Nestled on the Pacific Coast just under five hundred kilometers from the capital of Quito, Puerto López, Ecuador, is a small fishing village with one hell of a tourist drawcard -- whales. There are a few Puerto López, Ecuador hostels in town, however, you may find staying in a hotel more economic depending on your group size.
The busiest time of year to visit Puerto López is between the months of June and October. The village really comes to life, as tourists both local and foreign flock to witness the humpback whale migration. The waters outside of the bay act as both a feeding and breeding ground, so the likelihood of spotting a whale is quite high. Tours are offered twice daily and are very competitively priced. They often include the opportunity to swim or snorkel at an isolated beach and will provide a snack. The boats are quite small however, so if you are prone to seasickness, taking preventative measures prior to the trip is highly recommended.
Another popular tour offered in Puerto López is a trip to Isla de Plata, or Poor Man’s Galapagos. It is possible to spot some of the bird species found on the Galapagos, such as the blue-footed booby, frigates, albatross, and pelicans. Tours to both attractions can be combined. Back on land, the main beach is lined with bars and restaurants, including a nightclub or two for good measure. Expect to pay above average prices though for your drinks and food. Things start late, so expect to see the bars filling up after 9 p.m.
Outside of town, visitors can enjoy the warm, clear water of Los Frailes National Park and beach. Depending on your time constraints, there are hikes and lookouts to explore, or you can hire an umbrella and enjoy the sand. If you’re after more of a cultural experience, then you can visit Agua Blanca, an indigenous village a few kilometres from town. There is a small museum on site, as well as hiking and mud-bath opportunities.
In terms of sleeping, it is possible to walk around town in search of a Puerto López, Ecuador hostel, however, weekends sell out fast. The better-quality Puerto López, Ecuador hostels are found within a short walk to the beach.
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