Introducing North Coast & Lowlands
Ecuador, land of lively Andean markets, Amazon adventures, gripping Galápagos cruises and … beaches? Nobody thinks of the coast when they think of Ecuador. It’s last on the list for most, and many – after seeing everything else – never actually make it here. It’s their loss. Ecuador’s northern coast (from the Colombian border south to around Manta) is a land of giant mangroves, Afro-Ecuadorian culture, incredible biodiversity and serious off-the-beaten-track travel. The southern coast (from Parque Nacional Machalilla to the Peruvian border) is justifiably famous for its seafood and has the country’s best beaches, including some fabulous stretches along the ‘Ruta del Sol’ (Route of the Sun). Admittedly, it’s no Caribbean, but it’s ocean nontheless. And if it’s the sun you’re after, time it right: June to November is the rainy season, but also the sunniest; the sun blazes both before and after the afternoon downpour. December through May is often rather overcast and chilly.