Tag Archive for: Ecuador Beach Towns

The Real Deal About Living in Olón Ecuador (Pros & Cons)

Olón, Ecuador is a charming little rural beach town located on the Pacific Coast with a unique vibe that attracts an intriguing mix of people from all over the world.

But, like any place that’s popular with expats and tourists, it comes with its own set of pros and cons, which we share in this article.

Olón Ecuador The Pros of Living in Olón, Ecuador

When you’re thinking about a place like Olón, it’s always good to start with the positives. After all, they’re the reasons this charming town caught your attention in the first place, right?

So let’s kick things off by going over some of the standout perks of living in Olón, Ecuador.

Sea Level: Most of the popular expat areas in Ecuador are high elevation and it can be hard to breathe. Cuenca was one of those places for JP. He struggled with altitude sickness. One of the pros of Olón is that it’s at sea level so altitude sickness isn’t an issue.

Authenticity: Olón is authentic Ecuador. This is not your over-commercialized beach town but a slice of real life where you get to experience the true local vibe.

Small Community: If you’re tired of big city life and crave a close-knit community, Olón might be the place for you. The people are friendly and welcoming. Our neighbors were locals, as well as foreign residents from all over the world!

Rural: Olón is an excellent place for folks who appreciate a rural setting. The vibe is laid back and tranquilo.

The Beach: The beach is flat, wide, and long, providing you with plenty of space to stretch out, soak up the sun, or go for a walk. It never felt overcrowded and dogs are welcome. (We occasionally saw cows and horses enjoying the beach too!)

Strong Expat Community: There are a lot of expats in the area and they are very helpful and supportive. Since Ecuador has a word of mouth culture, this was important to us since we didn’t know where to find everything we needed. Our neighbors were especially helpful when I injured my knee and I needed a scooter and crutches.

Food Scene: We were surprised by the variety of restaurants. You’ll find local Ecuadorian cuisine, fine dining, and our favorite: Indian Food! There are bakeries, pizza, Asian, and more. There are options for people with special dietary needs and everything is affordable.

Mix of Beach and Jungle: One of the unique things about Olón is the incredible blend of beach and jungle. It truly offers the best of both worlds. We loved walking on the beach and walking or riding our bikes in the foothills.

Outdoor Activities: We loved our daily beach walks, but there is a lot more to do in Olón. We often swam in the ocean, I took surf lessons and did beach yoga, and we walked or rode our bikes regularly. There is a hiking/biking trail heading east out of Olón that makes for great nature outings. And the Dos Mangas waterfall hikes are just a short drive away.

Affordability: Rents have increased along the coast, but Olón is still affordable, especially compared to Manta or any beach town in the USA.

Climate: The weather is warm and humid but still comfortable. We did use our air conditioning at night, but rarely needed it during the day.

Bad Things About Living in Olón, Ecuador

After exploring the upsides, it’s only fair that we talk about the other side of the coin.

Every place has its own set of challenges and Olon is no different. Let’s dive into some of these aspects, to give you a fuller picture of what living in Olon might look like.

Lack of Services: For services, you’ll need to head to La Libertad, Salinas or Guayaquil. You can find some basics in the area, such as a small Tía grocery store, a satellite Netlife branch, and ATMs in Montañita, but if you need a full service branch, you’ll need to head to a major city.

Healthcare: Unfortunately, healthcare services in Olón are limited. There is a local clinic but it’s mainly for emergencies such as a cut or broken bone. For full service healthcare and specialists, you’ll need to go to La Libertad, Guayaquil or Manta.

Dark 6 Months: For half of the year, the days in Olón are dark, gloomy and drizzly. We struggled with the lack of sun and it is one of the main reasons why we left Olón.

Small and Rural: The very thing that some folks love about Olón (its small size and rural setting) can be a drawback for others. JP grew up in a small rural farm town in Kansas and he didn’t enjoy the rural experience as much as I did.

Tourists: On the weekends and holidays, Olón can get quite busy with tourists. We avoided the busy tourist areas but it does get crowded and noisy. The tourists also attract pickpockets.

Lack of Culture: If you’re looking for culture, this is not the place for you. You’ll need to go to Guayaquil for professional museums, art, and performances.

Boredom: While there are outdoor activities, some people might find the slower pace of life a little boring after a while. A lot of expats leave Olón and move to Cuenca just so they have more things to do.

Final Thoughts

Olón, like anywhere else, has its highs and lows. It might not be for everyone, especially you’re seeking an urban lifestyle, a rich cultural scene, or more extensive healthcare facilities.

However, if you love the beach, the jungle, a close-knit community, and an authentic Latin American lifestyle, it could be the perfect place for you.

Finding the right home is all about aligning a location’s offerings with your unique needs and preferences.

Watch Our Video About Why We Chose Olón Ecuador

DISCLOSURE: THIS POST MAY CONTAIN AFFILIATE LINKS, MEANING WE GET A COMMISSION IF YOU DECIDE TO MAKE A PURCHASE THROUGH OUR LINKS. THERE IS NO COST TO YOU AND SOMETIMES YOU'LL EVEN GET A DISCOUNT BY USING OUR LINK. PLEASE READ OUR DISCLOSURE FOR MORE INFO.

 

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Tiny Ecuador Beach Town of Las Núñez Ecuador + Penthouse AirBnB Tour (Mavic Mini Drone)

Join us as we share a drone and walking tour of Las Núñez, a tiny little beach town on Ecuador’s south central coast.

If you would like to stay in Roy and Mary Ann’s beautiful penthouse AirBnB, click this link to get a discount off your first stay in ANY AirBnB, and we’ll get credit toward a future stay so it’s a win-win!

Here’s a link to the AirBnB featured in this video: Penthouse view from the hill at Las Nunez Ecuador.

Hopefully you enjoyed our video, and if you did, please LIKE, COMMENT and SHARE it, and SUBSCRIBE to our YouTube channel. ¡Muchas Gracias y Hasta Luego!

Watch Our Video About a Tiny Ecuador Beach Town of Las Núñez Ecuador

DISCLOSURE: THIS POST MAY CONTAIN AFFILIATE LINKS, MEANING WE GET A COMMISSION IF YOU DECIDE TO MAKE A PURCHASE THROUGH OUR LINKS. THERE IS NO COST TO YOU AND SOMETIMES YOU'LL EVEN GET A DISCOUNT BY USING OUR LINK. PLEASE READ OUR DISCLOSURE FOR MORE INFO.

 

Get the Free Move Abroad Checklist

Enter your email address here to get our Unconventional Newsletter with all sorts of timely information about living abroad, online income and achieving financial independence.
 
You'll also get immediate access to our Move Abroad Checklist that will walk you through the process of wrapping up your life at home and moving to a new country.

