Best Hostels

  • NucaPacha In Guayaquil's trendy Urdesa area, with a pool, hammocks, and mango and papaya trees.
  • Hostal Yakumama Find hand-painted private rooms and cool common areas in this Cuenca hostel.
  • Chescos Young Salinas hangout with swing seats in the lounge, and Jenga and beer pong.
  • Pepe's House Hostal Super chill Cuenca hostel with colorful, minimalist style.
  • Casa de Laura Hostal Family-owned hideaway with hammocks in a tiny cacti garden.

Best for Nature Spotting

  • Azuluna Eco-Lodge Perched on a hill near Puerto Lopez, bungalows are made from bamboo, wood and palm leaves, with views of the ocean (and potential whale-spotting).
  • Rumi-Wilco Ecolodge In the Southern Highlands, stilted rustic cabins sit in the 40-hectare Rumi-Wilco Nature Reserve.
  • Reserva Buenaventura Simple wooden cabins in the midst of a 2700-hectare cloud forest, with exotic birds darting around.
  • Mashpi Luxurious lodge (one night's stay may equal the cost of your plane ticket) perched on a hilltop in the Western Andean Slopes, overlooking 1000-plus hectares of Jurassic Park–style scenery.

Best for a Splurge