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TROPICAL DRY FOREST
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ADDRESS & ACTIVITIES
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OPENING HOURS (or DATE if it is an event)
Provincial boundary between Loja and El Oro, Puyango City, South of Ecuador
Every day from 08:00 - 16:30
The Petrified Forest of Puyango, Natural Reserve located next to the Puyango River, which divides the provinces of El Oro and Loja. It is located 111 km from Machala and 225 km from Loja. It has an area of 2,659 hectares.
Its main paleontological heritage is made up of fossilized tree trunks that are approximately 100 million years old. It is the largest collection of petrified wood in the world. The largest specimen is 2 m in diameter and 15 m long. Puyango also stands out because it conserves a great biodiversity and the dry forest grows on its fossil quarry. There are more than 130 species of birds to be seen.
The area was an ancient ocean that dried up to be populated by forests and animals, which were later buried by geological movements. The organic matter imprisoned there was transformed into stone. Fossil deposits were formed with the emergence of the Andes.
It is Cultural Patrimony of Ecuador since January 9, 1987. Site discovered and studied between 1975 and 1976 by the paleobotanist Dr. Robert E. Shoemaker. The scientist estimates that finding so many petrified specimens in such a compact area makes it one of the most important collections in the world.
The care of the area since 2016 is in the hands of the prefectures of Loja and El Oro and the municipalities of Puyango and Las Lajas, through the Public Consortium for the Administration of the Puyango Petrified Forest. Its objective: to conserve and protect, while promoting various tourism such as family, scientific, archaeological and nature.
In the vicinity of the Forest, Yamana parish, was found in December 2019, the first Ecuadorian dinosuarium. A dwarf titanosaurus that was given the scientific name Yamanasuarus.