Ecuador’s 10 Best Beaches
One goes to Ecuador for the endemics of the Galapagos Islands, the Amazon rainforest, the Andes and biodiversity (one of the most spectacular on the planet). But there’s also an undeniable bonus for tourists – the mesmerizing Pacific coastline, which stretches for 2,200 kilometers. It’s picturesque bays and high waves for surfing, soft golden sands and gorgeous sunsets. See for yourself – here are the top 10 beaches in Ecuador.
Ayange. In an idyllic cove.
Ayange Beach is surrounded by an idyllic cove with dozens and dozens of colorful little fishing boats bobbing about. The shallow waters, and the lush vegetation that protects it like a barrier, are perfect for swimming, including parents with children. The sleepy village nearby will not offer you any unusual attractions, so the beach is a place for a beach holiday, enjoying the sea, the sun and amazing sunsets. However, there is a place to spend the night in the village – there is a good selection of hotels and several restaurants.
Tonsoupa. The heart of Atacamés
Another thing about Ecuador’s Tonsupa Beach is that it is nestled in the center of one of the most popular beach resorts in the country, Atacamés. The laid-back atmosphere, the hospitality of the “tourist-oriented” locals, the many excursions (including a whale-watching tour), and the fun nightlife are all worth your attention. There are many cafes and restaurants open in Atakames that serve delicious seafood – it’s perfect to satisfy your hunger after a long day spent on the charming Tonsupa Beach.
Kanoa Beach. The Longest.
If you want to lie quietly in the sun among beautiful scenery, choose Kanoa Beach. It’s one of the least developed towns dotting Ecuador’s long coastline, so no one will disturb your peace. The high cliffs bordering the beach serve as a lush dramatic backdrop, and the giant waves that pound the shore make Canoa Beach a top choice for surfers. The longest beach (more than 17 kilometers) is very flat and wide, so sunbathers don’t have to cram. You can take surfing lessons or do yoga right on the sand.
Olon Beach. Tamed Dragons
Olon Beach has become increasingly popular with locals and international tourists alike. The soft golden sand and rippling waves are like fierce dragons that can be tamed and saddled by surfers. Located north of Montanita, Ohlone Beach offers a quieter retreat than its bustling resort neighbor, but the promenade is packed with restaurants and small hotels for all budgets. Excursions organized by local guides allow you to admire the beautiful waterfalls nearby or watch powerful whales.
Montanita. Pulsating nightlife
Are you bored on a sparsely populated coastline and want to have a buzzing rhythm, parties, and a merry crowd that merges into a “disco” fraternity? Then you should go to Montanita, which perfectly combines the pulsating nightlife and daytime entertainment on the beach. That’s why the city is so popular with tourists and surfers. Montanita has a sea of eco-friendly hotels, health food restaurants, bars, clubs, and atmospheric beach cafes. Its beach is bordered by green hills, and city buildings sprawl along the shore. While Montanita is known as a good hangout town, paragliding and snorkeling also head here.
Puerto Lopez. In a fishing town.
Surrounded by the famous Machachilla National Park, the town of Puerto Lopez is the gateway to its natural wonders and abundant fauna. As a sought-after tourist attraction, the reserve also draws attention to the fishing town with its beautiful beach. Steep hills fade into the distance, and tall palm trees whisper beside the water. Tiny fishing boats await its passengers: you can book a trip to the nearby protected island of Isla la Plata. It’s also good for snorkeling, diving, and swimming. There are eateries, bars, restaurants, and hotels in the town itself and on the beach: a great stop before diving into the outlandish wilds of Machachilla.
Playas. A constellation of beaches
The word “Playas” means “beaches,” so it’s no surprise that this resort town has a wide variety of beaches. The main one is considered Playa General Villamil, which stretches for an impressive 13 kilometers of soft sand. Along with Salinas, Playa is the most popular resort in Ecuador, which has its advantages: excellent infrastructure, world-class hotels, great bars, cafes with seafood specialties, restaurants and stores. On weekends, many Ecuadorians leave the town to enjoy the beautiful beaches. There is a huge range of activities on offer: parties, swimming, snorkeling, surfing, and dolphin watching excursions.
Playa de San Lorenzo. Resort paradise.
Now let’s put in a good word for another of Ecuador’s resort gems, Salinas, a beach paradise with a lively nightlife. The heart of the city is considered to be its wonderful beach, Playa de San Lorenzo. Golden sands, beautiful palm trees, bright blue waves attract water sports fans and nature lovers. The most popular are water skiing and surfing, as well as trips to the place La Chocolatera, where you can see the nesting turtles, they flock here at certain times of the year to hatch their young. In the evening, many tourists go to the fantastic bars and nightclubs. The city is packed with tourists in high season, but the sweltering atmosphere is infectious.
Los Fryles. Machachilla National Park.
One of Ecuador’s most beautiful beaches, Los Fryles is located in the northern part of Puerto Lopez in Machachilla National Park. It is an unspoiled stretch of coastal land with mind-blowing scenery. The golden sands are perfect for walks and photo shoots. Rocky cliffs and tree-covered hills frame the secluded beach. It’s pretty deserted on weekdays, but on weekends, flocks of locals flock here – Los Fryles is served by bus and water cab. As you get deeper into the national park, you’ll explore hiking trails that lead you to even more isolated beaches and viewpoints with views of the Pacific Ocean.
