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Villa de Los Sueños Resort Tour + The Colorful Pueblita of La Entrada Ecuador (Episode 9)

We LOVED LOVED LOVED our stay at Villa de Los Sueños in La Entrada, Ecuador!!! It was beautiful, relaxing and muy tranquilo! The current owners of Villa de Los Sueños, Marsha and Shell, are amazing hosts and went out of there way to make sure a couple of vegans felt right at home.

They even picked up some non-dairy milk on a trip to La Libertad to get a new hot water heater and they made a special vegan lasagna for us so we could have dinner with the other guests after a long day of whale watching. We’re already planning our return trip!

La Entrada is a quaint little pueblita (little town/community/comuna) located about 20 minutes north of Montañita, Ecuador. The comuna has been rejuvenated with colorful buildings and more than 2 dozen murals painted by Ecuadorian artists. It’s also a great destination wedding location, as you’ll see in the church pics below.

See more videos from this trip: Ecuador Coast 2018

People & Places (and Animals)

Villa de Los Sueños Resort Tour

Villa de Los Sueños La Entrada Ecuador

Villa de Los Sueños in La Entrada, Ecuador is a charming B&B with several rooms, a penthouse apartment (where we stayed) and a casita (small house).

Villa de Los Sueños La Entrada Ecuador

This is the scene that greets you when you enter the front gate. It’s a tropical paradise!

Villa de Los Sueños La Entrada Ecuador Pool

It also has a beautiful pool, hot tub and recreation area, with easy access to the beach for long walks along the 8 kilometers to the south toward Olón, Ecuador.

While the beach directly in front of Villa de Los Sueños is rocky, it’s only a short walk south to a beautiful flat beach with lots of waves perfect for boogie boarding. We thought the rock formations were beautiful and gave a distinctive look to views from our apartment.

Villa de Los Sueños La Entrada Ecuador Casita

This is the casita, or small house on the property that’s also available to rent.

Villa de Los Sueños Common Areas

Villa de Los Sueños La Entrada Ecuador Breakfast Nook

The breakfast area has a beautiful view of the ocean and beach in front of Villa de Los Sueños. The guests gather here around 8:30 AM for fresh fruit, oats, juice, coffee and breakfast made to order. You can eat both vegan and non-vegan breakfast items.

We ate raw rolled oats topped with fresh fruit. The first few days, they didn’t have non-dairy milk so we put fresh squeezed orange juice on our oats. I got that idea from Dr. Esselstyn’s book, Prevent & Reverse Heart Disease. It’s a great vegan hack when non-dairy milk isn’t available for your oats. However, Shell bought us some almond milk on his trip to La Libertad to get a new hot water heater (calefon). That was so thoughtful and unexpected!

Villa de Los Sueños La Entrada Ecuador Breakfast Bar

This is the breakfast bar where they line up all the breakfast foods in the morning.

Villa de Los Sueños La Entrada Ecuador Common Kitchen

This is the main floor kitchen used by the owners and their employees to prepare breakfast and sometimes dinner for the guests.

Villa de Los Sueños La Entrada Ecuador Living Room

This is the common living room area where guests gather to converse and play cards. However, we spent most of our time in our apartment. It was so peaceful and relaxing that we only left to eat and sightsee. Shell told us that’s common for people who rent that apartment. He said the younger the couple, the less they see of them 🙂

Villa de Los Sueños La Entrada Ecuador Choco

Choco is the gentle giant Chocolate Lab who performs his own duties as official greeter, security guard and activities director. He loves to go for long walks on the beach to play rock. He gathers up as many rocks as he can fit in his mouth and brings them back home. He has quite the rock fetish!

We’re animal lovers so it was nice to have a such a sweet dog to take us on walks and hang out with us in our apartment.

The Penthouse Apartment Tour

Villa de Los Sueños La Entrada Penthouse View

This was the southern view from our penthouse apartment at Villa de Los Sueños. We visited Ecuador’s Southern Coast in late August during the winter season so it was cloudy on most days as you’ll see in our videos, but the sun came out on one of our last days there and completely changed the look and feel of the area.

Villa de Los Sueños La Entrada View

This was the northern view from our apartment showing La Entrada, Ecuador with the church and it’s colorful buildings.

