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Mountain Bike Tours
Parks, Zoo, Gardens
In Vilcabamba you can do as much or as little as you like, it is all up to you ! Find a hammock somewhere and watch life go by or go crazy doing millions of things
This is a small zoo with local animals (mountain tapirs, pumas, condors, parrot),
with a swimming pool and BBQ areas and play ground.
The condor (below) is a really cool bird !
This park is a natural wonder that covers the provinces of Loja and Zamora. It owes
its name to the Podocarpus indigenous tree, the most well known tree from this rain
forest. This unique conifer tree from southern Ecuador can be found from 1200 to
4000 meters above sea level in an area of over 146,000 hectares, extending from
the Amazon to the Andean heights. The park is home of one of the most bio-diverse
displays of birds and fauna in the world. A complex of more than 100 lagoons are
located in the park as well.
The park was created in 1982, with the priority to preserve the unique flora and
fauna of the land, the diverse indigenous species in danger of extinction. Once
it was declared as a protected area, many research projects took place that allowed
for ecological and community development in the region.
Regarding the fauna, some land species that are most representative of the area
have been found, such as: jaguars, pumas, tapirs and spectacled bear. The beauty
and diversity are endless as there are more than 560 bird species representing 40%
of all bird species found in Ecuador. During certain seasons, some migratory birds
can be observed, as well.
Due to its geological formation, the Podocarpus gives birth to rivers Catamayo,
Chinchipe, Zamora and Nangaritza.
The climate in the Podocarpus park varies depending on the area. On the east side
(known as The Orient), it rains from March to July while October, November and December
are the dry months. On the west side (known as The Sierra), it only rains from February
to April. The temperature varies depending on altitude; 12 degrees Celsius (54 F)
for higher altitudes and 18 degrees Celsius (65 F) for lower altitudes.
A shelter has been built in the park for tourists use. It offers a video room, a
center for environmental workshops and hostelling at the shelter or the cabins for
$3 per person per night. There's also a dining room and a kitchen so that tourists
can cook for themselves. Note: although the place offers some beds and mats, it
is suggested to take your own sleeping bags.
Information sourced from: http://www.vivavilcabamba.com/content/view/25/114/lang,es/
Additional information available at: http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Podocarpus