Tuesday, December 2, 2014

The Pacific Coast of Ecuador Part 1

When you leave Quito to drive to the coast of Ecuador, it is a 6 hour drive and it costs about 8 dollars.  Busses are so cheap here in Ecuador it is unreal.  The first stop on the coast is Esmeraldas.  I planned on spending a night there as it is the major city.  Unfortunately when I arrived at the Bus terminal the taxi driver informed me that it was too dangerous and I shouldn't visit the city.  Plus there was no cheap hostels that would be safe for me to stay.  Esmeralda has an oil refinery and it is a city of 100,000 people.  I am sure it is a  very nice port town, but I have heard from many not to go to Attacames.  Lonely Planet says:

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.

 Sua had more beautiful parks than any of the four towns I have visited on the coast.  Everywhere I go in Ecuador has so many wild dogs.  Today I saw a pack of ten team up on one lonely dog.  Then the leader of the pack turned on some local old man, by barking non stop and going close to him.  The man was unphased and just kept walking down the street.  I would have definitely shit my pants.
 The bus terminal and Sua and also another great park. 

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.
 Here I walked down the beach for half an hour from Tonchigue to Sames.

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.
Tongichue definitely lacks the tourist charm, but its beach makes up for it in discarded fish heads and pollution.  Seriously I would not go swimming here, instead down the ocean in Sames.  But it is still worth coming here to check out the town.

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