Our top sights, highlights and exclusive tips
The fishing village Puerto Lopez rests on an arched bay by the Pacific Ocean, a popular attraction year-round for its tropical climate and fresh cuisine found along the promenade. A visit to the fish market in the morning completes a trip in paradise, as does a beachside snorkel—not to mention an adventure in Machalilla National Park, one of the country’s most diverse national troves.
Strand Los Frailes
Isla de la Plata
With a land mass approaching 466 square miles, Machalilla National Park was one of the first protected areas in Ecuador, and encompasses coastal islands, beaches, and forests. Within the park are approaching 270 bird species (parrots, parakeets), as well as ocelots, raccoons, and approximately 67 other mammal species. One of the most beautiful beaches Ecuador has to offer, Los Frailes, is also here for your swimming pleasure.
Set within a national park and crescent shaped, Los Frailes is undoubtedly one of Ecuador’s most beautiful beaches. Here, water activities can be enjoyed at your leisure, as can expansive views from looking points just a short hike away. Boat trips take you beyond the reef, and on breezier days, you can enjoy a boogie board in the warming waters of the Pacific Ocean.
A 90-minute crossing from the port of Puerto Lopez brings you to the uninhabited and rugged Isla de la Plata. On the island, discover an array of species including the blue and red footed booby. Insider tip: make sure to visit the special Incan shrine, which dates back to the 14th century.
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