JerryPeek.com logo

Photo Tour: Playa Escondida, Ecuador

On Ecuador's Pacific coast, I had a really relaxing week at the eco-resort at Playa Escondida (which means "Hidden Beach"). It's northwest of Quito (about seven hours by bus), 90 minutes south of the city of Esmeraldas (which has an airport), west of Same (pronounced SAH-may), and north of Muisne -- an isolated, peaceful spot along the paved road to Punta Galera. (Here's a map showing the coast and Quito. Look for Cape Galera near the left edge.)

In mid-December, there were only a couple of other guests, so the beach was often all mine. (I heard that some travelers stay at resorts in Same, and drive out here only for the delicious food, because they insist on having flush toilets -- instead of the composting toilets that don't use water. This at an eco-resort in an area where fresh water is scarce!? Grumble, grumble. Well, I guess it leaves this lovely place for people like me...)

Here's a bit of what I saw as I wandered along the beach that week.


To get a larger version of any picture, click on it. (To come back to this tour, click the "return to tour" link or use your brower's "Back" button.)



At low tide, the beach transitions to a big rocky expanse riddled with cracks and tidepools:
Pacific coast and sky at low tide, Playa Escondida, Ecuador
Tidepools and shoreline at low tide, Playa Escondida, Ecuador

I spent hours here, day after day. The veins, holes, sand, and water make this whole area fun to explore. The colors change between shade and sun, from cloudy days to hazy days to sunny ones:
Rocks at the base of coast-side cliffs, Playa Escondida, Ecuador
Rock resting on the rock shelf along the coast, Playa Escondida, Ecuador
Patterns in the rock shelf along the coast, Playa Escondida, Ecuador
Veins of rock in the rock shelf along the coast, Playa Escondida, Ecuador

Rocks and sand -- including a pattern in the sand that looked to me like a furtive face:
Three ``fingers'' of rock (an area about 1 meter square) along the coast, Playa Escondida, Ecuador
Rock, and pattern in sand that looked like a face to me - Playa Escondida, Ecuador

Reflections of clouds and of trees on the cliff behind:
Reflections of the sky in pools along the coast at sunset, Playa Escondida, Ecuador
Clouds reflected in pools along the coast at sunset, Playa Escondida, Ecuador
Reflected clouds, and rock breaking the surface of a tidepool - Playa Escondida, Ecuador
Trees from the hill above reflected in patches of water along the rocky coastal shelf, Playa Escondida, Ecuador

Sunsets on two different days:
Trees and their reflections on the coast at sunset, Playa Escondida, Ecuador
Dusk -- after sunset -- and reflections in coastal tidepools, Playa Escondida, Ecuador

One morning while the tide was out, I walked the 12 kilometers or so along the beach to Tonchigüe (pronounced tone-CHEE-goo-way -- the town just south of the upscale resorts at Same). The walk starts at these stacks near the resort:
Stacks reflected in wet sand, Playa Escondida, Ecuador
View of the cliffs above Same and Tonchigüe, from between the stacks near Playa Escondida, Ecuador

Here are some photos along the way. (The first photo is actually closest to the end of the walk... it just looked better as the first one in the batch.)
Coastal hills above the towns of Same and Tonchigüe, Ecuador
Morning view east at low tide, Playa Escondida, Ecuador
Morning view east at low tide, Playa Escondida, Ecuador
Morning view east at low tide, Playa Escondida, Ecuador

There are two or three buildings along the way, but it's mostly just you and the Pacific. Except for a couple riding a bicycle and a man on foot, I saw no one during my two-hour walk. When I got to Tonchigüe, I snapped these photos of fishermen pulling their boats onto the beach and a boy throwing a stick into the water. Then I caught a chiva (a truck with wooden benches bolted onto the flat bed -- also called a ranchera) back to Playa Escondida.
Fishermen bring in their boats after morning fishing - Tonchigüe, Ecuador
Boy throwing a stick into the surf - Tonchigüe, Ecuador

[Previous page: Trip to Ecuador]
[Next page: Christmas Eve Parade in Cuenca]
[Tour start: Ecuador, December 2007]
[More photo tours]


(These photographs are Copyright © 2007 by Jerry Peek. Much higher-resolution versions of most images, and many other images too, are available at Jerry Peek Photography. Photos are available at reduced prices, or free, for non-commercial use.)

Contact us