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Salinas Ecuador Cost of Living (w/ REAL Prices)

This Salinas Ecuador Cost of Living video covers rental costs, living expenses, real prices for a variety of things, as well as some other common costs of living in Salinas.

Salinas AirBnB Tour, visit: Salinas Ecuador AirBnB Tour + A Walk on the Beach

Chipipe Luxury AirBnB Tour, visit: Edificio Bahía Chipipe AirBnB Condo Tour (Salinas Ecuador)

Cuenca Cost of Living, visit: Cuenca Ecuador Cost of Living: Updated with Real Prices

Cuenca Rental House Tour, visit: Cuenca Ecuador Rental House + Monthly Living Expenses

Salinas Ecuador Rental Cost

House and condo rental costs vary widely based on:

  • High Season, Low Season or Holiday
  • Beachfront, Ocean View, Off-Beach
  • Chipipe, Malecón, Northeast Salinas Beach
  • Length of Lease
  • Square Feet
  • Bedrooms and Bathrooms
  • Furnished, Semi-Furnished or Unfurnished
  • Year Built

Salinas Seasons

The low season in Salinas is from May through mid-December. The weather is cooler (60’s F) and it’s much cloudier. You may only see the sun for a few days per month.

The high season is from late-December through April. This is the warmest time of year (70’s – 90’s F) with a lot of sunny days. This is when all the Ecuadorians like to visit Salinas because the kids in the coastal towns have their summer break during these months. Rents are much more expensive during the high season. You can expect to pay about 50% more than the low season, on average.

The big holidays in Salinas are:

  • Christmas & New Years
  • Carnival
  • Cuenca Independence (the week of November 3rd)

During the holidays, the nightly and weekly rates can be double or even more from the low season rates.

Reasonable Housing Costs

Salinas is not for the overly budget conscious. If you’re looking to live as cheaply as possible, you might want to consider another beach town like Playas or Manta, or a popular mountain town like Cuenca, Loja, Vilcabamba, Cotacachi, etc. Salinas is one of the most expensive places to live in Ecuador.

In Salinas, you can find small fully furnished apartments and houses for rent starting in the $500 range depending on the factors listed above. However, a nice 2 bedroom 2 bath ocean view condo will likely cost $1,000 or more. Some of the really high-end places will cost over $2,000/month.

Unfurnished apartments and houses for rent are very difficult to find in Salinas because it’s such a popular short-term tourist destination. Lots of Ecuadorians own several properties in Salinas as investments that they rent out only during the high season to short-term stay tourists.

If you sign a 6 month lease for the low season, you’ll pay less per month than you will for a 12 month lease because that would include the highly lucrative holidays and high season months.

Finding Properties in Salinas Ecuador

We met with Amy Prisco, a gringo real estate agent, on our visit to Salinas to ask her lots of questions about living there. We plan to use her services when we search for a rental property if we decide to move there. You can search properties and contact her through her website: Ecuador-Realty.com.

You can also search for rental and for sale properties on the Island Estates International website.

Agents like Amy Prisco provide valuable boots-on-the-ground support for people looking for a rental house. They work on commission paid by the owner so there’s no cost to you for their services. In order for them to get paid, you need to work through them so if you find a property you like, send them the link and let them get the details, set the showing and work with the owner or listing agent.

Salinas Ecuador Cost of Food

We didn’t do a lot of cooking during our 10 day trip to Salinas, but we tried to get a good feel for the cost of food.

Salinas Ecuador Cost of Mercado Produce

Salinas Mercado

The Salinas Mercado is MUCH smaller than the mercados in Cuenca and we’re told most people go to the mercado in La Libertad that’s about a 15 minute cab ride away when they need more than the basics.

On our first day in Salinas, we went to the mercado for some dinner ingredients: giant head of broccoli, 2 onions, a caveman carrot and a whole bulb of garlic. The total cost was $1.50, which we think is about the same as Cuenca.

On our second visit to the mercado, we bought: 7 bananas, 2 mangos, 1 pitahaya, 1 small cauliflower and 2 lbs of tomatoes. The total cost was $4.50, which is also about the same as Cuenca.

We eat a Whole-Food Plant-Based (WFPB) Diet, so we buy LOTS of produce at the mercado on Thursdays. Then we fill in the gaps with our local neighborhood fruit lady. We also chop up veggies and freeze them for quick oil-free stir fries on busy nights.

Salinas Ecuador Grocery Store Cost

There are two main grocery stores in Salinas: Supermaxi and Mi Comisariato Jr.

Supermaxi Salinas

Mi Comisariato Jr Salinas

Here are some price comparisons to the Supermaxi El Vergel in Cuenca Ecuador. Each store was missing a few of the items so we couldn’t do a perfect comparison, but this will give you an idea for prices and how little they vary between Salinas and Cuenca.

Item Qty  Cuenca Supermaxi  Salinas Supermaxi  Salinas Comisariato
Bananas 1 kg  $                        1.07  $                       1.07  $                         0.95
Broccoli 1 kg  $                         0.70
Cauliflower Large  $                         0.64
Papaya 1 kg  $                        1.39  $                         1.05
Mango 1 kg  $                        1.43  $                         1.96
Almond Milk 946 ml  $                        3.51  $                       3.51  $                         3.38
Sweet & Coffee 400 g  $                        6.57  $                       5.87
Oats 850 g  $                        3.42  $                       3.42
Raisins 450 g  $                        2.76  $                       2.46
Natures Heart Cranberries 200 g  $                        3.39  $                       3.03
Pita Bread 1 pkg  $                        2.34  $                       1.76
Schullos Brown Rice 2 kg  $                        5.40  $                       5.40
Super Extra Brown Rice 2 kg  $                        2.85  $                         2.78
Lentils 500 g  $                        0.91  $                         0.90
Tofu 1 pkg  $                        2.50  $                       2.50
Pasta Sauce 490 g  $                        2.52  $                         2.59
Schullo Peanut Butter 200 g  $                         3.46
Don Intriago Peanut Butter 400 g  $                        2.89
Jif Peanut Butter 793 g  $                        9.13  $                     14.63
Tabasco Sauce 150 ml  $                        9.80
Los Andes Ketchup 550 g  $                        1.61  $                       1.96

The cost of meat and dairy are higher in Ecuador than in the States because it’s not heavily subsidized by government handouts and taxpayer dollars. Animal ag competes on a level playing field with other food industries so the costs reflect that.

See More: Supermaxi Salinas Ecuador + Paseo Mall

Salinas Ecuador Restaurant Costs

We ate out quite a bit during our stay in Salinas. More than we intended to. And the cost of eating out in Salinas is a lot more than eating out in Cuenca.

