Humpback Whales & Machalilla Park
Duration: 7 Days / 6 Nights
During the months of June to September you will have the wonderful opportunity to observe dolphins and humpback whales that migrated the South Pole to tropical Ecuadorian waters to mate and give birth to their calves during the austral winter.
Machalilla is also an important archeological center, besides observing and learning about Machalilla natural richness, you will also learn about important pre-Hispanic cultures.
Humpback Whales & Machalilla Park: Tour Highlights
- Visit the original Toquilla straw hat factory (erroneously known as Panama Hat)
- Boat excursion for whale observation
- Blue and Red footed boobies, Masked boobies at Isla de la Plata Excursion (Poor mans Galapagos)
- Visit one of the most beautiful beaches of the Pacific Ocean
Itinerary – Day by Day
Day 1: Arrival in Quito.
Greeting at the airport and transfer to your hotel.
Day 2: Flying to Manta
Take a 30 minute flight from Quito to Manta. Once in Manta you will be met by a local guide and transferred by car to Machalilla National Park (a 3 hour drive). En route, stop to visit the legendary Toquilla Hat makers of Montecristi (erroneously named Panama Hat), where you will learn about the fascinating history and art of this notable coastal town weaving tradition.
Continue to Machalilla National Park through roads that will that offer splendid views of Ecuador’s coastal region. Afternoon free to enjoy the beach. After dinner, enjoy an introductory briefing on Machalilla National Park and the next day’s activities. (Meals: B, L, D)
Day 3: Palo Santo Factory – Agua Blanca Community
Today visit the Palo Santo Factory; Palo Santo is the name of a local tree and it is used by the community to prepare some curative extracts and oils. Continue to Agua Blanca, a community established as part of the pre-Colombian Manteña culture over 1,200 years ago, it is now the only surviving indigenous group in this region.
Take a walk at the community to learn about their ancestors and archeological background. You are also welcome to take a soothing dip in the sulfur pool and cover yourself in the black mud to enjoy its dermatological benefits.
Day 4: Whale watching & Isla de la Plata
Drive to Puerto Lopez where you’ll board a boat and enjoy an approximately 2 hours journey by sea to Isla de La Plata which translates to Silver Island. During the months of June to September you will have the wonderful opportunity to observe humpback whales that migrated the South Pole to tropical Ecuadorian waters to mate and give birth to their calves during the austral winter. Watching whales jumping out of water up close is definitely an unforgettable experience.While on board enjoy a briefing about Humpback Whales’ natural history.
Continue to Isla de la Plata, according to local legend, the name was given to the Island because the famous pirate Francis Drake is believed to have hidden treasures taken from Spanish ships on the island where they remain hidden today. Upon arrival at the Island, you’ll hike and explore the Flora and Fauna including a chance to see, Blue footed Bobbies, Frigate Birds, Red footed Bobbies, Nazca Bobbies, and Red Billed Tropic Birds. Return to the Puerto Lopez in the afternoon and then continue to the hotel, rest of the afternoon free to enjoy the beach. (Meals: B,L,D)
Day 5: Hiking at Machalilla National Park
Hike in the Machalilla National Park one of the largest tropical dry forest on the coast of Ecuador, threatened by a number of factors, including deforestation, commercial fishing, and poaching. The park occupies 40,000 acres of land and 20,000 hectares of ocean, including la Isla de la Plata. 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. The hike will end at the Los Frailes Beach, considered one of the most beautiful beaches in the country. Participate in a beach cleaning activity to help in the conservation of this wonderful environment. Enjoy some free time at the beach and return to the hotel for dinner and overnight. (Meals: B, L, D)
Day 6: Puerto Lopez – Return to Quito
Enjoy your last morning in the area, you can choose between taking a hike in the park to enjoy its amazing and unique ecosystem or spend the morning at Puerto Lopez beach, a small town mostly dedicated to fishing, farming, and tourism. After lunch you will be transferred back to Manta for your flight to Quito. (B, L)
Day 7: Departure day.
Transfer to the airport for your flight back home or to your next destination.
The program starts and ends in Guayaquil. The order of activities is subject to change due to Indigenous market and Rose farm operating days
The program includes
Private transportation, expert local guide, accommodation & meals according to itinerary detail, visits and entrance fee to mentioned places. Round trip train ticket Alausi-Nariz del Diablo. Welcome kit, snacks and water provision along the trip. Air ticket Cuenca-Quito or road transportation to Guayaquil.
The program does not included
International airfare, personal expenses, insurance and gratuities.
Ready to get started? Contact us to book your trip.