Many people around the world may have heard about the abundance of life found in the Galapagos Islands, yet there is another place in Ecuador that is so exceptional that shouldn’t be missed when visiting this beautiful country. Isla de la Plata is known as the little Galapagos due to the biodiversity found in this small and lovely island that is located 50 km off the coast of Puerto Lopez in Ecuador.
The main feature of Isla de Plata is the variety of exotic birds that inhabit this magical place. Amazing flight shows are displayed by pelicans, boobies and frigate birds that mate and breed in this island. Another popular attraction is the presence of the emigrating humpbacks whales; as this area is an ideal place for them to give birth to their pups from July to September.
Close to this area travelers also have a major attraction such as the Machalilla National Park, which covers large territories of the Agua Blanca and Salango cultures. According to experts, since prehistoric times this area was a worship center for the Sun for almost all pre-Columbian cultures. It still shows some archaeological remains of the famous shell ‘Spondylus’ exchange, which was considered the food of the Gods and also used as primitive currency in prehispanic local cultures.
This island was explored and investigated during the late nineteenth century by the well- known ethnographer George Amos Dorsey, who discovered important ancient objects of cultures in Ecuador's coast, mostly, silver Inca time figurines and statues. Some people believe this was the reason why ancients named the Island “Isla de la Plata”. However, other most widespread versions attribute its name to the legend of hidden treasures from the England pirate and explorer: Sir Francis Drake.
Travelers who choose this destination know that this is not only a place for chilling, but also for fun activities, since you can enjoy water sports such as snorkeling or diving and even some surface exploring because there are many wonders and surprises such as beautiful coral reefs around the Isla de la Plata.
Take advantage of the summer time and visit this natural paradise where you can witness amazing flora, beautiful ocean views, wildlife encounters with sea lions, tropical spotted dolphins, sharks and incredibly huge stingrays!