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Ecotourism in Action: Whale Watching as One of the Best Recreational Activities
Whale Watching as One of the Best Recreational Activities
A worldwide popularity of ecotourism grew with an amazing pace in recent years. Hunters and fishermen of yesterday more and more realize today that showing the nature's riches of their country to tourists turns out to be much more interesting and profitable than extirpating the already decreasing populations of wild animals. And this is particularly true in the situation with whales, the largest animals on Earth.
Just half a century ago the only way to gain some profit out of whales was killing them to further use their meat, baleen and blubber, but today even the most active whalers have changed their job and become defenders of whales. It’s no wonder, a demand for travel packages including whale watching today far exceeds a demand for whale products, and ocean ecotours on boats for whale watching bring more than $100 billion a year to its providers worldwide. This is much more than you can make on hunting.
One of the most important objects of the whale ecotourism is a humpback whale. Some of its biological features make this species very convenient for watching, and wide areas of habitat allow travel agencies to organize sea travels for watching these whales in different parts of the world. Best of all, a humpback whale is really very interesting and convenient for tourists!

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Isla de la Plata Puerto Lopez Manabí
Isla de la Plata (Silver Island) is one of the major attractions of Parque Nacional Machalilla (Machalilla National Park). Both its unique population of resident and migratory birds and its stunning scenery make this idyllic place the perfect eco-tourism destination. The Island also boasts huge historical and cultural importance as it was used as a refuge by the pirate Sir Francis Drake, and as a hiding place for treasures stolen from Spanish galleons. It was also a ceremonial site for Manta culture leaders. In order to visit the island, Puerto López has a number of tour operators offering trips to Isla de la Plata all year round.
Once you have boarded your boat, the tour lasts all day, allowing you to enjoy some birdwatching of species such as frigates and blue-footed boobies, as well as diving in the Island’s marine territory. Between June and August, our tour operators can offer you our most famous eco-tourism attraction – the chance to watch humpback whales, which come to mate along the Ecuadorian coastline. This is one of the major tourism attraction of Parque Nacional Machalilla. Goggling-lovers will gaze in wonder at the coral reefs around Isla de la Plata and neighbouring islands Salango and El Ahorcado (The Hanged Man), as well as nearby islets and rocks.

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Museum Agua Blanca Puerto Lopez Manabí
Agua Blanca is located 10 minutes by car heading north from Puerto López, on the right side of the highway to Machalilla.
Lying next to the Buena Vista River is a complex of temples, plazas and dwellings left by the Manteño Culture, a civilization which reached the peak of its development more than 1,500 years ago in this area.
For the interested tourist, this site has to offer an archaeological museum, funerary urns and the local customs practiced in the town of Agua Blanca, as well as nearby natural ecotourism attractions, such as sulfur springs and secondary forests.
The Agua Blanca archaeological site is located in the heart of Machalilla National Park, and the culture’s most important center was the Salangome chiefdom. At its peak period, the site contained nearly 600 structures.
The archaeological ruins at the Agua Blanca site are sparsely dispersed just the south of equator line (O1°30"S, 80°45”E) in the Buena Vista River Costal Valley. They represent the nucleus of the Manteño Culture’s intensive occupation of this valley, as well as being one of the largest and best preserved archaeological sites in the north. The ruins probably served as the capital of Salangome, which was one of the most powerful chiefdoms on the Ecuadorian coast. Manteño chiefdoms such as Jocay, Picoazá and Salangome exerted political and economic rule over a large territory in Ecuador’s Central Coast, but to date very little is known about their political, economic and ideological institutions.

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An average age of a humpback whale is 35 years; the oldest ever caught male was 48 years old, the female — 38 years. A humpback whale is distinctive with its very long pectoral fins, which reach 5 meters length each. No other species of whales has such a long fins. There are 25-30 deep broad bands on a belly of the humpback whale that are a distinctive feature of this species. It was called a humpback whale for its low and thick dorsal hump-like fin. A usual color of the whale back and sides is black or dark brown. The fins can also be either black or mottle and in exceptional... 
Once you have boarded your boat, the tour lasts all day, allowing you to enjoy some birdwatching of species such as frigates and blue-footed boobies, as well as diving in the Island’s marine territory. Between June and August, our tour operators can offer you our most famous eco-tourism attraction – the chance to watch humpback whales, which come to mate along the Ecuadorian coastline. This is one of the major tourism attraction of Parque Nacional Machalilla. Goggling-lovers will gaze in wonder at the coral reefs around Isla de la Plata and neighbouring islands...