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Coastal Ecuador

Guayaquil & Points North

Most visitors to Ecuador's coast arrive by air to the port of Guayaquil. The city has undergone a renaissance since the late 1990's, remaking its riverfront promenade, adding luxury hotels, and opening both a contemporary art museum and a charming historical park.

Away from its bustling ports, the Ecuadorian Coast is strung with laid-back fishing towns and golden beaches. Near the northern city of Esmeraldas, the beaches at Tonsupa, Atacames, and Same are remote, undeveloped, and inviting. Surfers and kite-surfers share the blue-green waters with fishermen in brightly painted boats.

On the central coast, some of the country's best beaches are found north of Guayaquil, near Montañita and Machalilla National Park. The park's most famous beach is Los Frailes, a postcard-perfect crescent backed by pristine forest. Machalilla protects 136,000 acres of tropical dry forest and over 300,000 acres of vital marine habitat. Offshore, between the months of June and October, migrating humpback whales mate, calve, and delight visitors with their aerial acrobatics.

Isla de la Plata, located 14 miles west of Machalilla, shares several characteristics with the Galapagos. It also supports some of the same species, including frigate birds, Waved Albatross, blue and red-footed boobies, sea lions, and sea turtles. Wildlife viewing cruises to the island often include whale watching and snorkeling.

These locations can be visited year-round, although rooms should be booked well in advance during the December to April high season. Coastal Ecuador is sunny and warm, with highs in the low 90s and lows in the 70s. Rains, although more common from January to April, are generally light.

Mosaico Travel Services arranges personalized travel in Ecuador and throughout South America. We organize luxury accommodation, private transportation, and tours with expert guides. Speak with a Mosaico travel planner today at 801.582.2100. We’ll take care of the details.

"Forget not that the earth delights to feel your bare feet and the winds long to play with your hair."


Kahlil Gibran