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“Worth the trip, even though my friends camera disappeared” 4 of 5 stars
Review of Isla de la Plata

Isla de la Plata
Machalilla National Park, Ecuador
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Type: Islands, Outdoors
Activities: Viewing wildlife
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Attraction details
Owner description: Located only 17 miles off the coast of Ecuador, this island is encircled by many reefs that make it a popular destination for scuba divers and snorkelers.
Frankfurt, Germany
2 reviews
Reviews in 2 cities Reviews in 2 cities
2 helpful votes 2 helpful votes
“Worth the trip, even though my friends camera disappeared”
4 of 5 stars Reviewed May 16, 2013

We took a day tour with averturaslaplata.com which has an office in Puerto Lopez in the center at the malecon. But we booked and payed in our hotel. (30$ pp) We walked to the boat and then it took about 1,5 hours to get there . On the island is a building and there a bathrooms.
We were two groups with two guides. Our guide was good, showed us the frigade birds and the boobies and some plants etc. He tried to sell some oil of a plant and another tour, which was a bit akward, but he was not persistant, so it was OK.

The walk was very easy, maybe 1,5 hours total. After we came back to the boat we got fruit, a sandwich and a drink on board. Then we had the chance to see see turtles and lots of fish- and go snorkeling, before we went back. The boat is very fast so it bounces a lot. Can be fun, if you don`t get sick
Don`t go to the toilet on the boat, it is a challenge with this fast boat, even if it slows down.The boat was in a very good condition.

The only thing which left a bad feeling was that my friends camera was not in her backpack anymore when we came back to the hotel. It looked like it disappeared while we were snorkeling, but who knows?

Visited April 2013
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This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
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157 reviews from our community

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Date | Rating
  • Dutch first
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English first
Senior Contributor
27 reviews 27 reviews
17 attraction reviews
Reviews in 20 cities Reviews in 20 cities
11 helpful votes 11 helpful votes
“A pleasant day tour”
5 of 5 stars Reviewed April 15, 2013

1,5 hour away from Puerto Lopez by boat is Isla de la Plata. The tour cost us 30 USD per person (3 adults) for the full day including lunch. Scenery and birds watching we're quite amazing. The tour also including a snorkeling session which we enjoyed.

Visited April 2013
Was this review helpful? Yes 1
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Ottawa, Canada
Top Contributor
74 reviews 74 reviews
9 attraction reviews
Reviews in 38 cities Reviews in 38 cities
44 helpful votes 44 helpful votes
“Must see if you're not going to the Galapogos”
5 of 5 stars Reviewed April 1, 2013

One of my objectives in coming to Ecuador was to see the unique Blue-footed Booby, and even though it wasn't nesting season (in March), we still saw them "up close and personal", along with young birds and the usual Frigate birds, and Red-footed Boobys and various other warblers at Isla de la Plata. The advantage of going in March is that the island is lush and green with flowers blooming everywhere, when the rest of the year it's brown and dry. The hike around the top of the island is vigourous,and the tours do it during the hottest part of the day, so bring plenty of water, wear sunscreen and a hat, as well as good footwear -- trekking sandals or hiking boots (running shoes in a pinch). The snorkling following the hike is refreshing and a great way to top off the island tour. In order to enjoy the boat ride over to the island, be sure to choose a reliable tour operator with a good boat.

Visited March 2013
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Campton, New Hampshire
Top Contributor
115 reviews 115 reviews
11 attraction reviews
Reviews in 61 cities Reviews in 61 cities
73 helpful votes 73 helpful votes
“Not the Galapagos but a nice trip.”
4 of 5 stars Reviewed March 16, 2013

One hour boat trip. You have to wade to get in and out of the boat. And the landing is rocky so if you have tender feet you'll go ouch. Trips usually leave around 10 am and thus when you get to the island you will be hiking at the hottest time of day. Be prepared with sunscreen and bug goop for bare legs.

There are many frigate birds, boobies and a few tropic birds this time of year. The albatrosses don't come until April.

Visited March 2013
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This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Esmeraldas, Ecuador
4 reviews 4 reviews
3 attraction reviews
Reviews in 3 cities Reviews in 3 cities
8 helpful votes 8 helpful votes
“You get to see either lots of Boobies and Frigatebirds or beautiful green scenery -depending on the month”
5 of 5 stars Reviewed March 16, 2013

I have two totally different experiences, one is from the end of March 2012 (rainy season) and the other is from early December 2012 (dry season). It's hard to believe we went to the same island!! Both times we bought our tour from Machalilla Tours, both times we made a reservation on-line and paid part of the cost in advance (the first time we were 5 people and the second time 4, family and friends) and paid 30$ each. Some of us did get sea sick each time, but the sea was more agitated in December and it does get very wet and cold on the way back, so it's a good idea to take along a (water proof) jacket to keep you warm. It's about an hour ride but it feels like a lot more if you're shivering with cold and feel like puking...Once you get there you usually get to see sea tortoises, we saw one in March and several in December. They swim very close to the boat so you get to take pictures of these beautiful creatures. We even saw a sea lion from some distance in March. Fabulous! Once on the island you get to a building where there are restrooms and from there to a map of the island where the group has to decide which one of the paths they want to take. It's usually very hot in March and there are hardly no birds, so people tend to want a shorter path. In December it's cooler and there are lots and lots of Blue-Footed Boobies and Frigatebirds, nesting and with their babies of different ages. The tour guide didn't seem to want us to choose a longer path, but in spite of that in December the group wanted to take a medium length path where there was a chance to see also Red-Footed Boobies (even though we didn't manage to see any after all). We did see amazing quantities of the other Boobies all over the path and surroundings, they nest often on the path and you have to walk slowly and calmly so as not to bother them, especially when they are with babies they might feel threatened and move their wings and make noises. But it was unbelievable how close they would let you come, I had never experienced this with wild animals before. And the babies were so cute, some of them had just hatched and some were already bigger and fluffy white, others had partially lost the white feathers and looked somewhat comical. There were often two of them and the other slightly bigger as they don't hatch at the same time. We also saw some males still courting with their funny mating dance but according to the tour guide they wouldn't be able to make it on time, once rainy season starts the birds leave the island. We also saw an area where the Frigatebirds where nesting in trees, there were hundreds of them, the chicks which looked as big as their parents waiting impatiently for them to return with food. All this was amazing! Nature was all dry and yellow though (through June-December it's dry season),but that's the season when the birds nest on the island. In March it was beautiful, very lush and green and there were thousands of pretty flowers. But of course in March (rainy season Januay-May) there are only a few birds (and no chicks) close to the rocks. After the walk we returned to the boat for the lunch consisting of fruit and sandwiches. I would recommend taking along enough water, as the one they provided didn't taste good at all. After the lunch there's a possibility to snorkel, but it's very uncertain if you get to see fish or not, in March we saw some even though the water was quite murky, but in December it was freezing cold and it was even murkier so we didn't see any at all. But this varies from day to day, so there's no way to know in advance if you'll have luck or not. We have friends who have gone several times to Isla de la Plata and have seen a lot of colourful fish in clear waters. All in all, a trip well worth the effort! Next time we will go between June and September to see whales and hopefully also dolphins on the way there, as well as amazing quantities of nesting Blue-Footed Boobies and Frigatebirds, and if we have luck, finally also beautiful clourful fish in the sea.

Visited December 2012
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This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.

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