Salinas Ecuador… Beautiful Beach

| January 30, 2013 | 46 Replies

Salinas Ecuador


It is very early in Salinas Ecuador. Before I get started this morning I just need to talk about a few important things, at least they are important to me.

First, I would like to thank the internet gods right now. It is 4:45 in the morning and I suspect the internet is working because I am the only one in the hostel that is using it. Everyone is asleep. All I hear is the humming of the air conditioners. No matter the reason, I am very grateful it is connected and it is fast too.

I woke up this morning thinking about how fortunate I am. What a great time we are having. What wonderful friends I am surrounded with and what a great bunch of new people from all over the world I am meeting. I don’t take these things for granted and if any of you are reading this, just wanted to say thank you for this great time we are having….

My sentimental side is always on the surface before the sun comes up. I am actually crying right now…. OK, so maybe I am not crying but my back really hurts from typing in bed….


Lets talk about Salinas Ecuador


There are still a few things I am not sure about so let me tell you one of them right now.

I got the impression that there is more than one bus station in Guayaquil. Without a handle on the Spanish language you need to get all this straight before you give instructions to the taxi driver. When leaving the Hotel Continental we had the best English speaking doorman discussing and translating with a bellman and two taxi drivers where we were going. We all finally agreed but it took about 5 minutes.

Many people take the regular bus, but some take vans and some take mini busses … still not sure myself. But in any  case, make sure you decide what kind of transport you want to take before you go. We decided to take the regular bus. I like doing this. The experience for me is fun… and it is cheap. Only $3.25 from Guayaquil to Salinas Ecuador.

Salinas Ecuador is very popular with just about everyone. We were told that there is a bus that leaves from Guayaquil to Salinas every 7 minutes. It is a miracle of efficiency and seems to run like clockwork.

Don’t worry about your luggage. It gets carried by you to the bus and they give you a coupon to retrieve it right at the bus as you watch them put it in the lower compartment. I always carry my expensive electronics (computer) with me in a separate bag. I like those items close so I carry them on.

The first picture is the Guayaquil Bus Terminal. Now be prepared to see what looks to be a shopping mall when you walk in. There are a lot of stores but stay to the left and the ticket counters start after you walk thru the retail area…

Guayaquil Bus Station

Below you see my group standing in line. The only destination with a long line is Salinas so there is a guard that helps keep order. Remember that the most popular mode of transport in Ecuador is bus. This place will blow you away. It looks like a large airport terminal but not as spread out. My guess is there are more than 100 ticket windows. This place is three levels tall with lots of people and stores and places to eat. As you can see from the picture, Salinas is ticket window 84. Ask someone because like everything else around here, it could change overnight….

Once you have your ticket do not linger. Get you butt over to the gate that is written on the small ticket they gave you. Save the big receipt, it has your seat numbers on it. The gates are on the top level……

Gate 84 to Salinas

Gate 84 to Salinas


Most of the busses that I have been on are alright. Reclining seats, clean, even a movie and music. Go to the bathroom before you buy your ticket. Just trust me on this one. I think there is a bathroom on the bus but I did not see anyone use it. I did see two small children (boys) use an empty soda bottle to pee in. Gotta love it…

Below is a picture of two very handsome gringos having a great time riding the bus. I am asked a lot if this is safe. Again, I will tell you that I do not feel unsafe. The baggage is secure below, and I never feel anything but relieved that I made the connection and am sitting safely on a clean, air conditioned vehicle that is headed for my next adventure. No fear…. just fun.

On the bus to Salinas


So we finally get to Salinas. By the way, it is not the first stop. Just relax because there are many, maybe 5 or 6 stops along the way before you get to the end of the line. The bus pretty much empties out when it gets to Salinas, so just sit back and enjoy until that happens.

Make sure you have a phone number and directions to where you want to go written down. Especially if you don’t speak Spanish. Salinas is a big place. Don’t assume the taxi driver knows your destination by name. Just relax, find a taxi, try not to look like a fish out of water….

Don’t forget to be friendly but ask how much the fare is before you get going. Shouldn’t be more than $5.


Below is a picture of the exterior of Big Ralph’s. We liked this place. Ralph is a wealth of knowledge and he is willing to share it. He and his wife Andrea are fantastic. They are why Big Ralph’s is such a great place. Not luxurious, but a very clean and very friendly place to stay. We would come here again. Here is the link to Big Ralph’s. Just fill in how many nights and how many people and he will email you the information.

And a couple of other things. Big Ralph’s serves the best dinner and has the best prices for that dinner in town. Do not miss eating here if you have the chance. If you stay somewhere else, go here for dinner. I can not tell you loud enough how good the food was..

Big Ralph's


The other good thing about Big Ralph’s is that there is this ice cream store just around the corner. It is expensive but it is the best ice cream I have had in Ecuador. The chocolate taco was 4 times the size of the ones you get in the states. We were there twice a day… oink oink….

