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You are here:6.4.1 Cerro Blanco Protected Forest and Puerto Hondo Protected Forest

6.4.1 Cerro Blanco Protected Forest and Puerto Hondo Protected Forest

Cerro Blanco is a 6048 hectare Protected Forest partially owned and managed by Fundacion Probosque. It is located in Guayas Province near the city of Guayaquil.  The forest elevation ranges between 50 and 400 meters.  The forest protects some 219 bird species and is an important remnant of the Tropical Deciduous Forest of the region.  The name, Cerro Blanco, comes from the white limestone rock underlying the cordillera, the porous nature of which means that plants suffer from a tremendous water stress during the dry season.  The vegetation is dominated by the Ceiba tree, Ceiba trichistandra.  The flagship species for Cerro Blanco is the Great Green Macaw, which unfortunately is very rare and unlikely to be seen.

Puerto Hondo is a communal reserve of 2000 hectare located close to Cerro Blanco along the Estero Salado River.  Puerto Hondo allows the opportunity to see some Mangrove forest.



Tropical Deciduous Forest, Mangrove Forest.



Cerro Blanco Protected Forest and Puerto Hondo Protected Forest

Cerro Blanco and Puerto Hondo are located along the E70 Guayaquil-Salinas Highway.  There are plenty of buses running along this highway.  Should you take a bus you can get off at the entrance and continue birding on foot.

Visitors will be asked to pay the US$5 entrance ticket fee for adults and US $2 for children.  The Cerro Blanco forest can only be visited upon request and permission from Foundation Probosque  or by writing to This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.,%20">This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it., This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.  or call phone: (05) 2874946 /47 during working hours, Monday to Friday.  You should explain you are to visit the place to look for birds and organize an early visit to the site.  That way, the guards at the main entrance will know about your visit and open the gate at the time you have previously arranged.  Probosque can also help you to organize a guided canoe ride in the Puerto Hondo protected Forest.  These sites can be accessed yearround with any kind of vehicle. Beware of mosquitoes during the rainy season, from Dec-May.  These two sites are visited by many people, especially during weekends.  Puerto Hondo should be avoided during national holidays and vacations since it will be overcrowded and noisy.



Cerro Blanco Protected Forest and Puerto Hondo Protected Forest

Begin in Guayaquil in the southwest side of the city at the roundabout located in the intersection of Avenues Perimetral and Abdón Calderón Muñoz, 0.0 km.  This point is the start of the E70 Guayaquil-Salinas Highway.  Drive towards Salinas for only 7.0 km.

(Click here to download Map. Cerro Blanco Protected Forest)

At this point you will see the Cerro Blanco gated driveway on the right.  Enter the driveway and proceed for 0.4 km.  At this point the road splits.  The right road goes to the administrative center. Take the left fork heading toward the forest and the trails system.  Drive for another 0.65 km until the end of the road.

Here you will find the start of three different trails.  All the trails are connected and you can always loop your way out of the forest.  I suggest you to take the Buena Vista short version trail and return via the Canoa trail.  The total length will approximately be 3.6 km. Half way along you will climb along the ridge on the right side of the gulley and return over the left.  

The open areas near the parking place are good for:  Gray Hawk, Ecuadorian Ground-Dove, Croaking Ground-Dove, White-tipped Dove, Gray-cheeked Parakeet, Pacific Parrotlet, Pacific Pygmy-Owl, Ecuadorian Trogon, Blue-crowned Motmot, Streak-headed Woodcreeper, Yellow-olive Flatbill, Bran-colored Flycatcher, Streaked Flycatcher, White-tailed Jay, Rufous-browed Peppershrike, Fasciated Wren, Superciliated Wren , Streaked Saltator, Scrub Blackbird and Ecuadorian Thrush.

