAYAPAS ECOLOGICAL RESERVE: Cuicocha Lake with Cotacachi Volcano in the background.

Lake Cuicocha has an area of 657 ha and is 132 m diep.

The lake is in a deep caldera.

Back to menu

 

Vegetation

Flora

With the exception of the islets in Lake Cuicocha, where the native flora has been studied, no other botanic studies have been carried out in the park. Still, 2,017 species of vascular plants are known to the area and buffer zone, which represents 13.8% of the total number of Vascular Plants of Ecuador. The family with the greatest number of species is Orchidaceae with 201, followed by the family Melastomataceae with 149 and Araceae with 45.

 

The islets of Lake Cuicocha are characterized by having a tree stratum that reaches 15 m in height, where the dominant species are Columellia oblonga and Solanum sp. The tree trunks are covered with mosses, lichens and bromeliads. The vegetation of these islets may be the last remnant of this formation.

 

Of all the endemic vascular plants growing in the country, 20% occur in the western part of the Reserve, which is due to its location in the western flanks of the Andes mountains, combined with being part of the a biogeographical region of Choco in Ecuador. The Red Book of Endemic Plants of Ecuador reports 78 endemic species known to the reserve and expects another 320 species to be present.

The reserve belongs to the floristic Northern Subregion, and includes the following plant formations:

 

Evergreen lowland forest (0-300 masl): The canopies reach more than 30 m in height, predominating arboreal species of the families: Myristicaceae, Arecaceae, Moraceae, Fabaceae and Meliaceae, richly covered epiphytes and vines. The herb layer is dense, with lots of Araceae and ferns. Some characteristic species: Brosimum utile, Poulsenia armata, Rubber, Castilla elastica, Phytelephas aequatorialis, Wettinia quinaria, Astrocaryum standleyanum; Carapa guianensis, Guarea polymera, Otoba gordoniifolia, Nectandra guadaripo, Humiriastrum procerum, Theobroma gileri, Matisia alata, Cecropia garciae, and the endemic tree Swartzia littlei, Conostegia cuatrecasii, Tetrathylacium macrophyllum, Rhodospatha densinervia, and the herb Xanthosoma daguense.

 

Lowland evergreen forest (0 - 300 masl): Has a canopy of ore than 30 m high, with a predominance of tree species from the families: Myristicaceae, Arecaceae, Moraceae, Fabaceae and Meliaceae; covered by abundant epiphytes and vines. The lower stratum is densely populated with herbs, with species of the Araceae family standing out. There are also lots of ferns.

 

Evergreen Premontane Forest (300 - 1,300 masl): In the tree stratum is an abundance of palms, Mimosaceae, Fabaceae, Burseraceae and Meliaceae. The canopy reaches 30 m or higher, and the tree trunks are covered with orchids, bromeliads, ferns and Araceae. Herbaceous species of the families Marantaceae, Araceae, and ferns dominate the herb layer. Among the characteristic flora are these palms: Wettinia quinaria, Pholidostachys dactyloides, Iriartea deltoidea y Aiphanes erinacea. Other arboreous specis are: Virola dixonii, Otoba gordoniifolia; Protium amplum; Vitex flavens; Caryodaphnopsis theobromifolia. Some herbs: Irbachia alata; Begonia glabra; Monstera pinnatipartita.

 

Evergreen low montane forest (1,300-1,800 masl): This forest type covers only a narrow strip along the western flank of the Andes mountain range. The canopy is between 25 and 30 m high and most species and families representative of the lowland trees are absent, woody vines decline and certain families reach the upper limits of their growth. Epiphytes on the other hand increase in both species and abundance. Typical flora of this formation includes: Oreopanax confusus, Anthurium albispatha, Buddleja americana, Nectandra membranacea, Cladocolea archeri, Byrsonima putumayensis, Bellucia pentamera, Blakea punctulata; Siparuna laurifolia, Fuchsia macrostigma.