Tortuga Bay Beaches. In the Animal World
The two beaches of Tortuga Bay (or Tortuga Bay) are like breathtaking footage from a popular TV series about the wildlife of the planet, for they are the best in the Galápagos Islands. Located near the port of Puerto Ayora on Santa Cruz, the coast seems endless and its white fine sand glistens in the sun. The sapphire-clear waters are home to an abundance of marine life. You can kayak, surf, and swim and meet amusing iguanas, slow on land but fast in the water green turtles, peculiar fish, birds (endemic cormorants, finches, buzzards, blue-footed boobies), crabs, cheerful sea lions, and even sharks. Just be prepared for a nearly hour-long hike: no transportation. Although the beaches are free, you must sign in at the entrance to the territory (protected area). Remember: it’s forbidden to smoke, make a fire, ride a bike or touch animals here.
Beaches in Ecuador not crowded with tourists: places where you can spend a relaxing vacation
Ecuador’s coastline is literally dotted with beaches that thrill even the most advanced travelers. For such a small country, there is quite a lot to offer. From small, working-class beach towns like Muizin to the lively coastal resort area of Salinas, there’s absolutely everything you could want. Visitors can enjoy the excellent climate, sand, surf, and many other amenities here.
The influence of several cultures in this region allows visitors to enjoy a superb vacation. Finding a beach in Ecuador is easy enough, as it is easily accessible from a major city or airport. Here are some of the best beaches in Ecuador .
Ayangue (main photo).
The picturesque town of Ayangue is about an hour’s drive from Salinas , but seems like a world away from the hustle and bustle of a busy resort town. The beaches here are perfect for sunbathers who just want a break from the hustle and bustle, and the views from the cliffs are spectacular and astonishing.
Restaurants in the area are known for their amazing seafood dishes. Ayangue is located in the middle of nowhere, and its remote location makes it easy to avoid the crowds.
Tortuga Bay, Santa Cruz , Galapagos Islands
Tortuga Bay is an amazing sandy spot designed to explore the many sea iguanas that reside in Santa Cruz .
The most exciting time here is the turtle nesting season, even though access to the beach during this time may be limited. The turquoise waters and variety of wildlife make this bay one of the most popular destinations in the Galapagos Islands.
If you’re looking for nightlife and tons of fun, a visit to Atacames Beach, located on the northern Pacific coast of Ecuador, should definitely be on your list.
This lively beach town is located about 48 kilometers from Esmeraldas and about four to five hours from Quito. This town hosts many tourists from abroad and all over South America.
During the peak season the area here is quite lively. Many of the residents here are Afro-Ecuadorian, which gives the town a special Caribbean charm. In addition to the typical water sports, water skiing, snorkeling, and boating await you here. There is also an impressive aquarium and the amazing beauty of the city to explore.
Salinas is located in Santa Elena Ecuador . It is the largest beach resort in Ecuador and the westernmost city on the mainland. It has several yacht clubs and hosts the ISA World Junior Surfing games. All this attracts visitors from all over the world.
With stores, restaurants, a marina, and endless sandy beaches, it’s easy enough to see why beach lovers come here. If you want to surf or just relax on the beach, Chippe Beach is perfect for families.
This low-key beach town is the perfect place if you want to escape and connect with wildlife. There’s a lot more than just relaxing on the beach waiting for you here. Sightseeing opportunities for visitors include whale watching, surfing, fishing, or even a short trip overland. Here you can enjoy a farm and jungle tour.
It is the ultimate beach paradise, surrounded by mountains, which creates a sense of seclusion. The town is small and friendly. It is accessible from two airports and the city of Guayaquil .
When you step on the golden sandy beaches of Mompice, in the province of Esmeraldas , you will want to bask in the sun for literally hours. It is a popular place for surfing against a backdrop of lush palm trees.
The town of Mompice has a fun, laid-back atmosphere, but boasts some truly amazing experiences outside the city. In addition to water sports, such as kiting or windsurfing on the beach, you can head out of town for jungle walks, visits to nearby nature reserves, or bird watching. You can also go to the nearby town of Esmeralda to admire the beauty of this amazing place.
Playa Los Frailes.
This is probably one of the most beautiful beaches in Ecuador. It is located in the middle of nowhere, but definitely worth the trip. The crescent shaped coast surrounded by rocks is worth seeing.
You can reach the beach after a short walk along a scenic route, where you can see amazingly beautiful wildlife along the way. Once at the cliff, you can admire the crystal clear water with a wide beach and colorful fish swimming in the water.
Because of its semi-open location, Los Fryles is rarely crowded and is just the perfect place for those who want to enjoy the sun and spend a day at the beach.
If you’re looking for a bustling beach town, Montanita is just the place for you. It is literally flooded with tourists who want to ride huge waves and swim in crystal blue waters.
Montanita Beach is known as the surfing capital. It is literally filled with hotels and restaurants catering to the crowds of tourists who come here daily. Here you can take Spanish lessons and immerse yourself in the local culture.
This is a long stretch of white sandy beaches that is just perfect for a relaxing vacation. Here you will find small guest houses. And to relax on this beach, you need to book a cabin in advance.
To learn more about farming, you need to go to the farm or ride horses. Since the waves here are quite high, it is worth taking some surfing lessons at local schools.
It is a popular place in Ecuador, known for its soft sand beaches. Muizin is located on the northern tip of Isla de Muizin in the Gulf of Mompiche and was one of the areas hit hard by the earthquakes in 2016. This quiet stretch of beach is perfect for fishing, enjoying amazingly beautiful sunsets and sunbathing.
One must visit the palm-lined beach at the back of the island and see some of the protected mangroves. It is just an incredibly beautiful place.