Province: Esmeraldas
Nearby communities: La Yuca and Hoja Blanca
Limits: South of the Esmeraldas province
Creation year: 2000
Area: 20,974 acres
Temperature: 30°C
Ecosystem: tropical forest of the Choco
eco-region, lowlans evergreen forest
Climate: tropical
Altitudinal range: 100 - 500 masl

Fauna and flora: Great Green Macaw, the Baudó Guan, Plumbeous Forest Falcon, Banded Ground-Cuckoo, Long-watled Umbrellabird, Scarlet-breasted Dacnis and the Yellow Green Bush-Tanager are registered. The enigmatic Sapayoa is observed, along with the Black and White Hawk Eagle, the Chocó Poorwill and the Great Jacamar. Amphibians such as the Kiki, the Horned Marsupial Frog and glass frogs are also protected in the reserve.

We established the Canandé Reserve with the aim of protecting one of the most important and threatened biodiversity hotspots the Chocó, known as the non-Amazonian locality with the largest herpetofauna in the world.

The population centres located in the surroundings of the reserve include Zapallo east of Quinindé / Rosa Zárate and the small towns of Puerto Nuevo where the barge crosses the Canandé River, La Yuca that is next to the reserve, and Hoja Blanca. The Jocotoco Foundation seeks to work with these communities in ecology and environmental care workshops.


Take the route Quito - Calacalí - Puerto Quito. In the last town take the detour to the village of Las Golondrinas. Pass the towns of La Te and Zapallo, turn right towards Puerto Nuevo at the side of the Canandé river. Take the barge to cross the river (you must have a permit signed by Fundación Jocotoco to pass the barge in Puerto Nuevo). Continue to the Reserve, it is 45 minutes away on the way to Hoja Blanca. Look for signs for Chocó Lodge.

To visit us, you must BOOK IN ADVANCE through our tour operator JOCOTOURS.

Indications for the visitor:

  • Pets are not allowed.
  • Do not touch or feed wild animals.
  • Use a mask and keep distance with the reserve staff.

There are 62 species of birds which are endemic to the Chocó ecoregion. Of those, 37 species can be found in the Canandé Reserve. Some of these species are threatened (endangered or vulnerable).

Trap cameras have revealed that there are populations of four feline species in the reserve: Jaguar, Puma, Ocelot and Margay, as well as Peccary and Red Brocket Deer, as well as three species of monkeys: Mantled Howler monkeys, Brown-headed Spider monkeys and White Fronted Capuchins.

The reserve also protects endangered plant species such as a colony of a critically endangered Lily (Eucaris sp.), a rare Geonoma palm, the Anthurium andreanum and a new species of Liparis Orchid.

In addition, a reptile and amphibian study conducted by the Ecuadorian Museum of Natural Sciences (MECN) in the reserve, recorded 71 species, of which 35 are endemic and 3 are threatened worldwide.


It is possible to stay within the Canandé Reserve, at the Chocó Lodge, managed by Jocotours. To know more about accommodation services and touristic offers, please get in touch with our touristic operator.

Outside the Lodge:

  • Canandé River
  • "Casa del Medio" (only for volunteers and researchers) located in the heart of the reserve, only accessed by foot.

The Ecuadorian Chocó has suffered a high deforestation rate, only 2-5% of the original forest remains. That is why we want to expand our protected areas and connect to the Cotacachi- Cayapas National Reserve. Here more about our project to create a biological corridor.

Several of the recently acquired properties that were deforested due to cattle are now in process of natural restoration. The combination of rain and warm weather offers optimal conditions for seedling, and thus, creates a high rate of natural regeneration.

We protect more than 14,000 acres in the Canandé Reserve, which is home to one of the world's most important and threatened hotspots of biodiversity: the Chocó. In partnership with Rainforest Connection (RFCx) Fundación Jocotoco monitors part of the Canandé reserve to protect the Chocó. RFCx developed the world's first scalable real-time acoustic system to monitor forests' soundscapes 365 days a year. This system automatically detects the sounds of chainsaws and gunshots and sends an instant alert to the mobile phones of our park guards. In addition, it detects the sounds of endangered species such as the Great Green Macaw and Brown-headed Spider Monkey, collecting real-time presence data that can be analyzed over time. As a result, our park guards can keep track of how many acres we own, and respond faster and more accurately.

Logo Jocotours
To visit the reserve