Ice Cream near Big Ralph's


We were about 2 blocks off the beach and what a nice beach. Here is Chad (Handstand Chad) doing his ritual handstand. Take a look at how nice the sand is and all those great buildings in the background. We had a nice walk every day and managed to do the entire Malecon without a problem. Not to many stores or restaurants open early in the morning but just before noon things get moving.

Finding early morning coffee is a challenge. Bring instant coffee if this worries you…

Salinas Beach


If you walk along the Malecon you will certainly see some wonderful things. This sand castle was amazing and make sure to throw in a quarter of fifty cents into the tip jar.

Take your picture in front of it. I went down and stood right by it. The artist was very friendly and very grateful.

Salinas Ecuador



We are leaving pretty soon for our next destination so I need to finish this up.

We like Salinas Ecuador and if you don’t mind a little heat and warm sunshine than this might be the place for you. If you have been to Miami on a warm humid day, that is what it felt like. Intense sun, but the overcast makes it ok. I hear that March, April, and May are the really hot and humid months so use that information for whatever it is worth.

Here are a few more pictures then I have to run for the bus….

We saw this crash on our walk along the beach… I think the driver was drinking a little… The pole was fixed by the next day!

Crash on Salinas Malecon



We love to have fun on our walks. Here is a great sign along the Salinas Malecon. Anything for a photo opportunity so Chad climbs up and does all kinds of athletic things to the sign bordering on obscene… but what a great time.

Salinas Ecuador



The last picture is of me asking you to like this post and share it with any of your Facebook friends, especially those who like to travel or are at retirement age. This was right on the beach in Salinas Ecuador. This place if fun.

Salinas Ecuador


That’s it for now. It is 6:30 in the morning. We are going for a short run, will eat the free breakfast here, and then catch a bus at about 10.

Thanks for reading everyone.

Ask questions or make comments below.

My next post will be about our time in Montanita Ecuador, just up the coast a bit.

And hi Jean and Joan, Vic and Randy, thanks for coming over to Big Ralph’s for dinner. We had a great time. Salinas Ecuador was fun.

Have a great day everyone……


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Category: Before The Big Move, Moving to Ecuador, Visiting Ecuador

Comments (46)

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  1. Don Murray says:

    It’s great that you guys are having such a good time! We’ll have to connect when you actually come back down here permanently! Ya’ know, the coast runs all the way north. Just say’n….

  2. Dena Jo Kanner says:

    Wow! That castle was magnificent!!!

  3. annette and mark brennan says:

    Hey George…thanks so very much for doing this…such great info on the how to of travel to Ecuador..your time and efforts take the worry and apprehension out of the process..much appreciated..continue to have a great, safe tripannette

  4. Sheila says:

    George, when I read your blog and see your pictures, I feel like I’m there with you! Thanks so much for sharing everything!

    • Glad you are along for the trip

      • Jim Lannon says:

        Me too. I feel like a kid reading my first great adventure book. Hope with luck I’ll get a chance to follow your lead in the not to distant future. My wife Rose and I hale from Portland Maine and air fare is a big obstacle. Hope someone may have some suggestions. Happy Trails.

  5. Sue says:

    Thaks for the post. We love Salinas. Last time we were there with few spanish speaking friends, were told the sand castle is there for sometime and two people guard that because they had some problem. We have to try Big Ralph’s dinner. Enjoy your next destination. Sue

  6. Anne Luyster says:

    George, You and Chad do really look like you are having a great time. It makes me envy you and I can’t wait to get there myself. Anne

  7. Jean "Juanita" Bennett says:

    George, It was great meeting you guys. We are glad you came to Salinas and also had a great time in Montañita. Enjoy the mountains and come back soon!

  8. Larry says:

    George, my wife and I always look forward to seeing and reading what your up to. Continue having fun and keep the blogs comming.

  9. Steve says:

    Thanks for the details that help explain what you’re doing along the way. By the way, its 11 degrees in Chicago so I am envious of the hot & humid weather there!

  10. Mary says:

    Hi George, This is my first ever reply on any blog! I’ve been lurking in the shadows but I wanted to tank you for all the great info. The husband and I are taking our first trip down in May. Sounds like we are following in your footsteps, Guayaquil, Salinas, Montanita… Sort of a reconnaissance mission. I hope we have as much fun as you guys seem to be having! Looking forward to your next post.

  11. eileen vandernoot says:

    Hey George….I am so jealous! I would love to do what you are doing. I am a woman alone and have traveled a lot. Went to Cotacochi last year for a month. I was thinking of retireing there. Did not like the black bugs that bite and are always there. Met a person who relo to Bahia. He loves it but it might be too humid and hot for me. Love your posts, please keep me in the loop….best to you,
    Eileen V.

