paragraphs extracted from
the Traveler's Ecuador Companion © The
Globe Pequot Press. Reproduced with permission.
by Dominic Hamilton.
Though better known for its Andean Mountains, Amazonian rainforest
and the unique Galápagos Islands, Ecuador has
a long, varied and fascinating coastline that until
recently was underrated.
Stretching some 1,500 km (937 miles) from
the border with Colombia to Peru in the south, the Pacific
coast embraces long expanses of deserted beaches, with
warm swimming waters, busying fishing villages, luxury
vacation resorts, ecolodges, mangrove swamps, and steamy
ports, surfing beaches, wildlife sanctuaries and environmentally
damaging shrimp farms.
The road building projects along the coast
were only recently completed, having been severely delayed
by the impact of El Niño in 1997-8. The roads
have opened up much of the coast, making it far more
accessible. A coastal road to the northern border is
now finished, bringing increasing numbers of Colombian
In one sense, now is the time to
visit the unspoiled Ecuadorian coastline, while it is
still relatively undeveloped. On the other hand, development
is bringing with it badly needed infrastructure, accessibility
and tourist facilities.
it has no precise inland demarcation, Ecuador's coastal region
generates the major part of the country's industrial and agricultural
wealth, and is home to roughly half its population. Coastal
farmers, called Montuvios, are usually mixed-race black and
Indian, or negros de monte, "blacks of the mountain." But
no love is lost between the coast and the sierra. Coastal
people call those from the sierra burros (donkeys), while
serranos say people from the costa are monos (monkeys).
these differences, many agree that La Costa is a state of
being, a state of mind and a place where people like to party
and stay out late. Certainly it is where Ecuadorian vacationers
go to relax and have fun.
Atacames for a blow out party weekend
Montañita for a chilled-out surfer weekend
Playa Escondida or Mompiche or Coco Solo
for a secluded weekend
Canoa and Alandaluz for somewhere in between...
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