 

Evergreen montane forest (1,800-3,000 masl): Forest with the canopy between 20 and 25 m, trees, densely overgrown with mosses. IN this ecosystem epiphytes reach their greatest diversity both in number of species and abundance. About 95% of the trees in the hills of this cloud forest along the Santiago-Cayapas River are represented by two species: Carapa guianensis and Eschweilera sp., the former being the larger tree and possibly the only place where you can still find adults of this species is in the reserve. Typical flora of this formation includes: Anthurium mindense, Anthurium gualeanum; Gunnera pilosa, Bocconia integrifolia, Piper aduncum, Miconia crocea, Cedrela montana, Chusquea scandens, Puya glomerifera, Centropogon calycinus, Meriania maxima, Cinnamomum palaciosii, C. triplinerve; Freziera canescens.

 

LAGUNA CUICOCHA EN COTACACHI CAYAPAS ECOLOGICAL RESERVE: In the montane forest, trees are covered with moss and other epiphytes.LAGUNA CUICOCHA EN COTACACHI CAYAPAS ECOLOGICAL RESERVE: Tree ferns like Cyathea sp.  are characterize the forest.

In the montane forest, trees are covered with moss and other epiphytes.

Tree ferns like Cyathea sp.  are characterize the forest.

 

LAGUNA CUICOCHA EN COTACACHI CAYAPAS ECOLOGICAL RESERVE: Bromeliads are common epiphytes in the montane cloudforest.LAGUNA CUICOCHA EN COTACACHI CAYAPAS ECOLOGICAL RESERVE: Loasa tricolor is a little flower of the montane cloudforest.

Bromeliads are common epiphytes in the montane forest.

Loasa tricolor is a little flower of the montane forest.

 

Evergreen altimontane forest (3,000 - 3,400 masl): Forest floor densely covered with moss and irregular growth of trees with trunks branching out from the base, hanging over, and sometimes almost horizontal. In this formation the following species can be found: Cotula australis, Critoniopsis palaciosii; Tournefortia fuliginosa, Valleys stipularis, Gunnera pilosa, Nasa grandiflora, Brachyotum ledifolium, Siparuna echinata, Aa maderoi, Passiflora pinnatistipula.

 

LAGUNA CUICOCHA EN COTACACHI CAYAPAS ECOLOGICAL RESERVE: The transition from the cloudforest to the paramo.LAGUNA CUICOCHA EN COTACACHI CAYAPAS ECOLOGICAL RESERVE: Polylepsis forest of the Paramo.

The transition from the Altimontane forest to the paramo.

A Polylepis forest, with very gnarled trunks and a thick layer of moss covering the ground.

 

LAGUNA CUICOCHA EN COTACACHI CAYAPAS ECOLOGICAL RESERVE: Flowers of the Hercules Club, Puya-clava herculis.LAGUNA CUICOCHA EN COTACACHI CAYAPAS ECOLOGICAL RESERVE: The Hercules Club, Puya-clava herculis, is a fascinating bromeliad.

The Hercules Club, Puya-clava herculis, is a fascinating bromeliad in the paramo that grows up to 4 m.

 

LAGUNA CUICOCHA EN COTACACHI CAYAPAS ECOLOGICAL RESERVE: Gaiadendron punctatum typical of transition zone of the Altimontane forest to the paramo.LAGUNA CUICOCHA EN COTACACHI CAYAPAS ECOLOGICAL RESERVE: The Lupines, Lupina Kunthii, live in the Altimontane forest and the paramo.

Gaiadendron punctatum typical of transition zone of the Altimontane forest to the paramo.

The Lupines, Lupina Kunthii, live in the Altimontane forest and the paramo.

 

LAGUNA CUICOCHA EN COTACACHI CAYAPAS ECOLOGICAL RESERVE: Ceratostema alatum, is typical of the transition zone from the Altimontane forest to the paramo.LAGUNA CUICOCHA EN COTACACHI CAYAPAS ECOLOGICAL RESERVE: A begonia of the paramo.

