Hitchhiking the coast between Puerto Lopez and San Lorenzo, Ecuador.

Crab at Los Frailes

Most of the time the weather in Puerto Cayo looks something like this...

Gloomy weather at Puerto Cayo

We're 100km South of the Equator on the beach, but it looks more like Scotland in February. I'm actually quite enjoying the dreariness, but we've needed to explore more than the village on our weekends off or it might have got a bit much.*

Initially we intended to catch the bus down to Puerto Lopez, but after being offered a lift in the back of a truck before we'd even sat down to wait, it seemed like now might be the time to start hitch-hiking. So far it's been remarkably easy- we've never had to wait for more than five cars to pass and nobody has tried to charge us for the ride. Meeting random people has been a good excuse to practice our Spanish and we've explored the coast 50km to both the North and South of Puerto Cayo without paying a cent.

Puerto Lopez

Puerto Lopez
Puerto Lopez




Puerto Lopez, the most Southerly point on the map above, is a holiday destination famous for it's whale-watching excursions.

The waves aren't good for surfing, but if you're staying in the area it's a good place to stock up on provisions, go for a swim or buy an ice cream.


There's a place on the main street which sells slices of pizza for $1. They're pretty good!

Los Frailes

Los Frailes
Cowrie Los Frailes

 Los Frailes is by far the most interesting, untouched beach we've come across on this stretch of coastline. It's clean, devoid of vendors and a great place to swim.


If you're driving North and reach the village of Machailla, you've just missed the turning. Even if you've caught the bus this far then it might be worth hitch-hiking down the track as it looked like a pretty long walk. 

Los Frailes panoramic
crab at Los Frailes
Los Frailes cliffs

                 Tiny Dan ^

cowrie at Los Frailes
sand patterns Los Frailes
Los Frailes beach Ecuador


A little, run-down fishing village where you might be able to buy fresh seafood at the right time of day. There's probably nothing to keep you here unless you are particularly interested in boats.**

Fishing boats at Machailla beach Ecuador

Puerto Cayo

Somehow, after living and working in Puerto Cayo for the last couple of weeks, we still haven't found a lot to do here. Possibly our association with the wealthy expat community (who our employers are part of) has made it difficult for us to integrate with the locals or maybe we're just a little far out of town, either way we haven't made many friends this time. 

Puerto Cayo beach and cliffs, Ecuador
starfish at Puerto Cayo Ecuador


If you don't mind the excess of dead puffer-fish on the beach, the waves are fun to swim in- we've been body-boarding a lot and one day even saw a whale in the distance.


Walk to the far South of the beach and you'll find hundreds of these guys. -> 


I'm not sure if they're something to be excited about or just destroying the environment for all other life. Looking around it could be the latter. 

Puerto Cayo

San Lorenzo

San Lorenzo beach Ecuador




With cactus topped rock formations the height of three story buildings and sand that actually looks clean enough to lie in, San Lorenzo is an understandable place for foreigners to be drawn to.


Although it remains relatively undeveloped, like many of the beaches we've come across in Ecuador San Lorenzo would probably be more picturesque without the half-built concrete constructions that line the high tide mark. Cut those out of the picture and the skyline remains impressive.

stormy San Lorenzo beach, Ecuador

We may not like the development here on the coast, but it's easy to see why the pace of life could be attractive.

Yesterday we got a lift from a Chilean man and were asking him how different it is for him to live here. The answer is entirely. "Look around." he said pointing outside, "Do these people look stressed?!"- glancing out the window I saw someone in a hammock outside their shop, a couple of men playing chess and a group of ladies chatting around a table.

"Ask them what stress means. They won't be able to tell you."

San Lorenzo, Ecuador

*Another workaway project.

**If you are (by any chance) stay tuned for my next post.

Write a comment

Comments: 8
  • #1

    Emily (Monday, 01 September 2014 19:40)

    Something about the skies in your pictures are very appealing to me. When we did Ecuador we didn't hit the coast since we'd only heard negative things about safety and didn't want to divert ourselves from cutting down the middle. Maybe we need to give it a second chance.

  • #2

    featherytravels (Monday, 01 September 2014 20:05)

    Yeah I think some of the more touristy towns like Montenita have quite a lot of pretty crime, but we haven't had any problems yet. The mountains are more beautiful though anyway I think, so maybe you did the right thing.

  • #3

    Becky Padmore (Tuesday, 02 September 2014 14:32)

    I love your photos of the beach wildlife, such interesting creatures hanging around!

  • #4

    featherytravels (Tuesday, 02 September 2014 16:06)

    Thank-you! Yeah, I get a little obsessed with looking for them. :)

  • #5

    Charlie (Wednesday, 03 September 2014 05:33)

    Looks a little grey haha! But the wildlife looks really cool :)

  • #6

    Mary-Ann (Monday, 08 September 2014 22:27)

    Is that a cowrie I see??

  • #7

    kashmir yatra (Friday, 12 September 2014 12:19)

    Amazing Photography of Marine Life! The incredible beaches of Ecuador will change your mind. @Awesome!@

  • #8

    Whisky (the dog) (Sunday, 21 September 2014 23:24)

    Snoozing my 2 walks off in my basket but noticed the room was really quiet. Those humans must be into something on those shiny boring sticks they look at ...

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