On the coast, the dry season runs from about June to December.
The temperature can drop to about 16ºC and it sometimes overcasts
with a damp mist called "garúa" settling in. The
rainy season, however is fairly humid and sunny which lasts from
December to May. It's generally hot all year round, but just a little
muggier during the rainy season.
Province of Esmeraldas
While today's Esmeraldas harbors few emeralds, it does live up to
its other name, the "Green Province." The northernmost
of the coastal provinces, Esmeraldas is also the lushest, lined
with mangroves, and flooded tropical forest. Its wild and remote
inland areas, accessible only by canoe, make Esmeraldas the ideal
staging ground for a classic river safari.
If you're not feeling up to the jugle, Esmeraldas also boasts some
of the coast's most stunning beaches, most bordered by small settlements
living on what they catch. The province's waters are rich in shrimp,
oysters, crabs, clams, lobsters and other crustaceans, which like
in the rest of the coast, are very cheap, especially if you buy
them directly from the fishermen as they're taking in their catch.
When walking on the beach, you will usually encounter someone, dragging
in their day catch, or someone offering to sell cheap "fresh"
fish. But please be careful, because you can easily get very
sick with local foods, especially seafood. And please take a look
at our Health & Saftey
section for more details on food saftey in Ecuador.
The Province of Manabí
South of Esmeraldas, lays the coastal province of Manabí. This can
be a great place to relax, but you'll likely end up getting-up soon
to go out to enjoy your self and dance. Manabí is well known in
Ecuador, for its late night distractions and its peoples delightful
The beaches along the coast of this province are very popular. During
holidays and summer season, many ecuadorians head to beaches such
as Puerto López, Montañita, and Bahía de Caráquez, as well as Machalilla
National Park, with its gorgeous close by beach of Los Frailes -
considered one of the best beaches on South America's Pacific Coast.
The Province of
Guayas and Guayaquil
The Province of Guayas houses the city of Guayaquil, Ecuador's largest
city and main port. Guayaquil's Puerto Marítimo was opened in 1964
and now handles approximately 90% of Ecuador's imports and nearly
50% of its exports. Mostly recognized for its commercial and industrial
reputation instead of a vacation spot, historically Guayaquil has
not been a very popular site on a list of places to visit. One of
the most ambitious projects on the year 2000 was the start of the
renovation of the Malecón. This well known pier includes a number
of parks, restaurants, a theatre, and its purpose it to increase
touristic interest. In addition to Malecón, the picturesque Las
Peñas district and the Centenario Plaza are worth a look. These
are just a few of the attractions that visitors should visit while
staying in Guayaquil. Taking a closer look at what the province
of Guayas has to offer, you will find great beaches as Montañita,
Punta Blanca, Playas (General Villamil), and Puntas Arenas; many
in which you can practice water sports.
The Province of El Oro
El Oro stretches from Guayaquil to Peruvian borders. Considered
by many as just a way station between Ecuador and Perú, El
Oro can surprise those willing to spend a few days exploring it.
The thriving banana and shrimp producing city of Machala divides
El Oro's portion of coast in two. While not an appealing destination
in itself, Machala is a great jumping-off point to explore the mangrove
circled town of Puerto Bolívar, the markets of Santa Rosa, and the
delightful gold-mining community of Zaruma.
The Highlights and
There are countless things to do and see in the coastal
region of Ecuador. If you want to spend time just kicking-back there's
Montañita, Ecuadors premiere surfing spot and a great place
to meet more "gringos" or "extranjeros".The
Santa Elena peninsula near Salinas is known for its world class
yacht harbor and deep-sea fishing. As a contrast, the traditional
fishermen can be seen sailing the waters in balsa rafts, catching
fish for the local population. There are several comfortable hotels
and hostels to choose from and the long, golden beach makes the
area a popular place for tourism.
June to September is whale season. Humpback whales migrate to La
Isla de la Plata which is part of th Machalilla National Park. Once
a year these whales come all the way from Antarctica to this island
to breed. Sailing from Puerto López you can easily view these
giant creatures of the deep. The journey includes a stop at Isla
de la Plata, home to pairs of waved albatross, as well as other
sea birds, including boobies, frigates, tropic birds and much more.
excavations based near the village of Salango center on the Valdivia
culture, which inhabited this region 3000 years ago. Nearby the
Machalilla National Park are sulfur springs and an unusual tropical
dry forest which is an exceptionally good area for bird watching.
from these things there always is the vibrant nightlife of the cities
and towns of the coast. See our sections of Ecuador's
Nightlife and more specifically, our sections on cities
of Guayaquil, Manta, Salinas