Guayaquil and the Pacific Coast Feature

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A Great Drive

If you're looking for a really splendid car trip—on a good highway—consider driving from Guayaquil up the Pacific coast 280 km (174 mi) to the eco-city of Bahía de Caráquez. There's lots to do along the way—you can lounge on the gorgeous beaches of Machalilla National Park, go deep-sea fishing in Salinas, explore the town of Manta where cruise ships dock, and visit the indigenous village of Montecristi, where the original Panama hats are still made. Once you reach Bahía de Caráquez, you can surf, watch for whales (July–September), and help excavate an archaeological site at the Chirije beach resort. If you prefer not to drive, there is good bus service between towns along the coast (you can also fly to Manta from Quito; from there it's a 45-minute drive to Bahía de Caráquez).

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