Atacames is a city in the Pacific cost of Ecuador in the south east from Esmeraldas city. It is a typical Afro-Ecuadorian town with hot Caribbean rhythms, fish specialties, its cheerful inhabitants, a large beach of 5 km, possibilities for land and water trips, and surfing.
There are direct buses from Transportes Esmeraldas, Panamericana and Occidental leaving to Quito (Terminal Carcelen, 7hr, $10) and Guayaquil every day, around 7 - 8 hours. Transesmeraldas also has buses to Cuenca, Machala, Huaquillas, Portoviejo y Manta. AeroTaxi even has buses to Ibarra and Otavalo.
There are also flights from Quito and Guayaquil to Esmeraldas 30 - 40 min. There are even direct flights from Cali, Colombia. From the small airport you take a cab and arrives in 30 minutes to Atacames.
Good roads allow easy access by car, about 4-5 hours from Quito by car. Some prefer the way via Los Bancos, others via Santo Domingo de los Tsachilas.
To the south there is Súa, a little fisher village. An unmaintained path that starts at the soccer field connects Atacames and Súa and passes by a lighthouse that it is not used anymore. Another 5 minutes away Same, a hotel resort village. Be aware that these small villages are totally empty beside high season in July and August. No joke, Same at June is like a ghost city in a bad Hollywood movie but they make for good day trips.
- Museo y Acuario Marino, east on the beach. 1$ Small museum with a few aquariums. Nice, but seen in 10 minutes.
- Fishing with locals, Rest. Le Allemann (Est on the beachsite). or at the Hostal Chill Inn 25$ (May 11) 3 hour trip with a loacal fisherboat. Ask for more information at the Restaurant.
There are a lot of restaurants, but no varierity at all. So enjoy your ceviche or your pizza.
- Mama Mia Pizzeria. 12$ for a Pizza. One of the few Pizzerias on the main beach road with good pizzas and pastas..
There are a lot of kiosks and bars on the beach, and a lot of discos in front of it
Be careful when choosing a hotel - thefts are common. Travellers have reported money stolen out of their room, and police say they hear this type of stories often.
- [dead link] Hostal Chill Inn (opened 2010), Sector Playa, Calle Ostiones, Salida del Paco Foco, frente al Hotel Bachita, ☎ , e-mail: email@example.com. WIFI in the whole house. Common room with TV, movies, table games, book exchange, guitar, shared kitchen, hammocks and beach chears, etc. Swiss management, lady owner speaks several languages. starting 8 USD per person in a 2 bedroom occupied by 2 persons up to 18 USD per person in low season.
- Arco Iris, Arco Iris Resort, Los Delfines y Malecón de la Playa, ☎ , e-mail: firstname.lastname@example.org. 40$ (May 11) ground floor, kitchen, air conditioning, without balcony, 50$ higher floor, balcony, air conditioning, sea view, 60$ (May 11) higher floor, kitchen, balcony, air conditioning, sea view. Breakfast is not included.
- Costa Paraiso Hotel, Malecón del Mar (Malecón de la playa entre coral negro y delfines), ☎ , , e-mail: email@example.com. Big swimming pool, nice for families. 60$ (May 11) double room, sea view, air conditioning. Breakfast included.
- Hostal Juan Sebastian, Esmeralda Malecon de Atacamas, ☎ , e-mail: firstname.lastname@example.org. 70$ (May 11) double room, air conditioning, without seaview.
- Hotel Thaiti, Malecon La Playa (frente al Museo Acuatico), ☎ , . 60$ (May 11) double room, venti, sea view. 28$ (May 11) Bungalow. Breakfast not included.
- Le Castell, Malecon, ☎ , e-mail: email@example.com. 40$ (May 11) private bathroom, no Sea view, Bungalows behind other Buildings.
- La Marimba (On the west end of the beach. ca. 5 min walk to the city.), ☎ . 60$ double room, balcony, sea view. One of the best hotel in town. A little bit outside, therefore wery quite. With two big swimmingpools, big garden and own beach. Good for families too..
- El Marques, Malecón de la playa y Los Crotos, ☎ , e-mail: firstname.lastname@example.org. 80$ (May 11) double room, no balcony, no sea view. 140$ suite with balcony and sea view. This is the most luxorious hotel in the center of Atacames..