I have been missing Puerto Lopez.
Set along the central coast of Ecuador, Puerto Lopez, boosts a tropical climate and faces the Pacific, similar to her popular neighbour and party town, Montanita. However, while the latter is well-developed in tourism infrastructure, Puerto Lopez remains the small, idyllic fishing village where time (seemingly) has stood still until recent years.
If I were to be totally honest, my
obsession interest in far-flung places like Puerto Lopez and Tongatapu is linked to nostalgia for the past, and a yearning for a simple, carefree life where I can stay rooted. Yes, I would like to stay rooted in a place but it seems the heart and mind are always wandering, instigated by the restless soul. Am I the only one who feels this way?
Regardless, in an attempt to channel my memories into useful information for fellow travellers, here’s an introduction article on Puerto Lopez that I have written [featured on Trip101]:
Puerto Lopez in Manabi is that laid-back fishing town that evokes memories of tropical warmth, fresh succulent seafood, and simple living.
While tourism is well-developed in many parts of this popular Latin American country, Puerto Lopez retains that small town charm where fishermen and chefs labour harmoniously on the beach while children play on dirt paths behind the main tourist belt. More than just a gateway to the Poor Man’s Galapagos, there are actually more things to do in Puerto Lopez! Her proximity to the Machalilla National Park gives easy access to Agua Blanca – an indigenous community – and some of the most beautiful beaches in Ecuador.
The ‘village’ can be defined with three main paths; a well-built road by the coast, a dirt path in the middle where local houses and hotels lie, and a third dusty but wider road that leads to the bus terminal and other cities/towns. But before you write it off as a touch-and-go destination, read on!
Fishing as a livelihood
Fishing is one of the main industries in Puerto Lopez, and to truly appreciate a place, one must get to the heart of the destination. In the case of Puerto Lopez, that would be the morning fish market, which sadly seems to be grossly underrated.
Located near to the port at the southern end of the coast, the morning fish market starts around 6 am where fishermen start returning with their fresh catch of the day. There’s a constant buzz in the air, created not only by humans but excited seabirds circling above the beach and eyeing opportunities for feeding. [More on Trip101.com]