Aside from wanting to stay somewhere less touristy, the other main reason we chose Puerto Lopez as our coastal destination in Ecuador was its proximity to what is touted as one of Ecuador’s best beaches – Los Frailes.
It is literally about 10 minutes up the road, so we hopped a bus heading north and asked to be let out at the entrance to the park.
From there it was about a 45-minute hike through extremely dry shrubbery that rustled at every moment with the movement of millions of lizards. The Australian in me always thinks of snakes when I hear a rustle in the bushes, but fortunately we only saw one of those!
The hike takes you to visit a few other smaller beaches along the way
before arriving at an admittedly not-brilliant lookout over Los Frailes. I know it is a National Park – but they really do need to build the lookout so it is higher and has a clear view 😉
Slightly reminiscent of Wineglass Bay in Tasmania, I’m sure it would have looked brilliantly blue and absolutely amazing under clear skies and bright sun. But it wasn’t certain that we’d be lucky and the clouds would disappear, so after about 20 minutes, we headed down to the beach itself.
As it turned out, by the time we actually arrived on the sand, the sun had come out in all of its glory and we spent the next several hours swimming (well, Pedro and Raúl swam) and relaxing on the beach. Given I don’t particularly like swimming, and it wasn’t terribly warm in the water, I walked to the end of beach to explore, and see what I could see 🙂
To get back to the main road, we had the option of hiking back the way we had come, or catching a mototaxi for $1 each. We decided upon the latter and then waited on the side of the road (fortunately not for too long) for a bus back to Puerto Lopez.
So happy that the sun decided to show itself today!