You’ll also notice a big price difference between restaurants on the Malecón/beach vs off-Malecón. The Malecón prices were much closer to Denver prices while the off-Malecón prices were closer to typical Ecuadorian prices.

El Almuerzo at Bhakti Lunch SalinasBhakti Lunch Salinas

Most restaurants in Ecuador have a lunch special that ranges from $1.50 to $3.50. It’s called El Almuerzo (the lunch) and usually comes with 3 to 5 courses: juice/tea, salad, entree, rice, dessert & coffee.

Most almuerzos have chicken, fish or cow so we don’t eat those. However, the vegan almuerzo at Bhakti Lunch in Salinas was $3. Plus, the owners are amazing people who speak fluent English!

Oahu Açai Bar

We ate at Oahu Açai Bar for breakfast on the day of our Salinas Supermaxi Tour. It was AMAZING! I had the mango açai bowl and Amelia had the Spinach açai bowl. The cost of their bowls vary from $6.50 to $8.50 compared to the smoothie bowls at Zatua Miski in Cuenca that cost $4.50 and are just as good.

Luccy’s Mexican Grill

We have never eaten Mexican food in Cuenca so we don’t have a comparison, but Luccy’s Mexican Grill in Salinas was so delicious that we ate there for dinner 3 times! They have several vegetarian options that can be veganized and their chips & salsa are muy delicioso!

For dinner each night, we ordered roughly the same things: chips & salsa, 2 entrees, 2 wines and 2 Club Verdes. The cost was about $35 with a $2 tip. That’s about the same amount we spend at Paradise Indian Restaurant here in Cuenca for 2 entrees, rice, naan, 2 wines and 2 beers.

Mario’s Pizza

We had some delicious wood fired oven pizza at Mario’s on the Northeast end of Salinas. They have a vegetarian pizza piled high with veggies that we veganize by skipping the cheese. Their daily special is 2 medium pizzas for $20. That’s a little more than we pay for pizza in Cuenca.

Health Insurance Costs in Ecuador

You’ll need private health insurance before you apply for your Temporary Residency Visa. Once you have your visa and cedula (government issued ID card), you can get the cheaper IESS public health insurance.

Private Health Insurance Cuenca Ecuador

Just like in the States, there are several different health insurance companies to choose from. We used an insurance broker to help us pick the best plan for us.

We selected a health insurance plan through Confiamed that costs $156/month for both of us. A private health insurance plan allows us to go to the doctors and hospitals that we choose. Quality and convenience cost more, but that’s important to us.

If you would like us to connect you with our insurance agent, please drop us a note and we’ll send an email introduction.

Ecuador IESS Public Health Insurance

IESS is Ecuador’s single-payer social security and healthcare system. Once you have your temporary or permanent residency visa and your cedula, you can sign up for this health insurance.

IESS health insurance is cheaper than private insurance (for now), but you have to go to the IESS hospital and doctors. Since it’s their version of social security, it also means you’ll get some of it back when you retire if you’re still living here. The IESS plan is currently $77/month for each of our married friends who are in their 60’s.

See More: Ecuador Health Insurance Overview 2019

Other Common Living Expenses in Salinas Ecuador

Startup Costs

After we moved into our rental house in Cuenca, we spent about $700 on startup costs for it. Even though it was fully furnished, it lacked a few essential things such as sheets, blankets, a nicer set of pots, a pressure cooker, coat rack, knives, heaters, etc. You may not need these things in a Salinas rental because they tend to be more fully stocked for the tourist crowd.

Transportation Costs in Salinas Ecuador

A bus ride costs 31 cents throughout Ecuador

Taxis in Salinas have a minimum fair of $1.00 compared to $1.50 in Cuenca. However, not a single cab driver turned the meter on when we got into their taxi so we negotiated the rate ahead of time. They all charged us $2 except for the first driver who gringoed us because we didn’t know what the minimum was. He charged us $2.50 for a $1 trip from the Salinas Supermaxi to the Paseo Mall.

For transportation options and costs between Cuenca and Salinas Ecuador, visit:

Electricity

We pay for our own electricity for our rental in Cuenca, but it’s very common for that to be included in the cost of rent here. However, in Salinas, electricity is usually not included in long-term leases because it’s expensive (and optional) to run the air conditioners. Electricity is included in short-term nightly and weekly rentals.

There is no need for AC in Cuenca so this will be an additional cost of living in Salinas or any coastal, low altitude city.

Propane

In Cuenca, we spend less than $10/month for propane that we use for our hot water, gas stove/oven, and the clothes dryer. From our observations, propane isn’t used very much in Salinas. Instead, they use electricity for most of their energy needs. That means you’ll likely save money on propane but spend more on electricity.

Bottled Water

We drink the tap water in Cuenca (even though some people say not to), but the tap water in Salinas isn’t safe to drink for us gringos (or probably anyone). During our 10 days in Salinas, we used three 5 gallon bottles of water for drinking and cooking at $2 per bottle. That means you can expect to pay about $20/month for bottled water plus another $10-$20 for the tap water used for showers, laundry, etc.

Internet Access

We have Puntonet in Cuenca and that costs us $56/month for 50Mb up and down. The main provider in Salinas is Netlife and they charge $45/month for 50Mb so that’s a little cheaper.

Salinas Ecuador Quality of Life

We live a very comfortable middle class, low-stress life in Cuenca Ecuador for less than $2,000 per month.  However, we expect it will cost about 25% more in Salinas, or $2,500/month, due to the higher rent, restaurant and electricity costs. The house we live in now in Cuenca would easily cost $1,200 or more to rent in Salinas so keep that in mind if you’re on a tight budget.

We’re going to feature other cities on the coast and throughout Ecuador in future videos so stay tuned for those. You might want to Subscribe to our YouTube Channel so you don’t miss them. And also, please consider joining our growing community of unconventional expats over on Patreon so we can afford to continue making these informational videos and blog posts.

Watch Our Video About The Cost of Living in Salinas, Ecuador

DISCLOSURE: THIS POST MAY CONTAIN AFFILIATE LINKS, MEANING WE GET A COMMISSION IF YOU DECIDE TO MAKE A PURCHASE THROUGH OUR LINKS. THERE IS NO COST TO YOU AND SOMETIMES YOU'LL EVEN GET A DISCOUNT BY USING OUR LINK. PLEASE READ OUR DISCLOSURE FOR MORE INFO.

 

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Salinas Ecuador AirBnB Tour + A Walk on Salinas Beach

We enjoy showing what condos, houses and rental places look like in Ecuador to help bust the myth that Ecuador is a 3rd World Country. While there are some low income areas (just like those in the States), Ecuador has a thriving middle class and a well established upper class.

