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|Salinas beach is the largest holiday resort in Ecuador. It is often described as the Miami beach of Ecuador with hotel and apartment buildings lining the Malecón.
It is a popular destination for tourists from all over the world, and for the residents of nearby Guayaquil who flock here every weekend to hang out and party.
During high season December-April finding a good apartment with an ocean view can be difficult as the best accommodation gets booked early. For Christmas and new year in Salinas, book in September! Out of season, Salinas is pretty quite, and vacant apartments are plentiful.
The beach and Malecón bustle with activity, with a wide choice of restaurants and bars just yards from the beach. The water is warm and calm, making it ideal for families with kids. Restaurant choices are abundant, but for the best quality and better prices, stay off the Malecón, and look for more personal service in the side streets cafes and restaurants.
The beach itself is not one of the biggest in the area, and it gets pretty crowded during high season and bank holiday weekends. Because the beach is pretty flat, at high tide the beach area shrinks in depth quite significantly, and umbrellas and tents too close to the water need to retreat, making for an even tighter squeeze. If you don’t like crowded beaches, try Chipipe which is much deeper and longer, and a lot less crowded. Out of season, Salinas is an excellent family beach with all the conveniences of the Malecón at your disposal, and not too many people around you.
Both Salinas beach and neighboring Chipipe beach offer a lot of water sport options: Jet Ski rental is a popular motorized sport. Kids can get towed around the bay on a banana raft. Water skiing and para-sailing are recent additions to the range of beach activities available at Salinas beach.
Sadly, there have been a number of accidents, including a few fatalities, from Jet Skis zooming around too close to the beach, or running onto the beach and mowing people down. So in 2014 they began erecting a jetty from which Jet Skis must launch, instead of launching from the beach. This is due to go into operation around September 2014.
Salinas, Chipipe and nearby San Lorenzo together, have a mid-sized and growing expat community of 300-400 people, some of whom have become local business owners with hostals, restaurants, bars and real-estate agencies, although the majority are retirees.
To get a feel for how busy the beach is at different times of year, check out the Live Salinas Webcam
Beach activities include:
|Type of beach||Golden sand|
|Length of beach||1.2 mi / 2.0 km|
|Wind direction||Light on-shore|
|Restaurants and Cafes||Many: Malecón, side streets|
|Distance to Salinas||0 mi / 0 km|
|Distance to Guayaquil||86 mi / 138 km|
|Distance to Manta||125 mi / 201 km|
|Distance to Quito||378 mi / 608 km|
Lots of places in Salinas do Pizza, most are disappointing. But just two streets behind the Malecón is the best Pizza joint in town, and it is also the most convenient for beach-goers. Thanks to a super-hot state-of-the-art oven, Dolar Pizza has the finest New York Pizza.
Carnival: Each year in March is Carnival time in Ecuador. In Salinas it is pandemonium, and a really good time to stay away, unless you want to party like mad. Thousands of Ecuadorians flood into town for three days of insane partying. A favorite activity is squirting passers by with spray foam, or water. So either get into the party spirit or stay away. Check out the time lapse video of Salinas Beach from carnival 2014.
Jet Skis: Numerous people rent jet skis on Salinas and Chipipe beach, just sit on one on the beach and someone will come to you! Prices: $15 (off-season) up to $25 (high-season) per half hour.
Whale Watching: During the whale watching season, you can take a boat tour in groups of 10-12 people per boat, right from Salinas beach. The whales are usually found just of the coast, usually near the tip of the Salinas peninsula known as La Choclatera. Price about $25 per head, less for big parties. If you’ve never done it before, it is a spectacular experience. It only takes about 30-45 mins to reach them.
Clubbing: On the Malecón and in the back street there are a few night clubs, discos, and restaurant / bars featuring DJs and live music (mostly cover bands).
Out of town activities
Thermal Baths: Salinas is only 20 km from the Baños de San Vicente which is known for its thermal baths. For about $10 you can have a skin purifying mud bath, sit in a 38º C thermal spring and get a massage!
Horse Riding: Around 40 km from Salinas on the road to Guayaquil, is Cericita where there is a ranch that offers horse riding thru the jungle. You can also find horse riding about 30 km to the north in Manglaralto, Montanita and Olon.
Paragliding: Also in the Manglaralto, Montanita and Olon area there are few places where you can do solo, and tandem paragliding – they call it Parapente here.
Hotels and Hostals around Salinas Beach
Neighborhoods and Communities in Salinas
Apartments and Condos: The first two streets from the beach are dominated by hotels, restaurants and high-rise apartments facing Salinas Malecón and facing the street behind. The few remaining low-rise lots, are worth a upward of $500 per Sq Meter, and are highly sought after by developers for more apartment buildings or hotels.
Apartment pricing in Salinas remains exceptionally good value with beach-front apartments ranging from $100-200 per square ft, depending on condition and view. Most apartments are vacation homes, and many are available for rent throughout the year. Beachfront apartment rentals range from $600-1000 month.
Independent Homes: Three streets back from the Salinas Malecón you begin to find single family homes, a few duplexes and 3-4 story apartment buildings. You have to look around a lot, because the general condition and style of houses varies considerably from street to street. A 2000 Sq ft home in good condition with good neighboring properties, and 1/8 acre lot costs $150K-250K.
Gated Communities: In downtown Salinas there are no notable gated communities. These are usually restricted to suburbs of smaller towns, and more isolated rural areas.
Real Estate Agents serving Salinas area
|Bienes Raices Ocean||Salinas|
|Ecuador Home Sales||Salinas|
|Ecuador Realty Inc.||Salinas|
|Island Estates International||Salinas|