Welcome to The North Coast
Common sense and a taste for adventure are essential tools for travelers to this region. Some visitors are turned off by the obvious poverty, higher crime rates and lack of creature comforts. The party-hearty beaches aren't for all tastes either, but if you look hard, slivers of solitude peek through.
This region was also hardest-hit by Ecuador's devastating 2016 earthquake, and you'll still see the after-effects in many of these towns. If you're up for it, your tourist dollars can help to support the rebuilding process.