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Cotacachi -Cayapas Ecological Reserve
The Cotacachi-Cayapas Ecological Reserve is located on the western slopes of the Andes Mountains where the bio-geographical area of the Chocó - recognized as the wettest in the world - enters Ecuador, the reason for the occurrence of such a high biodiversity in the zone.

The Cotacachi-Cayapas is the Ecuadorian Protected Area that has the largest number of life zones within it. It is also true that of the total number of endemic vascular plants recorded in the country, 20% of them belong to the western area; in spite of the area having been studied very little, there is a generalized agreement that this area houses one of the richest ecosystems on the planet.

The Ángel Ecological Reserve
In the middle of the alpine tundra (paramo) where the Frailejones (plants unique to the paramo) stand out because of their form and size is the El Angel Reserve. The soil here retains a large quantity of water which is why it is considered to be a true "sponge" that supplies the whole province of Carchi with this vital liquid.

It is the birth place of many rivers that will eventually discharge their water into the important river basins of the Mira and El Angel; it is not in vain that it is considered to be the wettest paramo in Ecuador. Lakes for fishing, hiking and camping are the main activities and its biological importance as an oasis among Ecuadorian paramos has helped prevent the introduction of activities like cattle raising and agriculture which would destroy the natural habitat.

The Municipal Cemetery of Tulcán is internationally known for its intricate cypress sculptures. There are other destinations near Tulcan like the Chapues mountain with pre-Colombian remains. One kilometer from the city you can find the thermal baths of Tres Chorros.

Oyacachi Hotsprings
Oyacachi is an off-the-beaten path village located on the south eastern edge of the Cayambe-Coca Reserve. The town is forty five minutes southeast from the city of Cayambe. Oyacachi came into existence because of its natural location as a gateway to the jungle. The town is famous for its natural thermal hotsprings. There is at present no tourism infrastructure. However, the townspeople will gladly prepare a delicious but simple meal of trout, rice and potatoes. Rappeling down waterfalls is another recent activity possible in Oyacachi.

Where to Stay
We recommend you visit these informative links:
Otavalo Hotels & Hostels
Haciendas & Country Inns in the Northern Andes


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