Machalilla National Park

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Machalilla National Park[1] is an Ecuadorian  park. It is located in  the Pacific West coast of Ecuador in South America. It is in the province of Manabí. Machalilla National Park was declared by Minister of Environment  of Ecuador  as a  park  and natural preserve area on July 26, 1979. It was officially registered on November 20 of the same year. In 1990 the Ramsar Convention on Westlands named as a Ramsar site, which is a place where animals come to breed. The land part  is 56.184 hectares and the water part is 14.430 nautical miles.

Los Frailes Beach
Los Frailes Beach

Geography[change | change source]

Machalilla National Park is located at  the Pacific West coast of Ecuador in South America. It is in the province of Manabí at the river banks of the Ayampe River. Nearest towns are Puerto Lopez and Pajan.

Machalilla National Park  has three areas: the north sector, the south area and Isla de la Plata. The north sector covers  Puerto Cayo area, 3 km parallel to the coast. The south sector covers Puerto Lopez and Island Salango, and the third  area is The Isla de la Plata. It  is 40 km offshore from Ecuador continental.

Rivers[change | change source]

There are 7 rivers that cross the Machalilla National Park  territory the Jipijapa, Salitre, Seco, Punteros, Buena Vista, Piñas, and Ayampe.

Weather[change | change source]

The weather is tropical to subtropical. It has a very dry climate and there is rarely any rainfall.  It rains an average of 161 mm to 1,120 mm per year. The temperature varies from 23 °C to 25 °C and remains the same year round.

Plants[change | change source]

The plans that grow in this area are; dry coast shrubland, some ferns, cactus (opuntia) ,palo santo trees , kapok trees and algarrobo trees.

Fauna[change | change source]

The diversity within Machalilla National Park includes; sea turtles, fishes, part of the coral reefs ecosystem, dolphins, stingrays and sea lions at “Isla de la Plata”.  Humpback whales visit the coast of Manabi to breed; from June to September.  There are quite rare animals on the Ecuadorian coast as the panthera onca,  monkeys: alouatta palliata,  capuchins,  leopardus spp. There are also variety of birds: little wood star, colibri, albatrosses, frigates, blue-footed boobies.

Isla de la Plata “ Silver Island”[change | change source]

The Silver Island is 40 km offshore, It is part of Machalilla National Park and part of the Manabi Province. This natural reserve is home of many animals some of which migrate from Galapagos Islands, it includes blue-footed boodies, albatrasses, frigate birds, seals, iguanas, dolphins, stingrays and reef fishes. This small island  is uninhabited, the control and conservation for the Island  is promoted by Ecuador’s Minister of Environment and OGN Fundacion Natura.

Agua Blanca[change | change source]

This is a forest preserved area in Machalilla National Park,  There are an interesting  bird wildlife, a sulfur water  lagoon and a museum.   It is 22 kilometers from Puerto Lopez, a small fishing town. Local people help inside the area.

Tourism[change | change source]

The Machalilla National Park provides the visitors a good selection of services that include tourist information, hotel guide, maps and attraction. The major attraction at the  park is to visit Isla de la Plata due to many migrant animals from Galapagos Islands. There are albatrosses, frigatebirds and blue-footed boodies some seals. This is the only place where people can appreciate those charming birds.

The activities in the Machalilla National Park year along the: scuba diving, snorkeling, scenic views, eco walking trails, whale watching. The best Place in the Ecuadorian coast for diving is the Silver Island due to the coral reef that surrounds  it. “From June to September,” [2] Manabi is visited for  arctic  humpback whales, every year they come to breed. In Agua Blanca community there are a sulfur lagoon where visitors like to cover themselves in sulfurous mud from the bottom of the lagoon. Visit the Agua Clara museum and Salango museum.

Beaches[change | change source]

Machalilla National Park has many  beautiful beaches to enjoy that are calm and a little deep.  Los Frailes is the most visited beach, and  Salango beach is an   island is surrounded by coral reef. Respect the facilities of the beaches; Playa Negra beach and Tortuguita bay are pure nature. you can visit them respecting the rules of conservation.

References[change | change source]

  1. "Parque Nacional Machalilla". http://www.machalillanationalpark.com/.
  2. [suia.ambiente.gob.ec "Plan General Del Parque Nacional Machalilla"]. suia.ambiente.gob.ec.