Why Book with Tours of Exploration?
- We specialize in customized, personalized tours that can suit your needs, interests, and hobbies.
- We choose to work with local partners, not only to guarantee an immersive, culturally and naturally authentic experience; but also to economically support the area's local population.
- Book with confidence as deposits are risk-free and refundable.
2022 Departure Dates and Cost
This 4 day private program departs daily from Guayaquil or Manta (add-ons from Quito are available upon request)
Tour cost per person based on twin $ 990 USD
Accommodation is as the Mediterranean Style Mantaraya Lodge which is located within Machalilla National Park. The lodge offers an ideal springboard for discovering the many natural and cultural attractions the area offers including Isla de la Plata (mini-Galapagos Islands). This location remains one of company owner Catherine Evans all-time favourites.
Mantaraya Lodge, Machalilla Park and Isla de la Plata
DAY 1: Guayaquil or Manta/Mantaraya Lodge (L,D)
Private transfer by road approximately 3 1/2 hours to Mantaraya Lodge near the small coastal town of Puerto Lopez. 3 nights accommodation at Mantaraya Lodge. Afternoon visit to one of the two localarchaeological museums.
DAY 2: Machalilla National Park (B,L,D)
Departure to Machalilla National Park. Appointed in 1979 as a National Park with an area of 55,000 hectares, the Machalilla National Park protects marine and coastal habitats as well as abundant archaeological remains. It has tropical dry forest contrasting with the wet cloud forest along its coast and offshore islands. Time will be spent on Los Frailes beach for snorkeling and swimming. The coral reef around the Isla de la Plata and on the adjacent coast is the only coral reef off mainland Ecuador. A spectacular biodiversity of underwater marine life exists due to the Humboldt current flowing from the south meeting the northbound warm El Nino current. Big game fishing is great too, with world records for marlins and other coastal species caught here. Visitors in June - October may experience the magic of the Humpback whales. The whales arrive from Antarctica to bear their young and court. Their spectacular displays of breaching and spy-hopping, while competing for the females attention can often be seen from the lodge or during the marine excursions. Several species of resident porpoises can be observed year around.
DAY 3: Isla de la Plata - Mini Galapagos (B,L,D)
Isla de la Plata has been compared physically and biologically to the Galapagos Islands. It is the only place in the world, besides the Galapagos, where Waved Albatrosses nest (April to November). Other birds such as the red billed tropic bird and a large colony of frigate birds also nest here. In addition, the waters around the Isla de la Plata are a playground for more than eleven different species of marine mammals, including a small colony of sea lions. Full day visit to Isla de la Plata. We will hike on the island, have a boxed lunch and spend the afternoon swimming and snorkeling. Optional scuba diving is available to certified divers. Return to Puerto Lopez to Mantaraya Lodge.
DAY 4: Machalilla / Guayaquil or Manta (B,L,D)
After breakfast we will visit the Ayampe River rainforest section of the park. Continue to Guayaquil or Manta.