The Ecuadorian marine environment is characterized by the diverse ocean currents that mix here – the warm waters of El Niño, the cold Humbolt current and the Equatorial cross current. This conflux of currents gives rise to a unique ecosystem with high biodiversity. This offers great opportunities for snorkeling tours to observe the rich marine fauna. Perhaps the most famous of its residents are the humpback whales which make the waters of Machalilla their home during the summer months. The whale watching is possible form June to October and is organized from Puerto Lopez. The tour will also include a visit to the Isla de la Plata and the sun route that runs from the central beaches in Manabi by Machalilla national park to the coastal city of Guayaquil.
The below sample snorkeling tour has been designed having in mind the unique experience of having the opportunity to snorkel with the magnificent Humpback Whales and at the Isla de la Plata. It will be guided by an Ecuadorian Marine Biologist, below is a sample itinerary.
Arrive in Quito or Guayaquil and transfer to your boutique hotel.
Flight from Quito or Guayaquil to Manta or Portoviejo. Arrival and immediate departure by private bus to Machalilla National Park, visiting the Montecristi village en-route, famous “Panama Hats” manufacturers. Accommodation at Coastal eco lodge. Lunch, and in the afternoon, visit to the Los Frailes beach (snorkel opportunity). Back to the hotel, briefing and dinner.
Breakfast. Our vehicles will take us to Puerto Lopez, from where we will board our yacht try to identify where the whales are, and watch them from the boat, we will then visit Isla de la Plata (Silver Island) Ecuador's near shore version of the Galapagos, here we will be able to observe the rich coastal birdlife including Frigate birds and blue-footed boobies. Walk on trails. Swimming and snorkeling. Sailing back to Puerto López to our Ecolodge, briefing and dinner.
Our vehicles will take us to Puerto Lopez, from where we will go for our first snorkeling trip with whales. (IMPORTANT: OUR TRIP WILL BE GUIDED BY A MARINE BIOLOGIST AND BY A NATURALIST GUIDE MEMBER OF THE MACHALILLA NATIONAL PARK. THEY WILL DECIDE IF WE CAN ATTEMPT TO SKIN DIVE WITH WHALES, IT DEPENDS OF SEVERAL CONDITIONS. OUR OBJECTIVE IS TO ADMIRE THESE BEAUTIFUL MAMMALS AND UNDER NO CIRCUMSTANCE WE WILL PERFORM ANY ACTIVITY THAT CAN DISTURB THEIR PEACE.) Meal on board our yacht. In the afternoon we will attempt our 2nd skin dive under the same conditions of the first one. (IF WE ARE NOT ABLE TO SKIN DIVE WITH WHALES WE WILL SNORKEL IN OTHER AREA).
Back to Eco Lodge, briefing and dinner.
Breakfast. A beautiful trip all along the coast, visiting Ayangue village and small typical fishing villages. Arriving in Guayaquil in the night. Dinner and night walk in Guayaquil, visiting the Malecon 2002 (riverfront complex). Night in Guayaquil at a boutique hotel.
The above is a sample itinerary prepared for a snorkeling trip. It can be customized to fit the needs and special interests of your travellers.