ISLA DE LA PLATA
Isla de la Plata translates to ‘Island of Silver’, and the name was derived from the legend of swashbuckling pirate Sir Francis Drake’s buried silver treasure. The popular legend states that in the 16th century, hundreds of tons of silver and gold were never fully recovered and are still hidden on the island. The island was privately owned until 1979, when it was declared part of Ecuador’s Machalilla National Park. Best known for its fauna, which is amazingly similar to that of the Galapagos Islands, Isla de la Plata is a delightful place for birding, photography and long nature walks. Although just south of the equator, the influences of the colder Humboldt Current bring nutrient-rich water as far north as Isla de la Plata.