The Spanish conquistadors made their first Ecuadorian landfall on this broad, sandy bank flanked by a sparkling river and surrounded by low green hills. Esmeraldas has been an influential port town throughout history but its modern incarnation is not pretty. Many of its cement structures are either half-finished or half-fallen, the frenzied streets harbor drugs and petty crime and the forests have surrendered to scrub brush.
So I skipped Esmeralda and took a ten dollar taxi down the coast to Attacames. Attacames is a beach town for tourists, mainly Ecuadorian and Colombian. It is still fairly cheap and has huge waves for surfing. Renting a boogie board here costs 2 dollars an hour. I stayed at the Chill Inn hostel owned my a Swiss Women. Everyone here spoke German and the only way to communicate with others was through my Spanish. I did not meet any other English speaking Gringoes in 3 days. The Chill Inn is a nice hostel very close to the beach with cheap private rooms for 12 dollars a night during down time. If it was more busy I know there would be more English speakers, but I stayed from Sunday until Tuesday in Spring here.
The next place on my list was Sua. Sua is a 25 cent bus ride 10 minutes south of Attacames. It is less tourist than Attacames and has more locals. The beaches were more tranquil too.
Sames was the next place on the list. Here is a fifty cent bus ride and ten minutes south of Sua. Here has the biggest waves all day, although Attacames has fierce ones in the morning. This place is the highest class of the four towns I have seen. Lots of vacation homes and fancy hotels/clubs. I met a group of young locals surfing the beach and practiced my body boarding skills.
Tongichue was a cool little town. Very local and not much room for tourism Lots of cool bars on the street and rumours of underground beach Parties on the weekend.