WHAT TO DO IN PUERTO LOPEZ
Puerto Lopez has some great environments and activities to do. You can just relax in its comfortable hotels overlooking the sea, enjoy its beaches and weather, or have fun in its night bars. I would say it is a three in one place.
The beach of Puerto Lopez is located in the province of Manabi and is an ideal place to visit with the family because it is close to places such as beaches in protected areas, dry forests and whale watching in Ecuador.
Continue reading and discover some of the activities you can do to make the most of your day in Puerto López, as well as find out how to get there, what the weather is like and discover where to stay and eat.
How is the weather ⛅ in Puerto Lopez?
The climate in Puerto Lopez is tropical. Most months of the year in Puerto Lopez there is rainfall due to ocean currents such as the Humboldt Current, which greatly influences the weather of Puerto Lopez.
- August is usually the driest month of the year and also the mildest with clear days.
- The average annual maximum temperature in Puerto Lopez is 29°C / 84°F .
- The hottest months with clear skies are from December to April with temperatures between 22°C and 31°C / 72°F – 88°F
- Heat and humidity are present in Puerto Lopez between January and February with temperatures ranging from 23°C to 33°C / / 73°F – 91°F
- From May to November the weather can vary with sunny and cloudy days.
To better understand the climate of the beaches of Ecuador visit our article: Weather on the Beaches of Ecuador.
How to get to Puerto Lopez
Puerto Lopez is located in the province of Manabi, Ecuador, in the middle of the Spondylus Route.
- 🚗 The distance from Guayaquil to Puerto Lopez is 125 km. About 4 hours by road.
- 🚗 The distance from Quito to Puerto Lopez is 486 km. An approximate journey of 8 hours by road.
- 🚗 To go from Montañita to Puerto Lopez, the distance is 45 km, with a trip of almost 1 hour.
From Manta there are 2 ways to get to Puerto Lopez:
- The first is the Spondylus Route or E15, which runs along the beaches of San Mateo and San Lorenzo to Puerto Cayo and takes about 1 hour and 50 minutes.
- Another interesting option is to take the inland route and pass through Montecristi, Pile and the agricultural town of Jipijapa before arriving at Puerto Cayo, this trip usually takes about 2 hours.
🏊♀️ Activities to do in Puerto López
The activities that can be done in Puerto Lopez are varied, this fun place has activities for all tastes and ages. From walking in its dry forest, or going to the depths of the sea, diving, resting on the beach, admiring the artisanal fishermen on the Malecon of Puerto Lopez, among others.
Here in Puerto Lopez is the Machalilla National Park, one of the most visited in Ecuador. But let’s take it one step at a time.
🏖️Tourism in Puerto Lopez and surrounding areas
Puerto Lopez is one of the most visited beaches in Ecuador. Tourism in Puerto Lopez has developed and maintained very well over the years, there are multiple activities to do and discover, but it is conditioned or benefited by 2 major factors:
- ☑️ First is the presence of Isla de la Plata and Machalilla National Park.
- ☑️Second humpback whale sighting from June to September
The best things to do in Puerto López
🏞️ Visit Machalilla National Park
The Machalilla Natural Park is very diverse and was created in 1979 with the aim of preserving the dry tropical forests, the tropical rainforests, the indigenous communities of the area and the biodiversity of the Isla de la Plata.
Many visitors use Puerto Lopez as a starting point to visit some of the interesting points in the Machalilla Reserve.
🐋 Humpback Whale Watching from Puerto Lopez
Puerto Lopez is fortunate to have become the preferred starting point for humpback whale watching in Ecuador.
Humpback whales in Ecuador are usually easily observed during the months of June to September. During this time, the whales take advantage of the cold Humboldt currents that come from the cold southern seas of the American continent, carrying large amounts of nutrients to feed and especially to mate.
Puerto Lopez is the ideal place to see the whales up close. There are several local agencies that offer activities and tours that combine humpback whale watching with a visit to Isla de la Plata.
It is recommended to book the activity in advance, as the best quality boats tend to sell out early, especially in August.
🏝️ Discover the Isla de la Plata
Isla de la Plata is located north of Puerto Lopez, about 2 hours of navigation. When visiting Isla de la Plata you can observe species such as blue-footed boobies, frigate birds, some albatrosses and other native animals.
You can also practice sports such as snorkeling and scuba diving in strategic places in the area.
A naturalist guide is required to enter Isla de la Plata, as the visits are very controlled. Inside the island there are several trails, the guides will recommend which one to follow according to your hiking level and also in relation to the presence of bird nests.
One of the most interesting trails is the one that leads to the interior and central part of the island, passing very close to the nesting sites of the Blue-footed Booby.
The return trip is usually by another trail that passes through a place full of frigatebirds with their peculiar red mouths.
