(does not include Quito)
Sights & Sites
●Casa del Arbol – hostalerupcion.com/casa-arbol-banos-ecuador.html; rickety tree house overlooking active volcano in near distance with swing with no harnesses, inviting only bravest risk-takers to experience killer view.
Isla Santa Cruz
●Pikaia Lodge – El Cascajo; 011-593-4268-1952; pikaialodgegalapagos.com; on tortoise reserve atop dormant volcano.
●Mashpi Lodge – Mashpi Rainforest Biodiversity Reserve; 800-527-2500; mashpilodge.com.
●Los Frailes – in Machalilla National Park; from park entrance gate at Los Frailes, 2-mile trail down to beach.
●Machalilla Tours – Malecon; 011-593-5-230-0234 or 011-593-9-610-9185; machalillatours.org or email@example.com (for Fausto); run by Fausto Choez Castro.
●Naturis – General Cordova y Juan Montalvo Calles; 011-595-5-230-0218; naturis.com.ec; tour agency.
Sights & Sites
●Agua Blanca – 6 miles north of Puerto Lopez; small archaeological museum and nearby ruins.
●Humpback Whale – Puerto López’ greatest draw is annual humpback-whale breeding, mating, and migration event.
●Machalilla National Park – Calle Eloy Alfaro (Puerto Lopez office); 011-595-05-230-0170; park includes Isla de la Plata, among world’s premier manta-viewing sites (mantatrust.org); named “Isla de la Plata” because Sir Francis Drake reportedly hid huge treasure here; island 14 miles west of Puerto López; park also includes vast forest tracts and couple ancient archaeological sites; bird-watching and wildlife-viewing.