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Esmeraldas is a coastal city in northwestern Ecuador. It is the seat of the Esmeraldas Canton and the capital of the Esmeraldas Province. It has an international sea port and a small airport (IATA location identifier: ESM). Esmeraldas is the major seaport of northwestern Ecuador. It lies on the Pacific coast at the mouth of the Esmeraldas River. The city is the chief trading centre for the region's agricultural and lumber resources but is lacking in industrial development. Esmeraldas is home to the majority of the Afro-Ecuadorian population.
The area has some of the finest beaches in all of Ecuador. Below are just some beaches we like:
Atacames is located at the coast of the Pacific 38 km south from the city of Esmeraldas and 350 km north of the capital of Ecuador, Quito.
Atacames always offers the potential of an all day & night party. The small beach resort town of Atacames is immensely popular for visitors from Quito, as well as from Colombia, and apparently gets very crowded on weekends and holidays. As we would be there in mid-week, and only for a couple of days, it would surely be a nice quiet place to relax.
Atacames beach, has a very popular nightlife, same is perfect place to rest on a peaceful beach. Foreigners tend to visit April to October, when things are quieter, although you definitely miss the Atacames party scene. Simple accommodations can be found right on the oceanfront, so you can stumble from your room to the beach.
Tucked away and hidden to the south of Atacames, some fourteen kilometers from the nearest village, lies ecolodge Playa Escondida. A departure from the often wild party life of Atacames, this ecological reserve of 100 hectares that boasts a safe, private, pristine beach offers a relaxing alternative for families and travelers.
Mompiche is located on the northern Ecuadorian Coast just south of Muisne in the Esmeraldas province, is one of the most extraordinary nature, his impressive waves, beautiful landscapes and exquisite food, they it do the ideal site to enjoy of a perfect day of beach.
Mompiche is covered principally by humid forest always green of low lands, which it reaches 300 m of altitude. Mompiche's beaches, it is the new magnet of the national and foreign tourists.
Mompiche is a town of 150 houses of cane and wood where the majority of the settlers devotes herself to the fishing, nevertheless from 2001 some families overturned his interest for the tourism and initiated the constructions of cabins and restaurants, Shrimp fishing and tourism are the two most important activities of the community.
It is the ideal place for the lovers of the surf. Mompiche is one of the last humedales-marine woods nearest to the bark of the Ecuador. The place has been kept enough good with species of fauna and flora.
Mompiche ranks among the most idyllic, unspoiled beaches on the coast, little more than a sprinkling of huts and fishing boats.
Only a few minutes from the Mompiche beach and near the Mache Chindul reserve, is the mangrove region and dry forest area in which you find trees such as bay leaf, balsa, pacas, oak, guayacan and ebony, which are inhabited by howling monkeys, aardvarks and badgers.
The coast of Mompiche has so much to offer in terms of surfing, exploring, whale watching, fishing. A very centralized area for surfing is "Low headland".
Surf: Mompiche is quite a popular spot amongst surfers. It has big waves, black sand.
"Low headland" is site most spectacular natural in Mompiche jutting into the Pacific approximately 1 mile to the south.
The lushly vegetated promontory forms the southern end of the Ensenada de Mompiche and creates one of the best surfing waves in the western hemisphere from November-April. This world-class point break produces 1 minute-plus rides of over 400 yards during average swells.
Conditions at the point are clean nearly everyday of the year due to the light and variable winds during the months of November to April (typical tropical wet season conditions), and south or southwestern trade winds (May-October) that are blocked by the headland and north facing beach.
During smaller swells it is a longboarder's paradise of endless, machine-like waves with clean faces all day long. Even beginners can surf the point on the inside section, where the waves have lost some of their energy.
The wave breaks over a mixture of sand and rock, with approximately 85% of the rock heads found near the takeoff zone, and the remaining 15% widely scattered near the midsection. The rest of the wave breaks entirely over a hard-packed sand bottom. The water is warm (76-82° F) all year long and air temps range from (75-85° F). Only protection to wear in the water is for the sun.
The presence of humpback whales the of Mompiche coast, is a unique tourist attraction during this period of the year. Humpback whales migrate from the Antarctic to tropical waters to mate and give birth to their calves during the austral winter (June-September).
The Humpback Whale is easy to recognize because of their extremely long pectoral fins, in fact its scientific name is Megaptera novaeangliae which means Of Big Wings. These Whales reach more than 16 mts. length and could weigh 40 tons. They are usually dark blue, gray or black colored on their back, but their fins, sides and belly had a big number of white spots and some scars.
Same is a small village southwest of Sua. It's a quieter beach than Atacames, and is ideal for families.
Súa is an Ecuador beach resort which is not far from sprawling Atacames. It can make a pleasant alternative to the noise and bustle that Atacames sometimes attracts during busier times.
Súa can be a pleasant place to relax for a few days and experience the Ecuadorian coast. The town is located in a cove and surrounded by large cliffs. The beach itself is a long stretch of grey sand. It is fairly expansive. Add this to the fact that it is not so frequented as other coastal locations, and you can find yourself on a fairly quiet spot on this peaceful beach. Along the beach front itself there are a number restaurants to choose from, all offering up the standard coastal fare.