👉 Visit Los Frailes beach
Los Frailes Beach is an exclusive and protected beach within the Machalilla National Park and has a capacity and time limit to enjoy this place. The locals say that it is one of the most beautiful beaches in Ecuador, for its white sand and blue waters that always make you want to stay and live there. It is the most visited place during the beach season and during the humpback whale watching season.
To learn more, read this complete article about Playa de los Frailes.
👉 Visit and hikes in the community of Agua Blanca
If excursions are your thing, try visiting the community of Agua Blanca. It has a museum and a trail around its dry forest where you can enjoy its landscapes, with walks programmed by the community. This community is located within the Machalilla National Park, where you can also observe the birds of the tropical dry forest.
👉Swimming in the sulphurous lagoon of Agua Blanca
One of the most popular and emblematic activities of the place is the visit to the sulphurous water lagoon. You can also take a dip in the sulphurous lagoon of the Agua Blanca community, which has medicinal and healing properties, this place is visited by hundreds of tourists every month.
The smell can be a bit unpleasant and the water is definitely not drinkable, but its temperature is much warmer than the average seawater.
👉 Visit the Malecon of Puerto Lopez
The new Malecon of Puerto Lopez was inaugurated in November 2016. With an extension of more than 2.4 km, it was named Malecon Julio Izurieta. It serves to connect the fishing pier of Puerto Lopez with the beach and hotels located in the north of the city.
In the Malecon of Puerto Lopez there are places with playgrounds and direct access to the beach. This promenade has greatly improved the experience of visiting the beach of Puerto Lopez.
To live the experience depends on the time of your visit, but whether it is hours or days, Puerto Lopez has places that deserve to be known and live the experience near the sea or its surroundings.
🛏️ Where to stay and eat in Puerto López
Although it is true that Puerto López is mainly a beach, its accommodations can also be varied. You can enjoy very close to the sea, as well as its surroundings, that is, closer to the mountain. You can also camp on the beach in the designated areas, but don’t forget to check that the tide is not rising.
🏡 We recommend some accommodations and hotels in Puerto Lopez
Hostería Mandála is located in Puerto López, a few steps from Puerto López beach, and offers accommodation with a bar, free private parking, a shared lounge and a garden.
- Located on the beachfront
- Sustainable travel program accommodation
Hotel Berlín International
Located in Puerto López, 31 km from Montañita, Hotel Berlín International offers air-conditioned rooms, free WiFi throughout the property and private parking.
- Located 300 m from the beach
- Modern rooms and large swimming pool
The hotel and Nantu is conveniently located both for sightseeing in the surroundings and for resting, as it is a bit far from the center but at the same time with direct access to the beach.
It has comfortable and quiet rooms, as well as a swimming pool decorated with a yacht.
- Located on the beachfront
- Italian restaurant with panoramic views
Hotel Restaurant Áncora
The Ancora Hotel & Restaurant offers a restaurant, free private parking, a fitness center and a bar. It is located 50 meters from the Puerto López Beach.
- Ubicado a 50 m de la playa
- Restaurant with international food
Find your favorite hotel on the MapBooking.com
🍽️Restaurants in Puerto Lopez
As Puerto Lopez is a beach, you will find seafood without a doubt. But also, there are different food services, such as Italian, Mexican or Arabic food. But undoubtedly the food you have to try is the Manabi food, do not be afraid to try the food of small and chaotic restaurants, they usually keep the original flavors.
You can also go into the interior of the town of Puerto Lopez, visit the market to taste the Manaba cheese or find a good bolon de verde, corviche or yucca bread.
You can also enjoy a good coffee ☕, since in Puerto Lopez you will find coffee made right there, which they promote, also different types of coffee either from the province of Manabi or Ecuador.
We recommend these restaurants:
- 🍤 Rosita Restaurant, in the heart of downtown
- 🍤 La Cabaña de Chucky, located in one of the kiosks on the malecon.
- 🍤 Restaurant Spondylus, located in front of the sea in the heart of downtown.
☑️Do not leave trash on the beach
☑️A very important fact, although it is true that Puerto Lopez is a very touristic town, it has a serious problem with garbage on its beach. Although there are garbage containers, you can see it just by walking along the beach, as you will find plastic bags or any other garbage. So, if you are going to enjoy this place, or why not, eat and drink, do not forget to take the garbage to its proper place.
☑️ Book activities, hotels and excursions in high season in advance.
☑️ Weather can vary greatly during excursions, so always be prepared to protect yourself from the wind and cold during boat trips.
🚤 If you tend to get seasick on boats, we recommend that you buy some medication to help you alleviate this discomfort and enjoy your activity.
✍️ Author: Patricia Tamayo blogger at Lea Monos and Adrian Tamayo Ceo at Living Ecuador Travel
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