The forest walk might produce:  Pale-browed Tinamou, King Vulture, Gray-backed Hawk, Laughing Falcon, Rufous-headed Chachalaca, Ochre-bellied Dove, Red-masked Parakeet, Red-lored Amazon, Ecuadorian Piculet, Guayaquil Woodpecker, Blackish-headed Spinetail, Henna-hooded Foliage-gleaner, Red-billed Scythebill, Collared Antshrike, Pacific Elaenia, Greenish Elaenia, Pacific Royal-Flycatcher, Gray-breasted Flycatcher , Slaty Becard, One-colored Becard, Gray-and-gold Warbler, Black-and-white Tanager, Blue-black Grosbeak and Black-capped Sparrow.

After visiting Cerro Blanco you can head to Puerto Hondo.  Return to the highway and drive toward Salinas for 1.1 km, or 8.1 km from Guayaquil.  You can see the Puerto Hondo entrance on the left side.  You will have to carry on for 0.25 km or 8.35 from Guayaquil to the next returning point on the highway.  Make a U turn and drive for only 0.25 km. Here you will see the entrance road to Puerto Hondo on your right. Take the road to Puerto Hondo and drive for 0.5 km until you reach the parking area.  In the mangrove here look for: Rufous-necked Wood-Rail, Red-lored Amazon, Mangrove Warbler and Great-tailed Grackle.


Birds to look for

Cerro Blanco Protected Forest and Puerto Hondo Protected Forest

Mangrove   Forest (MF), Deciduous Forest (DF), Dry Scrub (DS).

Common: Ecuadorian Ground-Dove (DS), Croaking Ground-Dove (DS), Gray-cheeked Parakeet (DF,DS), Pacific Parrotlet (DF,DS), Pacific Pygmy-Owl (DF,DS), Amazilia Hummingbird (DF,DS), Ecuadorian Trogon (DF), Blue-crowned Motmot (DF,DS), Pacific Hornero (DS), Streak-headed Woodcreeper (DF,DS), Plain Antvireo (DF), Common Tody-Flycatcher (DF,DS), Yellow-olive Flatbill (DF), Bran-colored Flycatcher (DS), Streaked Flycatcher (DF,DS), Fasciated Wren (DF,DS), Superciliated Wren (DS), Ecuadorian Thrush (DF), Streaked Saltator (DF,DS), Yellow-rumped Cacique (DF,DS), Scrub Blackbird (DS), Great-tailed Grackle (MF), Thick-billed Euphonia (DF,DS).

Uncommon: Gray Hawk (DF), Gray-backed Hawk (DF), Laughing Falcon (DF), White-tipped Dove (DS), Ochre-bellied Dove (DF), Red-masked Parakeet (DF), Red-lored Amazon (DF), Ecuadorian Piculet (DF), Guayaquil Woodpecker (DF), Blackish-headed Spinetail (DF), Red-billed Scythebill (DF), Collared Antshrike (DF,DS), Pacific Elaenia (DF), Pacific Elaenia (DF), Greenish Elaenia (DF), One-colored Becard (DF), White-tailed Jay (DF), Plumbeous-backed Thrush (DF), Gray-and-gold Warbler (DF), Mangrove Warbler (MF), Black-capped Sparrow (DF,   DS).

Rare: Pale-browed Tinamou (DF), King Vulture (DF), Rufous-headed Chachalaca (DF), Rufous-necked Wood-Rail (MF), Great Green Macaw (DF), Henna-hooded Foliage-gleaner (DF), Pacific Royal-Flycatcher (DF), Gray-breasted Flycatcher (DF), Black-and-white Tanager (DS).

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Meet the Author

Lelis Navarrete – Birding tour leader. Lelis has 19 years of experience as a birding guide and naturalist in the field. He has led groups of birders throughout most of Latin America, guiding frequently in countries like his native country of Ecuador and in the Galapagos Islands, Colombia, Peru, Bolivia, Brazil and Panama. A Biology B.Sc. graduate from Universidad Católica in Quito, Lelis has supported Jocotoco Foundation since its founding in 1998 and was an active Board Member until 2010 supporting Ecuadorian bird and wildlife conservation. Lelis divides his time between his two great passions in life: birding and spending time with his wife Solange and son Fabian with whom he lives in Quito.


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