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Centro Turístico Comunitario Salango...

5000 años de Historia y Cultura...

Turismo Ecológico Comunitario

National Park Machalilla

Location, Characteristics and Dimensions

Natural site
Protected Areas System
National Park
National Park Machalilla
Image: Landscape Machalilla
  • Altitudinal range:
    0 - 840 msnm
  • Creación: November July 26, 1979 with Ministerial Agreement 322.
  • Temperature: 18° a 29°C
  • Annual rainfall: 1.500 m.m
  • Climate:Tropical dry
  • Area: 56.184 ha
  • Location: Manabi, Cantones: Jipija, Puerto López, Montecristi.
  • Geographical location:
    Latitude: 01 º 11 '18 "and 01 º 41'10" S
    Longitude: 80 ° 37'30 "81 ° 51'12 and" W
  • Location: South West Coast
  • Life Zone: MDT, MDT (AEF), MDT (AEs), MDT-met, met, met (AEF), best, bmsT (AEF) meTmePM (AEF) meTmePM (AEs), meTmePM (AAh) best-BSPM, bestbsPM (AAh), mePM.
Estado de conservación
Atractivo: Conservado
Entorno: Conservado
Dissemination of Attractive: Regional, National and International
Camping, Trekking, whale watching, bird and scientific studies.
Temporary access
Days per year: 365
Days per month: 30 Hours per day: 8
Basic infrastructure
Water: Potable
Electricity: Electricity Grid Sewer: Septic Tank
Tourist facilities
Accommodation: Temporary (Isla de la Plata)
Food: Puerto López, Salango, Jipijapa


The Machalilla National Park is located in the central Western Coastal Region of Ecuador, in the south west of the province of Manabi. It occupies great parts of the Western Cordillera Hydrographic Chongón-Colonche system. The Cantons involved in the National Park correspond with Jipijapa with its parishes Julcuy, Pedro Pablo Gomez and Puerto Cayo; el Cantón Puerto López with its parishes Machalilla and Salango, and the Canton Montecristi whose territory is the Isla de la Plata.

The territory is discontinuous and comprises three sectors: Salaita, Agua Blanca and Punta Ayampe; Punta Los Piqueros; in the continental zone: the islands Salango and La Plata; and a reserve of two nautical miles along the coastal profile of the Parkand around the islands in the Pacific Ocean.
In the south of the area is the place Turístico Reserva Natural Cantalapiedra, with 320 ha. One has to highlight that in this area archaeological remains of the most important cultures of the Ecuadorian coast can be find, such as the ones of the Valdivia. The PNM occupies part of the Western Hydrographic Chongón Colonche system. His main drains are the rivers: Jipijapa, Salaite, Seco, Punteros, Buena Vista, Pinas y Ayampe, almost all the hydrographic system belong to the intermittent type, which remain dry during the dry season and have water in the rainy season. Only the Ayampe River has water during the dry season.

The PNM has been included in the List of Wetlands of International Importance of the Ramsar Convention.

The Machalilla National Park and surrounding forests include rainforest areas of drizzle, similar to the Andean cloud forest, at the top of the range. On the lower slopes, the forest becomes semideciduous and deciduous, and at the coast becomes dry where the vegetation is stunted. There exist types of cactis caudones and cactis candelabro as well as trees of the families Leguminosa and Capparidaceae. In the riparian forest there are bamboo canes and large trees like matapalos (Ficus spp.), Other areas are dominated by tagua palms and are generally intervened areas. The marine habitats include cliffs, sandy beaches, rocky shores and low, rugged continental islands. Within the park there are some human populations, which own areas of subsistence farming and livestock and are mainly engaged in fishing and in several cases, tourism, an activity that has great importance in the local economy.

Importance of flora and fauna PNM


The Park Management Unit, controls four life zones, including tropical dry forest vegetation that is found in almost primary status and is unique along the Ecuadorian coast. Many species of flora, including orchids and bromeliads are the most common in the area.

The life zones: existing are el Matorral Desértico, located right on the coastal strip bordering the sea, which include the islands of La Plata and Salango. The vegetation is represented by cactus, thorn bushes and some trees of the legume family.

