Ecuador // The northern lowlands and coast //

Muisne to San Vicente

The turning for Muisne off the Vía del Pacífico is at El Salto, a collection of grimy roadside stalls, shacks and comedores, 11km to the east. From El Salto, the main road speeds south for 56km through land dotted with only the odd stilt hut, passing a turn-off to Mompiche (Km27) and then Chamanga (San José de Chamanga in full, 2km from the main road), from where there is regular transport to Pedernales.

Beyond Chamanga and into Manabí, the province of the central seaboard, the climate and scenery soon change from the lush greenery of Esmeraldas to an increasingly dry, scrubby landscape. South of Pedernales is a sparsely populated area of small settlements, the largest being Jama, 45km down the road, and a rolling shoreline interspersed with deserted beaches and the occasional secluded hotel. A further 41km away, after turning inland past shrimp farms and through agricultural land, the road rejoins the coast at Canoa, an attractive beach resort with good surfing. The beaches continue south from here for almost 20km down to San Vicente, a bustling town opposite the high-rises of Bahía de Caráquez, across the Río Chone estuary.



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