Top things to do

Museum in Esmeraldas

Centro Cultural Esmeraldas

This combined museum, library and bookstore contains materials ranging from recent local history to fine ceramics and gold work from the ancient Tolita culture. Some of the exhibit signs and documentary videos are i…
Steak in Esmeraldas

Parrilladas El Toro

Beyond the uninviting decor you’ll find a decent steakhouse specializing in beef and chops. The thatched courtyard seating is preferable to sitting inside.
Arts & Crafts in Esmeraldas

Centro Artesenal

This is where to come to browse for tapestries, baskets, tagua (vegetable ivory)carvings and other Chachi pieces.
Museum in Esmeraldas

Museo Arqueologica Playa Africa

See a collection of more than 6000 pieces of artifacts from the region. Get off a northbound bus in Montalvo and ask for local transport (car or motorbike, $10) to get to Playa Africa. You can also arrange for a tou…
Waterfront in Esmeraldas

Malecon Las Palmas

This new walkway along the bay features cell-charging stations, a skate park, a dozen food stands and the largest Ecuadorian flag you will ever see. A nice spot to get a drink at night.
Church in Esmeraldas

Church

This Catholic Church frames Esmeraldas' main square.
Supermarket in Esmeraldas

AKI Supermercado

This is a good supermarket for stocking up on provisions. In addition to this downtown locale, there's another branch next to the bus terminal (Terminal Terreste), one in the large mall down the street from Plaza Ci…
in Esmeraldas

Oh! Mar

Out in Las Palmas, this casual open-sided beachfront restaurant serves delicious seafood dishes like encocado de langosta (lobster in coconut milk) and ensumacao (soup with coconut and peanuts).
in Esmeraldas

La Tunda

One of several new cafés overlooking the Plaza Cívica, La Tunda has a large menu of ceviche, lasagna, pastas and hamburgers, as well as breakfast plates. There’s outdoor seating on the square.
in Esmeraldas

El Típico Esmeraldeño

This charming little spot in Las Palmas is a local favorite for its home cooking. Enjoy daily lunch specials (fish soup, plus chicken, beef or pork dishes) on the breezy fenced-in patio.