The day starts early in the morning with the departure to the city of Manta, located on the Pacific Coast. We will visit some craft peoples to appreciate the process of making Toquilla Straw hats and figurines made of Tagua, known as vegetable ivory.
Accommodation in manta, in selected hotel.
Included meals: None
The tour starts early in the morning on the dock of Puerto Lopez. You will board a boat to sail towards the legendary Isla de la Plata (two-hour trip approx.), where, according to legends, the famous pirate Francis Drake hid the treasures he stole from the Spanish galleons. They also say that the treasure was never found and is hidden in a secret place of this island.
The island has two paths or hiking trails, both with spectacular views. We may find interesting colonies of blue-footed boobies, masked boobies, frigate birds and albatrosses.
During the months of July and September you can watch dolphins and humpback whales around the island. These beautiful marine mammals come to this area because of its warm waters, ideal place for their courtship dance. The return to Puerto Lopez will be in the afternoon.
Box lunch on board. Accommodation in selected hotel.
Included meals: Breakfast and box lunch
The Hacienda El Castillo is located aprox. one hour away from Salinas. Half a century ago, a castle was built in these lands, which eventually was abandoned and in ruins. During the 80s the lands changed owner and a lengthy process started that would lead the Hacienda to its present splendor.
The property has 300 hectares, on which the following is grown: cocoa, mango, teak, mahogany, and other forest species as well as other crops.
Although the property is used for agricultural production, the original vegetation has been preserved in large areas where you can see native forests of lignum vitae, rosewood, locust, stunning ceibo trees (coral tree) and other varieties of the area. These areas of the Hacienda are ideal for birdwatching.
A specialized guide will greet you with a typical cocoa juice accompanied by Patacones con cuajada (fried plantains with curd). After having enjoyed the scenery we start the tour through the cocoa and mango plantations, where you can appreciate the cultivation and export process.
You will visit the garden where the plants will be planted later and you will know about the growing process, then you will visit the drying areas where the fruit is dried and made ready for sale and export. In the afternoon you will start your return to Guayaquil.
Included meals:Breakfast, lunch (meals do not include beverages)