Beautiful beaches are found from north to south on the Ecuadorian Pacific coast. Alongside ports, fishing villages, and modern cities, dense protected forests grow with their gigantic and moist terracotta roots. The tallest mangroves in the world (64 meters / 194 feet) are found in the Majagual forest in the Cayapas-Mataje Ecological Reserve. In Machalilla National Park, the sea, virgin beaches, and forests combine with the history of pre-Incan cultures. The waters around Isla de la Plata are a paradise of multicolored fish and the island’s fauna is similar to that found on the Galapagos Islands. From Puerto López, you can see the humpback whales (Megaptera novaeangliae) that arrive from the Antarctic waters to mate between June and October of each year. The biggest refuge for marine birds in Ecuador is Santa Clara Island off the southern coast.
Enjoy the sea breeze as you travel along the Ruta del Sol (Route of the Sun), which takes in deserted beaches, picturesque fishing villages, and beautiful and modern beaches, such as Salinas and the impressive fishing and tourist port of Manta. Bahía de Caráquez, a beautiful eco-city on the Pacific coast, is the departure point for visiting tropical dry forests and archaeological sites.
In Esmeraldas, lush tropical landscapes combine with long beaches. In Atacames, tourism blends with the happiness and hospitability of the Ecuadorian people.