Welcome to Puerto Cayo
PUERTO CAYO is an ideal destination for your dreamy beach vacation. Puerto Cayo beach is a seemingly endless expanse of soft sands—and a wide variety of fascinating rocks and shells—situated on the Pacific coast of Ecuador. You will see whales in the water (from June to September), birds in the air, crabs and snails in the sand, and perhaps even iguanas or sea turtles. What you won’t see is very many people on the beach. Because Puerto Cayo is a small fishing town, as yet uncorrupted by big tourism, you may well have the beach all to yourself, and without a doubt you will enjoy a truly authentic experience of coastal Ecuador. Despite its small size, however, the town of Puerto Cayo itself is home to a number of shops, restaurants, and bars, meaning you are sure to find
everything you need and then some, from good food to good fun. You will also find that the town is very safe and the people are very friendly—not surprising given the pleasant climate and slow-paced way of life here in Puerto Cayo, Ecuador.
Take it easy with a nice stroll down the beach, pausing to examine countless curiosities in the rocks, shells, and wildlife right there at your feet. Enjoy breakfast, lunch, or dinner right there on the beach—overlooking the Pacific Ocean, breathing fresh air,
eating fresh seafood, and watching the waves roll in under serene skies and sublime sunsets. With miles of beach largely all to yourself, you can sunbathe, swim, snorkel, or surf wherever you want. If you are an explorer who fancies more adventure, there is no shortage of exciting things to do and beautiful places to see in the areas immediately surrounding Puerto Cayo.
South of Puerto Cayo
Machalilla National park begins at the southern edge of Puerto Cayo. A 15-minute drive through the park will take you to Los Frailes, commonly called the most beautiful beach in Ecuador—and one of the most beautiful beaches on the planet. As part of Machalilla National Park, Los Frailes is a protected beach, meaning visitors are not allowed to take any food or drinks onto the beach—you may leave nothing behind but your footprints. Suffice it to say, the beach is perfectly clean and pristine. The sand is soft and the water is cool and clear, making this a popular spot for swimming and snorkeling. Sea turtles are often seen here, along with a wide variety of fish. There is no entrance fee for Los Frailes, so there is no reason why you shouldn’t add it to your itinerary. You can catch a bus, hire a taxi, or drive from Cayo. At the entrance to Los Frailes you fill find parking, a bathhouse, and several small stores selling snacks and drinks. From there it is a short walk to the main beach. For something even more remote, there are trails around the park that will take you to two otherwise inaccessible beaches and some seriously stunning overlooks. Visiting Los Frailes is an excellent way to spend a day, taking in all the unspoiled natural beauty of Ecuador’s beaches.
A few minutes farther south is Agua Blanca, a site featuring hiking trails, hot springs, and Pre-Columbian ruins, with unique opportunities for mud bathing and horseback riding.
Continuing south for 10 minutes will bring you to Puerto Lopez, a nice place to visit for its tranquil waters, its local artisan markets, and the daily tours to Isla de la Plata (Silver Island), otherwise known as the “Poor Man’s Galapagos.” There you can spend the day hiking, bird-watching, and snorkeling. Island wildlife includes blue-footed boobies, frigate birds, sea turtles, and sometimes even sea lions. If you visit between July and October, then there is also a good chance you’ll see some humpback whales on the way to the island.
North of Puerto Cayo
Pacoche Park is a 20-minute drive north from Puerto Cayo. Within this park is Garua Forest, a jungle home to a wide variety of plants, exotic birds, and howler monkeys. You can find local tour guides to lead you through the forest and help you spot the fascinating wildlife dwelling within. The Pacoche reserve also includes many different beaches—Liquiqui, San Lorenzo, San Jose, and Santa Marianita—as well as towering cliffs overlooking all this beautiful country. San Lorenzo beach in particular is known as a marine turtle nesting ground, so between September and December you may be able to observe baby sea turtles emerging from their nests to make the trek to open ocean.
Further north is Las Pinas, where fishing boats are pulled up along the highway. You can buy fresh seafood direct from the fishermen—corvina, dorado (Mahi Mahi), tuna, and sometimes giant crabs, depending on the time of year and the catch of the day. Even just passing through Las Pinas can be a treat if you chance to see hundreds of seagulls flying in to catch scraps.
The port city of Manta lies about one hour north of Puerto Cayo, a scenic drive winding through cloud forest, proceeding along the coast, and passing through small towns where locals come out along the speed bumps to offer you fresh coconut water, juice, and snacks. Manta is the nearest big city (population 350,000), where you can mosey down the boardwalk, go downtown to shop or bar-hop, or play on a nice, sprawling golf course.
OTHER THINGS TO DO IN THE AREA
Here you can see Puerto Cayo Tide Times & Tide Charts +link:
Proturisco is a tourism program of the Provincial Union of Farmers organization from Manabí.
Should you fancy cleaning services and/or mani-pedicures during your luxurious beach stay with us, a lovely lady in the area named Monica offers all of these services at very affordable rates.
Rosita Tours, Puerto Lopez
Phone: 0997638407 / 052300255
If you are into yoga then you may take advantage of yoga classes every Monday, Wednesday, and Friday, conveniently located within walking distance. It only costs $3 for singles or $5 for couples.