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Coast Highlights - Link Experiences

Coast Highlights

For more than 5,000 years, the Lovers of Sumpa have been holding each other in an eternal embrace. This couple’s remains were found during excavations near the small beach town of Santa Elena. They probably belonged to one of the pre-Inca cultures that were established along the 640 kilometers of the Pacific Ecuadorian coastline.

They were expert sailors and traders who used the spondylus – an oyster-like shell – as currency. Today, the Spondylus route takes you from the North to the South of the country, bordering the shore. The coast has more than 110 stunning beaches, extensive mangrove forests, and dreamy colorful villages. Because we are located on the equator, you can enjoy warm and humid weather all year round.

The agricultural sector is very strong in this part of the country, and it is home to massive plantain and cacao plantations. Guayaquil is the largest city of the region and Ecuador’s main port. Manta is another important city, with world-class hotels and resorts.

Make the sound of the ocean your alarm clock and join the town fishermen to catch the most delicious and exotic fish. Ride through fields of emerald palm trees, and spend a day harvesting bananas at a beautiful and traditional hacienda. If you’re around between June and October, make a date with the humpback whales in Puerto López. You will leave wanting more of the Pacific coast of Ecuador.

Main cities – attractions


Guayaquil – Ecuador’s largest city – is located along the shore of the impressive Guayas River. Also known as the Pacific Pearl, its architecture ranges from Republican styles, to modern skyscrapers. The Cosmopolitan city has a fascinating history as the main port of the country connecting to the world! Just like Quito, Guayaquil’s Historic Center’s streets hide secrets of revolutions, political conspiracies, forbidden love stories and more.

One of the city’s emblem is a 1 ½ mile beautiful waterfront promenade called Malecon 2000. This picturesque walkway ends at Cerro Santa Ana, at the 400 stairs that climb up one of the city’s first Colonial settlements. This is also known as Las Peñas neighborhood, with brightly colored houses where you will find some of the best restaurants, art galleries and shops.

A couple miles away from the city, the magical realism of the coffee, banana, and cacao haciendas will strike you with awe. Agriculture is the one of the main activities of the region. High quality produce grown here are then exported internationally. The “Arriba Cacao” is an example of this. With its fine aroma and delicate texture, it is the main ingredient to some of the best chocolates worldwide. Have a bean-to-bar experience and discover the secrets of the cacao country!

Guayaquil can be your starting point for a discovery of Ecuador’s coastal region. Go ahead and plan an escapade to a relaxing and pristine beach. If you’re feeling adventurous, continue your journey back to the Andes, on the luxurious Tren Crucero and relive the excitement of the railway that united the country more than a century ago. The possibilities at the Pacific Pearl are endless!

Puerto López

Puerto López is a small fishing village on the Pacific Coast, a couple miles away from Manta. It is surrounded by beautiful, pristine beaches and is a must-see when covering the Spondylus route. It is primarily known for whale watching, from mid-June to October, when humpback whales leave Antarctica and come to warmer waters to mate. Food is another big identifier of this area! Experiment all the delicacies made with plantains, as well as the seafood options. You’ll want to eat here forever.

Puerto López is the headquarters of Machalilla National Park, another big conservation area in the country and a great place to go for a hiking adventure. Here, you will discover some of the most beautiful beaches in Ecuador. Relax at Playita Negra and make castles out of black sand. Continue to La Tortuguita to climb to one of the highest spots in the park.

The pictures you’ll take there will be one of a kind. End your journey at Los Frailes and take a swim in the deep turquoise bay.

Finally, before you continue your journey through Ecuador, jump on a boat and head to Isla de la Plata, the Silver Island. Because of its strategic location, perfect for guarding the coastline, it was a pirate hideout for many years. On a smaller scale, you will find here some of the emblematic species of the Galápagos Islands. So say hello to the blue and red-footed boobies once you spot them! The island is surrounded by coral reefs and is ideal for snorkeling and diving; get your goggles ready and be amazed under the sea!

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Additional Reading Material

When researching your trip to Ecuador, Ñan Magazine is a must-read. Not only will the publication provide you with useful information but more importantly, it will inspire you to feel, taste, smell, and touch what the country has to offer. The following article will take you to the Coas. Grab your cup of tea and relax — you’re in for a treat.

If you want more, visit their website, sign up to their newsletter, buy the magazine or read it on your tablet!