The Machalilla National Park, contains one of the largest tropical dry forests remaining in the world.
Its unique vegetation gradually changes, as the elevation increases and cloud forest species begin to emerge. Finally, you will discover a tropical rain forest.
Such great diversity within a small area is due to the park's location at the juncture of the cold Humboldt current flowing north and the warm El Niño current flowing south.
Machalilla National Park
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Machalilla's unique and varied geography, along with the rich cultural heritage of the region, have made it one of Ecuador's most popular new vacation destinations.
The 135,000-acre (55,000 hectare) park, established in 1979, is the only National Park in Ecuador with three areas: continental, islands and marine.
The main Islands include La Plata and Salango. The Tropical Dry Forest dominates the unique ecosystems, with the kapok trees that change their appearance with the seasons, alternately covered with pink flowers or dotted with fluffy, cotton-like balls of fiber, used in World War II for life preservers.
Included in this National Park is Isla de la Plata, a sanctuary for marine birds such as red footed, blue-footed and Nazca boobies, who share the steep cliffs with frigate birds, albatrosses, the beautiful red-billed tropic birds and other seagoing birds.
The Humpback Whales migrating north along the Channel of La Plata can be easily observed from the end of July until early October. Machalilla offers a great wealth of cultural attractions.
Hiking or driving through the park will bring you to remnants of such ancient cultures as the Manteño, which dates back to 1700 AD.
Adventurous and skillful navigators from the city of Manta on balsa wood rafts, traded the treasured spondilus princes shell up and own the Pacific coast from what is now Chile to the Mayan territory in southern Mexico.
Over 360 species of birds have been recorded in the area, mainly frigates, the three species of boobies, tanagers, brown pelicans, gulls and many other sea birds. More About Birdwatching in Ecuador
Mammals include deer, howler monkeys, squirrels, anteaters and guatusa. Reptiles like salamanders, lizards and a unique tree-living snail are common.
The Machalilla National Park is another incredible attraction that Ecuador has to offer, enjoy it!!
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