Playa Los Frailes is an exclusive beach, in the sense that it is located within the Machalilla National Park and one needs to key in your personal particulars before entering the gated compound. The good news is, it’s FREE, not overcrowded and very clean!
Imagine soft, white sand across a crescent shaped beach, overlooking the jewel-blue glittering sea. I was struck by two thoughts upon setting foot on those fine sands: (1) The sky and sea seems to blend in shades of blue (2) I need to get out of the blistering sun (the sun was in its element at 1pm)!
I found my perfect spot near the southern end where a small cove provided shade and … … I fell asleep.
I attribute this rare phenomenon (I usually stay alert when I’m outdoors) to:
- A sense of security with the minimal crowd + stringent security of Machalilla National Park
- The constant salty breeze amidst our tropical settings
- I was initially reading a book… and words started to swim
Needless to say, I didn’t do any hiking in the national park or visit the other beaches. Well, if you are planning to spend the day here (especially during whale watching season!), there is Las Fragatas Mirador – a lookout point for Frigate birds – that might be worth leaving the beach for a moment.
However, do bring food and drinks, as the only vendors in this area consists of two small artisan stalls and a third that sells only drinks (no beer) and ice-cream. Portable sun shelters are available for rental at 4 USD (as at December 2016). In case you are wondering, there are bathroom and shower facilities.
How to get to Los Frailes beach?
My travel companion and I took the easy way out by hiring a car that drove us directly to the front of Los Frailes beach. However, if you are up for hiking, you can take a bus /tuk-tuk from Puerto Lopez that will drop you off at the entrance of Machalilla National Park, after which you may walk around an hour to reach Los Frailes beach.
The above information is based on the author’s own experience and should only be used as a reference. For more information on the destination, do check out the following sites: https://ecuador.travel/