People visiting Playa de San Lorenzo in Salinas, Ecuador.

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San Lorenzo Beach

South Coast

Salinas' main, and most crowded, beach sits on the malecón opposite dozens of restaurants and hotels. It has volleyball courts, a pier (from which you can take a boat ride or whale-watching trip) and plenty of watersports. The water is generally calmer than the other beaches in the area, due to its sheltered crescent shape, making it ideal for swimming.

Lonely Planet's must-see attractions

Nearby South Coast attractions

1. Chipipe Beach

0.54 MILES

To the west of San Lorenzo Beach is Chipipe – equally well maintained, but with a fraction of its neighbor's crowds. If you're looking for a quieter beach…

2. Whale Museum

0.85 MILES

Run by the passionate Ben Hasse, a pioneer of whale-watching in the area, this small and informative whale museum has several whale skeletons, including…

3. La Chocolatera

2.77 MILES

The westernmost point of Ecuador has three main attractions:La Fae Beach, with a boarded walkway where you can watch a seal colony;El Morro (or little…

4. Los Amantes de Sumpa

7.61 MILES

Located a couple of blocks from the main road, on the west side of Santa Elena, this museum sits on an ancient cemetery of the indigenous Sumpa people…

5. Acuario Valdivia

26.3 MILES

Acuario Valdivia is an animal rescue center where you can get an up-close look at some of the marine life of Ecuador (sea turtles, penguins, blue footed…