Cerro Blanco is located in the southwestern coastal region of Ecuador, near the city of Guayaquil. This hilly area of almost 6,000 hectares is a so-called “dry forest”. So there is less rain here than in a rainforest, but the forest here is just as green and dense. The Cerro Blanco Protected Forest is run by the Pro-Forest Foundation, which aims to protect and rehabilitate Ecuador’s dry forests and promote understanding and appreciation for it so that current and future visitors (nationally and internationally) can enjoy them.
The protection and awareness of this nature reserve is sorely needed, because it’s existence is in danger. The proximity of the big city and the ever growing population create a great pressure on this nature reserve. Given the scarcity of land, there is a constant threat from the surrounding residents who see opportunities for buildings (houses and agriculture) in the area. Education about nature conservation is therefore essential to help locals understand the importance of this nature reserve. There is unique flora and fauna to be found, such as various species of monkeys, jaguars, pumas and 22 species of bats. There are also 219 bird species, nine of which are threatened with extinction, such as the great green macaw. That’s why an Environmental Education Center has been set up in Puerto Hondo, a village next to Cerro Blanco. Educational environmental activities take place here to make the locals, adults and children, but also the tourists aware of nature in this area and how they can contribute to preserve it themselves.
As a tourist you can visit Cerro Blanco. You can take multi-day walking tours and spend the night in the ecolodge or on the campsite. You can also visit the Guayaquil Macaw Conservation Center and take a canoe tour through mangroves. For more information about Cerro Blanco Protected Forest, click here.