All You Need Is Ecuador
Ecuador is regarded as one of the premier tourist destinations in the world. With a rich cultural heritage, four UNESCO World Heritage sites and unmatched biodiversity, there's no question why so many venture here. The ministry of tourism recently launched an online and international promotion campaign boasting "All you need is Ecuador", which highlights Ecuador's touristic offerings to a worldwide audience.
In 2013, Ecuador was named one of the Top 10 Travel Countries (Lonely Planet), the World's Best Retirement Haven (International Living) and the World's Leading Green Destination by the World Travel Awards.
Ecuador's Pacific Coast
Heading west you will find yourself on the beautiful Ruta del Spondylus (Spondylus Route), also known as the Ruta del Sol (Sun Route), that runs the length of Ecuador's Pacific coastline encompassing the provinces of Guayas, Santa Elena and Manabí and continues south into Peru. There are a myriad of world class attractions to take part in such as surfing, bird watching, whale watching, island tours and scenic drives. Key cities along the coastal route are Guayaquil, Machala, Esmeraldas, Salinas, Montañita and Puerto Lopez.
The quaint fishing town of Puerto Lopez (pop. 16,000) is where we at Hosteria Nantu call home. It is about a 3 hour drive northwest from Guayaquil, a 7 hour drive southwest of Quito or 75 minutes south of Manta, all of which have international airports. Puerto Lopez is known for it's cozy, small town ambiance and for it's proximity to the Machalilla National Park Reserve. Pass the time in Puerto Lopez by renting mountain bikes, surfboards, kayaks or just taking it easy on the inviting, 2-mile stretch of beach. There are several local Spanish schools and various volunteer opportunities if you're looking to get involved in the community during your visit.
Machalilla National Park Reserve
The 60,000 hectares that make up Machalilla National Park include many different ecological zones such as the islands of Salango and Isla de la Plata (Silver Island), the pristine beachline of Los Frailes, the sulfurous springs of Agua Blanca and the tropical, highland forests of San Sebastian. Hiking, mountain biking, horseback riding and rainforest tours are available.
Isla de la Plata & Salango Island Tours
Booking a tour to one of the nearby islands is a breeze from Puerto Lopez. Many tour companies have offices along the malecon (boardwalk) and offer tour packages that include snorkeling, scuba diving and whale watching (during the June-September season). Hike around the Isla de la Plata, aka the "poor man's Galapagos" and see dolphins, sea turtles and the infamous blue-footed boobies.
The Hosteria Nantu staff would be glad to assist you in booking any local sightseeing tours or activities. Feel free to send us a message if you have any further inquiries or would like more information.