Ecuador is best known to host the Andes Mountains, the Amazon rainforest, and the Galapagos Islands. Its extensive Pacific coastline has some of the best beaches in South America that will leave you mesmerized. In other words, Ecuador is a small town with the most fantastic offerings for many people.
The country also has impressive beach towns ranging from the quiet beach towns like Muisine to the busy coastal resort regions of Salinas. This small yet vibrant country gives you unlimited options to suit your needs. Besides, you’ll enjoy its beautiful climate, sand dunes, surf, and remarkable ocean-side amenities. So, here are the 8 best beaches in Ecuador.
Read: Best beaches in Cartagena, Colombia
- Which is the most beautiful beach in Ecuador?
It’s the Los Frailes Beach. That’s because the beach has a protected vibe as it’s part of the Machalilla National Park. Besides, the remote and secluded location makes Los Frailes Beach one of the most pristine beaches you can find in Ecuador.
- Which is the Longest Beach in Ecuador?
Stretching to 17.4km, the Canoa Beach is Ecuador’s longest beach. It’s also an excellent choice for surfing thanks to its flat and wide ocean. The area has many hotels and restaurants to eat and sleep in.
- Which is Ecuador’s best beach for Surfing?
Alongside Playas, Montanita is remarkably known for the experienced and professional surfers. For beginners, Mompiche Beach is a great choice.
1. Salinas Beach
Salinas starts our list as one of Ecuador’s best and most extensive beaches. You’ll find this resort area with many beaches like Chipipe Beach, San Lorenzo Beach, General Villamil Beach, and more.
Being a host to the ISA World Junior Surfing competitions, Salinas beach stands as one of the most popular beaches in the country. In addition, it’s home to several upmarket yacht clubs and attracts many visitors worldwide.
The beach is in Santa Elena province, the westernmost part of the city, which boasts lots of hotels, shops, and well-equipped rentals, making it a suitable option for beachgoers. With a proximal location to the city of Guayaquil and the Jose Joaquin de Olmeda International Airport, getting to this fantastic beach is super easy.
2. Los Frailes Beach
The stunning Los Frailes Beach sits in Machalilla National Park and lies north of Puerto Lopez. This protected and perfect beach is certainly one of Ecuador’s best and most beautiful beaches. It features a curving bay, blue waters, yellow sand, and the lavish greenery of the forested park behind it.
You’ll find this secluded beach thrilling and very peaceful to stroll along its golden sands. Thanks to the rocky cliffs and hills covered with trees, the scenery is also incredible.
Although it is often deserted, Los Frailes Beach can sometimes get busy on weekends. That’s because most people love spending their free weekends there. Besides, the beach offers incredible roads allowing easy access by bus and even water taxi.
If you love watching wildlife, this beach can be a suitable choice. It neighbors the Machalilla National Park, which offers a home to lovely natural insights. You’ll enjoy walking on some excellent paths and trails that will lead you to more quiet beaches and incredible lookouts over the long Pacific Ocean.
The beach neighbors Isla de Plata boasts a colony of sea lions and frigate birds to enjoy watching. It’s a great beach to visit due to its accessibility and affordability.
3. Montanita Beach
Beach parties are always exciting and if you’re planning to have one, try Montanita beach for a memorable experience. It has been a favorite option for backpackers and surfers for a long time, and you can rest assured you’ll have the best moment of your life.
Moreover, the beach sits in the southwestern part of the Santa Elena province, and it’s only around 175km from Guayaquil. Interestingly, its shoreline pulses with the songs overflowing from the beach’s restaurants and bars.
The beach is also a wonderful place for yoga and is best known as an excellent surfing spot in Latin America. You’ll love swimming in the crystal clear blue waters and riding in the massive waves of this incredible beach. The beach also boasts a large number of hotels and restaurants, meaning you’ll have the choice to explore and dine delicious foods.
If you are looking for a quieter or less busy spot to enjoy watching the sun rising or setting down, Montanita Beach should be an ideal choice. You can also learn Spanish at the Montanita Spanish School and immerse yourself in the local culture of the Ecuador people.
4. Canoa Beach
Canoa Beach is likely to be Ecuador’s prime spot to hang out, surf, and for yoga. It features a hippy set, and you’ll see dream catchers hanging on vans full of surfboards and wooden street stalls, ready to ride elsewhere if the waves aren’t good.
Situated in the Manabi area, southwest of the Pacific Coast, this beach extends to over 17km from San Vicente. That makes it the longest sandy beach in Ecuador, and you’ll find it very gentle-sloping and expansive sandy. As a result, it’s a perfect spot for relaxing or paragliding in its thermal winds.
