Ecuador Travel Planner - Tourism information:
Coast, Andes, Amazonas, Galapagos

South America Adventure Experts are ready to assist you in planning your trip. South America travel by Latin Trails your advisor in : Galapagos tours & Amazon travel

Ecuador travel Guayas ecotourism

Ecotourism in Guayas

The provinces of Guayas and El Oro offer excellent ecotourism opportunities because of their varied ecological characteristics – from the wet forest in the higher parts of the Chongon-Colonche Cordillera, to the country’s largest mangroves (Gulf of Guayaquil and Jambeli Archipelago), with several kinds of dry tropical forest and even dry bush in the Santa Elena Peninsula, one of the driest places of the country with the least rainfall levels.

Some sites are protected, such as Cerro Blanco, in the outskirts of Guayaquil, with a dry tropical forest. This forest has species like the collared peccary, deer, monkeys, and birds, such as the unique Great Green Macaw or Guayaquil macaw (ara ambigua). Another protected site is the Manglares-Churute Ecological Reserve where, among many other species, you can see the Horned Screamer (Anhima cornuta), one of Ecuador’s largest birds.

Cerro Blanco Protected Forest: This is the dry tropical forest that is nearest to Guayaquil – only 16 km (10 miles) west of the city (on the road to the Coast.) This forest shelters a variety of birds, mammals (including peccaries, deer, and monkeys), and many plants.
 
It is one of the last shelters of the Great Green Macaw or Guayaquil macaw (ara ambigua). In all, it is composed of 5 000 Ha of which 2 500 are owned by the national cement company (Cemento Nacional.) You will find many trails and picnic facilities. The entrance is $5.00 for adults and $4.00 if you wish to spend the night there. This forest is administered by Fundación ProBosque in coordination with the Environment Ministry.
 
Puerto Hondo: This is an ecological club administered by the community. It is located near Cerro Blanco. How to get there: Take the road to the south. The entrance is $5.00 per groups of up to 8 persons; phone Nos. (593-4)( 241-6975 or 241-7004. Contact: www.turismocomunitario.org.
 
Lago Park: This is a dry protected forest (14 000 Ha), with a lake and the Chongon and Beden river basins. It is great for bird-watching (160 species), hikes, cycling, horseback riding, boating, picnic areas, and more! How to get there: From Guayaquil, take the road to the Coast up to Km 26 (16 miles). It is open every day from 08H00 to 18H00. Contact: (593-4) 273-8387, cedege@cedege.gov.ec.
 
Santay Island: This island is a wetland protecting site according to the Ramsar International Convention on Wetlands. It is ideal for resident and migratory bird-watching. Here you will be able to see the stunning Roseate Spoonbill (Ajaia ajaja) and the beautiful white ibis (Endocimus albus), among others. You will find all this and more a few minutes from Guayaquil. How to get there: You must go by boat from Duran.
 
El Morro: this is a picturesque town to which you may rent canoes to visit the mangrove and be lucky enough to see dolphins! How to get there: It is located 10 km (6 miles) to the east of Playas-General Villamil.
 
San Vicente Springs: These are thermal springs where you can get a mud massage and lodge nearby (please see Hotel section). How to get there: On the road to the Coast, a few miles before Santa Elena, you take the road north to San Pablo and Punta Blanca. Phone Nos. (593-4) 253-5100.
 
Los Amantes de Sumpa: This is an archaeological site pertaining to Las Vegas Culture (8 800 years b.C to 4 600 A.D.) It is one of the continent’s most ancient human settlements. Among the remnants are the skeletons of a hugging couple, which gave the site its name (The Sumpa Lovers.) It is located 112 km (miles) from Guayaquil, near Santa Elena. How to get there: On the road to the Coast, before you reach Santa Elena, take the road to San Pablo and Punta Blanca, to the north (you will see the labels), and pass San Vicente. It is open every day from 06H00 to 18H00; phone Nos. (593-4) 294-0826 or 278-5216.
 
Real Alto Museum: This museum deals with the Chanduy Culture. How to get there: On the road to the Coast, you pass Zapotal and take the road to Chanduy and El Real, southwards. It is open every day from 10H00 to 17H00.
 
Ecuasal Salt Mines: This is a true paradise for marine birdwatchers. You will see the Chilean flamingos (Phoenicopterus chilensis), and other 130 resident or migratory species. It is located a few miles from Salinas, near Mar Bravo. Please ask the local people for directions.
 
Colonche: Here you must visit the colonial church, which is near 400 years old (phone No. 593-4-252-9866.)  The local communities are mostly dedicated to palmetto fiber handcrafts. How to get there: From Palmar, on the Sun Route, 7 km (4 miles) to the east.
 
Valdivia: As the settlement of one of America’s most ancient cultures, Valdivia has an archaeological museum and tombs which is open every day from 08H00 to 18H00; phone Nos. (593-9) 402-8035 or 417-5099. You can also visit Las Calaveras Gallery and the local fauna aquarium. How to get there: From Santa Elena, you take the Sun Route, about 62 km (38 miles) north.
 
Loma Alta Protected Forest and El Suspiro: This reserve has a wet forest, semi-wet forest, and dry Coast forest. You will find community lodging in Loma Alta. It is good site for trekking. You can see beautiful and interesting birds around the town of El Suspiro. How to get there: You enter Loma Alta through Valdivia (Sun Route), several miles northeast on the summer road.
 
La Garua Protected Forest: This is an evergreen forest. How to get there: You get to La Garua from Manglaralto (Sun Route), on the summer road, up to Dos Mangas, an interesting little village full of palmetto and tagua crafts); you go a few miles east, and then by foot.
 
Chongon-Colonche Protected Forest: The Chongon-Colonche Cordillera has magnificent wildlife and is a huge water reserve for all the dry zone of the Central Coast. How to get there: You can arrive in several ways – from Guayaquil, you take the road to the Coast and then take the road to Simon Bolivar; from Colonche you take the Sun Route and go southeast.
 
El Pantanal Zoo and Capeira Lake: The zoo is composed of 31 Ha on Km 23 on the road to Daule, diagonal to the Capeira Lake. It is open every day from 09H00 to 17H00. Entrance: $3.00 for adults and $2.00 for children. Phone nos. (593-4) 226-7047, zooelpantanal@hotmail.com
 

Manglares-Churute Ecological Zone: It is located 45 minutes from Guayaquil, on Km 33 of the Guayaquil-Puerto Inca Road, and covers 50 000 Ha of mangrove and dry forest. It has great biodiversity. The Canclon Lake, to the inlands, is one of the few places in Ecuador where you can admire the Horned Screamer (Anhima cornuta), one of Ecuador’s largest birds; phone No. (593-4) 239-7730; entrance $10

Andean Ecopalltur Botanic Garden

Located between Bucay and Pallatanga, 130 km from Guayaquil, it has waterfalls, a river, trails, a restaurant, Sillagoto camping and recreation area, massages, Jacuzzi, pool, horseback-riding, wagons pulled by donkeys, phone No. (593-4) 256-2854 or 210-0584.sillagoto@campingsillagoto.ec.

Main Offices Address: Av. Rumiñahui 221 y 1ra Transversal, San Rafael                                                                                         Quito - Ecuador