That means there are lots of places to stay that cater to a higher end clientele like this beautiful AirBnB located just a short walk from the Salinas Malecon. It’s a 1 bedroom, 1 bathroom with an amazing view of the ocean through the wall of sliding glass doors. We thoroughly enjoyed sitting on the sofa with the doors fully open listening to the waves crash against the shore!

If you would like a discount off your first AirBnB stay, click this link and we’ll also get a credit.

Mario’s Pizza is located a block from the AirBnB featured in this video.

And here’s the link to the AirBnB condo from our tour. We paid $48/night, but that will vary depending on when and how long you stay: Oceanfront Condo Salinas Ecuador.

Watch Our AirBnB Tour in Salinas, Ecuador

DISCLOSURE: THIS POST MAY CONTAIN AFFILIATE LINKS, MEANING WE GET A COMMISSION IF YOU DECIDE TO MAKE A PURCHASE THROUGH OUR LINKS. THERE IS NO COST TO YOU AND SOMETIMES YOU'LL EVEN GET A DISCOUNT BY USING OUR LINK. PLEASE READ OUR DISCLOSURE FOR MORE INFO.

 

Get the Free Move Abroad Checklist

Enter your email address here to get our Unconventional Newsletter with all sorts of timely information about living abroad, online income and achieving financial independence.
 
You'll also get immediate access to our Move Abroad Checklist that will walk you through the process of wrapping up your life at home and moving to a new country.

PLUS, there are several other free perks in our Live Abroad Toolkit we think you'll enjoy!
 

CLP Bus to Guayaquil Ecuador from the Coast

We couldn’t live at Villa de Los Sueños forever and we eventually had to go back home to Cuenca Ecuador. This video covers our CLP Bus to Guayaquil Ecuador from Olón, including the Guayaquil Bus Terminal and the busetas that run between Cuenca and Guayaquil.

We took a taxi from Guayaquil to La Entrada on our way to the Ecuador Coast, but after speaking with some of the other guests and getting more information from Marsha at the B&B, we decided to take the CLP bus back to Guayaquil Ecuador.

The Cooperativa Libertad Peninsular (CLP) bus was much nicer than the other buses we have taken in Ecuador. The seats were comfortable, the ride was smooth and it didn’t stop as much. I was even able to sleep for about 30 minutes during the 2 hours and 45 minute ride from Olón to Guayaquil, something that NEVER happens to me on public transportation.

Once we got to Guayaquil, we took a taxi from the bus terminal to the Operazuaytur buseta office to catch our small bus back to Cuenca.

Other videos from this trip: Ecuador Coast 2018

 

People & Places

CLP Bus to Guayaquil Ecuador

This is the tiny bus station in Olón Ecuador from where the CLP bus to Guayaquil Ecuador leaves. It also stops in Montañita, which is only about 10 minutes from Olón on the way to Guayaquil. The cost was $7 per person one-way, which is about double the cost of the regular interprovincial buses.

2 Bus Ride from Olón to Cuenca Ecuador CLP Bus1 Bus Ride from Olón to Cuenca Ecuador Libertad Peninsular

The bus was large and very nice. It had a smooth ride and didn’t stop as much as the interprovincial buses to pick up passengers along the way, although it did stop more than we thought it would.

A Taste of Ecuadorian Driving

These two guys(right image) are transporting a large flat screen TV on a motorcycle…on the highway. Think about that for a minute. He’s basically carrying a sail in a high-wind zone. ¡Que loco!

And the other guy (left image) is on track to win the Darwin Award. You can see in the video that he was on his phone the entire time I filmed him while he was riding his motorcycle on the highway. Dude. That’s a toilet posture. You’re not on the can! You’re on the highway! On a motorcycle! Pay attention!

3 Bus Ride from Olón to Cuenca Ecuador Moto TV4 Bus Ride from Olón to Cuenca Ecuador Moto Texter

Religion is a big thing in Ecuador, but I’m always surprised to see commercial vehicles with religious iconography on them. This translates to “King of Kings.”

5 Bus Ride from Olón to Cuenca Ecuador Rey de Reyes

Guayaquil Bus Terminal

This is the Terminal Terrestre de Guayaquil or the Guayaquil Bus Terminal. It’s located just north of the airport. As the crow flies, it would be about a 5 minute walk from the bus terminal to the airport terminal. However, you can’t walk how the crow flies. It would probably be about a 20 minute walk going several blocks out of the way, so the cab drivers make bank charging $5 to drive people the relatively short distance between the terminals.

Guayaquil Bus Terminal6 Bus Ride from Olón to Cuenca Ecuador Guayaquil Bus Terminal

We were VERY impressed with the bus terminal! It was basically a giant shopping mall packed with people coming and going. The restrooms were big, super clean and energy efficient. As usual, the men’s restroom was very quick. It had lots of urinals so I was in and out of there in under 3 minutes. The women’s restroom was a different story. Amelia said it was packed and chaotic, so she opted to wait until we got to the buseta terminal a short cab ride away.8 Bus Ride from Olón to Cuenca Ecuador Cab Driver

The taxis are located just outside the north entrance/exit on the main floor of the Guayaquil bus terminal. Our diver saw that I was filming and gave us a pose, making his fellow drivers behind him laugh.

Operazuay Buseta Station

These guys were goofing around waiting for the buseta to leave at the Operazuaytur buseta station. Everyone is so friendly in Ecuador, especially to us gringos. They seem to really get a kick out of us, as you’ll see in our videos.10 Bus Ride from Olón to Cuenca Ecuador Papa

Unfortunately, I didn’t get a picture or usable video shot of the Operazuaytur office, but they were moving to a different location a few days after we were there so it really wouldn’t help anyway. The new office is only a block away, and both are very close (walking distance) to the airport. The busetas cost $12 one-way between Cuenca and Guayaquil. I’m not sure where else they go.

11 Bus Ride from Olón to Cuenca Ecuador Buseta

We really liked taking the busetas (small buses) through Cajas National Park rather than a big bus. The mountain roads are very curvy with steep inclines and declines so the smaller buseta is able to handle them much better. We took a large interprovincial bus between Cuenca and Machala and the motion almost made me sick. I was able to acquire some motion sickness pills for the return trip.12 Bus Ride from Olón to Cuenca Ecuador Mike Wazowski

I bet you didn’t know Mike Wazowski could skateboard! Ecuador is full of murals and I thought these were pretty cool leaving the airport area (more shown in the video).

The Drive from Guayaquil to Cuenca

American brands are so common here that sometimes it’s easy to forget we’re in a foreign country. (see in the image gallery) The buseta terminal was directly across the street from a Holiday Inn and there was a Sherwin Williams paint store and a Formica store in the same area as the buseta terminal.

Sugar cane is one of Ecuador’s exports, along with chocolate, fruits and flowers. This is a baby sugar cane field that was probably planted within the previous month. (see in the image gallery) The sugar cane will be almost as tall as those trees in the middle of the field once it’s fully grown.

