Churute Mangrove Ecological Reserve is located in the province of Guayas-Ecuador and is part of the canton Naranjal, in Guayaquil.
The Reserve has an area of 55,212 hectares, located in the inner estuary of the Gulf and the lower basin of the Guayas River, making it possibly the largest mangrove forest in the country.
Its longitudinal range is from 0 to 700 meters above sea level. The Ecological Reserve was created on July 6, 1979 by Ministerial Agreement No. A-322. In the mangrove there are mixed waters of the Pacific Ocean and the rivers Taura, Churute, Cañar and Naranjal.
Most of the area consists of mangrove, with halophytic vegetation that grows up in the estuaries of three rivers (Cañar, Taura and Churute). The Site is reliant to tidal influence and the flow of the river Guayas. Part of the site is form by the lagoon El Canclón, freshwater, and hills covered with tropical dry forest and humid tropical transition.
In this reserve area has been found evidence of cultures like Valdivia, Chorrera, Guangala, Jambelí and Guayaquil. In the seventeenth century, the Guayas watershed began to be inhabited by criollos and mestizos, who live in small villages within the reserve.
There are also artificial mounds of earth, built by aboriginal peoples for ceremonial, mortuary, housing and control purpouses, in agricultural areas called Tolas.
Tolas were originated in the period of concentration of Valdivia in the region and during the peak in the period of integration with the culture Milagro Quevedo. Traces of these works are predominant within the Reserve.
To access the Mangrove Ecological Reserve Churute, you should take the route from Guayaquil to Machala. Before coming to Naranjal, at Km. 49, there are two roads that will lead you to the mangroves.
The trip to the reserve, from Guayaquil takes about 45 minutes by car.
There are four trails to explore the Reserve. There is also a boat trip on the river Guayas to visit the mangroves.
Churute Mangrove Ecological Reserve contains a mangrove ecosystem from the mainland coast, a type of the estuary marshy ecosystem like the estuary of the principal Gulf of Guayaquil, a remnant of tropical dry forest and a remnant of tropical wet forest.