History of Piedra Blanca

Little is known about the history of the valley now known as Piedra Blanca. Ancient artefacts from the Manteño Huancavilcas tribes of central Ecuador (before the time of the Incas) have been discovered, and ancient tombs and stone inscriptions are nearby. The first modern day settlers arrived in 1967 – many of them still live there today. They named the area Piedra Blanca (White Rock) after the towering white cliffs that emerge from the forest-cladded slopes of the valley. The locals tell tales of spirits and voices inside these cliffs and a local shaman uses La Piedra Negra (the solitary black cliff) to heal local people.

Ancient stone inscriptions near Piedra Blanca

The original families lived by fishing, farming, gathering fruits and hunting in the forest, where they found wild pigs, monkeys, jaguars, ocelots, pumas and mountain lions. Now, the community has come to realise the unsustainable ways of their past are not the best options for the future, and have looked to ecotourism to provide them with sustainable, alternative sources of income. Realising the great potential of ecotourism in the area, the community constructed an eco-lodge in 2004, and now sees small scale community-run ecotourism as the way of their future...

Ecotourism definition