Llanganates National Park - Linked to the Legend of the Treasure of El Dorado
A destination filled with mystery and legend, the Llanganates National Park boasts some of the most beautiful landscape and grand biodiversity. Contributing to the sheer magnificence of this natural area in Ecuador is the tale of Atahualpa. According to local legend Rumiñahui hid the renowned treasure of Atahualpa or El Dorado in the region. This remarkable legend has resulted in many explorers venturing into the depths of the Llanganates National Park's challenging terrain. Although you will not see this legendary treasure, the national park has many natural treasures that are sure to delight you.
What makes Llanganates National Park such a fascinating protected region? Much of the landscape is untouched by human influences, with many tracts hardly being explored. This Ecuadorian national park encompasses some 219 707 ha of rough terrain across the provinces of Cotopaxi, Tungurahua, Napo and Pastaza. Unlike most protected areas, large portions of the park are yet unmapped. The topography of Llanganates is greatly varied and altitudes in the park change between 1 200m and 4 571m. This variation has given rise to the area's extremes in climate, with annual precipitation ranging between 1 000 and 4 000m.
Llanganates encompasses mostly Andean forests along with Amazonian forest habitats. Located within the park are stunning lakes and rivers. The highest mountain in the park is Cerro Hermoso. All these features of the ecosystems of Llanganates have seen major levels of endemism and biodiversity in the area. According to research there are more than 800 plant species, 194 bird species and 51 mammal species within Llanganates National Park. Visitors to the area will be awestruck by the splendor of the region. Your magical Llanganates experience will be enhanced by the possibility of spotting toucans, monkeys, spectacled bears, capybaras, ocelots, parrots, jaguars, weasels and Andean tapirs.
The Llanganates reserve was established in 1991 and was named a National Park in the year 1996. The preservation of the area is vital for the continuation of endemic species. It is a popular destination for ecotourism and many tourist companies offer special offers for journeys to the national park. Some of these packages include hikes up to the pools of Llanganates. For an adventure filled with natures wonders and intriguing history, visit Llanganates National Park.