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If you like complete tranquility and solitude, try Isla Portete a truly heavenly place. This is a small island south of Mompiche which is just under 6 km long north to south and 2 km wide at the widest point. It is situated directly south of the Royal Decameron Resort. From the north end of the island you can see the Decameron just a few hundred meters away.
Isla Porete is hardly an island at all, being separated from the mainland by a thin strip of water almost shallow enough to wade across at low tide. The beach on the north end of the island wraps around the tip, offering an exposed face to the ocean on the west side and a sheltered area on the east facing the mainland.
Portete beach is lined with coconut groves, and coconut along with fish, is the staple in the local cuisine. Food is cheap, expect to pay $2-3 for fried fish, and $5-6 for conch. Conch is popular and plentiful, as they grow in abundance in the mangroves.
Before you get to the beach there are several lagoons and salt ponds, which are a haven for birds. In fact the whole of the east side of the island is covered in mangroves, which is the main attraction for guided tours.
Playa Portete is a clean beach with crystal clear waters on a calm day. You can also surf here most days, in the morning, before it gets blown out by cross-shore winds. Then you can sometimes kitesurf in the afternoon in 10 knots, especially from Sept thru March when the winds are generally stronger and steadier, but you’ll need to bring your own gear.
There are no more than 40 houses and cabañas along the beach road to the north, and only about 70 or 80 houses in the town of Bolivar in the south of the island. Bolivar has a ferry crossing to the mainland, and it has its own shallow 1 km beach, which is not as beautiful or as clean as Playa Portete. The local families are most hospitable toward visitors, and will offer you a room to stay or invite you to eat at their table. The one restaurant in town is called Sandy’s.
You can visit the island on a tour, or just come here under your own steam and stay a while. Write a book, or whatever you want to do in your most peaceful moment. But come prepared with your own entertainment, other than savoring the natural beauty of the island by foot, kayak or boat, there is little to do here.
Beach activities include:
|Type of beach||Golden / White sand|
|Length of beach||1.2 mi / 2.0 km|
|Wind Direction||Cross-shore (8-10 kts)|
|Restaurants and Cafes||Few, try the locals|
|Distance to Salinas||294 mi / 474 km|
|Distance to Guayaquil||288 mi / 463 km|
|Distance to Manta||173 mi / 279 km|
|Distance to Quito||215 mi / 346 km|
Mangroves: One of the main tourist attractions is going through the mangroves by boat or kayak. Several tour operators offer day excursions to Isla Portete and Isla Júpiter.
Bird Watching: Birds are everywhere, bring binoculars. The east side of the island is covered in mangroves and water is everywhere, including a number of lagoons and salt ponds.
Playa Negra: On the way to Isla Portete from Mompiche you will find Playa Negra a black sand beach with crystal clear water, caves and interesting rock formations. The black sand has small grains of titanium and iron which glint in the sun, which has made the beach a target for miners, who want to extract the minerals, and claim they will return the sand. This has caused some recent controversy in the area, because of concerns for the eco-system, but apparently the mining company has been granted excavation rights. The beach of course is just the visible part of the titanium deposits. 4000 hectares of extremely bio-diverse land are at risk.
Las Marías festival: December 8th everyone comes out for La fiesta de ‘Las Marías’.
Surf and weather by surf-forcast.com