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Jama / El Matal Beach
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El Matal is a small fishing village on an attractive bay with mostly calm water. Located just about 4 km outside the small town of Jama, the beach is referred to as both Jama Beach and El Matal beach. The clear water makes this quite a good place for snorkeling, and has it good conditions for water sports such as water-skiing and wake-boarding.
Despite its small size, it has become a popular tourist destination in Manabi province. But it lacks sufficient infrastructure and lodging facilities to handle large numbers of tourists. Hence it offers quite a lot of new business potential.
The town has a few small shops and restaurants and a couple of hosterias. It is not the cleanest of beaches, visitors and local residents seem unconcerned about leaving litter on the main beach. But this will likely improve, as Eco tourism to this area continues to develop, and as more of the premier beachfront real-estate in the area get developed.
The Jama region in general is well known for its fisheries, and El Matal is one of the primary sources for fish and shrimp being exported to nearby towns inland. Apparently as much as 60 tonnes of fish are exported daily from the area to neighboring towns.
The adjacent town of Jama is more developed and well kept. It has shops, hotels and a new hospital, and has recently undergone significant infrastructure improvements including newly paved roads, sidewalks and park. The town has grown significantly over the last decade, thanks to private investment in the town, growth in fish and agriculture exports and an uplift in Eco tourism throughout the province.
The origins of the Jama date back to the Pre-Colombian era, and recently archeological dig sites in the area have uncovered remains from the Jama – Coaque culture, which are now exhibited in the local museum.
North east of the main beach a luxury retirement community called Coco Beach Village is being built, with 2000 sq ft homes in the $300K range and lots in the 70K range. Most of the lots are already sold.
A bit further on is the estuary of the Rio Jama, which is a slow flowing river that meanders past the town of Jama and through a valley of shrimp farms and paddy fields. Fishing, shrimp farming and agriculture are the main revenue sources of the area.
Beach activities include:
|Type of beach||Golden sand|
|Length of beach||5 mi / 8 km|
|Wind Direction||Light Cross-shore|
|Restaurants and Cafes||Few on the beach|
|Distance to Salinas||213 mi / 343 km|
|Distance to Guayaquil||207 mi / 334 km|
|Distance to Manta||104 mi / 168 km|
|Distance to Quito||196 mi / 316 km|
Bird Watching: The rice fields and mangroves along the river delta of Rio Jama are a haven for birds. You can rent a boat / canoe and paddle up the gentle river at your leisure.
Arco del Amor: The Arch of Love located about 20-25 km north east of El Matal on Tasaste Beach is a romantic photo opportunity. The arch is about 20 ft tall in the middle, and at low tide, the ocean recedes enough to leave firm sand beneath the arch.
Archeology: The remains of the Pre-Colombian Jama – Coaque culture dating back to 500 BC – 500 AD has been found near the town of Jama. The Jama-Coaque culture lived in the area from Cabo San Francisco in Esmeraldas south to Bahía de Caráquez, in Manabi. pottery recovered from the sites is on display at the Jama Municipal Museum.
Hiking: If you want to venture into the forests areas around Jama, try the Lalo Loor dry forest (Bosque Seco de Lalo Loor). The fauna you will likely encounter include: Boa Constrictors, Red-headed Parrots, Capuchin Monkeys and Howler Monkeys.
Surf and weather by surf-forcast.com
Hotels and Hostals around El Matal / Jama Beach
|Hostal Rio Jama||Hostal||$10-15|
|Cabañas Palo Santo||Cabañas||$10-15|
|Hostal Sol de Oro||Hostal||$10-15|
|Hosteria Bar Budo||Hosteria||$10-20|
|Hotel Maria Agustina||Hotel||$15-25|
|Club Resort Hotel||Hotel||$15-25|
|Hosteria El Matal||Hosteria||$25-50|
|Posada Colonial Gallegos||Hostal||$5-10|
Real Estate around El Matal / Jama Beach
|Coco Beach Village||New Development|