Manta, Ecuador

This was our second visit to Manta.  Our excursion this time was to Isla Corazon, an island bird sanctuary in the Chole River, about a two hour bus ride from Manta.  The roads were rather rough, so the ride was quite bumpy, and for Susan it meant a bout of fairly mild car-sickness.  

Tour Boat to Isla Corazon

We stopped at a hotel called Saiananda, which includes a spa and restaurant, where we had a snack before boarding our tour boats.  The snack included empanadas and fruit juice.  It was very tasty.  We donned our life vests, boarded the tour boats, and headed toward Isla Corazon.  We stopped enroute at park headquarters to complete paperwork.

The first thing we saw when we approached Isla Corazon was trees full of pelicans.  Have you ever seen pelicans in trees?  Before this day we had not.  When we looked closely at the photos we took we saw that there were actually two species of pelicans in the trees.

 Brown Pelicans (top row) and Peruvian Pelican (bottom center) at Isla Corazon, Ecuador

We also saw two kinds of Egrets, White Ibis, Neo-tropical Cormorants and many Magnificent Frigate Birds, including large numbers of juveniles.  It was interesting to learn that even though the Frigate Birds are always seen flying over water, if they get wet, it is a death sentence for them, because their feathers are not designed to enable them to float in water.  When you know that, seeing their antics with trying to steal food from each other takes on new meaning.  Additional photos are in this photo album.

When we left Isla Corazon, we headed down the river to the town of Bahia, where we disembarked and went to the Bahia Cultural Museum.

This is a wonderful museum, full of artifacts from past culture.  They have many beautiful and interesting items on display here.  Primary are the ceramic sculptures.  They also have a life-sized raft, which has shells from animals the people would have eaten, plus other useful items.  Check out some photos here.

After the museum we re-boarded our bus and headed back to the Saiananda Hotel, where they served us a wonderful vegetarian lunch.  We dined al fresco in a beautiful setting.

After lunch, it was time to say goodbye and head back to the ship.  We re-boarded our bus and drove back to Manta.  On the way we passed an amazing political parade that had traffic slowed, fortunately going the opposite direction.  Unfortunately we do not have any photographs of it.  We’ve included some photos of the scenery we saw on the way back.  The weird looking trees are Kapok (the fluff from their seedpods was used for stuffing things like pillows in the days before polyester was invented, in case you are not familiar with Kapok).

Apart from the bout with motion sickness, this was a great excursion.  We saw a lot of avian wildlife, the museum was very interesting, and the lunch was delicious.

© Susan L. Stone 2015