Playa San Lorenzo: Super Surfing and Sun
If your drive the Coastal Highway about 40 km. south of Manta you will descend into the beautiful beach town of San Lorenzo. What a beach and what waves. There were no more than a handful of beach goers on the immense beach south of town when we were there. A few seasoned surfers were testing themselves on some pretty good sized waves. The town had little in the way of accommodations but I would not be surprised to come back to San Lorenzo in a few years and see it developed with high rose condos and hotels.
As soon as we arrived at the beach a friendly group of children descended upon us to sell us their local produce and goods and moreover just chat.
A great beach not to be missed. However from placing a few toes in the water be aware that the undertow is quite strong.
Machalilla National Park: Dry Rainforest
I never believed there was a dry tropical rainforest until I visited Machalilla. The park is located south of Manta and can be driven in a little over an hour depending on how many stops you make.
While the park has both an assortment of fascinating dry tropical plants it also has some fantastic beaches and ocean views. Unfortunately we took in the ocean towns and views on the way to Machalilla but not in the park.
Inside the park there is a small village named Aguas Blancas. There is a small museum housing some finds from the area and many short trails. One of the short trails which took you along an old recreated home required climbing over a fence. Not a normally difficult task but I was on crutches for the good portion of my limited Ecuador trip and it created a little difficulty. I was surprised to learn that homes in the area are made out of a combination of wood, straw, and donkey excrement. Yes, donkey excrement which is found frequently in compost piles in Ecuador but in this case of this village it has also been found to be a great binder for wood.
Many of the trees have what appears to be either large nests that look like a giant boil on the tree branches. Due to the limited rain the area receives branches spread out far beyond the drip line of the trees. While the area is know for its bird life we saw very few birds but heard some unusual bird cries.
Since we were taking a tour from the town of Manta I cannot identify how much it costs to enter the park. On the day we were there we appeared to be the only tourists in the park.
The main thing to see in the Manta harbor area is tuna boats coming in and unloading their catches. This is very interesting, but can only be seen from the deck of a cruise ship, since access to the pier is restricted to those with business there. Also this activity is better viewed from above.
- Budget Travel
San Lorenzo Beach
This is a beautifil beach about 30 minutes South of Manta on the Via a la Costa. It is next to a tiny village, but there is never anyone on the beach. You can just drive your car right up to where you will be sunbathing!
Beware of the strong undercurrent and strong waves - this is no joke!!!
- Water Sports
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