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Ecuador coastline

Overview.-The provinces of Esmeraldas, Manabí, Guayas, El Oro and Los Rios, make up the Ecuadorian coastline with wonderful beaches and ports and more than 2,000 kilometers. The weather here is an average of 25ºC (76º F) to 30ºC (90º F). From December to May is the rainy season (Winter), when the weather is usually warmer. The dry season is between April and November, cooler and less humid.

From the map below select the province you'd like to explore.

EsmeraldasManabíGuayasLos RiosEl Oro
 Ecuador and Galapagos Travel Esmeraldas "Green Province"

CAPITAL CITY.- Esmeraldas.
CLIMATE.- Warm humid.
POPULATION.- 360,000 inhabitants.

Esmeraldas.- The largest port in northern Ecuador with 126,000 inhabitants. The name of "Esmeraldas" is due to the green color of its forests.

Muisne.- A small port located on an island. The town offers some basic accommodation and restaurants.

Playa Escondida.- Sometimes, whales can be observed from this beach (Between June and September) at Estero del Plátano.

Same.- A small quiet beach resort located some 6 Km southwest from Súa.

Sua.- A small fishing village with many pelicans, frigatebirds and other sea birds. A 6 Km walk from Atacames.

Atacames.- Located around thirty kilometers west of Esmeraldas. Atacames is a rustic small resort town. The high season is from April to October, as well as weekends and national holidays.

San Lorenzo.- Is known for its maze of canals and is located at the Bahía del Pailón. San Lorenzo is an strategic place for exciting trips into the virgin rainforests nearby.

Typical food.- In the coast, you can enjoy a variety of typical food and drinks, such as: the Encocado de Pescado (fish prepared with coconut juice); Tapao (wheat with fish and banana); Arroz con Menestra, Camarón, y patacones (rice with lentils, shrimp and pressed green fried banana); Ceviches made with fish, Empanadas and bolones de verde (balls made of green banana, that usually have some stuffing inside); Cocada (sweet made of coconut, peanut and brown sugar. Among the typical drinks, you can find: Aguardiente de Caña (sugar cane liquor); Coco con Aguardiente (coconut juice with liquor).

 Ecuador and Galapagos Travel Manabí Province

CAPITAL CITY.- Portoviejo.
CLIMATE.- Dry subtropical to humid subtropical.
POPULATION.- 1,606,655 inhabitants

This province is well-known for having the most important cultures of Ecuador, such as the pre-Colombian cultures of Valdivia and Machalilla. As a matter of fact, many caverns and tombs have been found here. Amongst the most attractive places to visit in Manabí is the Isla de la Plata, located within the Machalilla National Park. Here, you can practice scuba diving, sport fishing and snorkeling. Isla de la Plata is also called "The small Galápagos" because of the similar flora and fauna.

Portoviejo.- With over 190.000 inhabitants, is the capital of the Manabi Province. It is considered an important commercial center and is the sixth largest city in Ecuador.

Puerto López.- Is a small fishing village, with a population of about 16,000. The beach is enclosed by cliffs to the north and south.

Machalilla National Park.-The most visited coastal national park with over 60,000 ha, including Isla Salango and Isla de la Plata (Islands) and Los Frailes beach.

Ayampe.- A natural scenario located between Guayas and Manabí provinces, Ayampe, is a biodiversity heaven and one of the most recommended places to visit.

Puerto Cayo.- A small fishing village located 30 Km west of Jipijapa.

Jipijapa.- An important agricultural and Panama hat center located south of Manabí.

Montecristi.-An old colonial town, 30 Km west of Jipijapa. One of the main centers of the Panama hat industry.

Manta.- With over 220,000 inhabitants, is Ecuador's second main port. An important local, international tourist resort and commercial center.

Crucita.-About 40 minutes north from Portoviejo, Crucita is becoming a very popular beach resort, especially for Hang gliding.

San Jacinto y San Clemente.- Located south of Bahía de Caráquez. This is a 30 km beach famous for its salt production and also for its typical, and sea food.

Bahía de Caráquez.- With over 25,000 inhabitants, Bahía is a beautiful, relaxed and popular tourist destination resort.

Chone.- Is located about 1 ½ hours east from Bahia. When visiting Chone, it is advisable that you visit these 2 recommended places: Cienega de la Segua, home to over 150 species of birds, and 240,000 water birds. And La Cueva Dibujada, which is a cave with spectacular ancient drawings.

San Vicente.-A small beach next to Bahía de Caráquez.

Typical food.- Fish, shrimp, tortoise shell, crab and octopus ceviche, salprieta (made with peanuts), chicken soup, peanut tortilla with fish, pork or shrimp, sweet banana muffins, encebollados, roasted peanuts, cheese pastries, ayacas, etc. Among the drinks, you can find: eggnog, grape juice with alcohol, corn liquor, guarapo (ground sugar cane), brandy and cane.