    • George says:

      Eileen…. Keep looking around. Ecuador has all different climates and lifestyles. We are in Cuenca right now and it is very mild and no bugs. Lots of rain at times. All these cities have their good and not so good points…. good luck. George

  12. eric says:

    George, Thanks for the update on Salinas. Like I said, we will be there over Thanksgiving. Are you planning to move on a perm. basis soon? Talk soon, eric

    • George says:

      Eric, we hope to be moving to Ecuador in September of this year. We had a good time for sure but for us the heat might be a problem. We both lived in Phoenix, Arizona and we have had our fill of heat. But if I were in my 30’s I would jump on it fast. You can live on the beach starting at $150000 or less… Good luck and let us know what you find. George


    hi george LOVED THE INSIDER TIPS ON BUS TRANSPORT and info on Big Ralphs. We had a reservation there that we had to cancel but hope to re schedule the trip soon. Your info is always appreciated-Safe travels…

  14. Ivor says:

    Like George, do not want the heat. Any idea where you might choose to live in Ecuador and why?

    • Ecuador George says:

      We continue to compare everything to Cuenca but Guayaquil was pretty nice too. Montanita also makes my top 5 places and I suspect that Olon would make it too as it is right next door to Montanita. You need to visit all these places yourself to get a true idea about each location… Good luck.

    • Fred Simrod says:

      Friends.. I came to Salinas on and off, for 30 years..Own a nice Little depto. on 5th floor, Malecón.. Can give you many tips,not my own view but cld be called international taste..bcz I visited or lived in several countries save Africa..Was working all my life but
      still kicking..Was all over ECU several times..So I cld give anyone, lots of info and good adv..Just let me know..By the way, We are lokking for couples who play bridge.. One thing that we miss too much here on the coast, is we cannot find people who love and play bridge.. By everyone.. At your service.. Fred

      • Jackie Trueblood says:

        My husband, Roy, and I enjoy party bridge. We are thinking of visiting Salinas between December 20 and January 2. Perhaps we could get together if you are still in Salinas.

  15. Steve Barton says:

    Hi George, planning my first trip To Ecuador in May. I’m a just turned 66 year old single man. If everything goes ok looking to make the big move from So. Cal. Haven’t retired yet but soon.
    How’s the single life for mature men. like me?. Everything I hear is Cuenca is the place to live?.
    Thank you,

    • Ecuador George says:

      Steve… If I were single I would still move. I liked Salinas and I like Cuenca, either place would be ok for a single man… You just need to put yourself out there when you arrive. Good luck. George

  16. Jane says:

    Hello George, today I’m organizing my 2 carry on bags. Michael and I are so excited to take our first trip and I can’t thank you enough for all your wonderful thoughts, informative, inspiring blogs and FB notes. Hopefully you’ll put your wonderful talent to use in a published book, mini series, or perhaps the next academy award winning movie. You have amazing talent George! With every good wish, Jane & Michael

    P.S. Per your suggestion, packing my patience and Tumbs too.

    • Ecuador George says:

      OK Jane, who put you up to this. Have you been talking to my Mom. Thanks for reading and liking the blog. And I know you are both going to have a great time in Ecuador… Let me know if you have any last minute questions and if I can be of any help… Have fun… George

  17. julie says:

    Hi George!
    Because of your great recommendation and the reviews on tripAdvisor, we want to stay at Big Ralph’s in Salinas. Just can’t seem to find out how to make the reservation on line. Did you telephone them to make yours? thanks for all the wonderful insight!!

  18. Dear George and Chad. Glad to hear that you enjoyed Salinas. Thanks for your lovely comments about us. It was wonderful to have you all here. Hope to see you again. Lots of love. The Jones family

    • Ecuador George says:

      Ralph and Andrea…. We loved meeting you both and our stay was great… next time I would love to help you cook so I could learn something fantastic…. Thanks for your hospitality… George

  19. Mark Cowtan says:

    Salinas is an interesting place. Crowded during high season and virtually empty off season. For anyone wishing to see what Salinas beach looks like, right now checkout this live webcam overlooking the beach, Malecon and part of the harbor.

  20. Shannon says:

    I was just wondering, being new to your blog, if you moved with any pets. I saw a dog in a photo on your “Is Ecuador Dangerous” post and it made me wonder if you have one with you. If so, what do you think Salinas is like with pets (dogs), like the overall experience of living there with a dog? We would like to live by the beach, perhaps in Salinas, so that’s why I’m asking. Is it fairly easy to travel to other towns in Ecuador with your pet? Thank you so much! I’m thoroughly enjoying reading all of the information in your blog so that I may have a better understanding of the country before arriving! (:

  21. Shannon,
    The dog would love the beach in Salinas. We do not live there so I don’t know how the locals feel about dogs. When we were in Olon dogs were very happy. Lots of people own dogs, some let them run free during the day and they come home for dinner. It was interesting that every time I walked up and down the beach I had a new doggy companion with me. Never mean, always friendly…

    As for traveling with a dog. Unless you have your own car, or a private driver to take you places, dogs can be a challenge to just travel with. Unless the dog fits in your purse, they will not be allowed on the public bus service. Some taxis will let dogs travel with the owner.

    Good luck, George

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