Marked by dramatic headlands on either side, this is one of Ecuador's most stunning beaches. Look for the turn-off about 10km north of Puerto López, just before the town of Machalilla. After passing the ranger station, it’s another 3km along a dirt road to the beach. Mototaxis (tuk tuks) wait by the entrance and deliver visitors to the beach ($2).

There’s also a scenic lookout point to the north of the beach (bring your binoculars during whale-watching season), and a 4km nature trail that runs through the dry forest to two secluded beaches; make it to the furthest beach and you'll likely have the place to yourself – keep your eye out for blue-footed boobies. Swimmers take caution in these waters during big swells, as there can be strong undertows.