SUMACO NATIONAL PARK
On the Eastern side of the Andes mountain range, on the north of the Amazon region, there is an ancient mountain range that is relatively isolated from the rest of the snow capped mountains, surrounded by ravines and deep canyons. These are the slopes and hills that surround Sumaco, the only volcano that is located in Amazon territory.
The rugged topography and exuberant vegetation receive every day the humidity that arrives with the fog originated on the lower areas of the great Amazon basin, before continuing its trip towards the Andes mountains.
Many streams originate here that further down make up the rivers Hollin, Suno, Payamino, and Pucuno, all tributaries to the Quijos or Coca River. Complementary to the Sumaco volcano, there is a small branch of mountain called “Napo Galeras”.
Resolution No. 9, March 02 of 1994 – Official Registry No. 47 of June 28, 1994
The Sumaco National Park with 249 ha, with two sectors: the area of the Sumaco volcano and its adjacent areas (190 562 ha) and the Cordillera de Galeras (14 687 ha).
It is located north-east of Ecuador, between the provinces of Napo and Orellana.
It goes from 500 msnm – 3 732 msnm
From 2 000-6 000 mm
It includes the Sumaco and Pan de Azúcar volcanoes, as well as the Black and Galeras hills (Valarezo et al., 2002). It is constituted by two mountain systems isolated from the Andes: the Sumaco volcano massif and the Galeras mountain range (Freile and Santander 2005).
The temperature oscillates between 6-8 ° C to 3 400 – 3 732 msnm, whereas in elevations smaller to 600 msnm the temperature reaches 24 ° C
The area preserves the high basins of several Amazonian tributaries of Quijos, Coca and Napo.
Paramo Grassland moor, Montane Mist forest, Evergreen low montane forest, Foothill evergreen forest, Evergreen lowland forest and humid montane shrubland.
The Sumaco region contains more than 6000 species of vascular plants identified in the different altitudinal floors (Valarezo et al., 2002). More than 90 endemic species have been collected within the Park (Valencia et al. 2000), among which at least 21 species are orchids and 8 are bromeliads (Mogollón and Guevara 2004).
Research in the Park is limited and there are no comprehensive assessments of the area’s biodiversity (Freile and Santander 2005). However, the biogeography of Sumaco, the variety of altitudinal floors, ecological niches and habitats, allow the concentration of fauna of both the humid tropics of the Amazon and the eastern slope of the Andes, thus applying the great wealth of fauna (Valarezo et al., 2002).
On the other hand, the volcanic cone of the Sumaco constitutes an ecological island of the montane forests, that is to say, it is an area that presents endemic fauna (Valarezo et al., 2002).
HOW WE ARRIVE
The main access routes are: Baeza-El Chaco-Reventador, which surrounds the western part of the Park; and the Jondachi-Loreto-Coca, that surrounds the Park by its south zone.