Flora and Fauna

Guayaquil’s Parque Historico Wildlife

“Nature is not a place to visit. It is home.”
— Gary Snyder

Free attractions abound in Guayaquil, Ecuador’s largest city. One of my favorites is Guayaquil’s Parque Historico, full of plants and animals.

Parque Historico (Historic Park) is a relaxing retreat in the big city. The park has three distinct areas – wildlife, historic architecture, and traditional lifestyle. Today I focus only on wildlife.

The park’s plants and animals are all native to Ecuador. Some animals injured in the wild find homes here.

Meandering through the park, pausing frequently to listen to the birds is a relaxing way to spend a morning or afternoon. Raised walkways provide incredible proximity for visitors.

Walking among nature on raised walkways
Visitors are close to nature on raised walkways
Parque Historico

Let’s meet some residents!


Fourty-seven species of parrots have been recorded in Ecuador. In Parque Historico, there are a large number of parrots. Injured birds live in cages until they are healthy enough to be released.


Rehabbing parrots in cages
Caged Parrots not ready for wild
Parque Historico

When released, the birds frequently stay inside the park since the conditions are ideal for them.

Free parrots in trees
Parrots free to roam anywhere
Many stay in Parque Historico


Man made bird baths resemble nature
Man made birdbaths ensure water is available
Parque Histórico


Carnivorous animals are not allowed to go anywhere they want in the park lest they harm the other occupants. Medium sized spotted cats, ocelots are found throughout Central and South America. Too injured or tame to be released into the wild, these ocelots live in captivity.

Ocelots in the park are in a huge metal enclosure made to look like tree branches. I was lucky that one of them walked in front of me.

Ocelot walking in enclosure
Parque Historico

Collared Peccary

In tropical and subtropical Americas, the collared peccary eat cactus, vegetables and fruits. They sleep in burrows, caves and under logs or tree roots.

Collared Peccary
Collared Peccary
Parque Historico

Spectacled Caiman

A gray-green small to medium sized crocodile, the spectacled caiman is found in Central and northern South American wetlands and rivers. The ones in the park hang out in a man made pond.

Spectacled Caiman
Spectacled Caiman
Parque Histórico

Harpy Eagle

The largest and most powerful raptor in the Americas is the harpy eagle with a wingspan up to 224 cm (7 ft 4 in). They are threatened by humans destroying their natural habitat in low lying rainforests.

Multiple countries have breeding and monitoring programs in an effort to increase the population.

The first South American captive-born harpy eagle was in Parque Historico May 6, 2002. They only reproduce once every couple of years and have one baby at a time. Re population is slow work with this bird!

Harpy Eagle
This harpy eagle, by it’s nest, is more than two feet tall
Parque Historico

Thanks for taking this tour with me through Parque Historico. In addition to the animals you met today, there are many other residents who did not make an appearance today, including spider monkeys, sloths, ducks, and deer.

Is there a captive breeding program near you for endangered animals?

Guayaquil Historic Park Wildlife Pinterest

Click here to read more about Guayaquil, Ecuador.

I am a US Expat in Ecuador. I grew up on a Minnesota farm, worked in IT in California's Silicon Valley, then moved to a coastal Ecuador fishing village. My goal is to share Ecuador with you, one snippet at a time. Topics include attractions, compassion, ecotourism, Ecuador products, everyday Ecuador, and flora and fauna. Please let me know what you would like to read more about!


  • Hilary Melton-Butcher

    Hi Emily – lovely place to visit and one that is doing good for so many creatures and plants … you must enjoy visiting. We do quite a lot of conserving and looking after wounded animals her in the UK -thankfully in a relatively enlightened country … cheers Hilary

  • Jean Davis

    It would be so neat to see all those parrots hanging out in the wild. The only place we see them around here is in pet stores or zoos. I'm sure they are much happier in the park where they can fly free.

    The branch enclosure for the Ocelots looks pretty but it seems like it would make the cats hard to see, unless like in the photo, they are right up close.

    That looks like a great park! We have some wildlife rehab places around us, but not really anything for endangered animals.

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