Explore the "Eco-City of Bahia de Caraquez"
Bahia de Caraquez is one of the more peaceful and ecologically friendly destinations in Ecuador. Looking at the beauty of this coastal resort, it is hard to imagine that it was almost completely destroyed by the earthquakes that it suffered in 1997 and again in 1998. The earthquakes and natural disasters that shook Bahia de Caraquez were a result of the El Niño phenomenon. This eco-city is now one of cleanest and safest destinations in Ecuador and its stretches of spectacular beaches attract hundreds of visitors each year. Bahia has a population of approximately 30 000 and is close to Quito and Guayaquil.
Bahia is dedicated to its ‘eco-city’ status with many ongoing recycle projects, an organic shrimp farm and landscaped gardens. Tours to the shrimp farm are available through tour companies, as are trips to the surrounding dry forests and wetlands. Bikes can be hired if you want to explore the area on your own, or visitors can join a guided group of mountain bikers. Popular attractions in and around Bahia include the Isla Fragatas and Isla Corazon, where visitors will be able to see a spectacular variety of birds, and parks like Saiananda, which has an interesting combination of donkeys, deers, geese, sloths, macaws and ostriches that roam the grounds. The Chirije archaeological site is located in the setting of lush tropical forests and untouched beaches and, over and above walking around at the ruins, the site is also the perfect location for bird watching or taking horses down to the beach. The organic farm, Rio Muchacho, is another interesting attraction to visit while in Bahia and the beaches of Canoa offers visitors great hang-gliding excursions.
There is a bus service that runs to and from Quito, Guayaquil, Esmereldas, Manta, Santo Domingo de los Colorados and Portoviejo. The closest airport to Bahia de Caraquez is in San Vicente, but this small airport does not run regular flights so prior arrangements will have to be made. Surfers usually flock to Bahia and there are many hotels, clubs, restaurants and bars. Visitors will be able to order foods like rice, meat, seafood dishes, chicken, pasta, hamburgers and other regular dishes. The locals here are very friendly and enjoy the company of foreigners. Bahia is a wonderful destination and has many attractions to keep visitors busy, including quaint little shops where you can purchase a few souvenirs. There are also very interesting Ecuadorian museums, such as the Archaeological Museum of the Central Bank where visitors will be able to view Pre-Colombian Pottery.