Exploring Tourism in Ecuador
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Places to Visit Details

Ecological Reserve El Angel

Various, Ecuador

Situated on a pretty peninsula jutting out into the ocean, Bahía attracts many tourists with its fine beaches, numerous hotels, and lively entertainment scene. Another popular area, particularly among younger travelers and surfers, is Montañita in the south coastal region of the country (for families, head a little further south to the quieter beaches of the fishing village of Ayangue).

El Angel Ecological Reserve, created in 1992, is located 170 miles north of Quito in the Province of Carchi and is made up of 15,715 hectares of land. It is in the northernmost province of Ecuador.

The Humid Moorlands of El Angel are filled with huge Frailejones (Espeletia pychnophyla), which grow as high as 20 feet and feature a flower that is similar to the sunflower. The leaves of the plant are hairy and serve to protect this interesting plant from the very cold climate that hits this region. Other beautiful flowers found in this area are the El Angel Flowers (Senecio sp.), which look very similar to the Frailejones with its hairy leaves and yellow flowers. Another interesting plant is one that looks similar to a pillow and captures a large amount of water.

The mountains of the Ecological reserve have remains of deciduous forests on them. These forests are made up of Pumamaqui, Aliso, Alder (Almus sp.) and Myrtle (Luma apiculata) trees. The Paper Trees (Polylepis incana ssp.icosandra) are so named because their thin bark can peel off. Like the Frailejones and El Angel flowers they are protected naturally from the extreme cold with layers of bark that provide insulation for the tree.

The El Angel Ecological Reserve is also provides water for the entire province through the many rivers that flow down the mountains and later form the Mira and El Angel rivers. Lagoons, like the Green Lagoon and El Voladero Lagoon, are also popular and provide homes and food to many animals and birds.

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