Ceratostema alatum, is typical of the transition zone from the Altimontane forest to the paramo.

A begonia of the paramo.

 

LAGUNA CUICOCHA EN COTACACHI CAYAPAS ECOLOGICAL RESERVE: Epidendrum Jamieson is an orchid common in the paramo.LAGUNA CUICOCHA EN COTACACHI CAYAPAS ECOLOGICAL RESERVE: Paramo Mistletoe Shrub, Psittacanthus sp. is a parasitic shrub.

Epidendrum Jamieson is an orchid common in the paramo.

Paramo Mistletoe Shrub, Psittacanthus sp. is a parasitic shrub common in them paramo.

 

Herbaceous Paramo (3,400 - 4,000 masl): It is dominated by graminoids of the genera Calamagrostis and Festuca, intermingled with other types of grasses and small shrubs. The species Calamagrostis effusa is restricted to the paramos of the provinces of Carchi and Imbabura. Characteristic flora: Chuquirahua, Chuquiraga jussieui, Oritrophium peruvianum; Huperzia talpiphila, Nototriche phyllanthos, Peperomia fruticetorum, Castilleja sp. and Valeriana sp.

 

LAGUNA CUICOCHA EN COTACACHI CAYAPAS ECOLOGICAL RESERVE: Bomarea linifolia is a mini-shrub of the paramo.LAGUNA CUICOCHA EN COTACACHI CAYAPAS ECOLOGICAL RESERVE: the licopodium Huperzia crassa, is red.

Bomarea linifolia is a mini-shrub of the paramo.

To resist the strong radiation in the paramo, the licopodium Huperzia crassa, is red.

 

Gelidofitia (4,000 - 4,700 masl): Formation dominated by dispersed shrubs and xerophytic plants, lichens and mosses. The rhizomes and roots are strongly developed and the leaves are small, often protected by hair. Characteristic species : Draba aretioides, Loricaria ferruginea; Valerian pilosa and species of mosses, Andreana sp. and Grimmia sp. and lichens, Lecanora sp. And Gyrophora sp.

 

LAGUNA CUICOCHA EN COTACACHI CAYAPAS ECOLOGICAL RESERVE: Chuquiraja is a very hardy shrub that grows anywhere in the paramo.LAGUNA CUICOCHA EN COTACACHI CAYAPAS ECOLOGICAL RESERVE: Culcitium Nivale grows up to close to the snow line.

Chuquiraja is a very hardy shrub that grows anywhere in the paramo up into the gelidofitia.

Culcitium Nivale grows up to close to the snow line.

Back to menu

 

Mammals

Of the 139 known mammals of the reserve bats and rodents are the most common.

 

Among the larger mammals living in tjhe area: Tigrillo, Leopardus pardalis,  Leopardus wiedii, Yaguarundi, Puma yagouaroundi, Andean Cat, Oncifelis colocolo, Puma, Puma concolor, Jaguar, Panthera onca, Bush Dog, Speothos venaticus, Coastal Otter, Lontra longicaudis, Coastal Howler Monkey, Alouatta palliata and Ecuadorian Capuchin Monkey, Cebus albifronsae quatorialis.

 

LAGUNA CUICOCHA EN COTACACHI CAYAPAS ECOLOGICAL RESERVE: Jaguars are not common but widely distributed in Ecuador.LAGUNA CUICOCHA EN COTACACHI CAYAPAS ECOLOGICAL RESERVE: Mountain Lions have an even wider distribution, as they also like the cold areas of the Andes.

Omni present in large tropical parks, the Jaguar also lives in the Cotacachi Reserve.

Pumas have an even wider distribution, as they also like the cold areas of the Andes.