The local hotels also provide professional gear for experienced fliers or tandem instructor flights. In addition, you’ll find small guesthouses lining the beach. If you’re planning to visit Canoa Beach during the holidays, make sure you book in advance as it often gets busy during such times.
With the beach’s blue waters and impressive cliffs that border the beach, you’ll enjoy some beautiful scenery as you relax. Besides, the massive waves that pound the coastline offer a brilliant spot for surfing.
Its surrounding area has a lot to offer than the beach. For instance, you can learn about sustainable agriculture at the Rio Muchacho sustainable farm or take a horse ride. If you are interested in surfing, head to the Canoa Surf Academy and take surfing lessons.
Featuring a picturesque bay that encloses it, Ayangue Beach is one of the most attractive places to visit. You’ll often find dozens of colorful small fishing boats moving up and down in the bay, adding to its lovely appearance.
The beach is in Ayangue, in Santa Elena province, next to Salinas for about an hour if you use the famous La Ruta del Sol tourist route. Yet it may feel like a world far from the busy resort town. The Ayangue beaches are ideal for sunbathers looking to relax and enjoy spectacular views from the cliff.
Because of its protected nature, Ayangue’s appealing waters are great for swimming in. If you’re looking to have a great time in the waters with your kids, this beach is suitable for you. The surrounding village is quiet, making it an excellent place to spend your holiday and enjoy sun basking and watching the spectacular sunset views.
With its strategic location, this beach is a key destination for seafood. So, be ready to satisfy your cravings for some delicious dishes.
Although Ayangue has somewhat beaten paths, its isolated position makes it easy to avoid bumping into the crowd.
Muisne Beach is a famous tourist destination in Ecuador. It’s in Muisne Province and is best known for its beautiful soft-sand beaches. The beach sits in the Mompiche Bay and on the northern end of the Isla de Muisne. It’s one of the regions greatly affected by the 2016 earthquake.
This is a quiet and unspoiled beach ideal for sunbathing, fishing, and enjoying the almighty sunsets. Despite being an island, the remote sensing results show that this beach receives lesser tourists than the mainland. That makes it suitable for individuals who wish to take a break from busier beaches in the country.
The area has incredible restaurants and hotels where you can dine and enjoy a restful vacation. You can also visit the surrounding environment of the palm-lined beach at the island’s backside and enjoy watching the protected mangroves.
This lovely beach is just 193km from Quito and about 136km to Santa Domingo. So you can plan for a day trip to any of these amazing neighborhoods.
Featuring a tropical rainforest and a vicinity of plush, Mompiche is an ideal antidote to any busy route but with good local amenities for the tourist looking for nature comforts. Although it is in a small town, there are plenty of services to enjoy.
Head out of town for jungle treks, bird watching, nature reserves, and windsurfing on the beach. You can also go south of the Esmeraldas area to enjoy idle time in this small fishing region where this beach attracts backpackers and surfers.
You can take a dolphin tour or travel to Portete Island on a boat to discover quieter beaches, homestay-like accommodations, and palm trees. Dine on meals like breaded shrimp (Camarones empanadas) or fish soup (biche de pescado).
The Mompiche village boasts mainly smaller accommodations and rental cabanas. In addition, the thatched beach huts add to the laid-back and calm vibe where the only hums you may hear are this of the surf getting in. But you can find larger resorts in the neighborhood to enjoy your vacation. In short, the area around Mompiche Beach has everything for many tourists.
8. Puerto Lopez
Puerto Lopez completes our list of the best beaches in Ecuador. An outstanding and wild Machalilla National Park surrounds the beach, giving it impressive natural sights. As a result, it’s one of the popular tourist destinations in the country.
A quiet fishing spot lives next to a lovely beach. Besides, the scenic backdrop adds to the beach’s beauty along with rugged hills rolling away. The small fishing boats move along the shore, and you can book a trip to the neighboring Isla La Plata.
Alternatively, you can opt for snorkeling, scuba diving, or watching whales along the coastline. This beach offers you plenty of options to enjoy your vacation.
This fantastic beach boasts many bars, restaurants, and hotels to dine delicious local foods. More importantly, the region has a relaxed pace of life, making it an ideal spot to visit before exploring the national park’s wonders.
Ecuador is a small country with an amazing Pacific coastline that hosts many beautiful beaches. This article has revealed our top picks of the 8 best beaches in Ecuador. Be sure to learn more about each beach and book your spot in advance so you can enjoy the limitless options each beach offers.