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Los Frailes - Beach Puerto López - Ecuador

Relaxing and remote, Los Frailes is widely considered one of the most spectacular beaches along the Pacific coastline, and it’s easy to see why. Its pristine waters and perfect crescent-shaped beach are flanked by terracotta cliffs against a backdrop of lush, forested hills. There are also two other adjacent beaches, which are considered part of Los Frailes: La Tortuguita and La Playa Negra. The latter refers to the darker-sand beach 3.2 kilometers (2 mi) away, which offers good snorkeling; it is accessible by an easy walk from Los Frailes beach. Don't miss the Las Fragatas Mirador lookout point, accessible by a 25-minute walk along the same path to La Playa Negra, where there are gorgeous overhead views.

As of January 2012, Machalilla National Park, which includes Los Frailes, no longer has an entrance fee. Since it is part of a national park, there is a cap of 1,500 people who can visit Los Frailes per day. You are also not allowed to smoke or drink alcoholic beverages on the beach. It is open daily 8 a.m.-4 p.m.

From Puerto López, you can easily visit the beach on your own. Take any Jipijapa-bound bus from Avenida Machalilla in Puerto López ($0.50, 20 min) and ask to be let off at the Los Frailes entrance. From there, you will either need to walk about 45 minutes on a dirt road to reach the beach, or can hire a mototaxi at the entrance to take you there ($1 per person).

At Los Frailes, there are bathrooms and changing areas with showers. Sometimes vendors sell water and ice cream by the beach entrance, but come prepared with enough water and food for the day. The sun can be really strong here, so be sure to bring high-spf sunscreen and apply often.

Puerto López, Ecuador


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Relative price: Free

25 Aug 2012

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