Cultural Tours in Ecuador: Living Archaeology and Dry Forest Wildlife: Manta – Machalilla National Park
Located mid-way along the Ecuadorian coastline this park was created with the vision of preserving the shared land and sea ecosystems, including the island “Isla de la Plata” (the poor man’s Galapagos) and Salango.
Machalilla is also one of the primary reserves for tropical dry forest on Ecuador’s coast. The park is a curious meeting point for the two main marine currents, which occur, in the southern Pacific. This has created four distinct life zones in a relatively small area ranging from desert scrub to pre-mountainous cloud- and rainforest. Many of the species found in these zones are considered endemic. In addition to natural resources the park boasts a unique archaeological collection that provides invaluable cultural and historical clues about coastal pre-Colombian civilisations such as the Manteo, Machalilla and Valdivia – the latter being one of the oldest cultures in South America (5000 – 3000 BC). Aside from appreciating the unique flora, fauna and archaeological sites one can also enjoy the park’s clean beaches and visit nearby fishing villages.
What to bring with you: Sun glasses, sun block, rain wear, light cotton clothes, torch, hat, Tennis shoes, camera and film (100 ASA).