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North Coast & Lowlands

Ecuador's north coast doesn't make it onto the itineraries of many international travelers – it's hard to compete in a country that offers so much variety. But for surfers, backwoods explorers and nature lovers, this is a hidden treasure.

Here you'll find quiet beaches, uncrowded waves, little-explored mangrove forests, indigenous jungle settlements and entrancing Afro-Ecuadorian villages.

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.

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