The Beaches of Ecuador
Mar 18, 2013
Ecuador is located in the north end of South America between Peru and Columbia, but is considered to be part of Latin America. It boasts 2,337 km’s of coastline along the Pacific Ocean and is located right on the equator – which is where it gets its name from!
This spectacular coastline is considered heaven for those looking to enjoy the sand and surf in Ecuador. With bustling cities, Amazon jungles and snow-capped mountains making up the interior of the country, the beaches offer a welcome refuge. Depending on which beach you head to, you can find a party, a surfer’s paradise or private and relaxing escapes from the everyday.
There’s a beach for everyone in Ecuador:
Located in the northern part of Ecuador, Atacames is one of the more popular local beaches for locals, especially over weekends and holidays. To escape a ‘typical’ tourist beach, this is your best bet. Offering a long strip of wide, sandy beach and a lively atmosphere, it’s a cheap bus ride from Ecuador’s capital of Quito to get to. Alternatively, you can fly to the town of Esmeraldas and take a 30-minute taxi ride to Atacames.
About half an hour south of Atacames Beach you will find Muisne; a long, private strip of sand located on an island just off the mainland. A short jaunt on a boat is required to get to Muisne, but its worth it if you want a quieter, more relaxing beach experience. The population here is small, but if you want to explore, it’s not difficult to find a local who will offer their services to taxi you around.
Heading south of Muisne you will find Mompiche. Some say that this is one of the prettiest beaches on the northern Ecuadorian coast. Palm-lined and vast white-sand beach as far as the eye can see, tourist activity is building each year in this area. The large chain, Royal Decameron has a resort here, bringing in tourists from around the world. Mompiche is also a draw for surfers, as the waves are large and consistent.
Located along the southern Pacific coast of Ecuador, Montanita has a hippy-ish vibe to it, with a very laid-back mood. It’s not uncommon for tourists to show up here for a couple of days and stay for longer. The surfing in Montanita is well known as well, with an annual competition bringing in surfers from all over Latin America. This beach town is fairly well equipped for tourists, drawing large crowds during holidays and weekends.
Manta is located almost in the middle of Ecuador’s coast. It’s not as well known for it’s beaches as some of its neighbors to the north and south, but we feel it is necessary to mention due to its importance to Ecuador. Being the second largest port in the country it is very built up with large hotels and high-rise apartment buildings. The Manta River divides the town, with the western side being more ‘touristy’ (read: expensive) and offering nice shops, restaurants, hotels and beaches. The east side is more locally populated and doesn’t offer the amenities preferred by those just checking in.
If a developed beach town, with plenty of activities, restaurants and hotels is what you’re looking for, head to Salinas. Located on a peninsula in the south of Ecuador, Salinas is popular to both locals and tourists. There is no shortage of activities – water sports, paragliding, skydiving, whale watching, etc – and development has not missed this area of the country. Popular hotels, gated communities, plenty of shops and vendors and a large marina are all available, in a variety of price-points. Salinas is located a short 2 hour drive from the International airport in Guayaquil, meaning its a popular beach area to escape the bustling city.
The country of Ecuador has a wide range of geography to enjoy, but if you’re looking for a country that can deliver on beautiful beaches – either populated or private – Ecuador may just be for you!
Want to check Ecuador out for yourself? Visit on a Discovery Weekend and you'll have an opportunity to visit one of the countries most beautiful beach areas...