Puerto Lopez

Touted as the whale watching capital of South America, Puerto López attracts visitors from around the world, who come here to watch and photograph these impressive mammals.

Puerto Lopez Best Things to Do

Whale Watching Tour, Ecuador
Whale Watching TourPuerto Lopez

Between June and October, around 7,000 humpback whales travel from Antarctica to Ecuador’s coast. They migrate to this area to mate and give birth in Ecuador’s warm Pacific waters. Machalilla National Park is ideally located for visitors to come and watch the humpback whales that have gathered near the coast.

Boat Tours
Sport Fishing, Ecuador
Sport FishingPuerto Lopez

Waters off the coast of Machalilla National Park team with fish. This is because of the Humboldt Current, which brings with it cold water and a huge variety of well-fed fish.

Boat Tours
Sport Fishing
0 - Puerto Lopez, Ecuador
1 - Puerto Lopez, Ecuador
2 - Puerto Lopez, Ecuador
3 - Puerto Lopez, Ecuador
4 - Puerto Lopez, Ecuador
5 - Puerto Lopez, Ecuador
6 - Puerto Lopez, Ecuador
7 - Puerto Lopez, Ecuador
8 - Puerto Lopez, Ecuador
9 - Puerto Lopez, Ecuador

Area Guide

Puerto López is a sleepy fishing village set along a wide bay. The town is pleasant enough, but the real draw of this area is the humpback whales that frequent this portion of the coast. From June–September, humpback whales come to Ecuador’s coastline during their annual migration. The shallow oceanic shelf and warm waters near Puerto López create perfect conditions for the whales to rest and raise newborn calves.

While on a whale watching tour, expect to see these massive 79,000 pound (35,833 kg) mammals breaching all around you. Humpback whales are known for their impressive aerobatics, and can breach clear out of the water. Slapping tails and pectoral fins against the surface is another common behavior.

Puerto López is bordered by the Machalilla National Park, whose beautiful beaches and relaxing hot springs are a short trip away. This is the country’s only coastal park, and it protects some of Ecuador’s last remaining tropical scrub desert and forest.