 

LAGUNA CUICOCHA EN COTACACHI CAYAPAS ECOLOGICAL RESERVE: The Andean Red Brocket Deer,  Mazama rufina.LAGUNA CUICOCHA EN COTACACHI CAYAPAS ECOLOGICAL RESERVE: Giant Anteaters, Myrmecophaga tridactyla.

The Andean Red Brocket Deer,  Mazama rufina, is omnipresent and rather common in the Andes, although permanent persecution keeps them wary.

Giant Anteaters, Myrmecophaga tridactyla, occur in the park.

 

LAGUNA CUICOCHA EN COTACACHI CAYAPAS ECOLOGICAL RESERVE: The Andean FoxLAGUNA CUICOCHA EN COTACACHI CAYAPAS ECOLOGICAL RESERVE: The Brasilian Cottontail.

The Andean Fox is rather common in the reserve but shy and not often seen.

The Brasilian Cottontail is an important source of food for the Andean Fox.

 

LAGUNA CUICOCHA EN COTACACHI CAYAPAS ECOLOGICAL RESERVE: the Virginia Deer is common throughout Ecuador.LAGUNA CUICOCHA EN COTACACHI CAYAPAS ECOLOGICAL RESERVE: The Striped hog-nosed skunk, Conepatus semistriatus.

Ocuring in all the Americas from Alaska to Tierra de Fuego, the White-tailed Deer is common throughout Ecuador.

The Striped hog-nosed skunk, Conepatus semistriatus too is rather common, but being nocturnal, it is not often seen.

 

13 species are considered endemic for the Choco region, among them a new species of Spiny Mouse, Heteromys australis, and 20 species are threatened: Hippocamelus antisensis; The Giant Anteater, Myrmecophaga tridactyla, and the Woolly Tapir, Tapirus bairdii, probably already disappeared in the area, while the Pacarana, Dinomys branickii, is probably rare.

It is important to emphasize other threatened species: the Coastal Spider Monkey, Ateles fusciceps, Coendou Quichua, endemic of Ecuador, the Capuchin Monkey, Cebus capucinus; and the largest bat in America: the Great False Vampire, Vampyrum spectrum.

Back to menu

 

birds

The greatest bird diversity is  estimated at 500 to 700 species, where is lies below 600 masl, although at this elevation of  the area covered by the reserve is probably insufficient to protect  viable populations of some of the threatened species of the lowlands of the region, such as: Harpy Eagle, Harpia harpyja, Great Crax, Crax rubra, Military Macaw, Ara ambigua, Five-Colored Bearded, Quinticolored Capito, Tin-breasted Dacnis, Berlepschi Dacnis, and Blue-Biggled Tangara (Tangara johannae).

The Reserve possibly includes: Yellow Orejia Parrot, Ognorhynchus icterotis, Grey Falcon, Micrastur plumbeus, Fringed Ant Cuckoo, Neomorphus radiolosus, and Umbrella Bird, Cephalopterus penduliger.

 

In Lake Cuicocha  the Silver Dipper, Podiceps occipitalis juninensis, and Andean Teal, Fulica ardesiaca are breeding.

 

The number of bird species belonging to the lowlands under 600 m in reserve is estimated to be between 500 and 700 species. The area at this eleavtion covered by the Reserve is probably not enough to maintain viable populations of some endangered lowland species such as: Harpy eagle, Harpia harpyja, Crax rubra, Greater Green Macaw, Ara ambiguous, Capito quinticolor, Dacnis berlepschi, and Tangara johannae.

The Reserve is possibly home to: Ognorhynchus icterotis, Micrastur plumbeus, Neomorphus radiolosus and Cephalopterus penduliger.

In Lake Cuicocha, Podiceps occipitalis juninensis, and Fulica ardesiaca are nesting.

 

LAGUNA CUICOCHA EN COTACACHI CAYAPAS ECOLOGICAL RESERVE: The Andean Lapwing, Vanellus resplendens.LAGUNA CUICOCHA EN COTACACHI CAYAPAS ECOLOGICAL RESERVE: Northern Crested Caracara, Caracara cheriway

The Andean Lapwing, Vanellus resplendens, is a common bird of the paramo.

