Manglares Churute Ecological Reserve - Mangrove Forests Teeming With Life
The Manglares Churute Ecological Reserve can be found in the Guayas Province, about 25 miles from Guayaquil. It contains approximately 50,000 hectares of mangroves and dry tropical forests. The reserve is east of the mouth of the Guayas River and the protected mangrove that it has provides you with spectacular bird and sea animal watching opportunities. While you tour the Reserve, take time to stop at any of the many lakes found within the park, like El Chanclón or Churute, because you will find many different varieties of aquatic birds like woodpeckers, herons and ducks, as well as shrimp and crabs. Tortoises and badgers are also common in these areas. Other animals you can view at the park are the armadillo, tigrillo, white-fronted capuchin and mantled howler monkeys that can be seen in the forests.
The mangroves incorporated within the Manglares Churute Park make up 67 percent of the entire park and are protected from shrimp farming which is prevalent in the area. The Manglares Churute Reserve also contains salt flats that are popular with a variety of shorebirds like the roseate spoonbill, osprey, egrets and laughing gulls. It is also one of the areas that you can find and see a feathered horned screamer. Surrounding these mangrove areas are dry areas that are made up of oak, silk-cotton, Balsa and oak trees and many orchid and bromeliad varieties can be found elsewhere. Make time to take a canoe trip through these lush mangroves, since this gives you the unique opportunity to see a great variety of fauna up close.
Before you go further in your exploration of the Manglares Churute Park, you can take advantage of the park's information center that provides visitors with all the information they will need to make their stay at the park as enjoyable as possible. Get yourself a map that can show you the many walks that one can take around the reserve. If you are a keen bird watcher then a trip to the reserve in January is a must as this is when the water levels of the lagoons are at their highest, which of course means an increase in waterfowl.