Playa Escondida in Ecuador


Last weekend was Semana Santa (Easter), and although we had a full week off last year, the ministry of education decided it hates teachers and turned the break into a 3 day weekend. Ecuador has a ton of different beach options, but I decided with a few friends to check out an ecological retreat called Playa Escondida- Hidden Beach.


It is about 30 minutes south of Atacames and Esmeraldas, bigger party towns, so we had the option to relax in a secluded part of the Pacific coast or drive into town for more restaurant options. While we did spend one afternoon drinking and sampling seafood in Atacames, we spent most of the weekend doing absolutely nothing around Playa Escondida.

Map of the beaches in northern Ecuador


You really should rent a car if you go there, because it is way out in the middle of nowhere. Because it's a private beach, there aren't hordes of tourists. The strip of beach in front of the lodge is really unique, with a drastic tide, and a reef that is exposed for part of the day.

Low tide at Playa Escondida

High tide at Playa Escondida

Low tide at Playa Escondida

High tide at Playa Escondida

There are a couple options if you stay at the hostel. Renting a cabin is about $12 a person per night, although we paid a bit more because it was a holiday weekend, or camping is $5 a person. All cabins and campsites are directly on the ocean, which is wonderful to wake up to! There's a restaurant with fresh seafood, and composting toilets (if you're into that sort of thing). I had a really great time and would go back in a heartbeat.

The main restaurant and kitchen at Playa Escondida

The front porch of our cabin

Composting toilets!

My friends' campsite right on the beach

Note: I used a very crappy BlackBerry to take all of these photos. I will start using my Nikon again when I move to Hong Kong. Petty theft is just too rampant here for me to feel comfortable using it around Ecuador, even though Playa Escondida is super safe.

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