20 Ecuador Beaches

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Ecuador is a South American country on the Pacific Ocean. Several islands in the Pacific are considered part of Ecuador, including the famous Galapagos Islands. Because of its location on the Equator, Ecuador’s coastal temperatures remain stable year-round.

The beaches of Ecuador draw visitors from all over the world who want to experience the warm weather, coastal beauty, cultural heritage and unique nature. Whether you’re looking for somewhere to surf, swim or see wildlife, these Ecuador beaches are some of the best. 

20 Ecuador Beaches

galapagos ecuador beaches Blue-footed Booby
Share the beaches of Isla de la Plata with a blue-footed Booby or two. The Galapagos Islands is home to some of the best beaches in Ecuador for wildlife watching.

Ecuador Beaches in Galapagos Islands

1- Tortuga Bay Beach

best beaches in ecuador Travel adventure tourist nature photographer on Galapagos beach with Iguana
Here’s one of the best Ecuador beaches to see the incredible sight of an Iguana walking past a visitor on Tortuga bay beach on Santa Cruz Island.

On Santa Cruz Island, Tortuga Bay Beach is the most well-known and most visited Galapagos Island beach.

This beach is an excellent place to see wildlife that the Galapagos Islands are famous for, such as marine iguanas and sea turtles.

Visitors to this small beach can rent a kayak and paddle around Tortuga Bay.

The bay’s waters are so clear that the sharks that congregate around the small inlets that empty into the bay are easily visible.

Swimmers and snorkellers can also easily see colourful fish and sea turtles in the clear waters, but beach access is limited during turtle nesting season.

2- Bartolome Island

ecuador beaches images Bartolome Island Galapagos from above
One of the Ecuador beaches where you can spot wildlife is on Bartolome Island in the Galapagos.

Bartolome Island is in the centre of the Galapagos archipelago.

Visitors to this uninhabited island’s beaches are rewarded with sightings of Galapagos penguins, sea lions and sea turtles.

Juvenile sharks often populate the shallows along the shoreline.

Snorkelling in the calm waters at the foot of Pinnacle Rock provides an underwater view of colourful, tropical fish.

Occasionally, snorkellers can see penguins feeding on fish or may even find themselves swimming beside the penguins.

Climb the summit for the best photos, where the stunning landscape is spread out below.

3- Rabida Island

beaches in ecuador near quito - woman on cruise ship tour visiting Playa las Bachas Beach
Walk barefoot on Playa las Bachas Beach on Santa Cruz Island and enjoy the pristine natural landscape of the amazing beaches of Ecuador.

Rabida Island lies within the centre of the volcanic activity that formed the Galapagos archipelago.

This red island contains soil full of iron, which causes the colour to be red.

The red sand beaches of this island are home to nesting colonies of brown pelicans and a large colony of sea lions.

You can find flamingoes in a salty lagoon on one side of the island.

Interestingly, this island is the only one in the Galapagos where you can find nine of the 14 Darwin’s finches.

Darwin’s finches are small land birds that Darwin studied to develop his Theory of Evolution.

Visitors to the beautiful red-sand beach of this island can swim and snorkel to see white-tip sharks, rays and other marine species.

4- Puerto Villamil Beach

beaches of ecuador Galapagos Marine Iguana
A Galapagos Iguana basking in the sun on Puerto Villamil beach on Isabela Island, which is a fantastic beach in Ecuador for wildlife. The marine iguana is an endemic species in the Galapagos Islands.

Isabel Island is the largest island in the Galapagos archipelago and one of the most visited.

The island has many endemic wildlife species, including marine iguanas, flightless cormorants, Galapagos penguins and the iconic Giant Tortoise.

Galapagos fur seals and sea lions are usually spotted on the island’s western side.

One of the rarest species found on the island is the pink iguana, which is only found on the side of Wolf Volcano.

Flamingoes, blue-footed boobies and many other species of birds draw birdwatchers from all over the world.

Puerto Villamil Beach on this island is the most popular beach and has the most services and facilities available.

This is the launching point for many tours around the island and diving and snorkelling trips off the island’s coast.

Beach-goers can swim, snorkel and surf at this beach or relax in one of the bars or restaurants that look over the beach area.

Ecuador Beaches in Santa Elena Province

5- Salinas Beaches

ecuador best beaches Salinas beach with apartment buildings and yacht club
One of the best beaches in Ecuador for nightlife is Salinas beach, pictured here with its famous yacht club.

Salinas Beach is Ecuador’s largest beach resort area and hosts the ISA World Junior Surfing games.

This resort area attracts an international crowd and its private yacht clubs are a magnet for the wealthy who wish to vacation here.

The beach has a good selection of restaurants, bars and resorts for various budgets.

The most family-friendly beach in Salinas is Playa de Chipipe, with its gentle waves.

