Alandaluz – Passionate Embrace for Life
The beautiful Alandaluz eco-lodge situated on the Pacific coastline of the Manabi Province of Ecuador, is a superb example of how to enjoy the wonders of nature without disturbing the area’s essential ecological balance. Visitors to Alandaluz generally make the trip by bus from the city of Manta, along some exquisite coastline which is referred to as the “sun route”. On arrival at the eco-lodge, which is built primarily of bamboo, visitors are welcomed with true Ecuadorian hospitality and the promise of a memorable stay.
With its large, private beach and surrounded by small bamboo forests, as well as superb flower and vegetable gardens, Alandaluz has a host of activities to keep visitors entertained. There are plenty of trails along the coastline, or in the mountains and valleys, which can be explored on foot, on horse-back or by mountain-bike. Water sport fans can enjoy snorkeling around La Plata Island, or scuba diving in the Cantagallo sandbanks, as well as around the Salango Island. Sport fishing opportunities abound in Puerto Lopez and hikers will enjoy the many trekking trails, including El Rocio, Cantalapiedra and San Sebastian.
Guided tours are a popular option for visitors to Alandaluz. These include a two-day, one-night tour to the Cantalapiedra Wildlife Sanctuary; a one-day tour of the Cerro Llovido Rain Forest that includes swimming in the river’s natural pool; a one-day tour of the Rio Ayampe including butterfly and bird watching; and a one-day tour to Isla De La Plata, which from June to August includes whale-watching.
Adhering strictly to ecologically friendly principles, Alandaluz makes use of a number of ingenious waste disposal methods for organic matter, with anything non-organic, such as glass and plastic, being taken to recycling centers. The fruit and vegetables served at Alandaluz are organically grown, with the employees as well as the guests benefiting from them. Through innovative irrigation systems, areas around Alandaluz that were previously arid now abound with colorful plants and nutritious food crops. Among the fruit and vegetables grown at Alandaluz are many endemic varieties which were grown in the past, but due to commercialism are no longer readily available, and guests are assured of some unique and tasty culinary delights.
The beautiful gardens of Alandaluz attract around forty-five species of birds, giving visitors the pleasure of waking up to a choir of bird-song. The noble goal of Alandaluz is to build a world where humans, animals and the environment can blend in a “Passionate Embrace for Life” – and by all accounts, the people running this charming eco-lodge are heading in the right direction to achieve that goal.