5 Ecuadorian forests that generate oxygen for the planet

Nature amazes us with its subtle presence in each of its corners. Ecuador from the bowels of the Andes, Pacific Coast and Amazon generates oxygen expelled from the leaves of immense hectares of forest. In the country there is a diversity of climatic zones where trees that surprise with their beauty, color, shape and aroma grow.

Get to know a detail of some of the trees that grow and beautify the landscapes in the only country located in two hemispheres, where nature is part of everything and invites us to take care of it and protect it to receive its goodness and protection.

Life in flooded forests

In the Cuyabeno Fauna Production Reserve there are abundant underwater ecosystems. The characteristic trees of this area are the guarangos de agua, which grow in the areas adjacent to the Cuyabeno and Lagartococha rivers, these sites can remain flooded for several months. These trees grow in the sewage of canals and lagoon edges. The reserve is one of the most megadiverse on the planet, and in it you can observe: anacondas, reptiles, dolphins, otters, turtles, as well as orchids and other species that grow in unimaginable places. In addition, the area is home to indigenous communities such as the Siona, Secoya, Cofán, Kichwa and Shuar, which demonstrate the cultural diversity of the country.

Scented yellow flowers

Every year nature offers a natural spectacle in the arid forests of southern Ecuador. With the first winter rains, the giant Guayacán trees are watered a little at a time to bloom and light the sunlight on the ground with yellow flowers, which create giant carpets on the trails. Approximately 40,000 hectares of forest bloom during 7 days in the parishes of Mangahurco, Cazaderos and Bolaspamba during the months of December and January. Thousands of tourists admire this natural spectacle and one of the gastronomic delights “chivo al hueco”, a traditional preparation of its inhabitants.

Stories on paper trees

In the Andean region, at more than 3,500 m.a.s.l., polylepis trees, also known as paper trees, grow. The Andean moorlands show these spectacular trees that are dens for mischievous rabbits. This plant, believed to be native to Latin America, has a trunk that tends to curve, in which several layers of brown bark, similar to sheets of paper, are observed. Ecuador has the last remaining polylepis forest, with centennial trees in the ecological reserve El Angel, located in the north of the “Land of the Four Worlds”. The trees at this site are believed to have existed for more than 4,000 years.

Pink clouds in summer

The arupos are endemic ornamental trees of Ecuador and it is common to observe them in bloom during the months of July and August. Several parks and tourist attractions such as the Plaza de la Independencia, in the Historic Center of Quito, proudly display them. The height of the trees can reach 10 meters and there are two varieties of flowers among them fuchsia and white. Scientifically it is known as Chionanthus pubescens, meaning “snow flowers”. The trees remain green and when they bloom, they are seen with imposing fuchsia flowers that can remain alive for up to 40 days.

Strong mangrove roots

Colossal mangroves of more than 50 meters, the tallest on the planet, are located in the Cayapas-Mataje Mangrove Ecological Reserve, in the province of Esmeraldas. The population located in nearby cantons preserve the tropical rainforest ecosystem that has been part of Ecuador’s National System of Protected Areas since 1996. In the mangroves, dozens of inhabitants of San Lorenzo, Borbón, La Tola and Limones collect shells and crabs. In addition, in this area it is possible to learn about the Afro-Ecuadorian culture expressed in their songs, dances and music, to the rhythm of the marimba.

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