Machala, Ecuador Cruise Port, 2018 and 2019 Cruises to Machala, Ecuador | The Cruise Web
 

Machala, Ecuador Cruise Port

For a more low-key visit, check out the cruise port of Machala, Ecuador near the Gulf of Guayaquil. Ecuador’s fourth-largest city has been dubbed the "Banana Capital of the World," thanks to the role bananas play in the local economy. You can also expect to find coffee and cocoa in this administrative capital of the country’s El Oro province. In fact, the city has a festival devoted to the banana each year: the Feria Mundial del Banano, where you can expect a "Banana Queen" (La Reina del Banano) to be crowned. Many travelers use Machala as a stopping point to other destinations, namely Guayaquil or Peru; it's also convenient for those wanting to explore the nearby mountains. If you plan to stick close, you can enjoy restaurants that offer fine local fare, followed up by fantastic coffee drinks. Here are some of our favorite experiences when cruising to Machala, Ecuador:
 
  • Get a feel for the city along the Parque Juan Montalvo (also called Central Park), built in 1824 and the center of the city. Along with three pools and a host of mangrove trees, most of the city's best restaurants and hotels are within six blocks (along with the bus station).
     
  • As you continue your walk, you may see the three domes of the Catedral de Machala (Cathedral of Our Lady of Mercy) loom high above the Parque Juan Montalvo. Originally built in 1747, it's undergone several periods of renovations; it's a lovely sight both inside and out.
     
  • Take a trip out to the Island Jambelí for sunny beaches. Other nearby daytrips include the Isla del Amor, perfect for birdwatchers (keep an eye out for pelicans, egrets, gray herons, and more), and Santa Clara Island, a haven for whale and dolphin spotting between June and October.
     
  • Another popular trip is to see the Bosque Petrificado de Puyango (Petrified Forest of Puyango). A bit under two hours south of Machala, this fantastic dry-forest reserve includes specimens (many at least 100 million years old) such as fossilized trees, plants, flowers, fruits, and mollusks.

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