Activities and Facilities for Visitors
new trails into the Loor reserve have recently been opened, to reach
some of the forest's most attractive
features, including large fig trees and beautiful ephemeral waterfalls.
Views of the surrounding forest, clouded hillsides, and the gorgeous
Pacific Ocean can be enjoyed from the reserve's scenic overlook.
A hike through the forest offers a chance to see wildlife such as the
unique endemic race of White-Fronted Capuchin monkey, Mantled Howler
monkey, Red-masked Parakeet, Pacific Royal-Flycatcher, jaguarundi, tamandua,
boa constrictor, and a stunning array of frogs and lizards. For more
on the reserve's fauna, click here.
An excellent introduction to dry forest ecology is provided by the
self-guided Mariposa Trail, which begins at the reserve's entrance.
This 45-minute loop travels over level ground through secondary forest,
offering terrific looks at streamside habitat full of birds, monkeys
and unique plants.
The Pacifico Trail climbs one of the reserve's several ridges, from
the trailhead in front of the Biological Station. The trail passes by
a large green Ceiba trichastandra tree before reaching a high
overlook that affords a view of the ocean and surrounding countryside.
Buco (or Puffbird) Trail is scheduled to open this year, which will
trace the valley bottom of the El Tillo stream. Figs and flowering shrubs
are abundant along the moist stream banks, attracting Howler Monkeys
and many hummingbirds, the stream also is the best place to look for
the Loor reserves many amphibians and reptiles, including the endemic
poison-arrow frog, Colostethus machalilla.
Maps of the how to reach the reserve and the trail system are available
online. If you would like Lalo Loor Reserve trail maps sent to you, please contact
Our new biological station, set deep within the Lalo Loor dry forest and surrounded by birds and Howler Monkey toops, was completed in December 2015. The station provides comfortable lodging for up to 24 visitors,
researchers and volunteers, and includes a dining hall that can readily serve visitors from individual researchers to large student groups. The biological station, financed by many small donations to Ceiba, serves as our center for research, education, and conservation projects in the reserve and surrounding region.
Contact Ceiba to arrange for accommodation during your visit! Other
lodging is available throughout the Manabí
coast, offering an array of options to suit any budget.
Birding & Wildlife Viewing
Lalo Loor reserve provides refuge to a diverse
wildlife community, and troops of Mantled Howler monkeys (Alouatta
palliata) and the equatorial variety of White-fronted Capuchin monkeys
(Cebus albifrons var. aequatorialis) are easily seen
in the forest. Peccary, Jaguarundi and tracks of Ocelot have also been
seen in the reserve.
There is excellent birding along the entrance road, the self-guided
nature trail, and along the stream, with a chance of spotting several
rare species including the Red-Masked Parakeet, Pale-browed Tinamou,
Pacific Pygmy Owl, and the Little Woodstar hummingbird. (more
Orchids, Cacti and other Plants
on the transition zone between wet and dry forest, the reserve often
presents some strange encounters, like orchids and cacti growing side
by side! In fact, the flora of the Lalo Loor reserve is a fascinating
mixture of plants from humid and dry habitats. This is a place where
a brief walk presents you with fig trees, palms, orchids and bromeliads,
huge aroids, trees with spiny trunks, trees with photo-synthetic bark
and other oddities. During the dry season from May - December, many
trees shed their leaves and the appearance of the forest changes completely.
You can explore many beautiful beaches nearby, on foot or within a short bus ride
from the reserve. The ManabÝ coast from Pedernales to
Jama is lined with white sand beaches that are virtually deserted. We especially recommend
the beach at Punta Prieta, a lodge owned by Alonso Ordo˝ez and his wife, located
just a few kilometers south of the reserve. This beach has showers, bathrooms and
a bar/restaurant with breathtaking views of the ocean. Another great beach is at El
Arco del Amor, a huge stone arch honed by the action of waves. (more
Volunteer & Research
Volunteers play an integral role in the success and advancement of
conservation and environmental education efforts at the Lalo Loor Reserve
-- we need YOUR help! You may spend a few days to several months enjoying
the beautiful coastal surroundings of the region while contributing
manpower and your own expertise for reforestation, trail construction,
and environmental interpretation.
Researchers also are welcome at the reserve, where a great many aspects of the
dry forest ecology remain unstudied. To date, Tulane University primatologist Dr.
Kathleen Jack and her students and field assistants have worked on the reserve's monkey
groups, and Dr. Paul Hamilton (Arizona State) conducted surveys of the herpetofauna
(reptils and amphibians). Combined, these teams have made ample contributions to our
knowledge of the reserve's wildlife. Follow these links
if you are interested in volunteering or conducting
research at the reserve.
In order to protect the pristine beauty of the Bosque Seco Lalo Loor forest, we
ask that visitors please adhere to a few basic rules, which help others enjoy the
forest in its pristine state:
- Do not litter -- pack out what you pack in.
- Do not remove or collect plants, animals or archaeological artifacts
- Stay on designated trails
- Observe silence -- radios prohibited
- Pets not allowed in the reserve
- Camping allowed only with prior permission. Due to high fire hazard, no campfires
- No smoking or alcoholic beverages allowed