Welcome to North Coast & Lowlands
Here you'll find quiet beaches, uncrowded waves, little-explored mangrove forests, indigenous jungle settlements and entrancing Afro-Ecuadorian villages. Although noticeably poorer than most of Ecuador’s other regions, the north coast makes up for this with its fascinating cultural mix.
Further south, the sun-kissed beach towns of Same, Mompiche and Canoa are the top backpacker draws, with good surf, peaced-out vibes and bacchanalian booze-ups that carry on 'til dawn.
Sadly, the 2016 earthquake, whose epicenter was near Manta, devastated the region, and its effects were still being felt in late 2017 when we visited.