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Los Frailes Beach, Machalilla National Park, Ecuador

Machalilla National Park

The Machalilla National Park offers a fascinating variety of flora and fauna and covers an area of 55,000 hectares including Salango and La Plata Island. The bays, small islands, beautiful beaches and forests are all protected and are therefore a haven for wildlife.

Humpback Whale, Puerto Lopez, Ecuador
Humpback Whale, Puerto Lopez, Ecuador
Los Frailes Beach, Machalilla National Park, Ecuador
Los Frailes Beach, Machalilla National Park, Ecuador

A little more about Machalilla National Park

While in the park you can find tropical dry forest which is home to some fascinating pre-Columbian archaeology. There are also areas of cloud forest, a particularly great area for birdwatching. The coast is a mix of fascinating fishing villages and long beautiful, natural beaches, particularly Los Frailes. The ocean is home to beautiful coral reefs as well as birds, mammals and marine reptiles. Off the coast there are humpback whales from June to September and from October to December, there are sea turtles.


What do you really love doing? We curate your itinerary especially for you.

Sulfur lagoon Machalilla, Ecuador

Bathe in a Sulfury Lagoon

Bathe in the sulfury waters of the Agua Blanca Lagoon and mask in its nutrient-dense mud.

Wooden House Machalilla, Ecuador

Discover Ancient Ruins

Visit the small archaeological museum, Museo de Agua Blanca, that houses a collection of arrowheads, animal figurines and stone seats.

Los Frailes Beach, Machalilla National Park, Ecuador

Swim at Los Frailes Beach

Take in sweeping coastal views and paddle in the exclusive deep blue waters of Los Frailes Beach.

Poison dart frog, Ecuadorian amazon

Go Wildlife Spotting

Explore the protected bays, long beaches and tropical dry forests of Machalilla National Park, brimming with wildlife that includes armadillos, arrow frogs, and black howler monkeys.

Need Inspiration?
Browse our Ecuador holiday ideas.

Our Ecuador experts have created and curated these holiday ideas to get you started. Take the time to search through them and find something to spark ideas for a unique adventure.

Meet our experts

A passion for travel runs right through every one of our experts - meaning they're always ready with first-hand insight about their specialist countries.

Paul Bird

From quaint Andean villages and colourful markets to staggering volcanic landscapes and the Amazon Rainforest, Paul has explored the length and breadth of Ecuador.

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  • 01285 880 980

John Faithfull

John rode the railways of Ecuador on the carriage roof before it was outlawed, but still recommends a jaunt along the Devil’s Nose – an engineering marvel that can still be enjoyed from inside a carriage.

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  • 01285 880 980

Roxy Dukes

I love to squeeze as much out of my day as possible. An outdoors fanatic, I love to delve into harsh environments having summited numerous mountains and trail running into the unknown whenever I get the chance – whether at home or overseas. Funnily enough, it didn’t start like that. It took a few years for the burning fire of adventure to truly take light with my eyes opened by the adventures travel could afford.

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  • 01285 880 980

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As usual all aspects of this trip went like clockwork, even thought we were in South America where timings can be different to other parts of the world! This we put down to the work done by Paul and his knowledge of the country.

Destination: Ecuador
Travel Expert: Paul

Why Choose Steppes?

Our knowledge and expertise set us apart. So too our curiosity. It is this that drives us to create a journey that is really bespoke to you, all the while ensuring we travel and operate sustainably.

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