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Catch Some Waves in Ecuador

With its coastline stretching over 2,237 km, Ecuador has many spectacular beaches where surfing is an all year round activity. Ecuador's mild climate, particularly in the northern regions, along with varying surf conditions, offer options suited to beginner surfers, experts looking for a challenge, and everyone in between. Because surf tourism is vital to the economic wellbeing of communities along the coast, surfers are assured of well-priced accommodation and warm hospitality, as well as expert tuition if needed.

Host of the 2004 Bodyboarding World Cup, Manta is one of Ecuador's most popular surfing destinations. It is also known for its superb scuba diving opportunities, as well as other water sports such as kite surfing and water skiing. Expert surfers will want to head for San Lorenzo beach which often experiences strong waves averaging two meters high. Other popular beaches in the vicinity of Manta include Barbasquillo, El Murciélago and Santa Marianita, the latter being a prime kite surfing destination due to the consistent wind experienced there.

Nearby Salinas is also a good choice for surfing. The vibrant coastal city was host of the 2009 ISA World Junior Surfing Games Ecuador, and is also home to two major yacht clubs. Situated south of the city, Punta Carnero (Ram Point) beach features a rocky headland at the one side of the 2.57 kilometers of sandy beach. The beach hosts national and international surf competitions, and is reportedly a favorite training destination for serious surfers.

Around 180 kilometers northwest of Guayaquil, the town of Montañita is considered to be one of the best beaches along the south coast of Ecuador. As is the case elsewhere in Ecuador, surfers are assured of being able to catch a good wave just about any time, but January to March is the best time for serious surfing in Montañita as two meter high waves are a regular occurrence at this time. Other popular surfing spots are Atacames on the northern Pacific coast, San Cristobal in the Galapagos, and Playas in the Guayas province of Ecuador. It may be noted that, although surfing in Ecuador is great throughout the year, it is considered to be exceptional between December and April.


Birding in El Cajas National Park

Situated in the Ecuadorian highlands, around 30 km west of Cuenca, El Cajas National Park features varied habitats that are home to an amazing variety of bird species, some of which are considered to be endangered by conservationists. Covering an area of more than 285 square kilometers, with altitudes of between 3100 and 4450 meters above sea level, El Cajas was added to Ecuador's list of official National parks in November 1996, and has become a popular destination for birding enthusiasts.

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Explore Ecuador's Manabí Province

Ecuador's Manabí Province has plenty of beautiful beaches and excursion options enjoyed by locals and visitors alike, as well as numerous historical and cultural attractions. The Machalilla National Park is a must-see destination for nature-lovers. Consisting primarily of tropical dry forest, Machalilla is home to howler monkeys, capuchins, pumas, jaguars, ocelots and deer, as well as a huge variety of bird species including cuckoos, caciques, tanagers, hawks, falcons and swallows. Reptiles in this spectacular reserve include green iguanas, crocodiles, many different lizard species and snakes.

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