With its outstanding natural beauty and two active volcanoes, Ecuador's Sangay National Park illustrates the entire spectrum of ecosystems, ranging from tropical rain forests to glaciers. Its isolation has encouraged the survival of indigenous species such as the mountain tapir and the Andean condor.
With its outstanding natural beauty and two active volcanoes, the Sangay National Park illustrates within its 270,000 ha (667,000 acres) the entire spectrum of ecosystems of Ecuador. These include glacial and volcanic ecosystems, cloud forests, Amazon rain forest, wetlands, lakes, and the fragile moorlands (páramos) and grasslands of the highlands.
Geologically, this area is especially important due to the presence of the Sangay volcano which is one of the more active volcanoes in the world. The Sangay National Park also provides significant habitat for a rich flora and fauna, including many threatened species such as the Mountain Tapir and the Spectacled Bear.
The Sangay National Park contains one of the world’s most complex series of ecological habitats. With an altitudinal range extending from 900 to 5,319 m (2,950 to 17,450 ft) above sea level, the park includes three volcanoes: Tungurahua (5,016 m or 16,456 ft), Sangay (5,230 m or 17,158 ft), and Altar (5,319 m or 17,450 ft). These volcanoes have a superlative aesthetic beauty, including a rare combination of grasslands, rain forests and many other fragile habitats.
The property includes a vast system of wetlands with 327 lakes, covering a surface of 31.5 sq km (12.2 sq mi), which protect and generate environmental services of local, national and regional importance. The park also contains one of the largest areas of páramo (a montane grassland vegetation) occurring in Ecuador.