<Where to go, What to do <Places <Southern Coast and Lowlands

Salinas, located at the end of the Santa Elena peninsula, is the playground of the rich elite of Guayaquil. This is where they have their swanky apartment and maybe even a yacht. If they aren’t lucky enough to be able to charter a plane to fly here, they thrash their 4x4 / SUV along the spanking new dual carriageway that connects the big city with its satellite.

The main strip of Salinas is flanked by a long line of apartments which follow the curvature of the bay. It’s not quite Copacabana but still makes an impressive skyline for postcards. The beach is clean and the sea is very calm, perfect for playing in. Therefore it gets very crowded at weekends and during the holiday season (February – March) when rich and poor alike invade. There is another beach further west, though this also gets busy. Surfers head south to Punta Carnero, a straight beach with wild surf and a wonderful place to watch the long sunset. At the far end of the beach is an attractive hotel with a good restaurant, open to the public.

For me, the disappointing aspect about Salinas is that behind the waterfront façade, the rest of town is a mess. Many plots are still undeveloped. Many restaurants, (OK, the cheap ones) have plastic chairs. There is a total lack of effort to break up the concrete with plants or make it easy to cross the road. The further out you go, the worse it becomes, although the little gated holiday home developments continue.

However, if you stay around the main strip you can enjoy great fish and seafood, lively bars and discos (at weekends) and, during the first three months of the year, experience the Ecuadorian beach culture. 

Click here to find out Where to Stay or Where to Eat in Salinas.


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