Northern Crested Caracara, Caracara cheriway, can often be seen in the paramo.

Back to menu

 

Other Critters

Herpetofauna

The herpetofauna of the reserve consists of 235 species, of which 124 are amphibians y 111 are reptiles.

 

Amphibians

The greatest amphibian diversity is found in the montane forests, while the  reptiles are concentrated in the lowland. The conservation status of reptiles is not known, while the number of threatened amphibian species is as high as 40%, including: Centrolene ilex, Atelopus elegans, A. coynei, A. longirostris , A. mindoensis, Rhaebo blombergi, R. caeruleos tictus; Hemiphractus fasciatus, Hyloxalus awa, H. chocoensis, H. toachi; Euphorbiaceae, Echinacea, Echinacea, Echinacea, Echinacea, Echinacea, Echinacea, Echinacea, Echinacea, Echinacea, Echinacea, Echinacea; Gastrotheca plumbea, Bolitoglossa chica, Caecilia leucocephala and Caecilia pachynema.

 

Reptiles

Among the 100 y 150 species, the lizard Ameiva septemlineata is the most common species. Also common are: the Chonta snake, Clelia clelia, the South American Snapping Turtle, Chelydra acutirostris, the White-lipped Mud Turtle, Kinosternon leucostomum postinguinale, Basiliscos sp., Enyalioides heterolepis, the Boa, Boa constrictor imperator, False Coral snake, Oxyrhopus petola sebae, Coral snake, Micrurus dumerilii transandinus, Trachyboa boulengeri, Mexican Pit viper, Bothrops asper, Lachesis acrochorda, Porthidium nasutum, en the endemic snake  Atractusdunni.

 

Fishes

The ichthyofauna of the area is made up of 33 resident species, of which 7 are eaten by the local population.

 

LAGUNA CUICOCHA EN COTACACHI CAYAPAS ECOLOGICAL RESERVE: "prenador" genus, AstroblepusOriginally, the rivers and lakes of the high Andes were only inhabited by species of the "prenador" genus, Astroblepus, but last century several species of trout have been introduced throughout the Andean region, forcing the prenadores to places inaccessible to trout.

Back to menu

 

Getting there

Lake Cuicocha: From the Panamerican Highway, drive to Cotacache, and from there take the road to the lake about 12 km southwest of Cotacachi.

Most of the rest of the reserve is inaccessible by car.

Back to menu

 

Best tours

What we do now:

Dear visitor, our website gives you info about our National Parks Tours, our Galapagos programs, the Cuyabeno Loop, as well as our Cuyabeno  and Cofan Lodges in the Amazon.   For those who want to combine the Exuberant Nature of Ecuador with the Famous culture of Peru, we even have a 7 days Highlights of Peru extension! Our website gives you the best information on the internet, like Ecuador Travel Guide, because we are the only tour operator run by professional biologists. Take a look:

 

OUR PARKS AND TRIBES ECO TOURS

(Scroll down for the rest of this current page)

AMAZON RIVER CRUISE ECUADOR: In Ecuador, birding is for all ages.

 NEW! CUYABENO DAY TRIP

For those that are limited in time, we are now organizing the Cuyabeno Day Trip that takes you at 9 AM from the park entrance to the surroundings of Lake Cuyabeno, to the Siona village and back by 5 PM.

 

 

 

Price: from $ 99

 1 día

RÍO NAPO LODGE TOUR, ECUADOR: La plataforma en el árbol de Ceibo de la comunidad Kichwa Añagu.

NEW YASUNI / NAPO RIVER TOUR

Lodges along Yasuni ­ National Park are excessively expensive and excursions are just organized close to each lodge. We developed a fabulous and affordable tour to all the highlights along the Napo, while staying in 2 different decent Quichua lodges.

