cayapas mataje ECOLOGICAL RESERVE - 2/2
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Cayapas Mataje in the company of Churute Mangrove Ecological Reserve are the only two protected areas, which contain mangrove ecosystems, under the guidelines of the National Strategies from the System of Natural Areas of Ecuador (1976/1989).

The reserve is habited by fauna in danger of extinction, such as the otter or water wolf, the bear call perezoso, the parrot, The “chachalaca” orpartridge and the crocodile or alligator. However, the most distinctive fauna group of the reserve is made up of invertebrates such as female shell, the male shell, the blue crab, the guariche crab and the jaiba crab. The most representative fishes are canchimala, corvina, lisa, machetajo, and snapper.


Regarding birds, the most representative are the seabirds, mainly pelicans or “chogozo”, the blue-footed boobies, frigate or “tijereta” and other species of the family Laridae Scolopacidae and Charadriidae, many of them migratory.


There is a pilot project called La Chiquita where is done a research around the forest area of ​​the species. This work allows us to know more about the rainforest. You can also enjoy a journey of two hours along a pathway that arrives to a creek called Sabalera. On the walk you can see the orchids hanging from the branches of trees.


In the company of the most representative landscapes of the area, there are: the mangroves Majagual, La Tolita (Pampa de oro), Estero El Viento, The beaches of San Pedro and Cauchal, the population of Palma Real, La Cascada or Salto and the population of San Lorenzo, located on the edge of the reserve, where you will find hotels, restaurants and all facilities to take a trip into the area.


The reserve is located in the city of Esmeraldas in the north of the province of the same name. It is accessible by land from Ibarra, following the paved road that leads to San Lorenzo. This last one is the main town in the area. The other option is by the highway Esmeraldas-Bourbon. The reserve is open all days and the entry fee is $ 5.

Within the Mangrove Ecological Reserve Cayapas-Mataje there is a town called Cauchal where you can enjoy a quiet and beautiful beach. You can arrive there by boat from the port San Lorenzo with two choices of times: 07h00 or 12h00.


Cauchal has a friendly environment. You will perceive it in the lodges of several families that collect shells in the mangrove. Also they prepare delicious typical food such as ceviche (soup of sea food), crab, pescado tapado, and encocado de pescado (fish with coconut).
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