View from one of two lookouts at El Rocio

El Rocio Trail

El Rocio is a privately funded eco-trail through coast and dry forest. It's an aggressive trail so durable sneakers or hiking shoes are recommended. The groundskeeper, Santo, lives across the street from the reception area. Either he or his son will serve as your guide.

The trail passes through rich dry forest, with plenty of labeled trees and plants. The guide will educate you on which are poisonous, and which you can eat. The views from the lookouts are awesome.

Once you reach the bottom you will travel along the coastline. During low tide there are caves you can explore and some reef life along the rocks. During high tide there is a geyser-like effect from some of the cracks.

You may only camp on these grounds with a guide. This must be arranged ahead of time.

How do I get there?

The entrance to El Rocio Trail is about 17km north of Puerto Lopez, north of the town of Machalilla. A bus will take you to the front gate for US$0.80

How much?

There is a US$5 fee to enter the trail. This fee includes the guide.

What should I bring?

  • Hiking shoes/boots
  • Swimwear
  • Towel
  • Camera

Things to do in Puerto Lopez