The last leg of our trip involved getting from the Highland Mountainous regions of Quito, to the famed Ruta del Sol Coastal region of Manabi and the incredible Eco-paradise that is Machallila State Park.
We hired Marcos, a personal tour escort to take us. It turned out to be one heck of a road-trip.
Marcos took us to our final destination without batting an eye. That man is beyond impressive; he must be made of steel. He drove straight through the entire 13 hours without even taking a 20 minute nap. Highly recommend him to anyone planning an adventurous trip to Quito and in a need of a great transport/guide package. (Anyone with interest can leave me a comment or page me for details.)
After an adventure-filled road-trip, all we wanted to do when we arrived to the Puerto Lopez was to relax..... And that is precisely what we did. This place went above and beyond our expectations. I want you to just for a minute close your eyes and envision the perfect Eco-Paradise of a Resort nestled on a cliff, surrounded by cozy, colorful, personalized bungalows with the most Spectacular view of the Pacific Ocean and a Hotel staff dedicated to your individual needs and catering to your every beck and call (and when I mean "your" I mean ONLY you and yours) and here comes the best part, only paying less than $50 US dollars a night for all this! Have you pictured it? Good, then you have arrived at the Mantaraya Lodge in Manabi Province, Ecuador.
Can you believe our excitement when we realize that the entire 15-room resort was all to ourselves? Highly recommend this place, if you really want to "get away from it all" - this is the place to go. Literally.
Our stay in Puerto Lopez/Machallila National Park was divine. The next couple of days consisted of many exciting, and relaxing activities including whale-watching, snorkeling, diving, hiking, and just plain old lounging-by-the-pool.
The perfect ending, to a perfectly wonderful trip.
Some pictures for your enjoyment:
And this is the aftermath (which doesn't include the leather goods we bought at Cotacahi or the Alpaca scarves and mittens I bought in Cusco, those still needed to be unpacked:) The Husband said I could start my own South American Market, lol, I think he may be right;o