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Playa La Libertad
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|The town and canton of La Libertad is the largest commercial center in Santa Elena province.North of Avenida Doceava, it extends to the shore, where you’ll find the Malecón and a small beach area. And the area to the south, it is mostly shops, offices and residential areas.|
The beach along the Malecón is very narrow, and mostly submerged at high tide. The only area suitable for swimming is a sheltered area at the west end, next to a small playground for young kids. Otherwise, the beach front is only suitable for pole fishing, which is quite a popular pass time.
The other side of the final pier at the west end of La Libertad Malecón, is another tiny patch of beach with a few fishing boats on it, but this is mostly submerged at high tide, so not very suitable for family beach activities. A little further around the coastline, and out of sight from La Libertad is the boat graveyard featured in the photos.
Following the coastline to the west, takes you to Puerto Lucia, but before that there are, a small patches of beach and rocks strewn with old fishing boats. The main activity here is commercial fishing, and there are many fishing boats moored in front of the Malecón by several man-made breakwaters.
Downtown La Libertad is the least safe area in the Santa Elena peninsula. Especially the farmers market area. Be careful with your valuables and don’t leave anything in your car. The market is notorious for the “one second robbery”. Literally you blink and its happened. A common practice is when you get into you car on the drivers side, even before you get in in fact, the moment you press the button to unlock the car, someone opens the door on the other side and snatches your purse, phone or shopping, and then they’re off either running down the street on they jump on the back of a motorbike. They have already identified their target, and someone is waiting. They are organized, they have spotters and they are really good at it!
The other main part of La Libertad is a few miles of commercial buildings lining Avenida Doceava which is the main road to Salinas, and somewhere in the middle of it is where the El Paseo shopping mall and several government buildings are located. El Paseo is the only significant shopping mall in the area and it has about 40 stores, a hypermarket, a 6 screen movie theater and a food court.
Beach activities include:
|Type of beach||Grey sand|
|Length of beach||.03 mi / 50 m|
|Restaurants and Cafes||Several along Malecón|
|Distance to Salinas||4 mi / 6 km|
|Distance to Guayaquil||86 mi / 139 km|
|Distance to Manta||130 mi / 210 km|
|Distance to Quito||327 mi / 527 km|
Oil Refinery: A large section of land between downtown La Libertad and Ballenita is occupied by the petroleum refinery of government owned Petro Ecuador. While not a pretty sight, it is reasonably well maintained, and seems to emit little contamination into the atmosphere.