Five Ecuador beach season destinations to explore in 2021

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It’s technically ‘winter’ in Ecuador… which means SUMMER all along our beautiful coastline (that’s how curious and wonderful our country is!). The weather is sunny. The sea is warm. The sea breeze is a real treat. If there ever was a time of year to take advantage of our Pacific shores, this is it!

In this post, we will tell you about five special places to discover this ‘season’… with many tips to take along, to truly get the most out of these destinations!

Manta

Manta is one of our coast’s biggest cities. Its wide beach is ideal for afternoon strolls and a quick dip in the water. Being a city, however, it can get crowded. There are literally dozens of secluded destinations nearby you can literally have all to yourself!

Learn to kite-board in Santa Marianita, one of MAnta’s “twelve beaches” (PH: Juan Pablo Verdesoto).

Travel notes
• There are two must-visit routes when in Manta: the southern beaches (via the small beach town of Santa Marianita) and the inland area towards Montecristi.
• Visit the toquilla straw hat workshops in Montecristi (find the authentic Panama Hat and discover how it’s confectioned).
• Discover the archaeological past of one of the world’s most ancient civilizations at Hojas Jaboncillo archaeological site.
• Our favorite restaurants in Manta are Muya and Martinica, both of which are a wonderful example of signature coastal Ecuadoarian food.
• Perhaps it’s time to learn to kitesurf in Santa Marianita. In 4-5 days, you can be an expert.
• Don’t forget to visit the Pacoche reserve, a beautiful walk in a lush forest, home to howler monkeys and more…
• Many secluded beaches include La Tiñosa or Liguiqui.

For more information, check out our regional section for Manabí. There are many accommodation options that meet biosecurity requirements in these troubled times, such as Hotel Oro Verde Manta.

Puerto López

The so-called ‘capital’ of the Machalilla National Park, Puerto López, is the ideal place to discover this spectacular natural sanctuary, a protected area with both dry and wet forests, archaeological remains, and a beautiful coastline of protected beaches to spend the day under the sun.

Visit Salango’s museum, only a few minutes south of Puerto López (PH: Jorge Vinueza).

Travel notes

• Puerto López is equidistant from the Los Frailes beach complex and the town of Salango.
El Delfín Mágico is one of the classic restaurants in the area, in the town of Salango.
• You can also enjoy Bella Italia, a small restaurant in Puerto López and have a coffee or mojito al fresco at Café Madame.
• Salango also offers departures to Salango islet, ideal for snorkeling.
• One of the most beautiful beaches in Ecuador, Los Frailes, does not allow visits after 4 pm. Get there early to take advantage of the day.
• In the town of Puerto López, arrange for a visit to fabulous Isla de la Plata.
• Discover the archaeological remains at the Agua Blanca community.
• And for those seeking to hike, explore the forests of Cerro San Sebastián!

Ayampe

A short distance from Puerto López, Ayampe has many options to stay, especially by Airbnb. The difference is that Ayampe area is much more humid and forested and beach currents a little stronger, ideal for surfers.

Travel notes
• The next beach over is Las Tunas. Its beach is tamer and it’s considered one of the cleanest in the country).
• The community is very eco-oriented, a good place to explore nature and discover interesting conservation projects.
• Two good restaurants are D’Jinmy and Wipeout in Las Tunas.
• You can also visit the Ayampe reserve and the Guayaquil macaw rehabilitation center, an emblematic species of the Ecuadorian coast.
• Ayampe forests also offersa beautiful ‘eco-route’ towards the village of Cantalapiedra.
• Locals can take you to Los Ahorcados, the scultural islet one sees from the shore.

View of Mompiche town at sundown (PH: Jorge Vinueza).

Mompiche

Brimming with humid jungle, activities here include observing nature and hanging out at the beach, with beautiful walks, in an area that has also become the place to learn to surf.

Travel notes
• Learn to surf at the ‘wave machine’ on the south side of the main beach.
• Visit the beautiful black beach, its sand is jet black.
• La Cotona reserve offers a wonderful tropical forest nature tour on the hill above Mompiche.
• A 3-hour walk takes you to the charming town of Bolívar, famous for its black conch ceviche and its beautiful grass-lined streets.
• The deserted islet of Jupiter is a good place to feel completely disconnected from the outside world.

Check out our full Mompiche review here

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Salinas

This great city is the westernmost point of continental Ecuador, a peninsula surrounded by open ocean. Sand and sea are everywhere you look, with beautiful walks along the many beaches, excellent places to grab a bite, and fascinating sites to explore.

Salinas: a big city amid sand and ocean (PH: Ilán Greenfield).

Travel notes
• You cannot leave the area without visiting La Chocolatera, the peninsula’s westernmost point.
• You can spend hours in La Chocolatera, walking along the beach, biking, or vising some of Ecuador’s most emblematic waves.
• Visit the Sumpa Lovers museum in the small town of Santa Elena.
• Visit the Ecuasal salt flats, where hundreds of wading birds arrive, including flamingos.
• The town of Ancón is a forgotten historical town, where you will find beautiful houses in its English quarter and the famous oil wells that once made it famous.
• Grab a bite at excellent Claudio y Alberto Bistró Coffee restaurant, you won’t regret it!
• Also visit (or stay at) Farallón Dillon, sitting atop the magnificent shores of the town of Ballenita.

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