This protected area is located on the north area of the Amazon region. The reserve protects the areas where there is rugged and inaccessible topography, and for this reason it is little known among the majority of Ecuadorians. Even mentioning its rivers and hills is unfamiliar: Alto Bermejo, Sur Pax hill, or Cuembi River. The north limits of the reserve are San Miguel River, which is at the same time marks the border with Colombia . The high basin of Bermejo River, now within this protected area, has been from ancient times ancestral territory for the Cofan nationality. For this reason, its members are active participants with the Ministry of Environment in the protection and managing of the reserve.
For more information contact the Dirección Provincial del Ambiente (Provincial Directorate of Environment) offices- Sucumbíos. (06) 283-0139 / (06) 283-3052.
The reserve is located on the north side of the Cascales canton. San Migel River runs through the north border of the reserve and separates it from Colombian territory. Within the reserve the Bermejo and Chandia Na´e Rivers are born, and some tributaries of the Aguarico River. The Cofan communities that are within this reserve are Soquie, Tayo´su Canqque, Chandia Na´e and Alto Bermejo. To the north-west of Alto Bermejo there is the Sur Pax hill, the highest point of the reserve.
Services and Facilities
This area, because of its distance to populated areas and difficult access, does not yet have tourist facilities. The visits for scientific and research purposes must undergo an application process to be coordinated with the Ministry of Environment.
Cultural Aspects, biodiversity and attractions.
The foothill forests, as well as those that exist in the headwaters of the Cascales River and in Lumaqui in the Amazon region, have been part of the territory of the ancient Cofan people. Therefore, the area is managed by the Ministry of Environment with coordination of the Federacion Indigena de la Nacionalidad Cofan del Ecuador – FEINCE (Indigenous Federation of the Cofan Nationality of Ecuador). The activities and programs are often planned and implemented in conjunction with local communities, who still conserve their ancestral customs and traditions. The reserve is covered by tropical rainforest that extends to the Amazon plains.
In the areas that are above the height of 2,000 meters, in the Sur Pax hill, there is a cloud forest with emblematic species such as romerillo and cascarilla, In these cloud forests there are also mammals such as the spectacled bear, the colorado deer, and the mountain tapir. In the tropical rain forest that surround the Alto Bermejo community there are very large trees, some above 40 meters high and with trunks that can easily reach one meter in diameter. The most notable trees are cedar, chuncho, copal, boorish and matapalo. Among the fauna there are several species such as the howler, nocturnal and spider monkeys, as well as other arboreal mammals like the cusumbo and the tamandua or anteater bear. Among the carnivores that prefer the lower areas of the forest we find the jaguar, puma, tigrillo and the elusive jungle dog.