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It is impossible to appreciate the coast of Ecuador without Montañita coming to mind. This little bohemian town presents the perfect getaway with various fun activities and perfect scenery to boot. The highlight of partying and surfing, Montañita is located approximately three hours from Guayaquil. The town has earned its place as one of the most famous destinations in Ecuador. Tourists throng the town for its extraordinary surfer scene and electrifying parties.
Mini Galapagos is a one-winged island located two hours out of Montañita.
The name Mini Galapagos simply means that the island is home to many exotic animals such as the blue-footed booby. As is with most places around Montañita, there are limitless activities to perform in Mini Galapagos. The most common activities include snorkeling, diving and hiking. To leave Mini Galapagos you can go through either Ayangue or Puerto Lopez. You may take advantage of the island’s 3-hour extension to go for a walk.
A boat drive from Ecuador’s coast will get you there in just 2 hours.
Located in Machalilla National Park is a virgin beach known as Los Frailes. Unlike most beaches along the Pacific, its waters are calm, making it safe and appropriate for children. Machalilla National Park boasts of two beaches. The first beach is where guests can bathe and have fun with their friends and family. This beach is in a broad bay. The fact that the vegetation is behind the beach gives it a park-like feel which is simply breathtaking.
The second beach is a turtle conservation area. People are not allowed to swim or bathe in this area. A few meters ahead of the beach sits a beautiful island which is exactly where you want to be if you are looking to take amazing photos or simply admire the nature in all its glory. The Machalilla National Park is home to various birds, white corals and lagartigas of different size and color all of which you will definitely see when you visit. There is also a gazebo from where you can see the park and all its beaches.
Isla Salango is located in Manabi Province, just 50 minutes away from Montañita. The nearby village is a mere 10 minutes out and accessible by boat. There are a lot of exciting activities that you can take part in, for instance; bird watching, fishing and hiking. However, snorkeling stands out for most people.
Why else would you go to Montañita if not to surf, party and have fun? Ayampe is just the place considering its excellent surfing conditions? Even though this little town is a mere 30 minutes away from Montañita, get ready to feel like you are travelling to a distant country. Ayampe is far from busy and offers all the peace and tranquility that Montañita lacks. The streets of Ayampe are dusty but contrastingly littered with color in the form of flowers. Buildings are constructed beautifully and the air is filled with scent of Palo Alto. Accommodation is costly compared to other towns but it is in high supply.
Just 7 km from Montañita, sits the Dos Mangas Commune. As you climb the mountain, there are two paths. One of these paths leads to the Dos Mangas waterfall while the other one goes to the wells. Dos Mangas presents a great hiking experience as one has to go through a forest to get to the waterfall. Expect to see a variety of unique flowers, trees, animals and birds as you make your way through the jungle. If you are lucky you may even get to see some monkeys and toucan birds. I must warn you though, do not forget to carry water, food and some repellant.
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