Chichen Itza
Gebel Berkal

World Heritage Site

for World Heritage Travellers

Sangay National Park

Sangay National Park

Sangay National Park contains two active volcanoes (Tungurahua and Sangay) and ecosystems ranging from tropical rainforests to glaciers.

It is home to the endangered spectacled bear and mountain tapir (both only found in the Northern Andes). The park is located in the Morona Santiago, Chimborazo and Tungurahua provinces of Ecuador.

Map of Sangay National Park


  • Natural

Visit September 2017

September 2017

September 2017

September 2017

Community Reviews

Jay T USA 16.07.17

Sangay National Park by Jay T

The road through Sangay National Park is a fait accompli, providing a quicker route to the Ecuadorian city of Macas, east of the Andes. I can't speak to the ecological impact of the road on the park, but it did provide an easy way to access the Atillo Lakes region of the park, where I spent a couple of hours hiking in the Andes last month. The weather was not the most promising, with low, grey clouds obscuring the volcanic peak of Sangay; rain held off, however, and at times the sun did its best to disperse some of the cloud cover. My driver arranged for a local guide, Dora, to lead a hike through a high mountain valley to the first of the Atillo lakes. The region serves as a watershed for the western Andes, and the hills were marshy and covered with grasses and wildflowers; I was very glad my tour company provided rubber boots for the hike. The lakes themselves are very popular with local fishermen, and with all the rain the Andes have had this year, there were several waterfalls flowing on the mountains above the valley. Although the park has some larger species of wildlife, including spectacled bears, foxes, and tapirs, the largest wildlife I saw were ducks. While I would have liked a better day for the hike, I enjoyed my brief tour in the upper reaches of the Andes Mountains. Maybe if I return one day I'll get to see Sangay mountain on a sunny day.

Logistics: Sangay National Park is a little more accessible thanks to the Guamote-Macas road, but it still requires either private transportation or planning for local buses. I hired a driver through a Dutch tour company in Riobamba, which is the closest major city to the Atillo Lakes.

Craig C. Downer, wildlife ecol. Andean Tapir Fund IUCN SSC, USA 04.08.13

Yes, as a wildlife ecologist studying the endangered mountain tapir in Sangay National Park, I fought against the egregious Guamote Macas road but the road prevailed due to the violent threats the official received from the road's proponents. This was surely a triumph of ignornance and irreverence for life over wisdom and reverence for life. The Purshi Valley was one of the highest virgin Andean forests, reaching the way to Laguna Negra at over 4000 meters elevation. It was a safe haven for the endangered mountain tapirs. Here they bred and conducted their very benign million-years-old life style, seeding many plants and helping to build rich, humus containing soils. It is such a shame that the Guamote Macas Road was ever constructed, and I pray that an earthquake utterly destroy this abomination! Then the lovely paramos and cloud forests of this enchanting region can restore themselves and the destructor man will be excluded. Only those who enter with respect to observe and not to destroy will be allowed. This was, after all, the true law and international agreement that the government of Ecuador pledged to uphold in this region. So much for broken promises! What a disgrace! The best value of this region is to let all the many species who live here and have for millions of years, and including many wonderful orchid species, carry on in their uniquely beautiful and harmonious way!

David Hlatky, Australia 12.07.11

Hi All,

My name is David Hlatky, I have dual citizenship (Ecuadorian and Australian); I grew up in Ecuador and lived there until I was 24 years old. When I turned 24 I finished my Uni degree and travelled to Australia to further my studies and eventually finished my master's degree in Environmental Management.

I have (sporadically - some time ago now) been in contact with Craig Downer from the Tapir Foundation and Mark Hockings from the United Nations.

I wanted to emphasise the fact that the national park is being exploited by increasing human settlements all along the Guamote - Macas Road. The national park is shrinking all along the road and settlements are going deeper and deeper inside the National Park. If no action is taken is only a matter of years before we lose critical habitats and species within the park.

I hope this letter is added to a number of claims already made from interested parties; I hope this claim does not fall into deaf ears.


David Hlatky

Share your experiences!

Have you been to Sangay National Park? Add your own review!

Site Info

Full name: Sangay National Park

Unesco ID: 260

Inscribed: 1983

Type: Natural

Criteria: 7   8   9   10  

Link: By Name By ID

Site History

  • 2005 - Removed from Danger list 
  • 1992 - In Danger heavy poaching of wildlife, illegal livestock grazing and encroachment
  • 1983 - Inscribed 


The site has 1 locations.

  • Sangay National Park