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Located on the Pacific Coast, Machalilla National Park became a Ramsar site in 1990, when recognised as a vital wetland. A breeding ground for humpback whales, you can also find many sea birds here.

The oceanic park comprises two large islands - Salango and Isla de la Plata - plus many islets which serve as feeding areas for frigatebirds, pelican, waved albatross and boobies.

Machalilla contains coral reefs, and nearly one third of Ecuador’s coastal fisheries. On land you will find tropical dry forest and coastal scrub desert, home to armadillo, black howler monkey, collared peccary, various poison arrow frogs and vipers found only in Ecuador. The park is also home to endangered brocket and white-tailed deer, and more than 270 bird species.

Key info

  • Ideal for viewing: black howler monkey, humpback whale, brown pelican, poison arrow frog, waved albatross
  • Where: Manabi Province, Ecuador