Best of Ecuador’s Coastal Lowlands
Playa de Oro: Learn how to be a hunter-gatherer, listen for the grunts of wildcats, and try your hand at gold-panning at this community deep in primary rainforest in Esmeraldas.
Mompiche: Rough it with the surfers or enjoy the lap of luxury at Ecuador’s newest top-class hotel in this emerging resort, surrounded by stunning scenery.
Canoa: This small surf town is developing quickly but is still a quieter alternative to raucous Montañita.
Río Muchacho Organic Farm: Learn how to make bread out of yucca and jewelry out of seeds, and then go horseback riding and hiking in the forest and swimming under waterfalls in this slice of ecological Eden.
Bahía de Caráquez: This self-styled “eco-city” is the coast’s most attractive and cleanest urban area and boasts a dramatic location on a narrow peninsula.
Machalilla National Park: Protected coastal forest, archaeological relics, pristine beaches, unrivalled whale-watching, and the birdlife of Isla de la Plata, “the poor man’s Galápagos,” are all reasons to visit.
© Ben Westwood and Avalon Travel from Moon Ecuador & the Galápagos Islands, 5th Edition