Introduction

A long, wide beach and proximity to the wonders of the Parque Nacional Machalilla have turned this quiet fishing village into a traveler's base on Ecuador's coastline. During whale-watching season especially, tourists wander the spiffy new malecón (built from 2015 to 2017) and the dusty streets – home to a surprising number of good accommodation options, cafes and restaurants. In the wee morning hours – before tour groups escape for the day and the handful of sunbathers take up their positions on the sand – fishermen gut their catch on the beach, and the air teems with frigate birds, pelicans and vultures diving for scraps.