9 best beaches in Ecuador for swimming and surfing

Ecuador is best known for being home to the Andes Mountains, the Amazon rainforest and the Galapagos Islands. Its extensive Pacific coastline has some of the best beaches in South America that will leave you mesmerized. In other words, Ecuador is a small city with the most fantastic offers for many people.

The country also has impressive seaside towns ranging from laid-back beach towns like Muisine to the bustling coastal regions of Salinas. This small, vibrant country offers limitless options to suit your needs. Plus, you’ll enjoy its beautiful weather, sand dunes, surfing, and remarkable beachfront amenities. So, here are the 8 best beaches in Ecuador.

Reading: The best beaches in Cartagena, Colombia

Olon beach

Undoubtedly one of the best beaches in Ecuador, huge, clean, quiet. You can watch a variety of birds or just relax and watch the horizon.

From Monday to Friday it’s quiet, on weekends it gets crowded, but there’s always a place to rest. The best comes at the end of the day, when the sun sets over the sea, it is beautiful and indescribable.

With a Pacific Ocean of warm waters and an attractive offer of bars and restaurants on the beach with cocktails and good music, this beach has everything to have fun.

Furthermore, Olon beach it’s a very peaceful place where you can stay and eat at affordable prices, and if you’re lucky you can see whales from the beach!… it’s AMAZING!

Salinas Beach

salinas best beach in ecuador

Salinas starts our list as one of the best and most extensive beaches in Ecuador. You will find this resort area with many beaches like Chipipe Beach, San Lorenzo Beach, General Villamil Beach and more.

host the ISA World Junior Surfing competitions, Salinas beach stands out as one of the most popular beaches in the country. In addition, it is home to several luxury yacht clubs and attracts many visitors from all over the world.

The beach is in the province of Santa Elena, the westernmost part of the city, which has many well-equipped hotels, shops and rentals, making it a suitable option for beachgoers. With a location close to the city of Guayaquil and José Joaquin de Olmeda International Airport, reaching this fantastic beach is super easy.

Los Frailes Beach

los frailes beach

The stunning Los Frailes Beach is in Machalilla National Park and is north of Puerto Lopez. This protected and perfect beach is certainly one of the best and most beautiful beaches in Ecuador. It has a curved bay, blue waters, yellow sand and the lush vegetation of the forest park behind it.

You will find this secluded beach exciting and very peaceful to stroll along its golden sands. Thanks to the rocky cliffs and tree-covered hills, the scenery is also amazing.

Although often deserted, Los Frailes beach can sometimes get busy on weekends. That’s because most people love to spend their free weekends there. In addition, the beach offers incredible roads that allow easy access by bus and even water taxi.

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If you like wildlife watching, this beach might be a suitable choice. It neighbors Machalilla National Park, which offers a home to beautiful natural landscapes. You will enjoy walking along some excellent paths and trails that will take you to quieter beaches and incredible viewpoints over the long Pacific Ocean.

Nearby beach Isla de Plata has a colony of sea lions and frigates to watch. It is a great beach to visit due to its accessibility and affordability.

Montanita Beach

Beach parties are always exciting, and if you plan on having one, try Montanita Beach for a memorable experience. It has long been a favorite option for backpackers and surfers, and you can be sure you will have the time of your life.

In addition, the beach is in the southwestern part of the province of Santa Elena and is only 175 km from Guayaquil. Interestingly, its waterfront pulsates with the music that overflows from the restaurants and bars on the beach.

The beach is also a wonderful place to practice yoga and is best known as a great surfing spot in Latin America. You will love swimming in the crystal blue waters and surfing the huge waves of this amazing beach. The beach also has a large number of hotels and restaurants, which means you will have the option to explore and eat delicious food.

If you are looking for a quieter or less crowded spot to watch the sunrise or sunset, Montanita Beach should be the ideal choice. You can also learn Spanish at the Montanita Spanish School and immerse yourself in the local culture of the Ecuadorian people.

Canoa beach

Canoa Beach will likely be Ecuador’s premier place to hang out, surf and practice yoga. It features a hippie backdrop, and you’ll see dreamcatchers hanging from vans full of surfboards and wooden tents, ready to surf elsewhere if the waves aren’t good.

Located in the Manabi area, southwest of the Pacific coast, this beach extends over 17km from San Vicente. This makes it the longest sandy beach in Ecuador, and you’ll find very sloping, expansive sand. As a result, it is a perfect spot to relax or paraglide in its thermal winds.

