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Best Spots to Visit Ecuador Coast – Explore Top 6 Spots to Visit Ecuador
No trip to Ecuador is complete without a drive along the country’s coastline, which is comprised mainly of beaches, mangroves, deltas, and warm, coastal waters. From the northern resort town of Atacames famous for its sunbathing and dancing to the Parque Nacional Machalilla (national park) full of archaeological sites, Ecuador coast is full of amazing places to discover.
1. Montañita for Surfing
If you love to surf, Montañita is the spot for you. This small fishing village boasts some of the most beautiful beaches in all of Ecuador and it’s widely considered the country’s best destination for surfing. In fact, they host a number of international surfing competitions throughout the year. If you feel like hitting the waves, stop into one of the many shops that offer surfboard and equipment rentals. It’s also one of the best places to party in the entire country.
2. Parque Nacional Machalilla
This is the only national park you’ll find along the coast of Ecuador but it doesn’t disappoint. This park encompasses a massive 20,000 hectares of water and 40,000 hectares of pristine coastal land and features a number of archaeological sites going back to 500 A.D. The park protects beautiful tropical dry forests, cloud forests, and many nearby islands you’ll definitely want to check out. There is a small entrance fee to get in but you’ll want to set aside at least a few days to enjoy the beauty of Ecuador’s Machalilla park. You can reach it from Puerto Lopez.
3. Puyango Petrified Forests
If you want to behold something truly stunning, be sure to stop by the Puyango Petrified Forests on the southern part of the coast. This protected area has an altitude from 360 to 500 meters and the ideal time to visit is from May through December. Scientists believe this massive petrified forest was once a sea, as the majority of the fossils in the area relate to marine organisms. Most of the fossils in Puyango are between 60 and 500 million years old with fossilized trees that are nearly 100 million years old, making them the oldest and best collection of fossilized wood in the world.
4. Port City of Manta
Manta, located in the Manabi province, is another great destination. This city was once the second largest port in Ecuador but now has a thriving hotel industry. On the city’s largest beach, Murcielago, you’ll find a great boardwalk with plenty of savory meals and beverages to try. This city has gained a great deal of popularity with international tourists over the last decade as it’s now a major stop for international cruises. The discotheques in a particular draw in the crowds so Manta is the place to be if you feel like dancing the night away.
5. Northern Resort Town of Atacames
Atacames is located on the northern part of the coast and has gained popularity with international visitors for their vibrant party scene and reasonable beach-front accommodations. While the beaches here aren’t particularly suitable for swimming as the undertow is strong, you’ll find no shortage of things to do in Atacames. Along the beach, you’ll find plenty of restaurants and bars serving traditional meals and beverages of Ecuador.
6. Resort Town of Bahia de Caraquez
This tiny coastal resort town of Ecuador was once the most important port in the country. For the past 13 years, however, it has been a real ecocity by focusing on organic farms and even an organic shrimp farm. This amazing town has developed some truly innovative agricultural techniques that are environmentally friendly.