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5 Day La Plata Island Wildlife Tour in Ecuador
This listing has no upcoming availability. Check out these similar experiences

This listing has no upcoming availability. Check out these similar experiences

Cultural and Wildlife Tour in Ecuador

Azuluna Eco-Lodge is located just south of the Machalilla National Park, in Ecuador’s Manabi Province. Its privileged view and proximity to the ocean offer you a unique and pristine setting for a well-deserved rest away from your normal routine. In this tour, you will enjoy activities such as hiking, cultural immersion, boat trips, and snorkeling on the beach.

Key information

  • Maximum group size: 16 persons
  • Children policy: Children are allowed and children up to 5 years old benefit of a special price rate
  • Park fees are not included.


  • Hiking in Ayampe River
  • Boat trip and snorkeling at La Plata Island
  • See humpback whales, turtles, and various birds
  • Visit Ayampe River, Agua Blanca, Frailes Beach, and Isla de la Plata
  • Visit to the community project of Agua Blanca
  • Daily breakfast, lunch, and dinner
  • 3 nights accommodation


4 activity days
Group size: Maximum of 16 participants
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Azuluna Eco-Lodge has separate cabins built with local and ecologically sustainable materials such as bamboo, wood, and palm leaves, each with a view of the ocean designed for your relaxation and privacy. They do re-use and recycle.

The cabins were built with the idea of having a quiet place on the beach with a nice ocean view, to escape to and spend time with friends. The cabins also provide a steady income for different families that help the lodge with the cleaning and general maintenance.

Azuluna Eco-Lodge decided to share this little get-away cabin with others in the hope that they’ll find it an inviting place to reflect, be inspired, or just breathe some fresh ocean air.


Day 1: Arrival and hiking in Ayampe River

Group arrival in the morning followed by lunch. You will visit the Ayampe River in the afternoon where you can enjoy the spectacular natural surroundings as you hike along the river. You will have the opportunity to view some of the 300 different species of birds from the area, as well as various types of wild bamboo. Have dinner at the lodge afterwards.

Day 2: Visit to Agua Blanca and Frailes Beach

Enjoy breakfast at the lodge and then visit the Community Project of Agua Blanca in the morning. Agua Blanca is a typical small community in the Ecuadorian coast with small, simple houses built of bamboo and cade roofs (tagua palm leaves).

Agua Blanca was the capital of the Señorío Manteño de Salangome (ancient indigenous settlement). Temples, palaces, and houses were built here and populated by thousands of people. The locals were excellent sailors, and their balsa ships sailed from Mexico to Peru, exchanging products with different cultures along the way.

More than a decade of archeological work including several excavations led the archaeologists to discover and rescue many important artifacts and ruins from the Manteño culture. Some of these artifacts are displayed in a small local museum which is administrated by the community.

Different types of pottery, sacred U-shaped stone chairs used just by the “curaca” or community chief, copper jewelry, and obsidian projectile points which reconfirm the trade this culture kept with indigenous groups from the Andes, are displayed in the museum.

The Manteños used spondylus seashells as currency for their trade and as a symbol of wealth. Nowadays, this precious seashell can be tasted in the best restaurants in the area, although it’s harder to find lately due to overfishing.

To complement this cultural immersion, you will have the opportunity to take a refreshing swim and have a natural mud treatment in the spectacular sulphur lagoon, amidst the beautiful and peaceful surroundings.

A box lunch or a meal in Puerto López will be served, followed by a visit to Frailes Beach in the afternoon. Have dinner at the lodge afterwards.

Day 3: Trip to La Plata Island

Early in the morning, observe the fishermen returning with their catch to Puerto López (optional). Then have breakfast at Azuluna or Puerto López, depending on the early morning activity.

After that, enjoy a full day boat trip to La Plata Island. The trip is approximately two hours. It is recommended to bring sea sickness medication. Mareol is the name used in Ecuador, and can be found at any pharmacy. You'll also get to enjoy hiking around the island for approximately two to three hours (a local naturalist guide will be in charge).

A box lunch (two sandwiches, fruit, and water) is included for today .

Enjoy snorkeling at La Plata Island, which is part of the Machalillia National Park and is located 36 kilometers from the continent and is 1200 hectares in size. It has a dry climate where different species of plants have adapted. Its fauna is mainly fish and a multitude of birds such as the blue-footed booby, red-footed booby, masked / nazca booby, frigate bird, red-billed tropicbird, and albatross which have chosen this island for mating.

The island was a ceremonial center in pre-Columbian times. After the Spanish conquest, pirates used to visit the island. In the late 16th century, it was used as a base by Sir Francis Drake after assaulting the Galleon “Nuestra Señora de la Inmaculada Concepción” to divide his loot.

For those who love underwater scenery and wildlife, Drake Bay is the perfect place for its coral reefs. The only way to get here is by arranged tours. Have dinner at the lodge afterwards.

