"Parque Nacional Machalilla" Machalilla by MalenaN
Machalilla Travel Guide: 9 reviews and 144 photos
Machalilla National Park is situated in Provincia de Manabí, just north of Puerto Lopez. It is Ecuador’s only coastal national park (mainland) and it was created in 1979 to protect the unique tropical dry forest. A long time ago most of the coast used to be covered with dry tropical forest, but now very little remain, and almost all can be found within the national park. Among other plants you will see large Candelabra Cacti, Prickly Pear cacti, Yellow Geiger, Barbasco, Palo Santo trees and Ceibos.
The park consists of almost 40 000 hectares of land with tropical dry forest and humid cloud forest and around 20 000 hectares of ocean, which includes islands like Isla de La Plata and Isla Salango.
In Machalilla National Park I have visited Isla de La Plata, a beautiful island where you can see large seabirds like Blue-footed Boobies, Nazca Boobies, Red-footed Boobies, Frigate birds and Waved Albatrosses. As I visited during the whale-watching season (June – September) we also saw lots of humpback whales on our way back to the main land.
I have also visited Playa Los Frailes, which is considered to be one of the most beautiful beaches in Ecuador. Besides Playa Los Frailes several small peaceful beaches can be found within the park.
Another place I have visited in the national park is Agua Blanca. During archaeological excavations traces of six different cultures have been found, and in the village Agua Blanca you can see some of the findings in the small museum, and in the surrounding area there is an important Manteño site, where the basement of many houses can be seen.
If I visit the area again I would definitely like to take the 4h hike to San Sebastian, which is situated more inland, at an altitude of 600 metres. In this area the surrounding vegetation is humid cloud forest.
I arrived by bus to the turnoff for Playa Los Frailes. I registered and the park ranger told me it was a 2 km walk to... more travel advice
Agua Blanca is a small village situated within the Macalilla National Park. There are around 300 inhabitants in the... more travel advice
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