advertisement

340km (211 miles) W of Quito; 280km (174 miles) NW of Guayaquil; 120km (75 miles) N of Manta

Known simply as Bahía, or "the Bay," this quiet little port city is one of the safest, friendliest, and homiest spots in Ecuador. It's located at the mouth of the Río Chone, whose shifting bottoms and shallow channel have limited Bahía's usefulness as a port, while saving it from the woes that often accompany heavy industry and commercial shipping. In addition, a whole host of tours and adventures can be organized out of Bahía, ranging from bird-watching to boating to visiting an archaeological site.

In 1999, Bahía declared itself an "Eco-City," and efforts to promote recycling, conservation, and environmental awareness were instituted by a combination of local and outside actors.