El Monte Espinoso Tropical, is a formation that lies to the east, especially in the valleys of the middle and upper courses of the rivers Salaite, Buenavista, Ayampe y Plátano. Most representative plant species are the ceibo tree, the carob tree and guayacan. Furthermore it is also possible to find some varieties of shrubs, cactus and climbing plants.

Tropical Dry Forest, is interesting because it presents a high level of endemism and is home to many species of hardwoods. The Machalilla Park is one of the last reserves of this ecosystem in Ecuador and the world.

El Monte Espinoso Pre-montano, comprises the highest part of the park and gets a lot of influence of the mists. The vegetation is lush and contains a large variety of species. The trees reach great heights and considerable diameters in their trunks.

Marine ecosystem

The coastal area of the Park Machalilla includes a strip of two nautical miles. The profile of the Park is a continental shelf that presents mixed bays and coves with rocky and high cliffs. There are sectors where sandy and rocky beaches with intertidal pools have been formed, some islets emerged in open coastal barriers, protected and semi-protected, like a number of reef formations along the coastline.

Island ecosystem

Includes islands, islets and outstanding rocky areas in the two nautical miles of marine area. These ecosystems protrude from the water level and their importance is that they are nesting areas for sea birds because they provide habitat for many communities on the seabed. On the other hand they can be used as resting areas for migratory birds that feed on the sea. The insular area is made up of the islands of La Plata and Salango, and the islets La Tortuguita, La Viuda, Sombrerito, Sucre y Horno de Pan


The Machalilla Park has a varied and diverse flora, fauna and landscapes due to fluctuations in ocean currents that produce annual changes in temperature and humidity and the constant presence of mist at certain times of year. Due to geophysical configuration and the anthropogenic situations of the park, the isolation del bosque montañoso de San Sebastián is produced, that records several species of animals now extinct in other parts of the Ecuadorian coast.

It is remarkable the presence of migratory birds in the river Ayampe, wildlife on the island of La Plata, marine ictiofauna and variety of wildlife in the coastal dry forest, especially the albatross, pelicans, frigates, tropical birds, sea lions, blue-footed boobies and red and masked boobies. The structure of the vegetation cover is typical of plants exposed to long droughts, composed mostly of deciduous species and deep roots to capture groundwater. The beaches and cliffs are scenic resources worth visiting.
Specific recommendations

To the visitors to Los Frailes: camping, lighting fires, the entry of pets and the collecting of animals, plants and other marine organisms is prohibited.

The visit to the island of La Plata must be under the responsibility and service of a naturalist guide, who may serve up to 12 tourists. It is forbidden to remove plants, animals and marine resources. For safety, the landing is done exclusively in the bay Drake.

The visit to Agua Blanca: Because it is a sector limited by the fragility of the ecosystem, you must have the services of an expert naturalist guide who guarantees a safe tour; camping is allowed in the area.

To visit the marine area of the park Machalilla during the whale watching season: boats must approach them parallel to their movements. There should not get closer than three boats to the same group of whales, the juveniles are very curious and often come close to the boats. The owners and tourist guides are required to communicate and report to the Park, any anomaly that occurs during the tour.

General rules

  • limit your visit to the places identified by the authorities of the area, avoiding getting out of them. Smuggle weapons is prohibited.
  • Respect the life of all beings that inhabit the area; do not damage trees, logs or cabins. Do not collect anything without authorization, not frighten, alarm or chase wild animals. This is their home. "
  • No littering. The practice of illegal hunting and fishing are punishable by law. Do not break the balance of nature, silence gives life to the spirit. Take proper precautions to beach conditions, sunshine and climate of the park.


Para mas información o contactos, puedes escribir a nuestro email: ó contactarnos a nuestro telefóno móvil, 085 - 578 - 096


Machalilla National Park. Salango Machalilla National Park. Salango
Centro de Información Turístico Comunitario

Phone: (593) 05-2589-304
Mobile: 09 - 8557 - 8096


Localización: 6Km. al Suroeste del cantón Puerto López, Provincia Manabi, Ecuador, Sudamerica.

En la Vía Costanera del Pacifico - Ruta del Sol.



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