It takes about an hour and a half from Guayaquil to reach the base of the Andes Mountain range. Then it’s a quick climb to ascend through the clouds.

Be sure to check out Part 1 in this series to see more beautiful shots of Cajas National Park.

Amelia is an expert sleeper. (see in the image gallery) I almost never nap on public transportation, even overnight flights. But it’s common for Amelia to be asleep before they close the door. I’m certainly envious of that trait. Especially when I have to sit there and watch her head bob up and down while I’m bored silly!

Share the Love

We hope you enjoyed our trip from Olón to Guayaquil and then to Cuenca, Ecuador in the fifth and final part of our first trip to Ecuador’s Southern Coast. Please remember to like, comment and share our video, and also subscribe to our YouTube channel. If you’d like us to make a video about something specific or if you have questions, please let us know in the comments.

Watch Our Video About our Journey in a Cooperativa Libertad Peninsular Bus to Guayaquil Ecuador

DISCLOSURE: THIS POST MAY CONTAIN AFFILIATE LINKS, MEANING WE GET A COMMISSION IF YOU DECIDE TO MAKE A PURCHASE THROUGH OUR LINKS. THERE IS NO COST TO YOU AND SOMETIMES YOU'LL EVEN GET A DISCOUNT BY USING OUR LINK. PLEASE READ OUR DISCLOSURE FOR MORE INFO.

 

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Whale Watching Puerto Lopez Ecuador: We Saw Humpback Whales!!!

My whole life I’ve dreamed of seeing whales up-close, and our Puerto Lopez Whale Watching tour on Ecuador’s Southern Coast more than delivered! We saw a momma whale and her baby playing pretty close to the port of Puerto Lopez, Ecuador. They swam right by and even under the boat. They’re such amazing, prehistoric looking animals!

See more videos from this trip: Ecuador Coast 2018

People & Places (and WHALES!)

Puerto Lopez Ecuador

We took a bus from La Entrada to Puerto Lopez to go whale watching. Marsha at Villa de Los Sueños told us to take the bus to the new bus terminal on the north side of Puerto Lopez, but did we listen? Nope.

At the first stop on the south side of Puerto Lopez, there’s a tour company that told everyone to get off the bus who’s going whale watching or to Isla de la Plata. Well, that was us, but we already had tickets to go with a different tour company down on the beach.

Once we discovered our mistake, the tour guide offered to call us a moto taxi, but he said it was only about a 10 minute walk so we decided to hoof it. On our walk, we saw this buen caballero (good gentleman) who waved and welcomed us to Puerto Lopez. The Ecuadorians are very friendly to us gringos.

1 Puerto Lopez Whale Watching Guy Waving2 Puerto Lopez Whale Watching Dirt Street

Most of the side streets in Puerto Lopez on our walk from the bus stop to the beach looked like this one. Dirt roads with people working, children in school and street dogs.

Most of the cabs in Puerto Lopez are these tiny 3-wheel moto taxis. I’ve never been to a city that used these before so it felt a bit like we were in a movie filmed in some foreign exotic land. Oh wait! I guess we were! 🙂

4 Puerto Lopez Whale Watching Sign3 Puerto Lopez Whale Watching Moto Taxis

The Puerto Lopez beachfront renovation was recently completed and it’s beautiful. It took over two years, we were told, to tear down all the old beach shacks and replace them with updated structures. The beach was super clean and relatively empty. It was the winter season on our trip, so there weren’t many people there.

4.1 Puerto Lopez Whale Watching Beach4.3 Puerto Lopez Whale Watching Beach

From the beach, you can see all the boats anchored near the port, as well as the beautiful rock formations that melt into the sea. No beach photo is complete without the requisite palm trees, sand and blue ocean background.

4.4 Puerto Lopez Whale Watching Beach4.5 Puerto Lopez Whale Watching Beach

This picture would make a great puzzle! Notice how clean and seaweed free the beaches are. Puerto Lopez has a truly amazing beach.

Amelia and I were impressed with the fitness of this group of people working out on the beach. I had serious ab envy for the guy in the orange shorts.

4.6 Puerto Lopez Whale Watching Beach5 Puerto Lopez Whale Watching Restrooms

Amelia has a slight public restroom phobia, so she’s always excited to find a clean bathroom. Most of the public restrooms that we’ve seen in Ecuador are private enterprises, or at least public enterprises with a fee. Most cost 25 cents for women, 25 cents for men if you need to use the toilet and require toilet paper, and 10 cents for men’s urinals.

We’ve found that the public restrooms tend to be very clean and well-maintained. They’re typically run by one or two people who continuously sweep the floors and wipe down the surfaces. However, there are exceptions, such as in Montañita. It was clean but didn’t have any toilet paper. Poor Amelia. Can you say, “drip dry?”6 Puerto Lopez Whale Watching

That’s a lot of boats! Most of them are small fishing boats. The fishers go out at night and return in the morning to sell the fish they caught in the Puerto Lopez fish market.

Here’s the obligatory vegan message: please stop buying seafood. Our oceans are on track to be devoid of fish within the next 20 years, by 2048. If the oceans die. We die. It’s that simple. Do you want to be the generation that brings humanity to its knees? I certainly don’t. That’s why Amelia and I went vegan and stopped supporting the fishing industry.

Whale Watching Puerto Lopez

We booked our Puerto Lopez Whale Watching Tour through Marsha at Villa de Los Sueños with a company called Aventuras La Plata. We were the only two people with that particular tour company, so they put us on a boat with another tour company. I’m pretty sure they pool their passengers to make the most money. Coopetition is a smart way to do business.

These are Blue-footed Boobies that we saw perched on a buoy shortly after we left the doc to go whale watching. Males use their bright blue feet to attract mates with an elaborate dance, but they’re also quite vocal about it. Amelia was obsessed with seeing the boobies (hehe) so I’m glad we saw some without taking the much longer Isla de la Plata tour, the location of their mating grounds.

7 Puerto Lopez Whale Watching Blue Footed Boobies7.1 Puerto Lopez Whale Watching Blue Footed Boobies

Our Puerto Lopez whale watching tour did NOT disappoint! The guide prepared us all before we left the dock to be patient. It could take awhile to find whales and patiences was our best friend.

Within 10 minutes of leaving the dock, we spotted this baby Humpback Whale and its mom playing within sight of the Puerto Lopez beach!

8 Puerto Lopez Whale Watching Whale Breaching8.1 Puerto Lopez Whale Watching Whale Tail

The captain kept the boat at a safe distance, but the whales swam right up to us. This baby whale flapped its tail as if he was saying hello, just a few meters from the boat.

You can see mom in front and the baby behind her in this photo. Humpback Whales are amazing, prehistoric looking animals.

