You are guaranteed to see whales on these tours in Ecuador.
These were m thoughts as waves crashed on black haystack rocks and ground an aquamarine Pacific into foam and white mist. We were near the coast of Puerto Lopez, Ecuador with friends, headed west into the Pacific on a gleaming 35 foot cruiser looking for whales. Warm salt air massaged our sun drenched skin us as we race west, hypnotized by a sleepy drone from twin Yamaha 115s. Cal it a sleepy, really relaxed whale watch.
There are many economic opportunities on the coast of Ecuador that goes way beyond whales. But on that tour I was asking the beyond money question “What really is paradise?”
I almost nodded off and missed the whales, then looked across the sea once more. Eleven shrimpers glowed white as they bobbed on the horizon. Their bird covered arms trailed nets that looked like spidery webs of white. The ocean turned deep indigo as the continental shelf dropped away.
Our destination was Isla de la Plata, the Silver Isle, little known but like Galapagos, the home of rare birds ( we saw loads of blue footed boobies in their rookery) and animal life not known elsewhere.
“What really is paradise?” I pondered once more. Walking a broad beach at sun rise to join the villagers for the morning’s catch, which included a monstrous snook? The soft murmur of young lovers as they stroll on a warm evening, holding hands? A billion stars on a clear night? A native market piled high in mangos, papaya, pineapples, custard fruit, bananas in yellow, red and green, blackberries, ovos, plums, beans, potatoes, corn, tomatoes, peppers, cabbages bigger than a bread basket, flowers and other delicious fruits and vegetables, you can’t even imagine as they are endemic only to Ecuador even know, all swollen with vine ripened goodness and priced so low they cost nothing? A cook who prepares these treasures with love and serves them on an open air balcony cleansed by a sweet breeze from the sea? An afternoon sleep in a hammock, soothed by a gentle salt breeze? Riding through a tropical forest? Fresh ground juice at night on the terrace? Village laughter in the darkness heard from a comfortable bed? Friendly, happy faces everywhere?
Merri and I loved this Ecuador whale watching tour.
This site has often shared why this part of Ecuador’s coast offers opportunity but let’s not forget the fun part of why the Ecuador Pacific is a great place to visit.
First, may I be honest and clear. If you want the sanitized version of life, stop reading now.
Puerto Lopez and the other Pacific villages around Manta that Merri and I savor have dusty roads, unkempt beaches, dogs walking the beach and the people appear poor. Plastic and various other types of debris often line the roads.
Some of the coastal villages have pathetic sights of poverty and pungent smells.
Life is rich, ripe and real here, no street signs, no life guards and no lines in the middle of the road.
Yet consider this. In Naples, Florida, where we used to live, even in these bad times, a very small beach front lot will cost millions. In Ecuador you can still own a nice condo overlooking the sea for $79,000.
In Naples I’ll also get fined for parking, taking a dog, glass, or fire on the beach. I’ll be patrolled, warned and controlled by more rules and regulations I can keep track of.
Here on the Ecuador beach it’s purely Laissez Faire.
Merri and I are pioneers and we love untidy, rambling, ramshackle places. We have made millions buying in such places and then watching them grow up. But you have to love this type of disorder to enjoy the process.
To us this is the real adventure…fun…long term investment potential.
Late June begins the Ecuador whale watching season at the Manabi beaches.
Spotting whales is guaranteed. Merri and I really enjoyed the thrill of being able to cruise around huge humpbacks at a range of just a few yards.
Our friend Jesscia Haugan has on our Ecuador’s busiest tour businesses a nd a special whale watching program for our readers.
South of Manta at Puerto Lopez there is a wonderful hotel that Merri and I used to visit, Mantaraya. Here is Mantaraya.
This 15 room hotel was built by Barro Viejo the same architects that designed Merri’s and my house at our Andean plantation Rosaspamba.
This hotel has a charming design, a wonderful pool with waterfall and sits high up cliffs with commanding ocean views.
Viva Travel guide says of Mantaraya
“An absolutely beautiful hotel located about 1.5 kilometers south on the main highway. Private rooms with baths, hot showers, and an excellent staff add to the already stunning architecture, complete with swimming pool and waterfall. The restaurant ranks as one of the best in the Puerto Lopez area.”
The government built a highway along the coast south from Manta to Puerto Lopez. This road hugs the coastline creating stunning Pacific views similar to Highway 101 on the U.S. west coast. Puerto Lopez is a perfect ecological tourist spot with hundreds of thousands of acres of national park, many protected species of wildlife, whale watching, incredible deep sea fishing, diving, surfing, horseback riding, hiking and rustic seaside charm.
Jessica has organized whale watching tours for:
2 days $99.91
3 days $141.02
4 days $172.13
5 days $203.24
6 days $234.35
The tour price Includes, accommodation in double rooms in Mantarraya hotel, American breakfast, whale watching tour, Isla de la Plata visit, snacks and snorkeling equipment.
You’ll tour in boats like this.
Not included, meals not described, entrance to the Machalilla National Park,
$30 USD, tips and personal expenses.
However there is another, even in my mind, more special opportunity that Jessica is offering to our Ecuador Living subscribers.
You can stay north of Manta at Palmazul right on the beach and have local fisherman take you on rustic whale watching tours. You can save a lot plus enjoy a unique experience.
If you are an Ecuador Living paid subscriber, go to Ecuador Whale Watching and use your password.
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You can also combine whale watching with our Ecuador Coastal-Quito Real Estate Tour.