Here are several pics of our penthouse apartment. You can see the full tour in the video.

Villa de Los Sueños La Entrada Ecuador

Living Room

Villa de Los Sueños La Entrada Ecuador Bedroom

Bedroom and Dining Room

Villa de Los Sueños La Entrada Ecuador Bedroom ViewView from the Bedroom/Office Desk

Villa de Los Sueños La Entrada Ecuador KitchenFull Kitchen

Villa de Los Sueños La Entrada Ecuador Safe

Closet Safe

Villa de Los Sueños La Entrada Ecuador BathroomBathroom

Villa de Los Sueños La Entrada Ecuador Shower

Large Shower

Villa de Los Sueños La Entrada Ecuador Hot TubPrivate Hot Tub with Incredible Views

Villa de Los Sueños La Entrada Bird

We heard these beautiful birds more than we saw them. But one morning we woke up to his beautiful song. He was kind enough to sit there and sing until I got my camera and captured some video and a few pics.

Villa de Los Sueños Whale Breaching

We even saw whales breaching and playing from our balcony. On our last morning we saw a pod of orcas swimming north a few hundred yards off the beach.

La Entrada, Ecuador Tour

La Entrada Ecuador Sign

La Entrada Ecuador Sign 2

La Entrada is a Comuna Ancestral (Ancestral Community). Our walking tour of La Entrada shown in the video shows a typical life in this quaint little pueblita. There are about 850 people who live in here and the surrounding areas, and they all know each other.

La Entrada Ecuador Heart House

The elderly couple who lives in this tiny house didn’t have any children so the rest of the town helps take care of them. In Ecuador, as in most Latin countries, family is very important. Nursing homes and retirement homes aren’t very common here. Instead, the families take care of their elders and they often live in the same multigenerational house as their children and grandchildren. In communities like this one, the neighbors pitch in to help the rare elders who don’t have children and grandchildren to help take care of them.

La Entrada Ecuador Old Building

Most of the buildings in La Entrada have been repainted, as you’ll see below, but this is one of the oldest and most visually appealing buildings that hasn’t been touched yet. It’s in a bad state of disrepair so it may need to be torn down, but it makes for great pictures.

La Entrada Ecuador Bridge

A river bisects La Entrada and this thatch-roofed walking bridge connects the two sides. You can see the whale sculpture peaking out on the right side.

La Entrada Ecuador Whale Sculpture

This is a fountain/pool that needs to be repaired, but it’s such a cool accent to this beautiful little town.

La Entrada Ecuador Boats

These are small fishing boats used by the local fishers. Fishing is a central component, both dietary and economic, for the towns on Ecuador’s Southern Coast. However, as the large industrialized fishing corporations strip the oceans of everything living and not living, these small fishers are struggling.

Here’s the obligatory vegan message: please stop buying seafood. It’s unhealthy for you, containing more saturated fat than beneficial nutrients, as well as mercury, PCBs, DDT, birth control, drugs and every other contaminate with which we’ve polluted our one and only home. Chemicals get absorbed into the fatty tissues of fish and can cause cancer and neurological diseases when you eat them. At the current rate of fishing, the oceans are predicted to be nearly fish-free by 2048. That’s only 20 years from now. If the oceans die, we die. Please don’t contribute to the downfall of humanity.

Villa de Los Sueños La Entrada Ecuador Ganica

These guys were playing a game with marbles that I believe they called ganica. They were having lots of fun and seemed to think us gringos were pretty funny walking around with a strange looking camera taking video and pictures of them.

Villa de Los Sueños La Entrada Chico Suave

This guy was chopping up coconuts when we walked by. He has a little fruit stand with lots of coconuts and bananas. He was very excited that we wanted to take his picture and record him chopping coconuts.

Villa de Los Sueños La Entrada Ecuador Jeweler

We stopped in the jewelry shop and were able to watch the jeweler making anillos (rings).

La Entrada Ecuador Artist

La Entrada is quite the artistic community. We had just purchased this hummingbird painting from the art gallery when we ran into the artist on our way back to the Villa de Los Sueños. She was happy to pose for a picture with the newest member of Amelia’s hummingbird collection (she also has earrings and a new hummingbird tattoo shown in a future video).

