Image by Anya Grushina 500px
This national park fills in much of the triangle between Loja, Zamora and Vilcabamba, as well as a huge swath to the southeast. Because altitude ranges so greatly within the park borders – from around 900m in the lowland sector to over 3600m in the highland sector – Podocarpus has some of the greatest plant and animal diversity in the world.
Perhaps 40% of its estimated 3000 plant species are endemic, and close to 600 bird species have been recorded. Rare mammals include foxes, deer, puma, mountain tapirs and spectacled bears.
Access to the highland sector of the park is through Cajanuma control, about 10km south of Loja, whilst the main access to the lowland sector is the Bombuscaro control, 6km south of Zamora by a dirt road that follows the Río Bombuscaro.