Ecuador: Ten Places to visit along the coast

Posted on December 24, 2016 • Filed under: Ecuador, Ecuador Travel

Ben Westwood/ reported

Santa Elena and Salinas

Just outside provincial capital Santa Elena is Museo Los Amantes de Sumpa. Around 200 skeletons were unearthed at this site in the 1970s, including the “Lovers of Sumpa”, a man and a woman found in an 8,000-year-old embrace. There’s no bigger contrast between old and new than the nearby resort of Salinas, a wannabe Miami Beach for Guayaquil’s rich set. It’s a comparatively expensive resort but has two sheltered beaches. The resort has thumping nightlife in the high season between December and April.


Ecuador’s biggest city has come a long way in the past 20 years. A once-rundown waterfront has been regenerated, winning UN development awards in the process. The waterfront Malecón area’s offerings range from historical monuments, artisan markets and botanical gardens to a new ferris wheel and several museums, notably Guayaquil en La Historia, which documents the city’s turbulent past. The climb through the artistic district of Las Peňas to the lighthouse at the top is another highlight, while the harbour and promenade of Puerto Santa Ana is the latest addition to the waterfront scene. Don’t miss the Iguana Park, beneath the neo-gothic cathedral, where reptiles roam free, and across the river, set in mangroves, caiman, monkeys and parakeets can be observed in the Parque Histórico.

Playas and Puerto el Morro

The closest beach resort to Guayaquil is the vibrant Playas, as unpretentious as its name (which means beaches). At weekends in high season, between Christmas and Easter, it gets packed with people from the city escaping the heat. The main draw is the long beach and rows of beach cafes offering sumptuous specialities, such as shrimp ceviche and fried sea bass in garlic. The surfing is good here, too; but for a break from sun and sand, head a few miles east (half an hour by bus) to Puerto El Morro, where boat trips wind through the mangroves with opportunities to watch dolphins in the channel. There is also a small colony of frigatebirds and blue-footed boobies. Read Full Article – seven more places to visit


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