At first glance Salinas looks like Miami Beach: a row of tall white condominiums fronts a pale sandy expanse filled with sun worshippers. Although the backstreets look more ‘down-and-out’ than a playground for wealthy Ecuadorians, Salinas is one of the smarter beach towns and certainly the biggest resort town on the south coast. It also boasts the most westerly point on the Ecuadorian mainland – a scenic spot named La Chocolatera – a must-visit for those passing through.
The resort itself stretches for several kilometers along the beach, and the malecón is lined with restaurants and bars. On one side it ends at the large Barcelo Colon Miramar hotel; on the other is the yacht club, town plaza and church, while further west is more sedate, but just as pretty Chipipe Beach – a good option for those wanting to escape the crowds during the high season (mid-December through April).