Puerto López (16,000 inhabitants) is a small fishing village set in an arched bay on the Pacific coast in the Ecuadorian Manabí Province. Puerto Lopéz is the Machalilla National Park headquarters. The main industries include fishing and ecotourism. The street closest to the beach has many restaurants, cabanas that provide drinks, and some nightclubs. Fishing is an important activity in Puerto Lopéz. In local waters there are Amberjack, dolphin, wahoo, marlin, and tuna of many different species.
Whale watching is popular from mid-June to October and tours can be booked in town. At this time of year the huge humpback whales mate and the odds of spotting whales are very good. Humpback whales mate behind Salango Island, this island is in the community Salango.
A few kilometres offshore is Isla de la Plata (named from its history as a pirate hideout, the Island of the Silver), also referred to as “The Poor Man’sGalapagos.” There some species that also inhabit the Galapagos like the blue and red-footed booby, frigatebirds, albatross, pelican and other seabirds that are nesting in colonies can be found. The island is surrounded by coral reef and snorkeling is a popular activity. On the boat ride from Puerto Lopez to the island pods of dolphins can often be seen.
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