Ecuador is blessed with some very fine beaches along its Pacific coastline and many visitors will visit the beach on their trip to Ecuador. Being in the know about the best beaches to visit in Ecuador will help you maximize your time at the coast and get the most enjoyment from your trip. Beaches to visit in Ecuador are plentiful, and most boast a long trip of golden sand to enjoy, and a relaxed feel, as well as some great surf for those that know how, or who want to learn. It is worth bearing in mind that Ecuador coast line beaches get busy at the weekends and packed during public holidays. Around these times you will want to book your accommodation well in advance. Below is some information about the best beaches in Ecuador.
If surfing, hippies and parties are your thing, then hip and happening Montanita Beach is the place for you. This beach hosts many surf championships. The town is lively and noisy, and parties last the entire night. If partying is not your thing, or if you have come to the beach for the quiet, then Montanita Beach will not be the place for you. If you want to party and have fun, or maybe learn to surf, it will be. Montanita has a wide range of accommodation options from dorm beds through to rooms in expensive hotels. There are plenty of options to learn Spanish at the beach at Montanita, and there are also lots of opportunities to have relaxation treatments such as massage. Montanita Beach also has some excellent restaurants to choose from. From Montanita it is possible to visit the Los Frailes beaches, which are stunningly beautiful and well worth the trip. While Montanita Beach is without a doubt one of the best beaches in Ecuador, it is not for everyone, and if you do not like busy then one of the other options mentioned here may be better for you.
Smaller than some of the other beaches to visit in Ecuador, Mompiche Beach has a very chilled out vibe and is underdeveloped. If you want peace and quiet this could very well be the place for you. There are good surfing options at the beach here, and plenty of chances for relaxation. The town is small, and accommodation options mostly rather rustic, which means you can usually get a pretty good deal for the night. There is one large international chain hotel, but despite this, the town feels somehow unspoiled. There are only a few restaurants, and you will struggle here if you do not eat seafood. There are good opportunities for whale watching, dolphin spotting and trips to the mangroves from Mompiche Beach. As Ecuador coast line beaches go, this is one of the most relaxed for chilling out for a few days.
Canoa Beach is a fairly relaxed coastal destination which offers some nightlife too. At Canoa Beach the accommodation is mostly fairly rustic and cheap, though there are a few more upscale options. There are opportunities to learn how to surf at Canoa Beach, and it is a good place to learn because the conditions are considered fairly moderate. However, it can also be good for surfers with more experience. You can rent surf equipment from various points in the town relatively inexpensively. There are also providers offering yoga, such as Betty Surf and Yoga – with this company you can learn to surf and do some yoga too. Other operators provide adventure trips such as kayaking, paragliding and horseback riding. A worthwhile visit for some is to the Rio Muchacho Organic Farm where they produce chocolate and coffee, and where you can volunteer or enjoy a visit to a howler monkey forest. Canoa Beach is a pleasant Ecuador coast line beach because it offers some of the partying of Montanita, without the continual noise. This makes it without a doubt one of the best beaches in Ecuador.
Puerto Lopez Beach is well-visited and on the beaten path, not least because it is a jumping off point for visits to the Machalilla National Park. One of the best activities that can be done from Puerto Lopez is going whale watching. Humpback whales migrate to the waters off Ecuador between June to September for their mating season. Another thing to do here is take a boat trip to Isla de Plata, otherwise known as the “Poor Man’s Galapagos”. Here you can observe blue footed boobies, turtles and some of the other wildlife that can be seen in the Galapagos Islands, in case you do not intend to pay these islands a visit. Just heading down to the beach in the morning when the fishermen are bringing in their catch is a worthwhile activity in itself. There is lots of action, with birds trying to swoop down and steal the fish! The town is bigger than some of the others along the coast, but it maintains a pretty relaxed vibe.
Few businesses at the coast will accept credit card, so you will need to rely on cash. Bring sufficient cash with you, and do not expect there to be an ATM. Even if there is an ATM there is a very good chance it won’t be working. If you do not want to have to travel miles on a bus to go and get more cash, make sure you bring sufficient.
From a safety perspective, it is important to not walk along the beach at night, either alone or with others. Doing so exposes you to the small risk of being robbed in a coastal town. Also, be aware that the current is strong, so take care when venturing into the sea for a dip.
Everything is slower and more laid back on the coast. Do not expect anything to happen quickly. In restaurants you might have to wait a while for your food. This is completely normal and to be expected even on all of the beaches to visit in Ecuador.