Puerto López, Ecuador - Polarsteps
Puerto Lopez, Ecuador: The Spaniards settled this area in the early 1800s although there has been evidence found that shows the area has been populated as far back as 3500 BC. It has only been since the 1840s that the town has experienced much growth. Fishing is the primary industry, as well as tourism. There are many hotels, hostels, and restaurants, especially along the very nice malecon (boardwalk). Whale watching is popular here and there are several tour outfits that will take you out to see the whales. Not far offshore, about 40 kilometers, is Isla de la Plata (Island of Silver). There are stories that pirates hid their treasures on the island. Now it is a wildlife refuge and only a small number of tour operators are allowed to take visitors to the island. It is also known as the 'poor man's Galapagos'.
So, my impressions: Puerto Lopez is nice if you stay at the malecon and venture only as far inland as about 4 blocks to the main highway through town. Beyond that, the place is a typical dirt street town with nothing to attract anyone. Yes, the malecon with all its restaurants and hotels is nice, but you can't just live within an area of a few blocks. I met a man from outside the country and he does just that, and I can't understand how he can live that way. The central square has a church but it is undergoing extensive renovations. The plaza is nothing special and the city is not centered around it. They do have one supermarket and a few other smaller grocery stores, and a few cash machines along the malecon.
My South America Journey