The Ancient Culture of Valdivia
This small coastal village is the cradle of Ecuador’s oldest known civilization. The Valdivia culture is shown in the small museum where the pottery in particular demands attention.
The Panama hats from Montechristi
The famous Panama hats are woven from a local type of grass, the paja toquilla. The finer the weave, the more expensive the hat. You will find many local hat sellers in Montechristi. The round trip takes approximately 2 hours from Puerto Lopez. You will stay in Montechristi for 2 hours. On request you can also visit a family who makes the hats at home.
Length of time:4 hours
Including:Round-trip transportation - local guide
Isla de la Plata or Little Galapagos
During this trip you will visit this beautiful island, also called small Galapagos. It is 25 km (about 1.5 hours by boat) off the coast of Puerto Lopez. In addition to frigate birds and tropic birds, you will also find blue-footed, masked and red-footed boobies and even some Galapagosal batros. The island can only be visited with a guide from the park and you are not allowed to deviate from the official trails. You make a 2 and a half hour walking tour with the nature guide. Then you return to the boat where you can spot turtles. Then you can snorkel for an hour in the bay between sea turtles and colorful fish. On the way to the island you can spot humpback whales between June and September, which use the area in large numbers as a nursery.
Bring along: boat windbreaker, sports shoes, water bottle, sun protection, swimming gear and camera.
Length of time:7 hours approx
Including:English speaking guide, transport, lunch box and snorkeling equipment
Excluding:National Park entrance from 1 USD pp
Kayak and Snorkeling on the coast
Together with a guide we go out to sea in a small motor boat to spot all kinds of birds such as pelicans, frigates and blue-footed boobies. We spend a few hours snorkeling and kayaking and then end the trip with some open water fishing.
To bring: sun protection, swimwear, camera and water.
Length of time:5 hours
Including:English-speaking guide, return transport, snorkeling gear, kayak for the activity and a packed lunch
Los Frailes and Agua Blanca
Today you will visit Ecuador’s most beautiful beach. You can go to the beach by car or by bike. Los Frailes is about three kilometers from Puerto Lopez. At the start of the walk you first get some explanation about the area. The walk will then lead you to La Tortuguita, a beach with black sand, a lookout with a view over the coast and finally reach a beach with beautiful white sand. You can stay here for a while before we leave for Agua Blanca. Agua Blanca is an archaeological site in the middle of a nature reserve. Here you can immerse yourself in a lake that has medicinal properties due to its volcanic origin. Then we return to the hotel.
What to bring: sun and rain protection, sporty footwear and bathing equipment.
Length of time:6 hours
Including:English speaking guide, transport, entrance to the archaeological site and lunch
Montañita is a small coastal village entirely devoted to surfing. There are regular competitions and you will find surfers from all over the world in the many hotels.
Horseback riding in the cloud forest of Machalilla
We make this trip in San Sebastián, which is located in the National Park and where there is a great variety of trees, birds, insects, monkeys and toucans. We do the horseback ride with intervals of short walks for bird watching. It is a mountainous area with an irregular topography.
We leave in the morning to return in the early afternoon.
To bring: long trousers, long-sleeved shirt, insect repellent
Length of time:6 hours
Including:guide, transport, horse, rubber boots and lunch
Riding on the beach and in the mountains
After getting to know the horses we get some explanation about the places we are going to visit. We leave for the beach where you can gallop or trot on the beach for about two hours (depending on your level). Then you trek into the mountains together with the guide. The guide will give you some explanation about the vegetation. Then you return to Puerto Lopez.
To bring: sun protection, T-shirt and long pants, cap or hat, mosquito spray and water.
Length of time:4 hours
Including:English speaking guide, return transport, horse and a small snack
Whale watching and snorkeling
Between the end of June and the beginning of September, the humpback whales use the coastal waters of the National Park as a nursery. It is a spectacular event to watch the 15 meter long fish emerge from the water from the small boats and see their tricks perform. The area is also teeming with dolphins. Around noon you will leave with a guide in a boat into the sea, you will receive an explanation about the animals and you will have the opportunity to take beautiful pictures. Then you sail back towards the coast to snorkel with the guide.
Bring along: swimming clothes, sun protection, camera and water.
Length of time:3 hours
Including:English-speaking guide, transports return, snorkeling equipment and a small snack.
Hike in the cloud forest of Machalilla
During this excursion you will get to know the interior of the coast. We depart from the hotel to a village on the Rio Blanco river. Here you will first get some explanation about the region and then start a beautiful 3-hour walk through the cloud forest. The area is home to howler monkeys, capuchin monkeys, guantas (a type of rodent) and various types of parrots. Around noon you reach the end of the walk where you can eat a nice lunch. Then we leave back to the hotel.
What to bring: Sun and rain protection, sports footwear and a camera.