Enjoy 4 wonderful days at the coast of Ecuador in Manabí full of wildlife, nature and relaxing at the beach - a great and affordable alternative to Galápagos with whalewatching (between June and September), a tour to Isla de la Plata, a biking tour to one of Ecuador´s best beaches and visit of the archeaological site at Agua Blanca!
From: 440 USD (3 pax)
Early in the morning you depart from Quito airport to Manta at the coast of Ecuador. Private transport takes you to Las Tunas, close to Puerto Lopez, to your beautiful little hostel located directly at one of the best beaches of Ecuador, ideal for Surfing, just off the limits of Machalilla National Park. Enjoy walking at the long beach, having a good meal of seafood, relaxing at the small pool of the hotel before doing some horseriding (2 hours) at the beach. Alternatively you can take a surf lesson at the beach – just tell us what you prefer! What a wonderful and relaxing start to your marvellous days at the coast of Ecuador!
Today we are going by boat to the most famous destination in the Machalilla National Park: Isla de la Plata! This island is one of the hidden places in Ecuador, is a small island off the coast northwest of Puerto Lopez. Although currently known as the poor man’s Galapagos, so called for its abundant population of marine birds, which visitors can observe from very close as they are relatively fearless. This is the only place in mainland Ecuador, where blue-footed, red-footed and Nazca boobies can be found altogether!
You will be picked up at the hotel and the transport takes you to Puerto Lopez, where the boat leaves at 9 am. From the middle of June to September you can then enjoy whale watching on the way to the island! Humpback whales migrate from the Antarctic to tropical waters to mate and give birth to their calves during the austral winter. These whales look for Ecuadorian waters to breed because the calves need to be born in a warm environment since are born with a thin isolating layer. This is your opportunity to share the unique and magnificent experience of observing the humpback whales in their natural environment!
At noon we arrive at Isla de la Plata. From the landing point in Bahía Drake, two circular footpaths lead around the islands, each taking 3 to four hours to travel, including time spent watching birds and listening to the guide´s commentary and explanations. The most numerous bird to be seen is the blue-footed booby, furthermore you can observe frigate birds, red-billled tropicbirds and waved albatrosses (breeding season April to October) as well as sea lions, which are colonizing the island in small numbers.
After box lunch on the boat you have the chance to do some snorkeling to observe a great array of colorful fish, if you are lucky you might be able to spot dolphins and manta rays on the boat ride. Then the boat takes us back to Puerto Lopez, where we arrive around 6 pm. The private transport takes you back to the hotel, where you can relax after an exciting day!
After breakfast, the private transport is going to pick you up at the hotel and takes you to Puerto Lopez, where you get ready to go to one of Ecuador´s most beautiful beaches, Los Frailes, by bike. The beach is enclosed by rocky cliffs at each end and backed by a tangle of forrest. Despite its popularity it still feels like a wild, unspoiled place!
We continue our way to Agua Blanca, an indigenous village and archaeological site, where we visit the small museum. When the Incas ruled the Ecuadorian highlands, this area was occupied by the Mantena tribe and was the centre of a trading network that stretched north to Mexico, using spondylus shells, which were worth more than gold, as currency. Now 16 families remain, living off fishing, agriculture and crafts.
The park is home to more than 200 species of birds as well as deer, armadillo and two species of monkeys. We settle for a walk through the forest with a local guide and Mantena descendant, who shows us ancient burial urns, the atmospheric remains of a temple and a natural volcanic lagoon.
After lunch (box lunch) we go back to Puerto Lopez by bike, where we arrive around 4:30 pm. The privat transport takes you back to your hotel in Las Tunas. At night you can enjoy a great barbecue in the hotel with different types of delicious imported meat, a variety of salads and rice and a great dessert with a glass of wine - a perfect end of an amazing day :-)
In the afternoon private transport picks you up at your hotel in Las Tunas and takes you to the airport in Manta, where you are going to catch your flight back to Quito.
Tourist Class Superior
440 USD p. p. (3 pax)
460 USD p. p. (2 pax)
570 USD p. p. (3 pax)
Flight Quito - Manta - Quito, private transport from the airport in Manta to the hotel, accomodation at the beach in double room with private bathroom, meals as shown in the itinerary (B = breakfast, L = lunch, BL = box lunch, D = dinner), tour to Isla de la Plata, tour to Agua Blanca and the beach Los Frailes, horsebackriding tour at the beach (2 hours) or surf lesson
Transfer to the airport in Quito, meals not mentioned in the itinerary
Highlights of Ecuador
The Highlights of Ecuador tour takes you to the best destinations in the country - Galapagos, the jungle and the highlands! We offer two different options for this tour:
1. The "on a budget" tour for the budget oriented traveler - the tour is offered on fixed departure dates (usually twice per month depending on availability). Accommodations during the tours are in hostels or lodges, which are basic, but nice and clean. You have a double room with private bathroom. All the tours are shared departures where you join other groups.
2. The "first class" tour for the traveler who wants to enjoy a little more comfort and private service during the tour. The tour dates are flexible and can be fixed individually depending on your needs and availability. Accommodations during the tours are in first class hotels or lodges with very good service and comfortable rooms. The Galapagos part is a semi-private tour, where you generally have your own guide, but join other groups for certain activities. For the jungle part you join other people in the lodge. The Quito city tour and the highlands tour is operated as a private tour with private transport and your own personal guide.
Both alternatives include the domestic flights in Ecuador (flights to and from Galapagos and the jungle)!