Local hotels also provide professional equipment for experienced pilots or tandem flights with instructors. In addition, you will find small inns along the beach. If you are planning to visit Canoa Beach while on vacation, be sure to book in advance as it often gets busy during these times.

With the azure waters of the beach and impressive cliffs that border the beach, you will enjoy beautiful views while you relax. Plus, the massive waves that hammer the shore provide a brilliant spot for surfing.

Its surrounding area has a lot to offer other than the beach. For example, you can learn about sustainable agriculture at the Rio Muchacho sustainable farm or go horseback riding. If you’re interested in surfing, head to Canoa Surf Academy and take surf lessons.


With a picturesque bay that surrounds it, Praia de Ayangue is one of the most attractive places to visit. You will often find dozens of small, colorful fishing boats moving up and down the bay, adding to its charming appearance.

The beach is in Ayangue, in the province of Santa Elena, next to Salinas for about an hour if you use the famous La Ruta del Sol tourist route. However, it can feel like a world away from the bustling tourist city. The beaches of Ayangue are ideal for bathers looking to relax and enjoy spectacular cliff views.

Because of its protected nature, the attractive waters of Ayangue are great for swimming. If you want to have fun in the waters with your kids, this beach is right for you. The surrounding village is peaceful, making it a great place to spend your holiday soaking up the sun and watching the spectacular sunset views.

With its strategic location, this beach is a key destination for seafood. So, be ready to satisfy your cravings for some delicious dishes.

Although Ayangue has a bit of a beaten path, its isolated position makes it easy to avoid bumping into the crowd.


Muisne Beach is a famous tourist destination in Ecuador. It’s inside Province of Muisne and is best known for its beautiful soft sand beaches. The beach is in Mompiche Bay and at the northern end of Isla de Muisne. It is one of the regions most affected by the 2016 earthquake.

This is a quiet, pristine beach ideal for sunbathing, fishing and enjoying the almighty sunsets. Despite being an island, the results of remote sensing show that this beach receives fewer tourists than the mainland. This makes it suitable for people looking to take a break from the busiest beaches in the country.

The area has amazing restaurants and hotels where you can dine and enjoy a peaceful vacation. You can also visit the environment around the palm-fringed beach at the back of the island and watch the protected mangroves.

This beautiful beach is just 193 km from Quito and about 136 km from Santa Domingo. So you can plan a day trip to any of these amazing neighborhoods.


Featuring a rainforest and plush neighborhood, Mompiche is an ideal antidote to any busy route, but with good local amenities for the tourist looking for the comfort of nature. Despite being in a small town, there are plenty of services to enjoy.

Head out of town for jungle hikes, bird watching, nature reserves and beach windsurfing. You can also head south of the Esmeraldas area to enjoy downtime in this small fishing region where this beach attracts backpackers and surfers.

You can take a dolphin tour or travel to Portete Island on a boat to discover quieter beaches, homestay-like accommodation and palm trees. Make meals like breaded shrimp (Camarones empanadas) or fish soup (biche de pescado).

The village of Mompiche mainly has smaller accommodation and rental cabins. Plus, thatched beach huts add to the laid-back, calm vibe, where the only hums you can hear are the surf coming on. But you can find bigger resorts in the neighborhood to enjoy your vacation. In short, the area around Mompiche Beach has everything for many tourists.

Puerto Lopez

Puerto Lopez completes our list of the best beaches in Ecuador. An excellent and wild Machalilla National Park surrounds the beach, giving you impressive natural views. As a result, it is one of the most popular tourist destinations in the country.

A peaceful fishing spot is adjacent to a lovely beach. Furthermore, the scenic setting adds to the beauty of the beach along with rugged hills. Small fishing boats move along the coast, and you can book a trip to nearby Isla La Plata.

Alternatively, you can opt for snorkeling, diving or whale watching along the coast. This beach offers you many options to enjoy your vacation.

This fantastic beach has many bars, restaurants and hotels to taste delicious local food. Most importantly, the region has a relaxed pace of life, making it an ideal place to visit before exploring the wonders of the national park.


Ecuador is a small country with an amazing Pacific coastline that is home to many beautiful beaches. This article revealed our top picks of the 8 best beaches in Ecuador. Make sure you know more about each beach and reserve your spot in advance to take advantage of the limitless options each beach offers.

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