Traveling Along La Ruta del Sol
La Ruta del Sol (Route of the Sun) in Ecuador is the name given to a scenic coastal route that runs from Salinas heading north to Esmeraldas. The route crosses the Chongón-Colonche coastal mountain range, with stunning beach resorts and lovely colorful villages along the way. The route also passes many small white hills formed by commercial salt pans, which attract scores of flamingoes, shoreline and water birds.
La Ruta del Sol contains some of the best beaches in Ecuador, with many of them being popular for surfing. There is extensive public transport which is fairly inexpensive and allows visitors to travel along La Ruta del Sol, stopping off wherever they choose. There are also numerous guided tours that will ensure that visitors get to see all the places of interest.
A guided tour generally begins at Quito and includes stops at Manta, Puerto Lopez, Isla De La Plata, Montanita, Salinas and Guayaquil. The stop-over at Puerto Lopez includes a visit to a virtually untouched beach, with beautiful flora and fauna, named Los Frailes. From Puerto Lopez, situated about two hours from the Ecuadorian Coast, the Isla De La Plata has flora and fauna very similar to that found on the Galapagos Islands, which is completely different from the mainland. The underwater life is remarkable and visitors are encouraged to view this by snorkeling in the warm clear water.
The beach at Montañita town is one of Ecuador’s prime surf spots, as well as becoming a premier travel destination. The relaxed friendly atmosphere on the beach and in the town has earned Montañita town the reputation of offering the best beach parties on the Ecuador coastline. Surfers will benefit from the knowledge of the locals as they take them out to some incredible surfing areas to test out their surfing skills.
Moving on to Salinas, visitors are given an opportunity to swim, surf, jet ski, water ski and paraglide in the warm waters of the bay. The bay curves around the resort, consisting of dozens of high rise apartment blocks, and the water is warm all year round. The main road has numerous colorful shops, bars, restaurants and discos. There is also a historical marine museum, as well as large hotels with casinos.
Tourists who travel to Ecuador should take the time to explore the beautiful La Ruta del Sol.