Attractions

Community in Santo Domingo de Los Colorados

Tsáchila Communities

The Tsáchila people number about 3000; their eight communities spread across a 10500-sq-km reserve around Santo Domingo. A community tour is available that includes a demonstration of plants used for medicinal purpo…
Nature Reserve in San Lorenzo

Reserva Ecológico de Manglares Cayapas-Mataje

Millions of migratory birds pass through this coastal paradise in June and July, creating a cacophonous and memorable spectacle. The 513 sq km reserve supports five species of mangrove, and includes the tallest mang…
Museum in Montecristi

Museo Historico de Montecristi

Revolutionary and two-time president Eloy Alfaro was born in Montecristi, and here is an amazing tribute to the man: a hilltop museum with a panoramic view of the city below. There' s an old train engine in honor of…
Nature Reserve in Canoa

Reserva Ecologico Jama-Coaque

We're hoping this reserve, 26 km south of Perdanales and 3km off the main highway, opens to tourism soon. Last we heard, Third Millenium Alliance (www.tmalliance.org) was working with the community and government to…
Beach in Manta

Tarqui Beach

The east end of this stretch of sand is a hive of activity early in the mornings, as vendors sell row upon row of shark, tuna, swordfish, dorado and other fish (the sizes of which seem to decrease with each passing …
Wildlife Reserve in Playa de Oro

Playa de Oro Reserva de Tigrillos

Half an hour upstream from Playa de Oro, this 100-sq-km reserve is owned and operated by the community of Playa de Oro. It borders the Reserva Ecológica Cotacachi-Cayapas and protects native jungle cats – but you'll…
Nature Reserve in Muisne

Congal Bio-Station

Only 2km from Muisne, this 6.5-sq-km marine reserve established by Jatun Sacha in 2000 focuses on mangrove conservation and organic aquaculture. Volunteers are needed, but visitors are also welcome. There are great …
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…
Island in Bahía de Caráquez

Isla Corazón

Bird-watchers shouldn't miss a visit to Isla Corazon, where you can take guided tours through mangroves in search of frigate birds, herons, egrets and other species. It's 7km east of San Vicente, reachable by bus ($…
Beach in Manta

Playa Murciélago

This beach is less protected than most beaches in the area and has bigger waves (although they’re not very big) along with a powerful undertow. It’s a couple of kilometers northwest of downtown (near Hotel Balandra)…