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The Top 5 Ecuador Beaches You May Not Know About

The beaches of Ecuador are some of the best kept secrets in the Latin Tropics. These oceanside destinations are rapidly gaining the attention of expats looking for a life filled with sun, sand, and water as well as foreign investors who are recognizing the potential for strong returns on investment in these communities.

Sprinkled along Ecuador’s Emerald Coast, each of these locations has a unique character that ranges from vibrant party and surfing towns to more sedate, higher end resort communities. The five locations listed below can truly be said to be the gems of Esmeralda.

What Makes Ecuador Beaches Special?

What makes the top beaches of Ecuador special is the fact that they aren’t as well known as other beach communities in the Latin Tropics. In a real sense, expats have the opportunity to explore and discover new and exciting locations that they may not have been previously aware of.

What follows, in no particular order, is a list of the best of these seaside destinations.

Beaches Of Ecuador

Rinaldo Wurglitsch

Salinas/La Libertad/Ballenita

Perhaps the best known beach town in Ecuador, Salinas offers the high-rise modern lifestyle that many expats enjoy. The combination of modern amenities, combined with a wide variety of outdoor activities, and great weather, have made Salinas the “go-to” spot for foreigners and expats alike.

Whale watching, surfing, parasailing, and even skydiving as well as a vibrant nightlife are just some of the many activities that Salinas offers. For those seeking more tranquil alternatives, the nearby thermal baths and spas are a powerful draw.

For those looking for something a little less crowded, nearby Libertad is a commercial hub that is working to build up its beachfront as well as the pier areas to make it more attractive. For those looking for single family homes, the quiet community of Ballenita has some outstanding bargains for ownership and/or investment.

Beaches Of Ecuador

Jorge Luis Perez


Montañita has long had the reputation for being the most lively beach town in Ecuador. Native Ecuadorians travel here to enjoy the surf and the party atmosphere – particularly during high season (January to April).

The nearby community of Olón has a growing expat population and is far more serene than its more boisterous neighbor. With stunning beach vistas all its own,  living in Olón offers the best of both worlds–a quiet home close to a bustling and energetic entertainment center.

Beaches Of Ecuador

Canoa/Bahía de Caráquez

Two of the most up and coming beach towns in Ecuador are Canoa and Bahia de Caráquez. Canoa is a small village favored by surfers and backpackers but rapidly expanding into a more dynamic tourist and expat destination.

Bahia, just a short distance away, has grown into a mecca for expats looking for high-rise living. Being located on a peninsula between the Rio Chrone and the Pacific Ocean, Bahia has also become a favorite port-of-call for world-class yachtsmen (and women) from around the globe.

This dynamic combination promises to increase property values and development. The modern infrastructure makes it especially attractive to retirees and investors desiring tropical charm with the promise of a good return on initial outlay of investment funds.

Beaches Of Ecuador

Ronald Saunders


Crucita has been favorably compared to Jaco, Costa Rica. Like Jaco, Crucita first gained attention as a destination for adrenaline junkies – in this case paragliding and hang gliding, while Jaco focused on surfing.

This has lead to a growing expat community and a continually improving and developing infrastructure. Crucita’s location, close to both Manta and Portoviejo, makes it an ideal spot to access the benefits of major urban centers while still be removed from the more frantic pace of those cities.

While Crucita continues to grow, it still retains much of its small, fishing village vibe. This quality is what is luring many retirees and expats who want a quieter pace but still within easy distance of larger expat communities.

Beaches Of Ecuador


At the opposite end of the scale from high-energy locations like Montañita and Salinas, is the quiet fishing village of Mompiche. It is the most rustic place on the list and is a perfect destination for those looking to disconnect from the 24/7/365 world and just enjoy the tranquility of living by the ocean.

Owning a Part of the Top Hidden Beaches of Ecuador

The allure of these Ecuadorian destinations has increased the interest level of those seeking a tropical destination close to the ocean. The real estate market, while still feeling effects of the 2008 recession, has a number of real jewels that can be had for a surprising affordable price.

A prime example of what you can find in these ocean side communities is this new 2 bedroom, 2 bath house overlooking the ocean for $85,000. Located in Ballenita, it could be the perfect seaside retreat or investment property in a growing area.

Some Beach, Somewhere

As can be seen from the above list, the top beaches of Ecuador provide a range of opportunities from rustic to high-end modern. Exploring them for yourself is the best way to find the sun and sand location that is right for you.

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