 

 

Price: from $ 450

3 days

viaje a Cuyabeno

 NEW LAGARTOCOCHE EXPEDITION

The most remote part of the Amazon is the Lagartocoche lake system at the border with Peru. Hosted in a Secoya Indian Village.

 

Price: from $ 450

 4 days

admirando la increíble vida silvestre

CUYABENO LOOP

The Cuyabeno Loop explores the breathtaking scenery of the lower Cuyabeno and Zabalo Rivers and the Cuyabeno Lake. Watch the amazing birds and wildlife. Pass 2 nights with the amazing Cofan Indians in the Cofan Lodge and enjoy 2 nights of comfort in the famous Cuyabeno Lodge.

Price: from $ 799

5 days

 

admirando las increíbles aves

COFAN LODGE PROGRAMS

Located in Southern Cuyabeno, the Cofan Lodge is the only lodge in that part of the Cuyabeno Wildlife Reserve with quality programs and great facilities. It is owned by the Cofan Indians and provides a totally different experience from any other lodge in Cuyabeno.

 

 

Price: from $ 450

4 days

Laguna Cuyabeno

CUYABENO LAKE PROGRAMS

The Cuyabeno Lake Programs explores all the wild places surrounding the Cuyabeno Lake. Bonsai-shaped Macrolobia trees with the whispering of the mysterious prehistoric Hoatzin birds and the noisy Blue and Yellow Macaws. Our Cuyabeno Lodge is on the best location, because we were the first lodge and chose the best location right on a seasonal island in Lake Cuyabeno.

Price: from $ 390

4 - 5 days

 

Chimborazo con Lamas

ANDES CUSTOM ECO TOURS

Our Northern Andes Tour lets you get a taste of some of the best Andean National Parks, visiting the highest groves in the world: the Polylepis trees, the highest mountain in the world calculated from the center of the Earth, the Chimborazo with Vecunhas and Lamas, the highest active volcano in the world, the Cotopaxi.

 

Price: from $750

5 days

Cascada San Rafael

NATIONAL PARKS TOUR

Our National Parks Tours take you on a fantastic journey along the best possible sample of Andean and coastal parks. They have been designed to complement Galapagos and/or Amazon cruises. They can start from different places, particularly Quito, Guayaquil and Cuenca. While the full program lasts 9 days, it is possible to make a limited selection of parks, like the 6 days' "Andes and Coast" module.

Price: from $ 1999

9 days

 

Bartelome ent Galapagos

GALAPAGOS LAST MINUTE

We have a fabulous selection of Galapagos programs, including cruises, island hopping, scuba diving or relaxing on one of the many different hotels varying from modest inns to deluxe resorts.

 

 

Price: from $ 550

From 3 days

25 COOLEST THINGS TO DO IN PERU [LIMA,CUSCO, MACHU PICCHU]: Inca wall in Cusco.

PERU HIGHLIGHTS

A fabulous program for visiting the most famous cultural highlights Lima, Cusco, Machu Picchu and the Sacred Valley. At the same time it serves as the Lima hub for the Peru National Parks Tour. This module is an extension to our National Parks Tour Ecuador and/or Galapagos National Park and/or Amazon Cruises.

Price: from $ 1199

7 days

Continuación del presente tema

Back to menu

LAGUNA CUICOCHA IN COTACACHI CAYAPAS ECOLOGICAL RESERVE

PARKS & TRIBES Travel Agency in Quito
Ecuador Address: Las Casas, Crossing Street: Jose Coudrin, 2 streets above the Occidental Highway, Canton Quito, Prov. Pichincha, Neighborhood Belisario Quevedo 
Tel: (++593)(02) 2 2324 4086, Cell: (++593) (0) 99 283 2187 USA: (++)1 304 901 0718
Email: info@parks-and-tribes.com
NO SEXI-VIDEOS, BUT SOLIDE INFORMATION FROM REAL EXPERTS