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Located 45 minutes far from Guayaquil, this Ecological Reserve keeps some of the last remnants of pristine mangroves that can still be found along the ecuadorian coast, as well as a rain lagoon and hills. Optional activities in the area include canoe rides along the naural channels, hike to the pluvial pond to meet its main resident, the “canclón” (horned-screamer), birdwatch in the area or hike in the forest to see or hear the howler monkeys and experience the flora and fauna of the cloud forest. The program starts with a canoe ride around the canals and continues with a hike in the forest.
Cerro Blanco & Puerto Hondo
Declared as an Important Bird Area (IBA) by Birdlife International. These remnants of undisturbed dry tropical forest are one of the very few left on the ecuadorian coast. Cerro Blanco offers different trails with diverse difficulty levels and time. It is located 20 minutes far from downtown Guayaquil, on the way to the coast and very close to Puerto Hondo, a community decided to preserve their mangroves, realizing its importance for the environment; the local guides will take us birdwatching on a canoe ride through the natural channels. We will also have a chance to hear about their experiences developing the tourism project.
Dolphins in Puerto El Morro
Two hours far from Guayaquil and close to one of the oldest villages on the ecuadorian coast, a group of locals organizes excursions in the waters of the gulf of Guayaquil, where we can experience life in the mangroves, as well as see and interact with a group of resident dolphins.
Drive west from Guayaquil for approximately one and a half hour, to the dock in Posorja, on the Gulf of Guayaquil, where we board a boat that will take us on a fifteen minutes sea ride across El Morro channel, to Puna island, with chances to see dolphins, pelicans and seagulls; then we reach Cauchiche, a small rural village that will be our base to spend this day surrounded by beaches, mangroves, birds and palm trees, close to the city but far from the noise. Optional horse ride or visit to local banana plantations.
This is a place where technology has been used to make a nature-friendly multi usable area. A lagoon surrounded by forest and birds. Birdwatching , water sports, fishing, or simple relaxation are some of the options when visiting the area.
If your idea of Guayaquil was just pavement and business, think again. The Botanic Garden is located inside urban limits, an area of 50 acres holding around 80% of all the species of orchids of the ecuadorian coast
At 100 km. From Guayaquil on the way to Machala, we will find a shuar community; of amazonian origin, established on the coast approximately 50 years ago, they are working to recover and keep their traditions and culture. Here they will share with us their beliefs; we may go hiking in the comunitary forest or enjoy a warm bath in the thermal water pools in the village.
Near the town of Salinas, 500 hectares of ponds used to produce salt meet the environmental conditions to create an ecosystem that attracts a great variety of birds, who enjoy the food and quietness of the area. With and specialized guide, you can also enjoy it and see how industrial activities can share space with nature.
Tagua Route and Machalilla National Park
Following the coastline, our journey begins with a visit to the colonial wooden church of Santa Catalina de Colonche, built in XVIII Century; then a small aquarium run by the local community in Valdivia; further north we stop in Montañita, the internationally known bohemian party surf center, and pass by fishermen villages and handcraft shops along the way, until we arrive to Olon and its long, wide beach.
The next day, we continue to Machalilla National Park, which offers more beaches, dry forest remnants, archaeological sites and La Plata island, with landscape and birdlife similar to some of the islands in Galapagos. Sailing in the area between June and September gives us the chance to see the humpback whales.
Special activities are arranged for visitors interested in bird watching, archaeology, nature hiking or communitary tourism. The route presents a mixture of rural coastal culture and great landscapes. At least two days in the area are recommended.