9 Puerto Lopez Whale Watching Island Snorkling8.2 Puerto Lopez Whale Watching Whales

Mom and baby finally stopped playing and the passengers on the boat started getting restless so the guide took us to the next part of the tour: snorkeling on a small island beach about 30 minutes from Puerto Lopez.

It was overcast and chilly by the time we got there so Amelia and I stayed on the boat while most of the other passengers got in the water for the fastest snorkeling trip known to man. It took them longer to put on their suits than it took them to get in and out of the water! I’m glad we opted to stay warm and dry on the boat.

8.3 Puerto Lopez Whale Watching Whale Breaching8.4 Puerto Lopez Whale Watching Whale Breaching

On our way back to Puerto Lopez from the snorkeling beach, we saw another pod of Humpback Whales. We were really lucky to see two different sets of whales on our Puerto Lopez Whale Watching tour!

This humpback was still a juvenile, but quite a bit larger than the baby we saw breaching shortly after leaving the dock.

We loved our whale watching tour in Puerto Lopez! It was a lifelong dream of mine to see whales up-close like this, and it was more exciting than I imagined!

Broke Down Bus

10 Puerto Lopez Whale Watching Bus Breakdown

After a little time on the beach enjoying a cerveza, a nap and the soothing sounds of crashing waves, we decided to head back to La Entrada from Puerto Lopez.

About a third of the way there, our bus started making a loud noise. The bus driver and the money collector got off and banged on something under the bus for about 10 minutes before getting back on the bus and driving a ways further. The noise got louder and we could literally feel something banging under the floor of the bus. I’m pretty sure the transmission was shot.

The driver stopped again and banged some more before driving off again. By this time we were on top of the mountain pass between Puerto Lopez and La Entrada so we were a bit concerned about going down the other side with a faulty transmission. However, the driver left the bus in low gear and we slowly descended down to La Entrada and were more than happy to get off after more than an hour on the bus. (the ride to Puerto Lopez from La Entrada took less than 40 minutes).

Share the Love

We hope you enjoyed our Puerto Lopez Whale Watching tour in the third part of our trip to Ecuador’s Southern Coast. Please remember to like, comment and share our video, and also subscribe to our YouTube channel. If you’d like us to make a video about something specific or if you have questions, please let us know in the comments.

Watch Our Video About Whale Watching in Puerto Lopez Ecuador

DISCLOSURE: THIS POST MAY CONTAIN AFFILIATE LINKS, MEANING WE GET A COMMISSION IF YOU DECIDE TO MAKE A PURCHASE THROUGH OUR LINKS. THERE IS NO COST TO YOU AND SOMETIMES YOU'LL EVEN GET A DISCOUNT BY USING OUR LINK. PLEASE READ OUR DISCLOSURE FOR MORE INFO.

 

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The Party Town of Montañita Ecuador

It was an overcast morning, but it was warm (in the mid-70’s) and didn’t look like rain so we decided to walk along the beach 8 kilometers from La Entrada to Olón and Montañita Ecuador. The beach was virtually empty all the way to Olón, except for a giant whale!

See more videos from this trip: Ecuador Coast 2018

People & Places (and Animals)

Choco the Chocolate Lab

1 Olón and Montañita Ecuador Choco

Choco is the resident greeter, security guard and activities director at Villa de Los Sueños, the B&B where we stayed on Ecuador’s Southern Coast. Most mornings, we went for a walk on the beach toward Olón and Choco joined us to play rock.

Choco loved chasing the rocks that I threw for him. He tried to fit all of them in his mouth, every rock I threw on our walk, and then he brought them back to the B&B. There were little piles of rocks all over the grounds, and even one on our 4th floor balcony. He has quite the rock fetish!

Beach Walk from La Entrada to Olón

The beach in front of the B&B and La Entrada has lots of interesting rock formations. It’s not nearly as sandy as the rest of the beaches in the area, but it is beautiful to look at and to watch the waves crashing against them. Like most beaches in the world today, there was quite a lot of small pieces of plastic on this stretch of beach that needs to be picked up.

3 Olón and Montañita Ecuador Rocks2 Olón and Montañita Rocky Beach

Amelia is in heaven. We went to the coast during Ecuador’s winter season so Cuenca at 8,000 feet had been quite chilly for the previous couple of months. Even though it was overcast, she was very happy to be warm.

Most of the beaches on Ecuador’s Southern Coast look like this. They’re extremely flat and wide when the tide is out, but they almost completely disappear when the tide is in. The B&B had a tide clock in the dining room area so we knew when it was safe to walk on the beach. The tide comes in rapidly and you wouldn’t want to get caught on the beach when it disappears.

We were surprised at the low number of people on this beach. We saw a few children playing on a couple of different walks, but for the most part, we had it to ourselves. It’s the biggest beach I’ve ever been on, and the most empty.

4 Olón and Montañita Ecuado Amelia Beach5 Olón and Montañita Ecuador Whale Breaching

I was filming Amelia and she saw a whale breaching behind me. I trained my camera on the spot and luckily caught this big Humpback Whale breaching just a short distance offshore. We saw Humpbacks from our balcony and the beach on several different days. On the last morning of our trip, we saw a pod of Killer Whales from our breakfast table at the B&B.

You’ll see more whales up close and personal on our whale watching tour in the next video.

The beachfront between La Entrada and Olón had lots of big, beautiful houses. Some of them were for sale if you’re interested! However, with the rapid rise of the oceans, these houses will likely be under water in the next 50 to 100 years. The ocean is already knocking on their doorsteps at high tide.

6 Olón and Montañita Ecuador. Houses7 Olón and Montañita Ecuador Motorcycle

We were also surprised to see motorcycles and trucks driving on the beach at high speeds. It seems that everyone in Ecuador drives at a high rate of speed, but we didn’t expect to see that on the beach. However, since it’s so wide and flat when the tide is out, I guess it’s a fast way to travel. Not a lot of traffic, either…

La Curia Ecuador

8 La Curia Ecuador Street Dog

The first town we stopped at on our walk to Olón and Montañita was La Curia. It was a tiny little pueblita with a church, lots of chickens and, of course, several street dogs. There wasn’t much (any) traffic in town so this dog was taking a mid-morning nap in the middle of the street.

These guys were more than happy to let me take a picture of their cool mural and old building. Murals are very popular in Ecuador. The tiny pueblita of La Entrada has over 25 and growing.

10 La Curia Ecuador Old House9 La Curia Ecuador Mural

This is a real fixer-upper. We saw lots of these run-down old buildings and houses in the pueblitas along Ecuador’s Southern Coast. La Entrada is the rare exception. Most of the old buildings have either been torn down or renovated there. The people of La Entrada have a large rehabilitation project going on, spearheaded by Shell, the owner of Villa de Los Sueños. You can see more of the La Entrada in a future video.

