Machalilla National Park is located at the central-western coastal region, Ecuador, in the province of Manabi.
The park covers 56,184 hectares, including a land portion (41,754 hectares approx.) marin territory (14 430 ha.) and an altitude range that goes from 0 to 850 m above sea level. It was created through Interagency Agreement No. 322 of Ministry of Agriculture and Ministry of Industry, Commerce and Integration, on July 26, 1979. The park was joined in National Heritage of Protected Natural Areas by Ministerial Resolution No. 018 on March 31, 1994
Machalilla National Park is part of the “tumbesina” region, characterized by tropical dry forest, which has three different environments: continental, island and sea environment. The last one is made up of islands, islets, rock, coral reefs, beaches and spectacular cliffs.
In the marine area, converge ocean currents like: “El niño”, “Humboldt” and Equatorial Countercurrent, favoring the existence of unique ecosystems with high biodiversity and variety of species.
The park’s name was given for a culture that dwelt the present territory of Manabi in a period between 1,500 and 1,000 BC. Machalilla culture developed important relationships with other cultures such as Western Mexicans cultures.Beside that, this culture influenced the West coast of Peru between 700 and 800 BC, sharing cultural qualities with the Tutischainyo.
The feeding of Machalilla culture was based on agriculture and marine products extracted from the shore with nets and hooks made from pearl for deep water. This culture was characterized by its production of ceramic vessels based on human forms in which the potter reflected the image of their own social reality. There have been registered 23 vessels with forms of bowls, pots, plates, bottles with cylindrical high peak and decorated with engraved lines made after casting or cooking.
In order to get to the National Park Machalilla you should move to the Manta city where you will board a bus to Puerto Lopez, it has routes between 06h00 and 14h00.
The access fee for foreigners into Machalilla National Park is $ 15 USD and if you want to visit the “Isla de la Plata” is $ 20 USD. For national tourists the prices are much lower.