Day 4: Departure

Have breakfast at the lodge. You can book some optional activities such as horseback riding and visit to the unique Bamboo Church of Ecuador “Nuestra Señora de la Candelaria” in the unique village of Puerto Rico or just relaxing at the beach. Have lunch and then check-out.


Azuluna Eco-Lodge is located just south of the Machalilla National Park, in Ecuador’s Manabi Province. In this wildlife tour, you'll be able to visit Ayampe River, Agua Blanca, Frailes Beach, and Isla de la Plata in Ecuador.

Machalilla National Park

This area was inhabited by the first “Ecuadorian” culture, its evidence dating back 8,000 years. The predominant culture was the Manteña (500 BC to 1,500 BC). If you have time, on your way from Guayaquil you can visit the Archaeological Museum of the Pro-Pueblo Foundation that is very close to the city of La Libertad.

This part of Manabí has a unique dry area called ecological zone “xeric scrub” (the same ecological zone found in the Galapagos Islands), or more commonly known as “dry forest”, it is a strip that goes from the Central Coast South of Ecuador to the North Coast of Peru.

From December to July this sector is sunny and dry, and from July to November it is misty and cold (like 15 degrees Celsius), but it is the time when you can enjoy the visit of the humpback whales!

Agua Blanca

Agua Blanca is a small community within the limits of the national park (so, you’ll need your entrance ticket plus you will have to pay 3 USD entrance fee to Agua Blanca).

Playa de los Frailes

Los Frailes Beach is an isolated and gorgeous beach in the dry forest area, within the park limits. It’s nature at its very best! You’d be wise to bring water, sun cream, and some snacks.

Isla de la Plata

Isla de la Plata is an island located two hours by boat from Puerto Lopez. It is part of the national park and is often referred to as “the Galapagos of the Poor” because you can see many of the same birds, including the blue and red footed boobies, tropical birds, frigates, and pelicans. In total there are 32 bird species (14 marine and 18 terrestrial).


During this tour, your daily breakfast, lunch, and dinner are included in the price. Breakfasts are American, please note that breakfast could take place in the market (local breakfast) if the group decides to observe the fishermen returning with their catch.

Lunch and dinner includes soup, main course, dessert, and juice. Please also note that depending on each program, some of these meals could be replaced by a box lunch. Safe, drinkable water will also be provided.

The following meals are included:

  • Breakfast
  • Lunch
  • Dinner
  • Drinks

The following drinks are included:

  • Water

The following dietary requirement(s) are served and/or catered for:

  • Regular (typically includes meat and fish)
If you have special dietary requirements it's a good idea to communicate it to the organiser when making a reservation

Things to do (optional)

  • Horseback riding
  • Visit to the unique Bamboo Church of Ecuador “Nuestra Señora de la Candelaria”

What's included

  • Hiking in Ayampe River
  • Visit to the community project of Agua Blanca
  • Visit to Frailes Beach
  • Boat trip and snorkeling at La Plata Island
  • Services of and English speaking guide
  • 3 nights accommodation
  • Daily breakfast, lunch, and dinner
  • Safe drinkable water
  • Free Wi-Fi and parking
  • Beach towels
  • Ecuadorian taxes

What's not included

  • Transportation to and from Azuluna.
  • Municipality of Puerto Lopez tax when you enter Isla de la Plata (1 USD)
  • Entrance fee to Agua Blanca (5 USD)
  • Optional activities
  • Full (travelling, medical, etc.) insurance
  • Alcoholic and non-alcoholic drinks not mentioned in the itinerary
  • Tips
  • Anything extra not mentioned in the itinerary

How to get there

Driving directions from Guayaquil

  • You’ll have to travel north, passing through the towns of Santa Elena, Montañita, Manglaralto, Olon (and many others…), La Entrada, Ayampe, and Las Tunas downtown.
  • Finally, you arrive to “Ciudadela 12 de Octubre” (about 600 meters south of Puerto Rico) where you will find a sign of Azuluna.
  • This trip could take about four hours by bus or three hours in a private car, but that’s just enough time to take in all of the beautiful fishing towns, beaches, and landscapes along the way.

Driving directions from Portoviejo o Manta

  • You’ll have to travel southward about one hour by bus or car to the city of Jipijapa, then southwest to the town of Puerto Cayo, where the road meets the Pacific Ocean.
  • From there you’ll continue on through the towns of Machalilla, Puerto Lopez, Salango and Puerto Rico; then ask for “Ciudadela 12 de Octubre” (about 600 meters south of Puerto Rico) and you will find a sign of Azuluna.

Cancellation Policy

  • A reservation requires a deposit of 50% of the total price.
  • The deposit is non-refundable, if the booking is cancelled.
  • The rest of the payment should be paid 7 days before arrival.
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