Galapagos Islands

5 Incredible National Parks in South America

South America is one of the most biodiverse continents on earth. Home to unique species,  the highest waterfall, the largest river, the longest mountain range and the largest rainforest, the nature and adventure is abundant in this continent. All of these wonders are protected by National Parks. Check out the most incredible national parks in South America.

Galapagos National Park, Ecuador

The paradisiacal Galapagos islands are protected by the Galapagos National Park. This park gives you the unique opportunity to have contact with the native wildlife. Known for its endemic species (including the blue and red footed boobies, the marine iguanas, land iguanas, flamingos, and the famous finches), this archipelago has a fragile, precious natural environment. Learn more about unique Galapagos animals here.

Each island has different bays, outcrops, lakes, beaches with different minerals, and other geographical features. Some of the beaches have red, black and even green sand. No matter the color of sand, one thing they all have in common is the pristine, turquoise water. Would you like to visit this paradise? At Ikala Galapagos Hotel we offer the best services and excellent amenities, with a focus on sustainability and protecting the environment. Click here to check availability at the best hotel in Puerto Ayora.

The Cotopaxi National Park, Ecuador

Located about 50 km south of Quito, Ecuador’s capital city, the Cotopaxi volcano is one of the tallest active volcanoes in the world. Surrounding the Cotopaxi is an ecological reserve protecting a diversity of animals and plants. This area is popular with tourists and locals alike who visit for the breathtaking scenery, great hiking trails, and climbing opportunities.

Not only a fantastic sight, the Cotopaxi volcano is also the second highest peak in Ecuador, reaching a height of 5,897 meters (19,347 feet). During a Cotopaxi day trip from Quito, you can trek to base camp at an elevation of 4,864 meters. If you’re thinking of visiting soon, check out Anahi Boutique Hotel for the best accommodations in Quito.

Iguazú National Park, Argentina/Brazil

Iguazú National Park is the home of the world’s largest system of waterfalls. Surrounding the national park, there’s a rainforest with over 2,000 species of plants and is home to these rare and threatened species: tapirs, giant anteaters, howler monkeys, ocelots, jaguars, toucans, and caymans. This amazing park is located between Argentina and Brazil.

Los Glaciares National Park, Argentina

The main hiking destination in Argentina is Los Glaciares National Park. This park is characterized by jutting mountains and icy lakes, and is presided over by the ragged, iconic peaks of Monte Fitz Roy. As you can imagine the park has a cool climate. The temperatures range from 0.6 degrees Celsius in winter to 13.4 degrees Celsius in summer.

The Yasuni National Park, Ecuador

One of the most wildlife-rich areas on Earth, the Yasuni National Park has broken world records with a diverse selection of species across mammals, reptiles, amphibians, and plants.

In the Ecuadorian Amazon Rainforest you can enjoy canoeing the many waterways and lakes to find some fascinating lake-living species, like hoatzins, herons, and cormorants. If lucky, you may stumble upon some of the rarer wildlife like the river otters and black caiman. The Amazon is really fragile, so the Yasuni National Park protects it from deforestation, illegal logging, and unsustainable hunting. If you’re thinking of taking a jungle adventure, plan your trip to the Amazon Rainforest with Yacuma Ecolodge.