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Bahia de Caraquez
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At one time having the largest port in Ecuador, the city of Bahia de Caraquez has morphed through a series of economic and environmental events, into one of the most eco-friendly tourist centers on the coast.
The Bahia de Caraquez peninsula at the mouth of river Chone, is filled with Mediterranean style houses, high-rise apartment buildings and hotels. Yet despite the relatively high-density housing, it is a very clean and tranquil city. Like Salinas and Chipipe in Santa Elena, much of the housing stock on this peninsula, is holiday homes which are empty most of the year except high season (Jan-April), when it is packed.
Bahia has suffered significant erosion of its beaches in the last 20 years. And the remaining beach area on the southern side of the peninsula facing the pacific, is small and crowded. At high tide it is almost completely submerged. The northern side facing the river is a little polluted and not suitable for swimming.
Bahians take pride in recycling and eco-tourism. In fact, the city calls itself an Ecocity, and is an example to other cities in Ecuador. It has put a lot of effort into reforestation, and promoting organic farming and sustainable living practices. For example they have their own paper recycling plant and was the first coastal city to ban plastic bags.
On the northern side of the peninsula, a newly constructed bridge (2010) spans the Rio Chone estuary, connecting Bahia to San Vicente and other popular beaches including Canoa to the north.
Beach activities include:
|Type of beach||Golden sand|
|Length of beach||2 mi / 3 km|
|Wind Direction||light on-shore|
|Restaurants and Cafes||A few along Malecón|
|Distance to Salinas||175 mi / 282 km|
|Distance to Guayaquil||164 mi / 264 km|
|Distance to Manta||51 mi / 82 km|
|Distance to Quito||194 mi / 313 km|
Sailing: Puerto Amistad is a small yacht club located at the old ferry port. It has 20+ large moorings, making it ideal for large cruisers. Light winds in the region make for good sailing all year round. It is conveniently located for anyone leaving Panama bound for the Galapagos on the Coconut Milk Run.
Whale Watching: Whale watching tours are also very popular, out of Bahia.
Hotels and Hostals around Bahia de Caraquez Beach
|Bahia Bed and Breakfast||Hosteria|
|Casa Ceibo||Luxury Hotel||$100+|
|Coco Bongo Hostal||Hostal||$15-25|
|Hotel La Herradura||Hotel||$25-50|
|La Piedra Hotel||Hotel||$50-100|
|CasaGrande Oceanfront||Luxury Hotel||$50-100|