Coastal Trails

"The sea, once it casts its spell, holds one in its net of wonder forever."

Jacques Yves Cousteau

Ecuador’s mainland is famous for its colonial cities, volcanic peaks, highland markets, and jungle wildlife. Though the Pacific coast is one of the less visited areas by foreigners. It has its own range of amazing attractions that make it a worthwhile visit. Explore laid-back fishing villages, the archaeological sites of the central coast, surf and sunbathe at a remote beach, visit the largest petrified forest in South America, enjoy of some the best Ecuadorian gastronomy, visit the most important coffee and banana plantations, dance Afro-Ecuadorian marimba in Esmeraldas, visit La Plata Island known as “the small Galapagos”, observe humpback whales from June to October, hike in pristine tropical forests, admire the highest mangroves in the world or explore the vast pristine places close to the Pacific Ocean. The list is endless. Ecuador's vibrant coastline will not disappoint.

Tales of the Coast

Afro Ecuadorian Sounds

The origin of the Afro Ecuadorian music is fascinating, let’s immerse into these African sounds from Esmeraldas province, where most of our Afro Ecuadorians live. Let’s revel into the origins of the unknown but captivating part of the culture from the northern-coastal area.
‘’Musical life in the province centered on the Currulao, the marimba dance, with strong roots in the black population’s Bantu and Mande heritage in Western Africa. The Currulao was a predominantly secular festive event that took place every weekend in local casas de la marimba, or "marimba houses." These privately-owned dwellings were a focal point for Afro-Ecuadorian communities, used for civic meetings, recreation, and providing the performance space for the Currulao. Norman Whitten, Jr. has written extensively on the symbolic integration of the marimba dance as a secular ritual and its importance within Afro-Ecuadorian culture in Esmeraldas; where the interpretation of the Currulao indexed gender mores key to the maintenance of Afro-Ecuadorian society, ritually re-enacting and acting as a catharsis for male-female relationships in the community. In addition to the overt message of seduction and conquest in the dance choreography, the call-and-response musical tension and struggle for dominance between male soloists and the chorus of female singers represented these same relationships.’’

Articulating Blackness in Afro-Ecuadorian Marimba Performance by Jonathan Ritter.

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EXPERIENCES

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Discovering the Coast

  • Explore the archaeological ruins from 4000 BC of Agua Blanca & Machalilla.

  • Sail the Ecuadorian pacific coast on a luxury vessel.

  • Whale watching from June to October.

  • Charming private Villas and magic beaches.

  • Manglar Churute Ecological reserve has a unique ecosystem and is considered one of Ecuador and South America's most significant mangroves areas.

  • Dance African sounds with Marimba groups on the northern coast.

  • Learn how to weave Toquilla Palm Hats (Panama Hats) in Monte Cristi village, the finest in the world.

  • Dive or snorkel at Drake reef in La Plata Island, well known as the small Galapagos.

  • Surf and windsurf at Monatañita beach.

  • Eat the best ceviche in Manabi province.

  • Explore Machalilla National Park, its cloud forest, archaeological sites and sunbath at Los Frailes beach, the most idyllic one on the Pacific coast.

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EXPERIENCES