The 136,850-acre Parque Nacional Machalilla is in the extreme southwestern corner of the state of Manabí, and was created in 1979 in an effort to halt the destruction of the country's remaining tropical dry forests. Unlike the lush greenery associated with rain forests, dry-forest vegetation includes kapok trees, prickly pear cactus, and strangler figs. The entrance fee is good for five days and includes access to Isla de la Plata, a 3,000-acre seabird sanctuary where red-footed, blue-footed, and masked boobies make their homes. The waters surrounding the island teem with flying fish, dolphins, and humpback whales that come from Antarctica to bear their young during the June–October season. There are restrooms and changing facilities at the park.
The visitor center is on main street in Puerto López, Puerto López, Ecuador