Ecuador’s main coastal town, Guayaquil, has enjoyed somewhat of a rejuvenation of late, and is now not only an alternative starting and finishing point for Galapagos cruises, but a pleasant base and gateway to the ‘Ruta del Sol’ or ‘Route of the Sun’ - the coastal road that hugs the Pacific Coast.
Located on a 5 kilometres stretch of crescent-shaped beach back by palm trees, Salinas is Ecuador’s premier beach resort town, with the highest number of 5-star hotels. The water here enjoys an agreeable temperature year-round thanks to the equatorial current. Just 25 kilometres from Salinas you will reach San Vicente’s thermal baths where you can enjoy a rich volcanic mud bath away from the coast. Whale watching trips are also possible off the coast of Salinas between the months of June and July.
Atacames, just 38 kilometres south of Esmereldas, is a more rustic resort popular with surfers, as well as Mompiche a little further south which can be reached on a day trip from the former.