Posted by: sextobi2013 | June 23, 2013

YACURI NATIONAL PARK by Luke Marchant

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Yacuri National Park is one of the newest national parks in Ecuador. It was created in 2009 and 2010. In fact, it is so new that there is not much information on the internet about this park. I could not find a good map on the internet. The best I can do is show you where it is .. it is on the border of the provinces of Loja and Zamora-Chinchipe. Look at the red circle.

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The Park contains a variety of ecosystems. Most of the park is in one of the following:

  • Southern Andean Brush Plains (Páramo Arbustivo de los Andes del Sur): 42.6%
  • High Altitude Eastern Andean Evergreen Forest (Bosque Siempreverde Montano Alto de los Andes Orientales): 22%
  • Southern Andean Dry Mountain Bushes (Matorral Seco Montano de los Andes del Sur): 15.1%
  • Eastern Andean Cloud Forest (Bosque de Neblina Montano de los Andes Orientales): 14%

The park contains 280 plant species, 32 of them are endemic to the park. Two of the species are endangered and 11 are vulnerable.

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Fauna

There are 18 species of mammals in the park of which five are endangered. Mammals include the vulnerable Cougar, the endangered Mountain Tapir and the endangered Spectacled bear. There are 111 bird species of which four are endangered and 11 amphibian species of which four are endangered.

 

 

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Attractions

The national park has over 46 high-altitude lakes. The most commonly visited lakes are:

  • “Laguna Negra”: an extremely deep lake in the caldera of an extinguished volcano. It is known for its medicinal waters and is often visited by nearby traditional priests (or medicine men). It can be reached by a 50-minute hike from the refuge near the Lagunas Jimbura entrance (near the town of Jimbura, in the Espindola Municipality). From the lake, the highest peak in Loja can be reached (though there is no trail).
  • “Laguna Yacurí”, the largest lake in the park and the park’s namesake. It can be reached by a five-hour hike. The trail leaves from along the road from Espindola towards the park.
  • Inca Trail: The Inca Trail also passes through the park and there are archeological ruins including petroglyphs, plazas and cemeteries on the western side of the Protected Forest (which is the North side of the park). 

Tourism

Because the park is so new there are very few visitors. There are about 1500 recorded visits of tourists each year, who come to the area to study or to admire its beauty.

 

 

 

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