Everyone in La Curia was super friendly, and showed off their big smiles and happy greetings to the wondering gringos.

Olón Ecuador

Our next stop on the beach walk was Olón. It’s a larger town than La Curia and popular with surfers. We spotted this sign that sparked Amelia’s fancy.

12 Olón and Montañita Ecuador Bus Movie11 Olón Ecuador Amelia Sign

We were starving by this point so we walked straight through Olón and got on a bus to Montañita Ecuador. We were surprised to see them showing a movie with Jason Statham, dubbed into Spanish. It’s quite funny to hear a deep, sophisticated latino voice coming out of The Transporter!

The bus ride between Olón and Monañita Ecuador took about 10 minutes and cost us 50 cents each.

Montañita Ecuador

Montañita Ecuador is known as a party town. Young people come from Guayaquil and other parts of Ecuador on the weekends to party and surf. This picture was taken atop the 10 foot high retaining wall, or malecon in Spanish. The ocean is already creeping up to Montañita’s doorstep and this wall helps keep out the high tide and storm surges.

14 Montañita Ecuador13 Olón and Montañita Ecuador I Love Sign

Montañita Ecuador is quite the tourist town. It reminds me of pretty much every beachfront tourist town I’ve been to in other parts of the world. Nearly every store is either a restaurant or souvenir shop.

Believe it or not, we saw cars driving down these streets. However, most vehicles were push carts like these that were selling or transporting things to local shops.

15 Montañita Ecuador16 Olón and Montañita Ecuador Fruit Cart

While Ecuadorians do love their helado (ice cream), we have yet to see an ice cream truck. Instead, these types of fruit carts and stands can be found everywhere. Most of them will even cut up the pineapples for you.

Amor Infinito in Montañita Ecuador

17 Montañita Ecuador Amor Infinito18 Montañita Ecuador Amor Infinito

Amelia found this vegan restaurant, Amor Infinito, on TripAdvisor.com. When we left the B&B, our goal was to have lunch here, but since the walk took much longer than an 8K walk should take, we had a very LATE lunch here.

We really enjoyed the vegan food and beachfront seating at Amor Infinito. I talked to the owner and he said his wife decided they needed to eat a healthier diet, so they changed the restaurant to all vegan.

19 Montañita Ecuador Amor Infinito Beach View18.5 Montañita Ecuador Amor Infinito Almuerzo

They offer a daily almuerzo (lunch special), as well as vegan cerveza and other beverages. The food was delicious! It came with fresh squeezed juice, the main course (see pic above) and fresh fruit for dessert.

We went to the coast during the off-season, so there weren’t many people on the beach. However, all of the tables at Amor Infinito were full (see above) while the neighboring restaurants were nearly empty (see below). I think that says a lot about the quality of the food and the growth of veganism.

19 Olón and Montañita Ecuador Empty Tables20 Olón and Montañita Ecuador Empty Tables

We highly recommend checking out Amor Infinito on your next trip to Montañita.

Govinda Prasad Vegan & Vegetarian Restaurant

I swear Amelia could spot a vegan restaurant from space! We were walking down a busy, crowded, visually stimulating street and Amelia spotted this restaurant from more than a block away!

Carlos is the owner, cook and waiter of Govinda Prasad. He’s also a great baker (more on that below). We ate lunch at his restaurant two different days and really enjoyed the food. In addition to being plant-based vegan, our lunches also had very little to no oil, making them the healthiest dishes we ate in Montañita. We loved all the fresh veggies!

22 Olón and Montañita Ecuador Govinda Prasad21 Olón and Montañita Ecuador Govinda Prasad

In this part of Ecuador, most of the bread is made with manteca (aka lard). As vegans, we avoid all animal products. As healthy plant-based eaters, we wouldn’t dream of eating lard or anything like it! We had a hard time finding lard-free bread on the coast, so we asked Carlos if he knew where we could get some and he offered to make it for us. Since they’re fresh-baked, he needed a little notice and had them ready for us the next day.

We went back the next day and he had two loaves of whole wheat oat bread ready for us, fresh from the oven. They were still warm! He sold them both to us for $5. They were so good that we went back on our last day at the coast and bought two more loaves for the trip back to Cuenca.

We highly recommend this restaurant and Carlos’s healthy vegan bread on your next visit to Montañita.

Share the Love

We hope you enjoyed the second part of our trip on Ecuador’s Southern Coast to Montañita Ecuador. Please remember to like, comment and share our video, and also subscribe to our YouTube channel. If you’d like us to make a video about something specific or if you have questions, please let us know in the comments.

Watch Our Video About The Party Town of Montañita Ecuador

DISCLOSURE: THIS POST MAY CONTAIN AFFILIATE LINKS, MEANING WE GET A COMMISSION IF YOU DECIDE TO MAKE A PURCHASE THROUGH OUR LINKS. THERE IS NO COST TO YOU AND SOMETIMES YOU'LL EVEN GET A DISCOUNT BY USING OUR LINK. PLEASE READ OUR DISCLOSURE FOR MORE INFO.

 

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Ecuador Beach Vacation

This was our first Ecuador beach vacation and we LOVED IT! We’d heard great things from our friends about Ecuador’s beaches, Montañita and the Bed & Breakfast where we stayed, Villa de Los Sueños. And they were right! It was amazing!

This video covers our trip from Cuenca Ecuador to La Entrada where Villa de Los Sueños is located. La Entrada is about a 20 minute drive north of Montañita Ecuador.

See more from this trip: Ecuador Coast 2018

People & Places (and Animals)

El Cajas National Park

El Cajas National Park is about a 30 minute drive east of Cuenca Ecuador. It’s located in the highlands of Ecuador and looks like it’s from another world.

El Cajas has lots of these perfectly rowed trees. That’s not a genetic mutation; they’ve been planted. We were told that during World War I and before, every tree in Cajas was cut down for timber used to build things, including the war machine.

Over the past 30 years, they’ve been planting trees to regrow the forest that once stood there. It’s kind of a shame that they planted them so geometrically, though. Perhaps a random pattern would be more authentic?

El Cajas has lots of hiking trails and it’s home to the world’s largest hummingbird. That makes this a popular place for hikers and bird watchers. However, the weather is very unpredictable and the trails aren’t clearly marked so plan accordingly. Bring layers of clothes, food, water and a GPS so you can find your way back to your car or the bus stop.

