Friday, September 23, 2016

Puerto Lopez and Isla de la Plata - The poor man's Galapagos

Puerto Lopez beach

Puerto Lopez is a small seaside village on the coast of Ecuador. It is probably less famous than the party town of Montanitas or the resort city of Salinas but close by Puerto Lopez is the "Poor man's Galapagos" - Isla de la Plata.

Partying on Montanitas beach

Salinas

Costing a mere $US40 rather than the thousands of a trip to the Galapagos, the Island is rich in bird life

Boobies!

Nesting blue footed booby

The mating dance of the blue footed booby

Birds circling the cliffs

And is on the migration route for humpback whales and other sea creatures.

Sea turtle

Mother and baby humpback whales

The whales came quite close to the boat - swimming around and under it.

Humpback diving

Giving us a wave

And one young whale was keen on showing off.

Surfacing

Leaping out of the water

Humpback playing in the ocean

Just outside of Puerto Lopez is the little historic village of Aguas Blancas. The village is easily reached by bus to the turn off. From there you can either catch a mototaxi or hike the 5 km to the town through a nature trail 

Bird on the trail

Once you reach the town you have to hire a guide who gives a short guided tour of the town before taking you to the town's main attraction - a sulphurous Lagoon.

The lagoon

As you can imagine, the water has an interesting odour but apparently it's good for your skin and it is a nice place to relax for the afternoon. 

From the lagoon you can walk back along the road to the town where there is a lookout giving views over the valley.

Aguas Blancas valley

Before returning to the beaches of Puerto Lopez.

Fishing boats in Puerto Lopez

Puerto Lopez beach

And having a cocktail at one of the many bars on the beach.

Bars on the beach