My feel again in Ecuador series continues with a quick look at what to do along the Ecuador Coast.
I’ll admit that I was apprehensive when I found out “Team Canada” was destined for the coast. I’m definitely not suited to coastal terrain, but I was so eager to visit Ecuador that I packed my bags and flew south. I was awarded with an epic road trip that took in the highlights from Manta to Guayaquil before returning to Quito.
The trip was a whirlwind, but we managed a few key moments to connect with the landscape and people that make this country wonderful. I’ll be writing more over the next few days, but here are 21 ways to begin exploring the Ecuador Coast:
21 Ways to Feel Again on the Ecuador Coast
- Watch for Howler Monkeys in Pacoche Reserve – its something of an oxymoron, but the Pacoche reserve is a semi-dry tropical rain forest. And it’s home to a stunning collection of wildlife, including Peruvian screech owls, Esmeraldas woodstar hummingbirds, and howler monkeys.
- Splurge for luxury at Las Tanusas Retreat and Spa – While I cannot say that Las Tanusas falls within my normal independent travel budget, I will say I’ve rarely enjoyed such a wonder place. The beachfront property is simply stunning and well worth a one-night splurge!
- Dive into the Caraguay fish market – The Caraguay fish market, in Guayaquil is decidedly not a tourist attraction, but it’s worth visiting to understand what drives the local economy. Just remember to watch your possessions; the market is only open from 6PM to 6AM and petty crime is possible.
- Visit the Finca Familiar Cacao – Ecuador is the world’s largest Cocoa producer and exporter. It’s worth visiting a local finca to see where the chocolate process begins.
- Eat a Pacari Chocolate Bar – Ecuador might be the largest cocoa exporter, but it recently became home to the world’s best chocolate producer, too, thanks to Pacari Chocolates. Make sure to sample at least one bar before you leave!
- Cruise a mangrove and discover dolphins
- Visit Isla Salango – Something of a poor man’s Galapagos, Isla Salango is located just a few miles of shore. It’s the only location near the mainland where it’s possible to see blue-footed boobies and snorkel on coral reefs.
- Stay at Nativa Bambu – Located just above the awesome surf town of Montanita, Nativa Bambu is a growing eco-hotel with stunning views of the beach, so it’s possible to check the surf without getting out of bed!
- Eat Seco de Pollo – this is one of the most traditional Ecuadorian meals and an absolute must during any visit to the country!
- Jump off a mountain in Montañita –Montañita might be a surf town, but it’s also a well-known paragliding destination thanks to stable onshore winds.
- Party at Ibiza – Montañita is a surf town, so naturally it becomes a party town in the evening. Ibiza is a beachfront bar that transforms from a killer dinner venue to a wild party spot sometime around 10PM.
- Bar hop in Montañita – There are countless bars, street vendors, and nightclubs in Montañita. Rather than pick one for the entire night, it’s worth bar hopping through town to discover the many different styles.
- Drink an Impala Beer – This is the newest microbrewery in Ecuador and it’ll be extremely tough to track down a bottle. Try your best!
- Boat ride on the Malecon – Guayaquil is Ecuador’s largest city and it has an ever-changing waterfront that is best seen from the water. Take a sunset cruise and watch the city transition from day to night.
More about Feel Again on the Ecuador Coast
This Feel Again on the Ecuador Post is part of my series developed during Ecuador Travel’s Feel Again Project. Make sure to return soon to follow the series as it unfolds. Watch for these upcoming posts:
- Feel Again in Ecuador – October Desktop Wallpapers
- Feel Again Project Adventures
- A Photographer’s Guide to Ecuador
- Feel Again in Ecuador Video Launch