What to do

Explore Machalilla National Park

Pacific Coast - Puerto López

This place is a real natural history museum where monkeys, squirrels, anteaters, sloths, spotted cavies, and agoutis can be observed by the visitors. Machalilla is filled with amazing experiences, either scuba diving to get to know the sea below La Plata and Salango islands, or going on an excursion, by foot or by horse, through the dry forest route that has plenty of butterflies, flora and fauna. Delight yourself with the magic of Machalilla.

Flora and Fauna

Yellow trees, garlic stick, Fernan Sanchez, white sledge, tagua and cap straw or cade, and a large number of orchids and bromeliads. Among the birds we see guans, toucans, tanagers, woodpeckers and nuthatches. The green macaw is the most emblematic bird of the region. Among the mammals there are ocelots, jaguars, peccaries and collared suinas, white-tailed deer, howler monkeys and capuchin monkeys. In the lower areas of the mountains there are dry and semi-dry forests and cacti, rosewood, muyuyos and guayacanes, ceibos. Among the birds that frequent these spaces are the motmots, the parakeet or the Vivina, the vermillion flycatcher, the hornero (baker), the Valdivia sparrowhawk or laughing falcon. Among the mammals that live in these forests we may find deer, armadillos, anteaters and fruit bats. Near the beaches there are bushes with monte salado (salt hill) and Realito or rompeolla. The four species of sea turtles registered in Ecuador nest on the beaches of the park: the hawksbill turtle, the green turtle, the olive ridley turtle and the leatherback turtle. Regarding underwater environments we may find rocky reefs and coral communities, especially around Isla de la Plata (Silver Island). There are lobsters, sea cucumbers, snails as the two pututos and spondylus or spiny oyster. There have been reported 143 species of fish including saw, grouper, white Almaco jack, plumero (duster), several species of sharks (including the whale shark) and remarkable butterfly fish and parrot fish. Isla de la Plata, one of the most visited places in the Park provides a shelter and a nesting site for many sea birds. Among the most common and easy to find are masked boobies, blue-footed boobies, frigates, tropical birds, small petrels and terns, which usually hover near the beaches and rocks.


Isla de la Plata (Silver Island), Salango, Pedernales Islet , Sucre Islet, Viudita Islet or Sombrerito Islet (Little hat Islet).

Suggested Route

From Quito: we take the road Quito – Sto. Domingo (151 km). From Sto. Domingo we go towards Chone (140 km), to the southwest towards Manta (91 km). From Manta we take the Troncal del Pacífico (Pacific main road) to the south, to use the Jipijapa – Puerto Cayo – Puerto López (89 km) road and get to Puerto López Central Park, where we may find the offices of the protected area. From Guayaquil. We take the road to Daule until we reach Nobol (41 km). We continue through the Nobol – Jipijapa road, until we get to Jipijapa. We go towards Puerto Cayo (28 km), to the west, to take the Troncal del Pacífico (Pacific ocean main road) to the south until we get to Puerto López (33 km).

Where to eat at Puerto López

  • Gastronomy
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  • Culinary Tourism

    A seafood ‘cazuela’ in Puerto López

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