…Sea and Stay – Part 2…
Ecuador: Puerto Lopez, Montanita, and Machalilla National Park
After settling into Ayampe, the owners of La Buena Vida drove us and some friends to Machalilla National Park where we could hike to a secluded beach for snorkeling, and fishing. When I say secluded, I mean private, as in NO TRESSPASSING…because this is a beach protected solely for sea turtle nesting.
|Translation = Nesting Beach|
I am pretty sure that the only way to know where this beach is, is to know a local…good thing for us – we do! Check out what we had to go through in order to get there:
|Finally made it!|
Remember in my previous post, A Word to the Wise, I spoke about the benefits of hitch hiking? Well, that is what we all did next! From the beach, we went into the small fishing village of Puerto Lopez to refresh ourselves with fresh squeezed juice and pure coconut water. These kind gentleman picked up on the side of the road and drove in the back of their truck a total of about 4 miles…..most fun 4 miles ever!
|We ended up seeing this man later in the super market and he gave each one of us a hug!|
|When you order fresh juice my recommendation would be the “Pina” meaning pineapple|
Three things you HAVE to do while in Puerto Lopez:
- Buy handmade items from the natives that come down from the mountains to tourist towns and sell items made out of alpaca fur.
- Buy a hammock….best purchase you will ever, ever make!
- Eat at Johnny’s Restaurant for fresh fish – it is to the right of the only pier in town.
Now, moving on to Montanita…..I have saved this place for last. Please keep in mind the phrase “to each their own” and please do not let me discourage you from visiting this town. Montanita is known in Ecuador as the “surf capital” on their coast not only because the swell lines up perfectly there but also because the place is over populated and everyone surfs there. My first impression when we arrived by bus was “OMG” it is dirty; which threw me for a loop because Ecuador is very clean! Instead of me rambling on and on about my reasons for dislike here is a list:
- Again, dirty…seeing trash on a beach breaks my heart
- Again, over populated…
- Expensive – you can the same items in Puerto Lopez for dollars less
- Party town – if you want to party till sunrise this is the place for you
- I am not a germaphobe but I did not want to touch ANYTHING!
- Safety in numbers and girl or guy I suggest you never let your drink out of your sight!
I have to say that if you like big cities, the hustle and bustle, partying etc – Montanita is the place for you! If you are like me and wants to feel safe walking in the dark from the beach to the hotel alone or surfing in a line up of only 5 others – Ayampe is the place for you.
STAY TUNED FOR EVERYTHING NICARAGUA!!!!