After spending a while freezing in the centre of Ecuador, I decided to escape to the sea side to look for the sun and heat. It was right in the middle of the carnival. I read in my Lonely Planet guide and from the description of Puerto Lopez decided to go there: “chipped blue fishing boats bob on a beautiful fishhook bay and cheerful hotels…, happy cafes and a dirt road pace of life make it tough to leave”. Nothing could be further from the truth. The only truth to it was the fact that it was a dirt-road…in fact a muddy dirt road. All the hotels were obviously full and it was cramped with people – to to be honest – it was not charming.
I was rescued by a lovely young Chilean couple who took me to Ayampe beach which is located 17 km south of Puerto Lopez. It is a beautiful chilled beach (even during the carnival) with some lovely guesthouse options. I stayed in a guesthouse on the beach during the carnival for 10$ a night -really a bargain.
After a few lovely days at Ayampe beach I went to Montanita. Montanita according to the Lonely Planet means “bare feet, baggy shorts, surf and scene. Some dig it others despise it.” It was completely packed when I was there – but I could still see how at other times than the carnival this would be a fun place to visit. The video above gives you an idea about the three beaches. Enjoy.