 Ecuador and Galapagos Travel Guayas

CLIMATE.- Tropical hot.
POPULATION.- 3,500,000 inhabitants.

Guayaquil, Ecuador's largest city and main sea port, is the capital of the Guayas Province. The most important Industrial and commercial center of the country. Founded in 1535 by Sebastián de Benalcazar and then again in 1537 by Francisco de Orellana. Guayaquil in the last 2 years has become a very interesting tourist destination, it is also very close to many stunning beaches and places such as: Playas, Baños de San Vicente, Salinas, Punta Carnero, Anconcito, Ancon, Ballenita, Punta Blanca, Palmar, Ayangue, Manglaralto, Montanita, Olon, amongst others.

Playas.- Is the closest beach resort to Guayaquil, located some 30 km south from Progreso (General Villamil) and around 115 km from Guayaquil.

Santa Elena.- Santa Elena hosts a new museum Los Amantes de Sumpa, where 8000-year-old skeletons embracing each other were found. The oldest archaeological exhibit of the country.

Baños de San Vicente.- Located some 10 Kilometers before reaching Santa Elena. A well known hot spring with thermal pools and therapeutic and rejuvenating mud baths, massages and hot tubs.

La Libertad.- About 55,000 inhabitants, the largest town of the Península. It is an important oil center located west of Santa Elena.

Salinas.- Ecuador's best beach resort and the best for whale watching tours.

Punta Carnero.- Is a 15 Km beach located 8 km south of La Libertad. During the months of July, August and September whales can be observed.

Ballenita.- A pleasant beach located north of Santa Elena.

Punta Blanca.-About 15 Km from Salinas. At this beach, you can enjoy some sports, such as: jogging, swimming, beach volleyball, or yachting.

Ayangue.-A small fishing village located some 40 km north of La Libertad.

Valdivia.- A small village famous for the 3000 BC Valdivia culture.

Manglaralto.- North of La Libertad. A pleasant quiet beach great for surf.

Montañita.- Approximately 4 kilometers north of Manglaralto. A fishing village with nice beaches. This is the best beach for surfing in Ecuador.

Olón.- Olón has a very beautiful long beach and a sanctuary (Sanctuary of Blessed Vírgen of Estrella de Mar) that is built on top of a cliff.

Typical food.- Among the typical food in this region you will find: Ceviches, arroz con menestra (rice with lentils), fish and patacones (fish with fried green bananas), soup and rice made with different sea food, maduro frito (fried sweet banana), etc.

 Ecuador and Galapagos Travel Los Rios Province

CLIMATE.- Tropical.
POPULATION.- 619,353 inhabitants.

Babahoyo.- With around 80,000 inhabitants, Babahoyo is the capital of the Province of Los Ríos. It is mainly a commercial town.

Quevedo.- The big town has about 100,000 inhabitants, with a large Chinese colony and lots of Chifas.

Typical food.- Shellfish, shrimp and fish ceviche (Ceviche served with bread and toasted peanuts).

 Ecuador and Galapagos Travel El Oro Province

Tropical humid.
POPULATION.- 512,587 Inhabitants.

Machala.- Is an important city and agricultural center. The capital of the province of El Oro, with about 217,000 inhabitants. It also hosts an annual international banana fair in September (La feria del Banano).

Bolivar Seaport.- This is an international port located some 7 km from Machala. Puerto Bolivar exports over 2 million tons of bananas every year. The port is surrounded by islands and mangroves.

Santa Rosa.- Santa Rosa main attractions is an annual shrimp festival (from August 24th-30th), where there is a contest for the best shrimp ceviche.

Zaruma.- Is a small gold mining town located on a hilltop, with a very interesting old architecture reflected on its wooden buildings and balconies.

Piñas.- A small pleasant wooden colonial town 15 km from Zaruma. Known for its coffee industry and orchid collectors.

Portovelo.- Also known for gold mining, located south of Zaruma.

Puyango.- A small petrified forest located south of Machala with over 130 species of birds and perhaps more. This is the largest petrified forest of the country.

Huaquillas.- The most popular border town with Peru. It has grown lately into a small city.

Typical food.- The very famous "Conchas asadas" (roasted oysters) in Puerto Bolívar; roasted oysters, Puerto Bolivar ceviches (made with fish, shrimp, and other sea food cooked in a juice made with fresh tomatoes, lemon, orange juice), the tigrillo, prepared with green bananas, eggs and cheese.

The Coast:
Esmeraldas | Manabí | Guayas | Los Ríos | El Oro
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