Province: Emeralds
Community: Yucca and White Leaf
Boundaries: South of the province of Esmeraldas
Creation date: 2000
Area: 8,488 hectares
Temperature: 30°C
Ecosystem: Chocó Tropical Forest
Lowland Evergreen Forest
Climate: Humid and tropical
Altitudinal range: 100 - 500 meters above sea level

Flora and Fauna : the presence of the Greater Green Macaw, the Chocó Guan, the Lead-leaved Mountain Falcon, the Banded Anthill Cuckoo, the Umbrella Bird, the Scarlet-breasted Dacnis and the Yellow-green Chlorospingo are recorded in the reserve. The enigmatic Sapayoa is regularly observed, along with the Black-and-White Goshawk Eagle, the Chocó Nightjar and the Great Jacamar. Amphibians such as the Kiki, the Horned Marsupial Frog and glass frogs are present in the reserve.

The Canandé Reserve was created with the intention of protecting one of the most important and threatened biodiversity hotspots in the world, Chocó, known as the non-Amazonian locality with the largest herpetofauna in the world.

Population centers located around 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 which is located next to the reserve and Hoja Blanca. The Jocotoco Foundation seeks to work with these communities in ecology and environmental care workshops.


From Quito (approximately five hours by car), you must take the Quito-Calacalí-Puerto Quito route. In Puerto Quito, you must take the detour towards the Sexta complex and then go to the Golondrinas complex. Once you reach Las Golondrinas, you must go to the TE Campus and continue to the Zapallo Campus.

At the entrance to Zapallo you have to take the detour to the right that takes you to the banks of the Canandé River, where you must cross the river with the help of the barge. In order to cross the river, it is necessary to show the entry permit issued by the foundation . On the other side of the river, you are just 45 minutes from the reserve.

NOTE: Visits are only received with prior reservation through Jocotours.


Of the 62 species of endemic birds in Chocó, 37 are found in the Canandé reserve. Some are threatened, such as the Banded Anthill Cuckoo - endangered and the Great Peacock - critically endangered.

The camera traps reveal the existence of four species of felines: Jaguar, Puma, Ocelot and the Margay, as well as Sajinos and Red Deer. Three species of monkeys inhabit the reserve: Howler Monkey, Brown-headed Spider Monkey and the White-faced Capuchin Monkey. A study carried out by the Ecuadorian Museum of Natural Sciences (MECN), on reptiles and amphibians, recorded 71 species in the reserve, of which 35 are endemic and 3 are threatened worldwide.

Rare and threatened flora of the reserve: Eucaris sp., a critically endangered lily; Ecuadendron acosta-solisianum, endemic tree of Ecuador; and the Liparis orchid, new species. In addition, the Anthurium andreanum, the Geonoma palm and the Magnolia Canandeana and Dixoni.


Our Chocó Lodge accommodation is located within the Canandé reserve, where visitors can stay while they enjoy exploring the Ecuadorian Chocó forest. Currently, new cabins and a tower for bird and monkey watching are being built.

Other places:

  • "Casa del medio", a very interesting place for researchers and volunteers, located in the heart of the reserve.


This area has suffered high deforestation, leaving only 2-5% of the Ecuadorian Chocó forest. For this reason, we want to extend the protected area of ​​the Canandé reserve until it can connect with the Cotacachi-Cayapas National Reserve, in order to guarantee the survival of the forest and its biodiversity. Here you can learn more about our project to create a biological corridor between the two reserves.

Several of the recently acquired properties are areas that were partially deforested for grassland development and are currently undergoing natural restoration. High precipitation and temperature are optimal conditions for seed germination, which is why the regeneration rate is high.

Currently, we work together with Rainforest Connection (RFCx) in monitoring the Canandé reserve. In order to protect the forests of Chocó. RFCx generated the first scalable acoustic system, in real time, to be able to monitor the soundscapes of the forest 365 days a year. You can learn more about this project here .


Our Canandé reserve has a new introductory guide for bird identification.

This guide is part of the project "Conservation of the Banded Anthill Cuckoo with community involvement in northwestern Ecuador", with the aim of increasing knowledge of this threatened bird and promoting its conservation.

The preparation of this guide is thanks to the support of EDGE of Existence, Zoological Society of London, SEGRE Foundation and Fundación Jocotoco. *Guide only in Spanish.

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