Best Beaches on the Ecuador Coast

Los Frailes, Ecuador | © Spring Travel / WikiCommons
Los Frailes, Ecuador | © Spring Travel / WikiCommons
Photo of Angela Drake
Founder, Not Your Average American31 July 2017

From small fishing villages to resort towns, the Pacific Coast of Ecuador is home to some of the most beautiful beaches in South America. During the high season, especially during the coastal school break in January and February, these beaches are packed with vacationing Ecuadorians. This list of must-visit beach destinations starts north in the Esmeraldas Province, and leads south along the Ruta Spondylus to the famous resort town of Salinas.


The beaches of the Esmeraldas Province in Ecuador are among the most visited along the entire coast, partly for their beauty and partly because they lie only a few hours away from the capital city, Quito. This beach is a little quieter than others in Atacames, yet still provides basic amenities, like sunshades, deck chairs, and nearby restrooms in restaurants and hotels. If you prefer loud music and an active nightlife, consider staying in Atacames proper and visit Tonsupa during the day. But for its wide beaches, delicious cool water, and golden sand, Tonsupa makes an excellent choice for beachgoers.

Tonsupa, Atacames, Las Esmeraldas, Ecuador


Canoa has become a haven for expats and international tourists looking for great surfing and yoga retreats on the Pacific Coast. Beachcombers will love walking the long strand. Despite heavy damage from the April 2016 earthquake, Canoa welcomes tourists to enjoy the small, off-the-beaten-path feel of this small community and fishing village.

Canoa, Manabí, Ecuador

Bahía de Caráquez

The best beaches in Bahía de Caráquez can be found on the Pacific Coast side of town, rather than along the bay itself. Long, sandy beaches without names run for miles between the town and the fishing village of San Jacinto. The occasional rocky shale outcropping provides habitat for strange-looking starfish and other sea creatures, making for excellent tide-pooling at low tide.

Bahía de Caráquez, Manabí, Ecuador


Crucita, Ecuador is a popular destination for retired expats looking for affordable living in a beautiful coastal setting. While still called a fishing village, Crucita has a population of more than 14,000 people and has become a tourist center offering adventure sports like paragliding and surfing. With miles of creamy white sandy beaches, this is a beloved destination for Ecuadorians and international tourists alike.

Crucita, Manabí, Ecuador

Went to the beach and didn't take pictures of myself 🤔 so not like me 🤷🏻‍♂️

A post shared by Jerson Salazar Cedeno (@thelionking1222) on

Santa Marianita

The beach of Santa Marianita lies a little south of the port city of Manta. Because of seasonally high winds, it is the best place to practice kite surfing along the entire Ecuadorian coast. A small commerical hub of grassy huts provides a home to a few restaurants selling coastal dishes, and vendors selling swimsuits, cover-ups, and sunglasses. With more than five miles (8km) of coastline, it is possible to escape the hum of tourism and hike out to more private sunbathing spots.

Santa Marianita, Manta, Manabí, Ecuador


Montañita is famous for surfing and nightlife. The beach itself is one of the prettiest along the Ecuadorian coast but is often packed with people. Early mornings are the most private time, but by afternoon the constant beat of music from the oceanfront bars takes over. If you would rather skip the trendy restaurants in town, ceviche wagons and empanada vendors offer their wares while you relax in beach chairs protected by umbrellas.

Montañita, Santa Elena, Ecuador

Cookies Policy

We and our partners use cookies to better understand your needs, improve performance and provide you with personalised content and advertisements. To allow us to provide a better and more tailored experience please click "OK"