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 in La Entrada, Ecuador is a charming B&B with several rooms, a penthouse apartment (where we stayed) and a casita (small house).
This is the scene that greets you when you enter the front gate. It’s a tropical paradise!
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.
This is the casita, or small house on the property that’s also available to rent.
Villa de Los Sueños Common Areas
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!
This is the breakfast bar where they line up all the breakfast foods in the morning.
This is the main floor kitchen used by the owners and their employees to prepare breakfast and sometimes dinner for the guests.
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 🙂
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
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.
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.
View from the Bedroom/Office Desk
Private Hot Tub with Incredible Views
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.
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 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.
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.
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.
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.
This is a fountain/pool that needs to be repaired, but it’s such a cool accent to this beautiful little town.
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.
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.
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.
We stopped in the jewelry shop and were able to watch the jeweler making anillos (rings).
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
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.
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
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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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.