Jet skiing, paddle boarding, swimming, and snorkelling are popular activities at the beaches in Salinas.

6- Ayangue Beach

The beach at Ayangue is a quiet place to relax and enjoy the sun and sand away from the city.

The town of Ayangue is an hour’s drive from the busy and popular resort town of Salinas and is along the ‘La Ruta del Sol.’

Cliffs border part of the beach in the protected bay, providing an excellent ocean view.

The calmer waters of this beach are ideal for families with children to enjoy the sea and relax in the sand.

This town is famous for seafood dishes prepared in local restaurants from seafood caught fresh by local fishermen.

7- Montañita Beach

ecuador beaches golden hour at Montanita
Montanita beach is one of the best beaches in Ecuador for partying.

Montañita Beach is famous for its party-like atmosphere and excellent surfing conditions.

During the day, the music from the beach bars and restaurants along the beach provide background music for surfers, sunbathers and swimmers.

This beach and its city have a lively nightlife with many nightclubs and bars that stay open late, catering to the multitudes of young people that flock here for vacation.

Paragliding and SCUBA diving are also popular activities for visitors that want to do more than play in the surf and lay on the sand.

8- Olon Beach

beaches in ecuador
A stunning sunset at one of the many beautiful Ecuador beaches.

Olon Beach, located just north of Montañita Beach, provides a more relaxed and peaceful beach-going experience than the party-like atmosphere at Montañita Beach.

The wide sandy beach and excellent surfing waves draw visitors from everywhere.

Lifeguards are usually posted on the beach, especially during the peak season, and there are many restaurants and hotels.

In addition to surfing, swimming, and sunbathing, visitors to Olon Beach can also take offshore excursions for whale watching and hiking excursions inland to visit scenic waterfalls.

Manabi Province

9- Puerto Cayo

Puerto Cayo is a small, quiet beach town that is the perfect getaway for people who want to experience nature more than people.

Visitors to this sleepy beach town can book sightseeing adventures to go whale watching or charter a fishing boat for a deep-sea fishing experience.

Surfing lessons are readily available at this beach for anyone who wants to ride the waves.

Inland adventures are available where you can tour a local farm or explore the jungle.

Sunbathing on the beach and swimming are excellent options for visitors that just want to relax.

10- Puerto Lopez Beach

map of ecuador beaches Puerto Lopez
One of the most popular Ecuador beaches for water sports is Porto Lopez.

Puerto Lopez is a beautiful coastal town with a relaxing, golden-sand beach perfect for sunbathing and swimming.

Various water sports are available for beach-goers, including snorkelling and diving on the coral reef right off the coast and around the small islands nearby.

Humpback whale-watching adventures take place from June to September each year.

Rent a bike and explore the town and surrounding area.

The Machalilla National Park nearby is a popular place to go bird watching and armadillos, monkeys, jaguars and iguanas can all be found there.

11- Salango Beach

best ecuador beaches
In the state of Manabí in Ecuador, the beaches of Machalilla National Park are pristine and beautiful.

Salango Beach is a 30-minute drive from Puerto Lopez and is the best beach if you want to go fishing.

The impressively large coral reef just offshore from the beach attracts many visitors who want to snorkel or dive.

The calm beach and laid-back town are excellent places for families who want a relaxing vacation.

Not far from Salango Beach is Machalilla National Park, where you can see more than 270 species of migrating or nesting birds, including the green macaw and the whooping motmot.

12- Canoa Beach

Canoa Beach is home to a long stretch of white sand lined with guest houses.

This popular beach is one of the most visited in Ecuador and the calm waters make this an excellent place for water skiing.

The Canoa Surf Academy is an excellent place to take a surfing lesson and the waves are not as challenging as they are at many other beaches in Ecuador.

Paragliding and hang-gliding are popular activities in Canoa.

The town has a vibrant nightlife for the crowd that likes to party late into the night.

Inland from Canoa, you can travel to a sustainable farm called Rio Muchacho and enjoy horseback riding.

13- Playa Los Frailes, Machalilla National Park

beaches ecuador Waves breaking on a beach, with sun and blue sea in Ecuador.
The solitude of Playa de los Frailes makes it a top Ecuador beach for a tranquil getaway.

Los Frailes Beach is in the Machalilla National Park and a day trip from Puerto Lopez.

The pristine landscape of this beach is untouched by human activity and there are no restaurants, bars or hotels.

The clear blue water, white sand, sandstone cliffs and colourful fish swimming in the shallows make this one of the most beautiful beaches in Ecuador.

Because this beach is off the beaten path, it is usually an uncrowded and lovely place to surf, swim and sunbathe in privacy.

14- Ayampe Beach

how many beaches are in ecuador wind surfing
Wind surfing is one fo the adventurous activities you will find at many beaches in Ecuador.

