Ayampe is not like other destinations at the Ecuadorean coast. It has more to offer than a pretty beach and fresh seafood.
The area inland is spectaculair. Mangroves and other spectacular natural areas are just a little ride away (you can arrange horses in the village). The inhabitants of Ayampe are making an effort to preserve the beautiful mangroves by offering guided tours.
The coastal road slightly less traveled, takes you away from the crowds of Atacames or Montanita to visit small working fishing communities which even though slightly unfamiliar to tourists, will welcome visitors with open arms and show you around. The description below gives a recommended trip around the small peninsula between Muisne and Atacames stopping at the very special village of Estero de Platano.
Guamote is a pleasant mountain town in the middle of the Chimborazo province. Surrounded by stunning mountains and close to national parks, Guamote is a must stop for hikers and nature fanatics.
The habitants of Guamote still live a very traditional life. The market - every thursday - shows the colorful culture at its best, on an average day Guamote is quiet or simply boring.
Guargualla is situated in the center of the Chimborazo province two hours south of Riobamba. The Chimborazo province is wellknown for its traditional Andean culture and beautiful higlands.
Unfortunately most people don't make it to this beautiful area. The trainride Nariz del Diablo is usually the only impression people get from Chimborazo.
For travellers interested in getting to know the Andean region of Ecuador, Guargualla is a great place to visit. The old Andean traditions are still alive in Guargualla and it is a great starting place for some of the best hikes in the Andes.
Isla Costa Rica is a tiny little community at spitting distance from the Peruvian border. The little town is built on an island, distancing it from the busy world around it. The 60 families that occupy the island have been living there for generations. Traditionally they have been making a living as fishermen, leaving the island to fish in the mangroves and near the coast.
La Chimba is a town of around 360 families located in a fertile valley, a one hour, 60 cent bus ride northeast of the city of Cayambe, within the canton of Cayambe. The valley that contains the city is situated at the northeast end of the basin that contains Quito, the capital of Ecuador. Named after Ecuador’s nearby third highest mountain, the canton contains three urban parroquias and five rural ones. La Chimba is in the parroquia of Olmedo, which was formerly known as Pesillo.
La Tolita is a small community surrounding a harbour in the riverdelta of Rio Santiago. The habitants of La Tolita make their living by fishing and agriculture and are strongly influenced by the African culture. This is easy to recognize, not only becuase of their appearance, but also by their music, traditional clothing and religion.
The national park Cotocachi-Cayapas is te Chachis, who are trying to preserve their traditional lifestyle and haven’t integrated with the black community.La Tolita has a school and a museum and electicity is available in the village. Up to the moment of writing, running water remains unavailable.
Las Tolas is a classic self sustaining cloudforest community that exists entirely in the presence of the community members. The village itself has just one cobble main road through the centre, enclosed by the beautifully crafted houses on either side. Nearly every one has been made with wooden slates, comparable to the decking of a boat all more or less having baloneys acting as gangways. A stroll down the main street is sure to acquaint you with the wonderful closed environment of the people.
Las Tunas is the place to go for the combination of catching waves and relaxing in a nice little town. The deserted white sandy beach stretches out for several kilometers. You only have to share it with the local fishermen and very few tourists.
It is amazing to see that Las Tunas is only half hour away from the bustling tourism town Puerto Lopez, but there are no tourists to be found. Las Tunas is the ideal place for people trying to get away from things and immerge in the tranquil life that this little commuity has to offer.