Most of the people live along the coast in large centres, with Guayaquil
being the main city with up to 3 million inhabitants. Other cities of importance along the coast starting from south are Machala
[major tourist centre
[fishing and harbour
] and Esmeraldas
[oil refinery and harbour
Between those bigger cities you find long stretches of beach with only smaller fishing villages, some of those offering basic tourist accommodations and attractions. Fishing, tourism and shrimp farming [problematic because of mangrove destruction
] are therefore the major economic activities.
All of the beaches along the Ecuadorian coast.
: beautiful beaches and whale watching in the summer months.
Boat trips to Isla Del Plata
, also called Galapagos for the poor.
: main beach resort along the coast, offering deep sea fishing, etc...
Bahia de Caraquez
: tourist centre with nice surrounding beaches.
: beach town for people from Quito
Reach up to 1000m and stretches from Guayas
north to Esmeraldas
. This hilly part is used mainly for livestock production and smaller farm enterprises. Portoviejo
] is the main town in that region. Close by is Montecristi
, famous for the making of Panama hats
Bielsa Nature reserves
in the northern mountain region
The area between the coast and the Andes mountains is pre-dominantly flat and it is where you will find huge banana plantations and other agricultural productions [palm oil, pineapple, livestock, etc...
Main centres are Santo Domingo
[livestock and agricultural products
]. Tourist attractions
near Santo Domingo
, 167 hectors of protected tropical rainforest near Concordia
, a river valley near Santo Domingo
Northern Tropical Rainforest
The northernmost region, bordering Colombia and almost identical to the province of Esmeraldas
. This region is still mostly untouched and covered with a tropical rainforest although it is coming more and more under environmental pressure through the opening of the area by roads. Tree cutting companies and colonists follow those recently built roads and the tropical forest suffers by human interventions.
Playa de Oro
on the Santiago River
on the Cayapas River
, private mangrove reserve with some of the highest mangrove trees in the world.