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Coastal Ecuador

Coastal Ecuador holidays

The mid-Pacific coastline of Ecuador around Manta is a great way to unwind at the end of a trip, although it cannot be considered a traditional beach destination. The area offers plenty of nature-oriented excursions and is a quieter alternative to the faraway Galapagos Islands.

The city of Bahía de Caráquez, north of Manta, is a good base from which to explore the Isla Corazon mangrove forest and its colonies of frigate birds, tropical dry forests and the bird-watching paradise of La Segua wetlands.

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To the south of Manta are Puerto Lopez and Machalilla National Park, which feature remote beaches, the Agua Blanca pre-Columbian archaeological site, tropical dry forest and cloud forest where howler monkeys and collared peccaries can be spotted.

Offshore is the Isla de la Plata, home to coral reefs, colonies of seabirds (including frigates, blue- and red-footed boobies and albatrosses), sea lions and dolphins. From mid-June to early October the biggest attraction is undoubtedly the humpback whales that come to breed in the coastal waters. Whale-watching excursions can be arranged from Bahía de Caráquez and Puerto Lopez.

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