Top things to do

Top Choice International in Machala

Zona Refrescante

The best dining option in town is this inviting air-conditioned place specializing in grilled meats. The seco de pollo (passion fruit chicken) is delightful, served with fresh avocado, rice, plantain and french frie…
Farm in South of Guayaquil

Cacau E Mango

Learn how cocoa is produced at this pleasant, rustic 10-hectare farm, run by the friendly and welcoming Lara family. Day trips include a tour of the farm, chocolate-making demonstration, and a farm-to-table meal usi…
National Park in El Bosque Petrificado Puyango

El Bosque Petrificado Puyango

A 4km boardwalk loop leads to the petrified forest (take the trail behind the toilet block; another dirt road to the left leads to private land). The dry season between May and November is the best time to visit, as…
Nature Reserve in Reserva Ecológica Manglares Churute

Reserva Ecológica Manglares Churute

This 50,000 hectare national reserve protects an area of mangroves that serve as an important and unique habitat for many species. Visitors can hire a motorized canoe ($40) and tour the canals for the chance to see …
Nature Reserve in Zaruma

Reserva Buenaventura

Run by the Fundación Jocotoco, this 27-sq-km cloud-forest reserve is a fantastic spot for bird-watching. There are a number of short trails, simple wooden cabins (per person including full board $130), and a restaur…
Seafood in Puerto Bolívar & Jambelí

Nuevo Eden

Inside this clean, modern building with big windows and sleek furniture (including pale green chairs, white walls and spotlights), businesspeople schmooze with their guests over seafood lunches. Mains include tasty …
Pizza in Zaruma

Pizza Pimini

This simple little cafe with white walls and chunky pine tables serves hand-prepared pizzas. Order a classic margherita, salami and ham, tuna and onion, or a Hawaiian. All are made with fresh tomato sauce and mozzar…
Seafood in Puerto Bolívar & Jambelí

Pepe's

Nautical-themed Pepe's is a local favorite, with with dark wood features, shipping memorabilia on the walls, and outdoor seating right next to the pier. It serves local seafood, including squid, shrimp and fish serv…
Ecuadorian in Zaruma

200 Millas/Cafe Zarumeno

A 10-minute walk downhill to the left from Plaza de la Independencia you'll find Zaruma's top restaurant. Part coffee shop and part Ecuadorian eatery, dishes include meat every which way (breaded, fried or barbecued…
Chinese in Machala

Restaurant Gran Chifa

Restaurant Gran Chifa is one of the many family-style Chinese restaurants scattered throughout town. Dishes include sautéed chicken with vegetables, sweet-and-sour chicken with pineapple, steamed fish, and a variety…