Ayampe Beach is beside the Ayampe River, which empties into the Pacific Ocean. Across the river from Ayampe is Las Tunas Beach.

Ayampe is another beach that attracts surfers, but unlike the typical surfing beaches like nearby Montañita with its party atmosphere, Ayampe is more laid back.

This beach’s soft sand and tranquillity is inviting to those who love yoga.

Several of the area’s hotels offer horseback riding tours on the beach and in the surrounding jungle, where you can spot birds and monkeys in the trees.

Diving on the coral reef, windsurfing, water skiing and sport fishing are popular activities.

15- Santa Marianita

Santa Marianita Beach is also known as Playa Bonita, which means ‘beautiful beach’ in Spanish.

This beach is one of the best Ecuador beaches to kitesurf, as the long, wide beach provides ample room for beginning kitesurfers to learn the sport.

You can rent gear for kitesurfing and other water sports on the beach.

Accommodation at this seaside resort area ranges from inexpensive hostels, which are popular places for travellers to meet others, to upscale hotels.

As with most of the beaches in Ecuador, swimming and sunbathing are excellent ways to relax in paradise.

Guayas Province

16- General Villamil Playas

General Villamil Beach, more popularly known as Playas, was once a tiny fishing village that has grown into a popular beach vacation destination.

The calm waters of this beach provide an excellent place for families with small children to enjoy the water and the waves.

This town has a fascinating history, so don’t miss the opportunity to explore the Iglesia San Jacinto del Morro Church, one of the oldest churches in the region.

You’ll find excellent seafood restaurants and bakeries along the beach, but the oldest bakery in town, San Francisco Bakery, is 125 years old and still baking bread.

Esmeraldas Province

17- Mompiche Beach

best beaches ecuador
Some of the best Ecuador beaches for a relaxing vacation in the sun are in Esmeraldas Province, such as the beach in Mompiche.

Mompiche Beach is a scenic beach on Ecuador’s northern coast with golden sand and palm trees, making it a picturesque place to sunbathe and swim.

Surrounded by tropical rainforest, it’s one of the most popular beaches to surf in Ecuador.

For beach-goers who want a different kind of adventure, kitesurfing and windsurfing are also available.

This small, relaxed beach town is also home to good local seafood restaurants.

You can explore the jungle outside of town, go bird-watching and visit nearby nature reserves.

A few minutes south of Mompiche is Playa Negra, a beautiful black sand beach.

18- Same Beach

manta ecuador beaches
Huts on the beautiful beach in Ecuador’s Mompiche.

Same Beach is a popular family-friendly beach with gentle waves and white sand.

The beach is surrounded by grasslands with coconut palm trees and is one of Ecuador’s cleanest, most well-maintained beaches.

You can rent jet skis and boats on the beach and there are plenty of hotels within easy walking distance of the beach that offer terraces and views of the surrounding mountains.

Many restaurants in the area offer fresh, locally-caught seafood dishes such as ceviche and crab.

19- Playa Tonsupa

does ecuador have beaches Luxury hotel in south of the Esmeraldas region
If you’re looking for an Ecuador beach with lots of hotels, try the Esmeraldas region in North Western Ecuador.

Playa Tonsupa is in the popular resort town of Atacames and where you will find high-rise hotels and resorts, restaurants, bars and shops.

The excellent facilities and accommodations make this an easy beach flop on the sand without a care in the world.

Fresh-caught seafood dishes are served in the many local restaurants around the beach. And when the spectacular sunsets are over, the nightlife begins with many bars, clubs and cafes offering fun in the evenings.

Whale watching, jet skiing, swimming, snorkelling, sunbathing – you won’t be wondering what to do in Playa Tonsupa.

El Oro Province

20- Jambeli Beach

Jambeli is an island that is part of an archipelago in southern Ecuador, just off the coast.

An inexpensive boat ride from Puerto Bolivar will get you to this island, where you can enjoy the picturesque island surrounded by mangroves.

Jambeli Beach is a popular destination where many locals rent their homes to visitors during peak season.

You can also rent rustic beach cabins with roofs made from palm leaves in an ecological camp.

There’s a choice of restaurants along the beach that serve fresh seafood and plenty of local bars in the area offering beach cocktails.

For more beaches around the world read:

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Angie Grier is a spicy señora living in central Mexico with a penchant for freelance writing. Having spent most of her adult life writing as a scientist and then as a teacher, she now contributes articles on a wide variety of topics for print and online media. Originally from the US, she has lived in several different states on the US West and East coasts, the Gulf Coast, and the Upper Midwest. These days, when she’s not camping in the woods in a US national park or shopping in Tonalá or eating chilaquiles, she writes a travel blog detailing her life and adventures in Mexico at www.onaroadleadingsomewhere.com.