Friday, July 26, 2013

Isla de La Plata: A pirates retreat with a undiscovered treasure in Ecuador

The legends tell that Sir Francis Drake, former member of the English Royal Navy, and pirate feared by the Spanish fleet, dumped a heavy load of silver on the west side of the Island, because he was beeing chased by the Spanish fleet itself ! He lived in the 16th century and circumnavigated the world for the second time beween 1577 to 1580.

He did recover 26 tons of silver from the Spanish ship "Nuestra Señora de la Concepcion", and together with other treasures managed to reach the shores of Plymouth in England. However, nothing is quite clear about him dumping any silver near the equatorial coasts or in the shores of La Plata Island.

Some local guides suggest that the name of the Island comes from the white spot you can see in the horizon when the sun shines over the white bird dung that covers the cliffs of the island in the northern and north-eastern sides. It sounds more credible than the silver story, but the actual treasure of the island are its sea birds and marine wildlife found on this part of the Machalilla National Park and Marine Reserve.

Some people call it the small Galapagos, or Galapagos for the poor, and during some days of the year, while doing snorkeling, you can see here as much as in the Galapagos Islands. It is remarkable that from here you can admire, all at the same time, Blue Footed Boobies, Red Footed Booblies, Nasca Booblies, Tropical Bird, and Frigate Birds, whereas in Galapagos you have to visit different locations of the archipelago to see specific separate colonies of those birds.

View of Isla de la Plata on the way to Manta

The crown of this queen is certainly the chance to see a Humpback Whale jumping out of the ocean, to take a look at your camera. This experience is only comparable and just as amazing as to being at the summit of Cotopaxi volcano, feeling in your face the first rays of the morning sun. You really must experience this yourself!. We will be happy to organize a great adventure or holiday for you. Visit us at:, specialized in-land tour operator from Ecuador.

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