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Puerto López/Ecuador

Introducing Puerto López

This pretty seaside village, with its dusty streets and chipped blue boats bobbing in the bay, is fast becoming a hub for travelers hot to explore Parque Nacional Machalilla, whale-watch, swim and sunbathe. With cheap and cheerful hotels, a smattering of expats, slow smiles, happy cafés and safe streets, it is just about an obligatory stop on any coastal pilgrimage.

Of course, the ‘other’ Puerto López is the fishing village, which is best witnessed and understood in the wee morning hours when fishermen gut their catch on the beach and the air teems with wheeling frigatebirds and vultures diving at the scraps.