Mark is in school teaching English at CEDEI, but I’m still back at the “beach" (in my mind, of course!). It’s only been a week since we returned from the coast and I'm already planning our next trip. If you only go to one place the whole time you’re in Ecuador, do not miss the pristine beach of Los Frailes. Some have gone so far as to call it the most beautiful beach on the Ecuadorian coast and I won’t argue with that!
The wonderful thing about staying in Puerto Lopez is you’re close to the main attractions: Isla de la Plata, Los Frailes, Isla Salango, and Agua Blanca.
Once at the entrance to the beach, there is a lovely “canteen” where you can buy souvenirs. I bought some lovely coral earrings and matching necklace ($2.00).
Bring a beach umbrella if you have one, beach towels, and a picnic lunch. Hosteria Mandala will pack up a wonderful lunch for you and also send you on your way with beach towels (as many as you need).
After a light lunch, we explored the rocky inlets on both sides of the horseshoe-shaped beach and discovered a multitude of conch shells, several of which already had inhabitants which literally walked away on us!
I found a total of 20 whole sand dollars which were brown, then turned green and now are bleaching themselves white in the sun (thanks to our balcony). It was low tide while we were there, so we felt free to explore all the inlets and caves. However, I would caution you not to do this at high tide!
There are no retaining walls or fences, so be careful to take pictures from a distance and not perch yourself on the edge of the cliff as it’s a long way down.
Bring lots of water! I ended up pouring the entire bottle over me because I got overheated; wear a sun hat, and put on more sunscreen than you think you will need.
At the top of “El Mirador” you will be rewarded with a panoramic view like none other. I was so busy oohing and ahhing, I didn’t realize there were other folks sitting on the look-out stand who had come to mediate. Mark shooshed me and I too had become quiet. It’s was windy, so be sure to hang on to your hat and other valuables.
It’s also a great place to catch the birds in flight and to enjoy a time of quiet reflection. After taking several videos and probably 100 pictures of the same coastline, we headed back down. I wore my running shoes and was thankful that I did because the steps can be a little slippery and it’s easy for your feet to get caught between the steps.
We made the climb up and back within an hour which was perfect. Angel was waiting for us right on time at 3:00 p.m. and we made it back to see a gorgeous sunset at Puerto Lopez where we dined on the veranda at Hosteria Mandala.
Rest assured, we’ll be back to Los Frailes!
Until next time...hasta luego!
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