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Las Tunas Beach
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Las Tunas is a romantic getaway for couples. The beach situated is in the buffer zone to Machalilla National Park, just north of the Ayampe river. Very similar to Ayampe it is a broad and flat beach with decent surf, a superb view of the Islet of Los Ahorcados and sensational sunsets. A small number of restaurants and kiosks line the edge of the beach near its entrance.
What could be more romatic than a candle lit dinner at sunset, on the beach, with Los Ahorcasos in the background? The hotels serving Las Tunas are nicely spread out, with some lining the beach, and others tucked away in the village.
The village of Las Tunas is small and quiet with only about 150 homes and businesses, making it a tranquil alternative to the tourism hot spots of nearby Puerto Lopez to the north and Montañita to the south. This is an excellent place to stay for couples who want to enjoy the beach in peace, but also have easy access to Machalilla National Park, and other tourism attractions and nightlife of the area.
If you’ve ever fancied horse riding on the beach, this may be one of the easiest and most romantic places to do it, as several hotels in Las Tunas rent horses and offer horse riding tours. Some even have their own stables. You can ride on the beach or take trails into the jungle, where you’ll likely see monkeys and a wide variety of trees and plants including air plants which seem to grow on anything, and up to 500 different species of birds.
A small lagoon in front of the beach is packed with birds. You’ll see fishermen with throw nets wading in the lagoon looking for shrimp.
The immediate area around Las Tunas on both sides of the Ruta Del Spondylus is flat and very green with trees and shrubs. Hiking trails from the village lead you up into the tropical forest which is about 200 feet above sea level.
Beach activities include:
|Type of beach||Golden sand|
|Length of beach||2.5 mi / 4 km|
|Wind Direction||On/Cross shore, 10 kts|
|Restaurants and Cafes||A few by beach|
|Distance to Salinas||62 mi / 100 km|
|Distance to Guayaquil||127 mi / 205 km|
|Distance to Manta||73 mi / 117 km|
|Distance to Quito||319 mi / 513 km|
Bird watching: The Ayampe river, and the lagoon at Las Tunas are teeming with birds, so you don’t have to go far. But if you are more serious about bird watching, take an organized bird watching tour by foot or on horseback, and you’ll see numerous endemic species, you’ve never seen before.
Whale watching: Being so close to Puerto Lopez, you should definitely try to catch a whale watching tour (June – October). There are loads of tour operators launching from Puerto Lopez. You will be spoiled for choice.
Kayaks: Provided you are reasonably fit, on calm days, you can rent a kayak, and paddle over to the Los Ahorcasos Islet and snorkel or climb on the rocks. This is an organized trip, with experienced guides, who know when it is safe to go.
Swimming and Snorkeling: While Las Tunas is safe for swimming, the water is too turbulent for snorkeling and diving. But there are many other snorkeling and dive spots in the area, including around Los Ahorcasos, the island of Salango and Isla de la Plata.
Horseback Riding: Las Tunas is possibly one of the best places to ride horses on the beach. With a fantastic sunset behind you, it doesn’t get more romantic than that.