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Conservation of Marine Ecosystems

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Conservation of Marine Ecosystems

Duration: 10 Days / 9 Nights

Educational features: Environmental Science, Marine Biology, Ecology, Conservation, Service Learning

Program Overview

Help Fundación Equilibrio Azul (EA) in their efforts to preserve the marine ecosystem in the Pacific coast of Ecuador. Foundation Equilibrio Azul is handling at the moment specific research projects regarding turtles and marine bird conservation.

You will have the opportunity to assist members on their research, as well as help them with their project to educate the local community about the importance to the marine conservation.


Conservation of Marine Ecosystems: Program Objectives

  • Introduce participants to the marine ecosystem.
  • Discuss the vital importance of marine ecosystems for the planet
  • Create awareness of various environmental issues and the negative impact of inappropriate human activity.
  • Raise awareness towards the protection and the conservation of natural environments.


  • Lecture series by recognized local experts or professors of the most prestigious local universities.
  • Explore the Mangrove Forest and the last remaining tropical dry forest.
  • Assist volunteers of Fundacion Equilibrio Azul with data collection.
  • Beach patrol and cleaning
  • Marine Bird’s census at Isla de la Plata (Poor’s men Galapagos).
  • Environmental Education project with the local community.



Main Turtle season goes from November to April. However this program can also be run the rest of the year but there will be less opportunities for turtle observation.

Itinerary – Day by Day

Day 1: Arrival in Guayaquil

Welcome to Ecuador! Arrive in Guayaquil and transfer to the Hotel for overnight.

release-sea-turtle-ecuadorDay 2: Introduction to the marine ecosystem – Exploring the River Estuary

Navigate at the Guayas River Estuary to discover a very fragile ecosystem; the riverine mangrove forest. Arrive at Isla Puna, recently declared as a protected area due to its rich ecosystem including 5 different types of mangroves. Learn about the importance of conservation of the mangrove forests for the ecosystem diversity and how local communities are working on sustainable projects to protect the area. Return to the hotel to freshen up and enjoy a Lecture about the Marine Ecosystems in Ecuador, by a local expert (Meals: B, L, D)

Day 3: Guayaquil – Manabi province.

Travel approximately 3 hours from Guayaquil to the Manabí Province. Visit Ayampe, a small village with less than 500 habitants and surrounded by the last humid tropical forest remaining near the sea. Enjoy a hike in the forest that is home of the Papagallus Guayaquiliensis, hummingbirds and orchids. Continue to Puerto Lopez town, check in at your hotel. Dinner and overnight. (Meals: B, L, D)

Day 4: Introduction to Fundacion Equilibrio Azul

Today you will visit the headquarters of Equilibrio Azul, a non-profit organization created in light of the urgent need to obtain information to conserve Ecuador’s ecosystems and marine resources. Here, you will learn from the local volunteers the hard work they do in order to conserve our natural recourses and the invaluable experience they gain while volunteering. Volunteers will give you instructions and prepare you for the following day’s activities. (Meals: B, L, D)

ecuador-marine-ecosystemsDay 5: Working with Fundacion Equilibrio Azul

Early wake up to join the volunteers of Equilibrio Azul to monitor fishery activities at the beach. Learn about the artisanal fishery and the destructive fishing practices that still handled by some local fisherman. Help volunteers to collect all the necessary information and data for their research. Continue to Equilibrio Azul headquarters to enjoy a typical costeño breakfast. Help local volunteers with beach cleaning at Los Frailes Beach which is part of the Machalilla National Park, it is considered one of the most beautiful beaches in Ecuador. Box lunch in the area and continue on a hike to explore the Machalilla National Park one the largest tropical dry forest on the coast of Ecuador. The park combines an amazing ecosystem featuring long stretches of tropical dry forest interspersed with sections of humid cloud forests in the upper reaches of the territory. The vegetation at the park includes Opuntia cactus, Palo Santo trees and kapok trees. Return to the hotel to freshen up. Dinner at the hotel. Enjoy an integration night with the volunteers, learn to dance Salsa! (Meals: B, L, D)

Day 6: Pacoche Reserve – Beach patrol

Today, explore the Pacoche Forest and Wildlife Refuge, Pacoche is a true wildlife sanctuary, recognized for its large number of endemic species, almost 204 species of birds, howler monkeys, spider monkeys and the south America Margay or “Tigrillo”. Return to Puerto Lopez to prepare for tonight beach patrol activity. Continue to La Playita, where tonight activity will be taken. Set the camp for tonight’s patrol looking for nesting turtles. Late night return to the hotel for overnight. (Meals: B, L, D)

Day 7: Excursion to Isla de la Plata

Early wake up call for an approximately 2 hour boat journey to Isla de La Plata also known as Poor’s men Galapagos due to its ecosystem and wildlife similar to the Galapagos Islands. Assist Equilibrio Azul volunteers in the capture of turtles in the water in order to carry important research for the turtle conservation. You will also assist volunteers on the marine bird census. Return to Puerto Lopez in late afternoon. (Meals: B, L, D)

Day 8: Environmental Education / Working with the community.

Today you will help Equilibrio Azul on their project of Environmental Education, you will have the opportunity to work with members of the community and local kids to create awareness towards the conservation of the surrounding ecosystem. At night enjoy a special farewell event, where you will have the opportunity to give your feedback to the volunteers and share the experience acquired along the trip. Farewell dinner with the personnel of Equilibrio Azul. (Meals: B, L, D)

Day 9: Salango – Guayaquil. Depart from Puerto Lopez.

Continue to Salango, for an informative visit to the local museum where you will learn about the First Settlers of South America. This area is also an important archeological site, inhabited by descendants of the Manteña Culture which inhabited the area from 800 AC to 1532 AC. Continue to Guayaquil. The rest of the afternoon free to pack and prepare for your flight back home. Dinner at the hotel. (Meals: B, L, D)

Day 10: Departure flight. Transfer to the airport for your flight back home.

Operational details

  • Operates from/to Guayaquil – Minimum 10 participants, Maximum 20 participants.
  • Program can be modified or adapted according to your specific study group.

The program includes

Private transportation, expert local guide, accommodation & meals according to itinerary detail (menu meals), visit, activities and entrance fee to mentioned places.

The program does not included

International airfare, personal expenses, and gratuities.

Ready to get started? Contact us to book your trip.


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