Mache Chindul


Surface area : 296 400 acres /

between 984 and 2 624 ft (300 and 800 meter) /

Protected since: 1996


Located in the provinces of Esmeraldas and Manabi, this nature reserve is one of the last untouched rainforests of the Ecuadorian coast. There is a very high biodiversity. Mache-Chindul is one of the most recent protected areas. Its name comes from the mountain range that rises in the middle of the park. The Ecuadorian state protects this zone, arguing that it is where the main native forest areas of the coastal region are to be found. This despite the constant pressure to develop the forest.

It is a mountainous zone with a lot of water that feeds the larger rivers of Manabí (the Cuaque, the Cojimíes and the Cheve) and of Esmeraldas (the Muisne, the Atacames, the Tiaone and the Dógola). Even in the drier periods of the year, there is a cloud cover in the highest zones of the reserve.

The area has always been in the hands of the Afro-inhabitants of Esmeraldas province and the Chachi Indians. The pressure that logging companies exert on the park thus threatens not only the natural but also the cultural resources of the zone.

Despite the exotic landscapes, with waterfalls and lakes surrounded by pristine forest, such as along the Rio Ene or in Boca de Tasone, the great value of the park lies in its enormous biodiversity.

It is difficult to get into the reserve, especially when it rains. It may even be impossible between January and July (the rainy season in that zone). Since there is no facility or infrastructure in the reserve, it is only possible to visit it with a solid guide.

The road from Santo Domingo de los Colorados to Esmeraldas passes the town of Quinidé. Near Quinindé, along the same main road, you will find the entrance to the village of Herrera, from where a road leads to the Y and to the lake (la Laguna). Taking into account the weather conditions, it is possible to get to Estero Platano and even to the mouth of the Rio Taguales, at the boundary of the park. This is the most practical access and from here you can also reach the private park Bilsa.

There are other ways to get into the park from Esmeraldas, Atacamos or Muisne, but these accesses are very unpredictable and complicated.

From Esmeraldas you can get to the Rio Ene with great difficulty, north of the park.

Another option is to follow the river from Atacames to a village called Unión de Atacames, before arriving in the hamlet of Santa Teresa, not far from the park boundary. From here you can then set up a tough hike with mules to the park.

From Muisne, you can take a motorboat and sail along the Rio Boca del Sucio to the Chachi community of San Salvador. This way you also reach the boundaries of the park.


Tom - guide in EcuadorI’m Tom from Belgium and I’ll make sure your trip to Ecuador or cruise in Galapagos goes as smoothly and pleasantly as possible. I have been living in Ecuador for a decade and have been working in tourism for 8 years now. Before that, I obtained my guides diploma in Ecuador. Traveling and discovering new places is my passion.
Together with the local travel agency Descubre-Ecuador, we offer tailor-made tours in Galapagos and on the Ecuadorian mainland. Over the years, Descubre-Ecuador has built a reliable partnership with the best hotels and the best nature guides in Ecuador. Our small-scale way of working ensures easy accessibility and a lot of flexibility when traveling.
Customer satisfaction is the essence for us. And even in those rare moments of unforeseen difficult circumstances, we make sure that we are there to make sure your trip runs smoothly.
Explore Ecuador and Galapagos!


Indian woman from SalasacasIn South America, Ecuador is one of the smaller countries, but the country is hugely diverse in terms of geography, climate and population. You can visit the Andes, the Amazon rainforest as well as the tropical coast without taking extremely long domestic flights or transfers. And then you have the Galapagos Islands, a once in a lifetime experience. The diversity of flora and fauna per square mile is enormous. Ecuador is South America in a nutshell. Moreover, the country is relatively safe and little visited. The national currency is the USD and you have a wide choice of direct flights to Quito and Guayaquil from Europe and the United States.


Tom - guide in EcuadorIk ben Tom uit België en zorg ervoor dat jullie reis naar Ecuador of cruise in Galapagos zo vlot en aangenaam mogelijk kan verlopen. Ik woon al een tiental jaren in Ecuador en werk nu 8 jaren in toerisme. Daarvoor heb ik in Ecuador mijn gidsen-diploma behaald. Reizen en nieuwe plaatsen ontdekken is mijn passie. Samen met het lokale reiskantoor Descubre-Ecuador, bieden we reizen op maat in Galapagos en op het Ecuadoriaanse vasteland aan. Descubre-Ecuador heeft door de jaren heen een betrouwbare samenwerking opgebouwd met de beste hotels en de beste natuurgidsen van Ecuador. Onze kleinschalige manier van werken zorgt voor een vlotte bereikbaarheid en veel flexibiliteit bij het reizen. De tevredenheid van de klant is voor ons de essentie. En ook op die zeldzame momenten van onvoorziene moeilijke omstandigheden zorgen we dat we er zijn om jullie reis toch perfect te laten verlopen. Ontdek Ecuador en Galapagos!