Activities in Puerto Lopez

Isla de la Plata

Located in the Machalilla Park, Isla de la Plata is a small islet similar to the Galapagos; it is often called “the poor man’s Galapagos”. It takes about 1.5 hours of crossing to reach the island (beware that the sea is often rough). After disembarking, you will walk 2 to 3 hours to observe colonies of blue-footed boobies, Nazca boobies, tropicbird, albatrosses or sea lions. The flora is also very rich with the famous “Palo Santo”, mythical tree of Ecuador with various medicinal virtues.


Whale watching

Puerto Lopez is considered the most important place in Ecuador and South America for whale watching, every year thousands of tourists arrive attracted by the unique spectacle of these beautiful mammals that have particularly chosen the surroundings of Isla de la Plata. The shoal cantagallo; a large underwater platform located about 40 minutes northwest of Puerto Lopez, a place that, being shallow and with moderate marine currents, becomes a place with special conditions for the mating and birth of humpback whales.
These mammals travel every year about 8000 km from the cold waters of Antarctica to Ecuadorian waters for their reproduction. They can reach up to 16 meters in length as adults and up to 40 tons in weight. They arrive in the first days of June until the end of September when their mating and reproduction cycle ends and they return to their feeding grounds in the south.


Agua Blanca, lagoon with sulfurous waters

It is located 20 minutes from the township of Puerto Lopez and is the first ecotourism community on the Ecuadorian coast. It has great archaeological potential with prehistoric ruins belonging to the Manteña culture, the last of the Ecuadorian prehistory. Nowadays there is a museum with funerary urns. The thermal water lagoon allows you to take a refreshing and healing bath, and the Buena Vista River Valley is ideal for those who enjoy bird watching.
In this community there is a community restaurant where you can taste typical dishes of the region, you can also visit the handicraft stores where the people of the community work, you can also rent horses to ride through the dry rainforest or start a walk to the rainforest area of the Ecuadorian coast.


Los Frailes Beach

Considered the best beach in its natural state in Ecuador and the fourth best in South America, it is a beach complex that includes Los Frailes characterized by the transparency of its waters and the white of its sand, the small turtle with impressive landscapes and rock formations, La Playita, where the black color of the sand predominates due to the high iron content, in addition to the dry tropical forest in its primary state that borders its shores, it is an ideal place for swimming and relaxation.
In addition, if you like to hike, you can go up to the natural viewpoint where you will have a spectacular view of the coastal profile of Machalilla National Park.
You can get there by taking a bus from Puerto Lopez, the ride takes 15 minutes to the entrance and from there, walk 20 minutes along the road and 2 hours along the footpath, you can also rent motorcycle cabs and vans.



Ecotourism trail “la bola de oro”

(rainforest, trekking and horseback riding, bird watching, camping)

The San Sebastián and La Bola de Oro trail is located in the heart of the Machalilla National Park and is part of the mountain system of the Chongón and Colonche mountain ranges. It is considered one of the last vestiges of tropical rainforest on the coast of Ecuador with a large number of animal and plant species, some of which are endemic to this region.


Salango Island

This program is carried out on Salango Island, located 20 minutes south of Puerto Lopez. It has 200 hectares and was used by our aborigines to extract the famous Spondylus shell and offer sacrifices to their gods. Since 2000, with the help of some NGOs and the Machalilla National Park, a system of organized visits and the adaptation of special places to practice sport fishing has been established, which, due to the environmental conditions of the place, develops a diversity of marine species and coral reefs.

It is also one of the places of great importance for the practice of surface diving or snorkeling where you can observe a variety of colorful fish, unique coral reefs of the Ecuadorian coast. In addition, you can see one of the largest colonies of pelicans, blue-footed boobies and frigate birds that are very welcome by those who visit the place.


Sport Fishing

Sport fishing is a recreational, economic and scientific activity that in recent years has gained great importance in our country, Puerto Lopez and its surroundings have not been an exception, its coasts, Puerto Lopez and its surroundings are no exception, its coasts, islands and islets as well as the nearby continental shelves and the presence of marine currents such as the warm El Niño (December – May) and the cold Humboldt create an environment conducive to the development of a wide variety of ichthyological species that thrive in these places, in addition to a number of species that migrate either for food reasons or to reproduce.

There are about 20 fishing spots with favorable conditions distributed in two large areas.



The coral reefs and large submarine platforms of the Machalilla National Park area are one of the last refuges for marine life that has amazed locals and foreigners alike who have immersed themselves in these waters, for this reason they have been considered the most important sites in the country’s mainland area.

There are several important areas in which diving excursions are carried out: the area of Salango Island, Los Ahorcados Island, Frailes, the high bottom of Copé as well as La Plata Island.