Finding pleasure in Manabí

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The warm Ecuatorial sun awaits for me when arriving to Jama, a historic well known resort at the north of Manabí. After arriving right at the center of the town, I’m immediately drawn by the Amusement park that showcases the History of the fabulous Jama-Coaque culture, a past that their inhabitants are really proud of.

I could get a glance of the ways of life back at the old days and then took a bike taxi ride to the beach. I arrived to El Matal, an almost untouched resort wide beach, artisanal fishermen refugee, who usually allow visitors to participate on the daily chores such as pushing the fishing canoe to the sea or gathering the harvest. Lots of shrimp, fish and crustaceans trapped on the nets, an exciting experience.

From El Matal I took a 15 minutes trip to the enigmatic Arc of Love beach. Here I witnessed the indulgence of the rocky formations that stand among the sea and who has become a meeting point for young lovers. Mireya Chavez and Lukas Smit where on site enjoying the view while reassuring their love. She’s Ecuadorian and he’s American. They told me about an old legend that says if you can hold a hug while the sun sets the God of Love will bless the lovers for life. Being a solo traveller I could only keep the moment with a selfie and then dive into the sea. It was a refreshing dip that sealed my love to nature while the two lovers kept on holding to their love.

At night I arrived to a comfortable hotel right at Jama’s downtown and after a repairing sleep I could enjoy a tasty and fruity coastal breakfast. Right after charging energies with the local food, I kept moving up the coast to Pedernales. A town recently hit by a 7.7 earthquake in 2016 and who’s proven its capacity to overcome the challenges of nature and stand tall once again.

It’s a wide open beach full of cabins where you can buy a drink and enjoy the view while trying the local refreshments. A fancy mojito served with spearmint felt like perfectly suited for the occasion. Right in front of the cabins I found a bunch of restaurants who offer the traditional “viche”, a traditional soup prepared with fresh seafood, peanut and vegetables. You may also find some fresh shrimp “ceviche”, fried fish and many other local goods.

When it comes to entertainment one good option may be joining a soccer game by the sand. Some tourist from different places asked me to join the game and for half an hour I could practice some sport and enjoy the game as if it were a world cup final. Then we all turned off the heat by submerging once again at the light blue sea water.

My last stop on this journey was Cojimíes, a town right at the province’s border with Esmeraldas. I took a canoe through the mangroves, where the river water meet the ocean and you may observe hundreds of bird species and seamen gathering shells and crabs. Here I could spot some pelicans and herons, some birds that can transmit calm with their soft flight.

At last, the canoe took me to the Island of Love. An islot right at the middle of the sea where the local fauna procreates. Then I took my camera and shot the landscape and the sun coming down at the horizon, hoping to come back once again to this land of love.

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