Sumaco-Napo-Galeras National Park - In the Heart of the Ecuadorian Amazon
The Sumaco-Napo-Galeras National Park is a mid-sized nature reserve that covers an area of approximately 205 249 hectares. Thus it falls into two different provinces – that of Napo and Orellana – and it can be accessed from either side. When looking for it on a map, one will probably notice that the park is situated roughly in the middle of the Ecuadorian Amazon. This means you can expect to find plenty of variety when you visit this great national park. The majority of the flora is subtropical jungle or forest and there are a number of Andean rivers running through the park. There is a small admission fee for visitors to pay but the money generated from this is used for the continued running and protection of the park.
Because of the park’s proximity to several natural oil reserves the park has been under threat for quite some time. In response to this danger efforts were made to declare the site a UNESCO World Biosphere Reserve. As part of these efforts the INEFAN is currently liaising with the GTZ to put into action a number of projects and protective measures that will promote sustainable development within the park. The project has been in action since 1993, when it was suggested that the tropical forest in the Gran Sumaco area be reclassified as a Biosphere Reserve. This was eventually done and included the Sumaco and Napo-Galeras sectors of the forest, which ensured that the national park included as much of the natural variety and as many bio-zones as possible. The resulting Sumaco-Napo Galeras National Park covered just less than 206 000 hectares and included a variety of climates and vegetation growing naturally between the 500 and 3732 m elevation. The park has made use of a number of sustainable ecologically-friendly items to develop the area and adequately support ecotourism. Their development of certain social factors and the skillful conservation of all plants and animals within the boundaries of the reserve have gone a long way to helping the reserve comply with UNESCO’s standards for a World Biosphere Reserve.
Today you will find plenty of great things in the Sumaco-Napo-Galeras National Park. Giant armadillos, bears, deer, ocelots, peccaries and jaguars make their way quietly through the undergrowth while parakeets chatter noisily in the tree-tops. There is simply nothing to describe how incredibly untouched this precious wildlife refuge is. You have to see it to believe it.