It truly is otherworldly. This looks like it could be a scene from a sci-fi movie. A beautiful mountain lake. We’ve been told you can hike around this one. (see in the image gallery)

See More: Hiking in Upper Cajas National Park – Cuenca Ecuador (Episode 79)

Leaving El Cajas

You may notice the American flag air freshener hanging from the rearview mirror, but that’s not the point of this photo. Just below that are the yellow lines of the road. On the eastern side of Cajas, it’s common to drive down (or up) through the clouds. A few meters before this picture was taken, we were in bright blue, sunny skies. The fog is often so dense on this part of the drive that you can barely see the yellow lines. It’s quite terrifying!

8 Cuenca to La Entrada Cajas7 Cuenca to La Entrada Cajas Clouds

A little further down in altitude is a tropical rainforest. This part of the drive lasts about 20 to 30 minutes with lush green foliage and palm trees often blanketed in a shroud of fog.

The Plains to Guayaquil

Once we left the rainforest, we entered the flat plains on the way to Guayaquil. This isn’t a great picture since we were in a rapidly moving buseta (a small passenger bus operated by Operazuaytur), but these are cacao trees (bushes?). Ecuador is known for its amazing, high quality chocolate and most of Ecuador’s cacao is grown in this region and south of here.

Cacao is a very picky plant and will only grow in very specific conditions near the equator making this area perfect for the beans that will become the magic dark brown elixir to the gods.

9 Cuenca to La Entrada Cacao10 Cuenca to La Entrada Bananas

Ecuador is also a huge exporter of bananas. We used to buy Ecuadorian bananas in Denver. They’re covered with plastic bags to minimize pesticide exposure. Hopefully, they recycle all that plastic.11 Cuenca to La Entrada Toll Booth

There are several toll booths between El Cajas and Guayaquil. A car costs 25 cents if I remember correctly. Commercial vehicles like the buseta that we were in have different rates, apparently based on the number of people since I heard the driver tell the toll booth attendant how many people were onboard.

Guayaquil Ecuador

A long bridge over Río Guayas delivered us into the heart of Guayaquil, Ecuador, just south of the airport and bus terminal. The busetas are run by a private company with their own drop off location near the airport. When we got off the buseta, a line of taxis were waiting to take people to places unknown.

Our plan was to take a taxi to the bus terminal, which was about a 5 minute drive away. However, the taxi driver asked us where we were going and offered to drive us all the way to Montañita, Ecuador for $80. It took us less than 3 hours in a taxi, but the bus ($7/ticket) takes between 4 and 5 hours. My back was already hurting from the buseta ride, so we decided to take him up on it.

Sadly for him, he got a speeding ticket about halfway there. He was going 9 kilometers over the speed limit (that’s about 5 miles/hour). I’m pretty sure a taxi on the highway with two gringos in it had something to do with that ticket….

12 Cuenca to La Entrada Guayaquil13 Cuenca to La Entrada Hand Sculpture

Ecuador has lots of these giant sculptures along the major roads. We’ve noticed more of them in Guayaquil and Quito than in Cuenca, but Cuenca does have a few unique sculptures.

14 Cuenca to La Entrada Street Vendors

Street vendors are also common throughout Ecuador. As soon as the light turns red, people come from out of nowhere selling everything from bottled water and food, to electronics and floor rugs. It’s like IKEA comes to you for 2 minutes, and then disappears into thin air!

Ecuador’s Southern Coast

The first ocean sighting may not look like much, with beachfront shacks galore. But these are actually fishing shacks that are bustling with activity in the mornings. The fishermen go out in their boats at night and return in the morning to sell what they caught.

As vegans, we’re not in support of this activity, but these aren’t giant commercial fishing boats dragging nets behind their boats for miles scraping everything off the seafloor and capturing everything from fish to dolphins, turtles and baby whales. These are tiny fishing boats with one or two guys on them. They’ve been doing this for generations so convincing them to stop won’t be easy. My guess is they’ll be forced to stop in the next 20 years when there are no more fish to be caught and the oceans are dead thanks to the industrial fishing operations.

Please, for your own health and the survival of our oceans, stop buying seafood!

15 Cuenca to La Entrada Fish Shacks16 Cuenca to La Entrada Oil Dock

This is an oil pipeline dock that goes out into the sea. On the other side of the highway is what appeared to be an oil holding station. It wasn’t a refinery; it only had large storage tanks. I’m guessing they pump the oil from the tanks out to oil tankers.

Before the oil bust, oil was one of Ecuador’s main sources of income. Now they have a more balanced portfolio with food and flower exports, some manufacturing, and tourism.

17 Cuenca to La Entrada Horse Pasture

We saw so many different types of terrain and climates on our short 6 hour ride from Cuenca to La Entrada it was sometimes hard to believe. Close your eyes for 5 minutes in a dessert and you might wake up in a rainforest! This picturesque farm looks like it could be a Kentucky horse ranch. On the other side of the highway from this ranch is the ocean and beaches. What a diverse country!

Ecuador Beach Vacation

The tide was out when we arrived for our Ecuador beach vacation, and the rocky oceanfront by Villa de Los Sueños was clearly visible.

Most of the beaches in this area are very wide and sandy, but they’re rocky in front of the B&B. It was only a short 2 minute walk south on the beach to get to the sandy shores where you can swim or boogie board. Surfing is popular in Montañita and Olón a little bit south of La Entrada, but the waves weren’t quite big enough on this stretch of beach.

Ecuador Beach Vacation - Villa de los SueñosEcuador Beach Vacation Villa de Los Sueños Penthouse Room

We rented the penthouse apartment on our Ecuador Beach Vacation, mainly for the kitchen so we could cook our own food, but we were really happy with the larger room size, private hot tub and amazing views of the ocean.

The owners are Shell and Marsha. On our first night there, Shell took us into Olón to buy some vegan staples such as fruits, veggies, rice, pasta and hot sauce. We cooked several meals in our room and had romantic dinners with ocean views and sounds.

Share the Love

We hope you enjoyed the first part of our Ecuador Beach Vacation. Please remember to like, comment and share our video, and also subscribe to our YouTube channel. If you’d like us to make a video about something specific or if you have questions, please let us know in the comments.

Watch Our Video About Our Beach Vacation in Ecuador

DISCLOSURE: THIS POST MAY CONTAIN AFFILIATE LINKS, MEANING WE GET A COMMISSION IF YOU DECIDE TO MAKE A PURCHASE THROUGH OUR LINKS. THERE IS NO COST TO YOU AND SOMETIMES YOU'LL EVEN GET A DISCOUNT BY USING OUR LINK. PLEASE READ OUR DISCLOSURE FOR MORE INFO.

 

Get the Free Move Abroad Checklist

Enter your email address here to get our Unconventional Newsletter with all sorts of timely information about living abroad, online income and achieving financial independence.
 
You'll also get immediate access to our Move Abroad Checklist that will walk you through the process of wrapping up your life at home and moving to a new country.

PLUS, there are several other free perks in our Live Abroad Toolkit we think you'll enjoy!