 

La Iglesia de La Entrada

Villa de Los Sueños La Entrada Ecuador Church 1

La Entrada has a new church that would be perfect for destination weddings. One of the local townspeople told us they’ve already had a few there this year, and it’s easy to see why.

Villa de Los Sueños La Entrada Ecuador Church 2

Can you imagine getting married with that view behind you?! Again, Shell and Marsha are largely responsible for that amazing view. The architect wanted to make it a solid opaque wall! Why? Just why? After some heated discussions, they convinced the architect to make it a glass wall and he agreed as long as the town could come up with the extra funds to pay for it, which they did.

This beautiful church, along with the colorful buildings and murals, has put La Entrada on the tourist map, which is bringing more gringos and their money to the community, raising the standard of living for everyone there.

The Animals of La Entrada, Ecuador

La Entrada Ecuador Dog

This cute little guy was happy to pose for me. He was playing with that little black rock. Balls aren’t common here, so we saw lots of dogs playing with rocks, just like Choco did.

La Entrada Ecuador Dog 2

This beautiful dog was sleeping on the street. While some people treat their dogs like we do back in the States, a lot of dogs roam freely and everyone seems to take care of them. Some have homes, but are allowed to hang out with their friends, go for a walk and find food during the day and then return home at night. Dogs are a lot like people here in Ecuador, with a lot of freedom to do what the want.

La Entrada Ecuador Skinny Dog

We noticed several overly skinny dogs and thought they weren’t being fed, but that’s apparently not the case. We were told that these dogs have a tick disease that’s very expensive to treat. It takes a multi-day course of antibiotics that aren’t easy to come by in this rural comuna. Choco came down with this disease when he was a puppy and required 3 days of IV antibiotics.

La Entrada Ecuador Rooster

Eggs are popular here, and so are roosters. We saw several egg laying hens and roosters roaming freely, along with the dogs and even a few cats. Life here is like travelling into the past to see how humans used to coexist with domesticated animals before we started imprisoning them in dark, cramped, disease infested factory farms.

La Entrada Ecuador Bird

This beautiful blue bird posed for a few pictures. His mate was eating something up in the green foliage to the right of this photo.

The Colorful Buildings of La Entrada, Ecuador

Shell from Villa de Los Sueños has been integral in leading the effort to update the town’s appearance. It was his idea to paint each building a different combination of 3 bright colors, which is a traditional Latin style. I’m not going to narrate each of these photos so just enjoy the colors.

La Entrada Ecuador Street

La Entrada Ecuador Street 2

La Entrada Ecuador School

La Entrada Ecuador Building

La Entrada Ecuador Mural 2

The Murals of La Entrada, Ecuador

Shell has also been instrumental in having the town painted in beautiful, culturally relevant murals. When we visited, we were told that the town currently boasts 26 murals, but the goal is to double that. The artists will be returning this summer to paint even more.

La Entrada Ecuador Mural 1

La Entrada Ecuador Mural 3

La Entrada Ecuador Mural 4

La Entrada Ecuador Mural 5

La Entrada Ecuador Mural 6

Share the Love

We hope you enjoyed our tour of Villa de Los Sueños and La Entrada, Ecuador in the fourth 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.

Links to Info & Places We Visited in the Video

Whale Watching Puerto Lopez Ecuador: We Saw Humpback Whales!!! (Episode 8)

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

1 Puerto Lopez Whale Watching Guy Waving

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.

2 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.

3 Puerto Lopez Whale Watching Moto Taxis

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 Sign

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.

4.1 Puerto Lopez Whale Watching Beach

The beach was super clean and relatively empty. It was the winter season on our trip, so there weren’t many people there.

4.3 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.

4.4 Puerto Lopez Whale Watching Beach

No beach photo is complete without the requisite palm trees, sand and blue ocean background.

4.5 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.

4.6 Puerto Lopez Whale Watching 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.

5 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.

7 Puerto Lopez Whale Watching Blue Footed Boobies

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.

7.1 Puerto Lopez Whale Watching Blue Footed Boobies

8 Puerto Lopez Whale Watching Whale Breaching

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!

8.1 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.

8.2 Puerto Lopez Whale Watching Whales

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 Snorkling

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 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!

8.4 Puerto Lopez Whale Watching Whale Breaching

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.