Wednesday, April 25, 2018

Visitor Center, Machalilla National Park, Puerto Lopez, Ecuador #AtoZChallenge



Machalilla National Park surrounds Puerto Lopez, Ecuador. Two monkey species and more than 270 bird species, including the endangered Waved Albatross live in the park. Whales mate and birth just off the coast and turtles hatch on the beaches.



If you like active outdoor vacations, this is the place for you!

Activities in Machalilla National Park 


  1. Hike, bike and horseback ride
    1. Dry forests - from sea level to midway up the hills, the dry desert-like flora is brown for about half the year, waiting for water
    2. Cloud forests - always green hills where monkeys, orchids and a wide variety of birds live
  2. Hike beaches - Playa Los Frailes is often referred to as one of the most beautiful beach in Ecuador and includes a white sand beach, a lava rock beach and a black sand beach
  3. Hike, snorkel and dive Isla de la Plata and Isla Salango
  4. Tour a museum and participate in archaeological dig in the historic Manteño community of Agua Blanca
  5. Kayak, surf, swim, and paddle board in the ocean

Visitor Center


Head to the Visitor Center in Puerto Lopez to get your bearings, study maps and ask about current activities or volunteer needs. Educational exhibits teach about the biodiversity in the area.




Learn which trails may be closed due to endangered animals mating in the area.



Upcoming movie filmed in Machalilla National Park


On April 24, 2018, I attended a pre-screening of the upcoming movie "Despertar Azul" (Blue Awakening) at the visitor center. Much of it is filmed in Machalilla National Park. It about human effects on marine life with footage during ocean dives and of the turtle rehabilitation center. Enjoy this trailer with English subtitles.



Where can you read more about Machalilla National Park on Emily in Ecuador?


  1. Humpback whales
  2. Blue-footed boobies
  3. Sea Turtles
  4. Palo Santo Products
  5. Agua Blanca
  6. Archaeology dig
  7. Rare frog and happy snake

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A look back


Last year, I wrote Vegetable Ivory - Tagua.
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22 comments:

  1. That's a lot of contrast packed into one small(ish) area.
    Interesting stuff!

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    1. It sure is, Jz! Thanks for stopping by and commenting!

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  2. This place seems a good one where getting lost for a while... I'm especially a penchant for small islands.

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    1. Great observation, Eva. This is a great place to get lost for a while. People sometimes come to town just for that purpose. Thanks for stopping by and commenting!

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  3. This is a great resource! What an interesting world we live in Melanie's Stories

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    1. Thank you, Melanie! I appreciate it so much!

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  4. wonderful post. i had never considered Ecuador as a place to visit, but your posts are changing my mind.

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    1. Thank you, Laura, your comment makes me so happy! The Ecuador coast is not widely written about so I set out to help change that. The country is so diverse yet small and mostly unknown. Thanks for stopping by and let me know if you are coming!

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  5. One on my bucket list is definitely to see some whales in the wild.
    https://iainkellywriting.com/2018/04/25/v-is-for-vienna-austria/

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    1. Great bucket list item! If you visit mid-June through mid-September, that is whale season. They mate and the males put on a show trying to impress the females with how high they can breach. Calves are birthed and taught the basics of being a whale under the watchful eye of their mothers. Go to the 1:00 mark on the video and watch for about 20 seconds to see some cool footage. Thanks for stopping by and commenting, Iain!

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  6. I'd like to go here. My wife probably would not be as thrilled as I. In her nearly 30 years living in Ecuador she never even visited Galapagos and she said she has no interest in visiting that famed spot either. She's a city girl.

    Arlee Bird
    Tossing It Out

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    1. If the Galapagos does not appeal to her, I can see that Puerto Lopez also would not. Maybe you could convince some friends to come instead, Arlee! Thanks for stopping by and commenting!

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  7. You always do such a good job of "selling" your wonderful home -- makes me want to visit every time I read a post!!

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    1. Thank you, Lisa! I do love it here and want to share the beauty with you. It seems like such an unknown corner of the world. Please let me know if you are coming!!

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  8. You are indeed an Ambassador of Eucadorian Wonders Emily. I'd love to come for whale season and the orchids and cloud forests sound so appealing.

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    1. Oh wow, Deborah! I absolutely love that title! A little secret, though, is that I have hardly touched the surface. Thank you so much for your awesome comment!

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  9. Hi Emily - how lovely to have the local park available with lots going on in it - and obviously well cared for ... with people being advised not to go in certain areas. I love learning about places via the visitor's centre ... Cheers Hilary

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    1. Education makes huge differences! The technical ranger of the park is also a vet specializing in wild animals. He does a fantastic job explaining why an area must be closed. The guides are strict about humans staying away when we are supposed to do so. They go on alternate routes for months if need be while sections or entire trails are closed. Thanks so much for highlighting that, Hilary!

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  10. Deborah's title suits you perfectly Emily. You are indeed an Ambassador of Ecuadorian Wonders.
    LOve the art work on the wall of the Visitor Centre, especially the cool dude vibes the turtle's giving:)
    V is for Vintage

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    1. Thank you so much, Arti! What a fantastic title Deborah has bestowed upon me.
      That turtle is very cool. They do a good job making some of the displays interesting for kids and adults alike.

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  11. I would love to see this. My whole family would! What a gift to have this in your backyard.
    Facing Cancer with Grace

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    1. It truly is a gift, Heather. If ever you are able to make it down, I would love to meet you all! Thank you!

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