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La Playa

Depending on where you are going, the beach in Ecuador is about 8-12 hours away from Quito by car, which explains whey we flew.  The flight lasted all but 30 minutes and we were literally checked into our hotel in Manta at 9:30 AM.  Now THAT’S the way to travel!  Manta is about half way up Ecuador’s Pacific Coast and is one of the larger port and tourist towns with a decent infrastructure.  It is close to some other notable towns.  About 30 minutes north of Manta is Crucita which has hosted the World Kite Surfing competition due to the favorable winds and climate.  You can also do a tandem parasail for about $5 – we plan to do this on our return (I think!).  This area of the coast, although on the equator at sea level, is normally in the 80s and not very humid.  The water is also very warm and in several spots quite clear.

We spent most of our time south of Manta visiting a few of the more remote and quiet beaches along the Ruta del Sol (Route of the Sun) which is a nice road hugging the coast of Ecuador.  Along the way, the coast is dotted with small port towns supporting the local fishing and tourist economy.  The first beach, Santa Marianita, is very nice and offers a nice walk along the beach for a few kilometers.  We also visited Los Frailes, a beach in Manchililla National Park which is a preserve for a dry forest.  It was really beautiful and offered marked trails with a Mirador (lookout) high above the beach.  Check the pictures and video for a peak at the area and the water.

There is a lot more of the coast to explore which we hope to do in our remaining time here.

On the Flight to the Beach, Cotopaxi Looms Large

Manta Beach

Santa Marianita

Well Hello There

Ethan Found a Huge Sand Dollar

From the Mirador at Los Frailes

Another View

Playing in the Waves

One of Many Kite Surfers

Video - Click Twice to Play