Puerto Rico is a tiny surf spot on the Pacific coast of Ecuador in the lush Manabi province. It is about 15 km from the small fishing town of Puerto Lopez and is about three hours from Guayaquil by car, a bit longer by bus. Puerto Rico is basically a few shacks along the beach with some surfing. If you are looking to stay any longer than a day or two, you might consider heading up the coast to Puerto Lopez.
To get here, your best bet is to fly to Guayaquil and take a bus. If you’d prefer to go overland, a bus from Quito will take you between eight and eleven hours. Unless you want to spend all day on a bus, take an overnight one. Buses may drop you in Puerto Lopez, leaving you to find your own way to Puerto Rico. Your hostel might be able to suggest transportation.
There aren’t very many hostels in Puerto Rico, so if you can’t find any hostel accommodation, you’re better off heading up the coast to Puerto Lopez, Manta, or Ayampe. The hostels in Puerto Rico cater to surfers, but with good hiking nearly on the doorstep you’ll find something to do if you aren’t a wave rider. The coast of the Manabi province is well known for its surfing, so you definitely want to hang ten at least once while you’re here. Puerto Rico’s beach is perfect for it, or you could head to San Mateo and its top surf break.
In nearby Puerto Lopez, you’ll find a lot of tour agencies that can help you arrange tours into the park, on whale-watching boats during June-October, or tell you how to get out to the Isla de la Plata, a nearby offshore national park with tons of hiking, snorkelling, and bird-watching. It is called the Poor Man’s Galapagos, because its the closest that a backpacker on a budget will get to the famous archipelago. Luckily for you, the island has a lot of the same bird species, like the red and blue-footed booby, albatross, and pelican - among others. The next best thing is the Playa Los Frailes, a gorgeous beach worth spending a day at. You can take a bus from town to the entrance of the Machalilla National Park and hike into the beach, or you can take a tuk tuk if you don’t feel like (or can’t) walk.
Hi, I'm Jakob Lombardi,
the Hostelz.com local expert for Puerto Rico hostels. Welcome.