Yacambú National Park is in the state of Lara, on the southern slope of the Portuguesa Cordillera, which is part of the northern Andes range. The park was created in 1962 to protect the watershed of the Yacambú River, whose waters will feed the José María Ochoa Pilé reservoir once dam construction is complete. The reservoir will be a vital source of water for the city of Barquisimeto and for economic development in the dry valleys of Quibor, where a sustainable agricultural protected area is located (category VI, IUCN). Due to its strategic geographic location, Yacambú is key to preserving Andean species, coastal species, and species of the Venezuelan flatlands (called "llanos"). In 1999, Yacambú was officially increased by 85%, from 14,580 to 26,916 hectares. The expansion included an additional 4,000 hectares of the Yacambú watershed. Yet increasing the size of the park also requires additional institutional support, control, and infrastructure. At the time of this second evaluation, Yacambú's new management plan (which includes the expansion) had not been implemented and the new area has not benefited from any management action. Management presence only occurs within the original 14,580 hectares of the park.
Yacambú is characterized by high levels of floristic and avian diversity. Six hundred plant and 254 bird species have been recorded in the park. Famous for its number and variety of orchids, the park also protects globally endangered and threatened fauna species, such as the spectacled bear and the helmeted curassow.
ParksWatch - Venezuela has determined that Yacambú National Park is a threatened park, meaning that there is a very high risk that the protected area will fail to protect and maintain biological diversity in the near future if remedial action is not taken. This could also mean that the park could fail to provide the water resources for the reservoir. Human encroachment into the park is the most significant threat, which also leads to other threats, such as poaching, forest fires, and timber extraction. Lack of infrastructure, sign posting, and staff aggravate the situation.