My favorite place, There are so many nice places in Ecuador that it is hard to say which one is my favorite, but if I have to choose I take Puerto Lopez in Manabi.
I was living there for about 9 months and I really felt in love with the little town on the Pacific. Many people visit the little laidback harbor town with about 20.000 inhabitants just to take a tour to the Isla de la Plata, but it has way more to offer…
One of the most beautiful beaches in whole Ecuador is located just 15 minutes in Taxi from Puerto Lopez – the Los Frailes Beach in the National Park Machalilla. The Los Frailes Beach offers 3 different bays – Los Frailes, Tortuguita and La Playita. Each bay has its´ beauty: when you enter the first beach you will be overwhelmed by the wideness of a white-sanded bay – Los Frailes. This beach is the best to go bathing since the water is very calm; furthermore snorkeling close to the cliffs is interesting. La Playita is a bay with very rough waters and is perfect for just sitting on the beach and observe the big waves crashing against the cliffs – sometimes you will see the heads of sea turtles coming up in the water. Finally Tortuguita bay is a black sanded beach at the very end of the park, which you can reach by a nice path with Palo Santo and Muyoyo trees at both sides.
Tourists usually combine Los Frailes with a visit of Aqua Blanca – an indigenous community located in the National Park Machalilla. Aqua Blanca is famous for its´ history – you will find an archaeological museum, which exhibits funeral urns, artifacts and snakes. Together with a guide from the village there can be seen the bases of about 400 buildings of the Manta culture close to the village. At the end of your tour you might take a refreshing bath in the sulphur pool nearby.
Another great excursion in Puerto Lopez is a visit of the San Sebastian area. It is a coastal Cloud Forest in which you have in a 4 hours visit (about 20 Kilometers) by horse or walking good chances to observe monkeys, wild pigs, raccoons, squirrels, armadillos, ant eaters, coatis and many more.
Besides great excursion Puerto Lopez also offers a big variety in restaurants, which offer good Ecuadorian food from the coast – seafood in all its´ variety is served and you won´t get it nowhere in the country fresher.
My advice: take your time and get to know Puerto Lopez with all its´possibilities
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