The 5 Best Beaches in Ecuador

Beach of the village of Canoa, Ecuador

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Ecuador beaches are slowly becoming the place to visit for experienced travelers. Ecuador is a country that offers a great variety of terrain and is located on the west coast of South America straddling the equator. While there are plenty of places to visit in the interior of the country, Ecuador is also known as a popular destination for beach holidays. There are some excellent sandy beaches that can offer remote and quiet surroundings while others are just yards from thriving towns with excellent nightlife.

Whether you hit the beach for South America's best surfing, relaxing and socializing with friends or just to get a little peace and quiet, there are so many Ecuador beaches you can choose from.

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People at Montanita Beach Ecuador
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Playa Montañita, Montañita, Ecuador
Phone +593 96 040 1840

The small town of Montañita is on the south coast of Ecuador and has developed gradually from a tiny surfing resort and fishing village to the popular backpacker resort that can be seen today.

Like the majority of Ecuador's coast, the main tourist season in the area is between December and May when visitors can enjoy slightly milder temperatures and the waves offer better surfing conditions. The town has also developed a relaxed and liberal culture and is one of the few beaches in the country where women sunbathe topless. The nightlife is also vibrant with a range of beach bars and nightclubs that are particularly busy during the high season.

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Los Frailes

Los Frailes beach in Ecuador
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Los Frailes Beach, Ecuador

A short distance to the north of the beach resort of Puerto Lopez lies the stunning Los Frailes beach. It is one of the most idyllic and pristine beaches in the country.

The beach is located in the coastal portion of Machalilla National Park, which is home to monkeys as well as over two hundred and seventy different bird species. The golden sands and clear blue waters help make Los Frailes one of the most peaceful and relaxing Ecuador beaches. Although because it is a part of the national park it doesn't have any fixed facilities in place, so visitors will need to take any towels, drinks, and snacks with them when traveling to the beach.

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General Villamil Beach

Gral. Villamil (Playas), Ecuador

This is a destination that is particularly popular among Ecuadorians because of its proximity to the city of Guayaquil and its amazing food scene. With a beach that stretches for close to 10 miles in length, visitors will usually be able to find a quiet spot to relax even in the high season.

Surfing is also very popular on this part of the coast, with plenty of surf breaks to try for more experienced surfers. The vibe in the town is very good, and the thriving fishing industry here means that there are a variety of different seafood restaurants that are well worth trying in the town.

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Playa de Atacames, Ecuador

Atacames is one of the most well-established beach destinations in Quito and Ecuador. It is a vibrant town with several large hotels that cater to the people who come to this part of the country to enjoy the wonderful beach.

The high season in Atacames is between June and September. During this period the number of local and international visitors to the town gives the area a party atmosphere. It is served by the range of bars and clubs located along the 2.5 mile stretch of the beach. It is also a wonderful place for those who enjoy surfing and swimming, although it is worth being cautious as there is also a population of sharks that live in the waters around Atacames.

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Puerto Lopez

Fishing boats at Sunset in Puerto Lopez, Ecuador
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Unnamed Road, C5XQ+PC3, Puerto López, Ecuador

This is another of the most popular Ecuador beaches and is also known as the gateway to the Machalilla National Park where many other idyllic beaches are located.

The resort has also developed a reputation as being particularly eco-friendly, and there are several eco hotels located throughout the town that help to ensure the natural beauty of the area is maintained. As well as the chance to relax on the beautiful beach of Puerto Lopez, visitors can also enjoy swimming in the calm waters of the protected bay or take a boat trip to go scuba diving or whale watching.

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The 5 Best Beaches in Ecuador