Vacation Time! Sun and Sand in Salinas

Posted in: Ecuador Travel

Every year in Canada we would spend a week or two on the beach, so after being here for a year we were in need of our beach time!

To be honest we were a little nervous of where we would choose to spend our vacation, because we had heard some sketchy reports from some of our friends.  Things like grimy accommodations and dirty beaches, so we made sure to do our research before heading out.  Because of being a little paranoid, we decided on Salinas and were not disappointed, though I’m sure there are many other nice areas to vacation on the beach here in Ecuador as well.

Punta Centinela Panorama

Panoramic View from the 8th Floor Condo

(View High Res Panorama Image)

We rented a condo in an area called Punta Centinela, 20 minutes outside of Salinas, and it was perfect.  We decided to go in July which is the off season because things are less expensive that time of year, there are no bugs, and we had appointments in Guayaquil anyway.  This was an excellent choice for us because it was not blistering hot, and we practically had the resort type condo area to ourselves.

The 3 bedroom 2 bath condo was $500 for the week.  It came with a gorgeous view of the beach, full kitchen (with full sized appliances), washer and dryer, 4 beds (2 queens, 2 single), three TVs and 2 DVD players.

Punta Centinela is a gated area with Condos (some that the owners rent out, and some for sale), two Hotels, a spa, three pools, large meeting areas (perfect for weddings), petting zoo, private beach and a restaurant.  The restaurant was a highlight for me because it’s right down by the beach, and they brought me whatever I wanted while I wiggled my toes in the sand.  Our daughter loved the petting zoo, especially feeding the monkeys.  She also enjoyed playing on the beach, making sandcastles, and of course swimming in the warm waters of the Pacific.  I was happy because the water was clean and so was the sand, and the staff were helpful and friendly.  We also didn’t have to cross any busy streets to get to the beach, just a quick walk through the parking lot, passed the hotel and the restaurant.

Sugar Crab

We really enjoyed our vacation, and I would definitely recommend Punta Centinela if you’re looking to relax on the beach.  But just remember that if you rent a condo, you’ll need to bring groceries because there are none on site.  You could suffer through eating at the wonderful restaurant for a day or two until you can arrange the 15min taxi ride to the supermarket.  The condo staff will call a trusted driver for you, no worries.

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Meet the Author

Since moving to Ecuador in 2009, Dena and Bryan have made their living as bloggers. Dena is a partner at Storyteller Media, a content marketing company for Canadian travel brands. She is a contributor to Bryan Haines and is co-founder of Click Like This - a photo tutorial blog.

6 comments… add one
  • Claire Jul 17, 2013, 7:55 pm

    Hello, I’m in Ecuador right now with my two boys, ages 8 and 7, and we are trying to search for a water park in Ecuador. We were hoping to find one near the beach, but I can’t seem to find a website or much info on the one in Salinas. Do you have any information on any water parks in Ecuador in general and maybe the best one by the beach? It’s for my son’s birthday next week or possibly this weekend. Thanks for your website, it’s been very helpful!

    • Bryan Haines Jul 18, 2013, 6:32 am

      I’ve seen water parks in Salinas and in Gualaceo (just outside of Cuenca). They are building one in Yunguilla Valley (also outside of Cuenca – but towards Machala) but it isn’t finished yet.

  • Claudia Sep 23, 2011, 12:50 pm

    Hi Bryan, Great website you have!

    We are coming for a month next January, we have a 18 months old and the Punta centinela sounds as relaxing as we are looking to spare a month from freezing northern Alberta.
    How did you contacted the rental property, what are the prices like, I ve been told that on January school is over and it might be a busy place, we found ecuador realty have you heard about them? I mean are they trusted? if you have any info you want to spare, property managers around the Salinas area, and any other info we will be greatly appreciated!
    claudia_ceppi@yahoo.ca

  • Cindy Jan 17, 2011, 11:33 am

    Hi Dena — Great post! I'm planning to take my daughter (8) to Cuenca for the month of July or August and learn some Spanish through the Simon Bolivar language school. Both of us know a tiny bit of Spanish. My husband and son (4) will join us for 2 weeks. In addition to the ideas in your post above, I'd love to learn more about other day-to-day things that are interesting for an 8yo and a 4yo, as well as "kid-friendly" places to eat, local markets, one day side trips, etc. We would stay in an apt in the colonial part of the city (not sure what that means). Also, is there a pool that we could access (cheaply) as a tourist? Thanks so much!

    • Bryan Haines Jan 18, 2011, 11:40 am

      Hi Cindy – thanks for the inquiry! {BTW – this is Bryan – Denas computer is on the fritz . . .) You will love it here! We recently posted a blog: Ecuador for Kids – Keeping the Kids Happy.

      There are a number of pools here, but we haven’t been to them. I’m sure a few questions (and maybe a couple of dollars) and you can enjoy them. There is one near Via Misicata and Las Americas. And of course, there are the thermal pools of Baños – a 15 minute bus ride from the center.

      Hope this helps.

      • Klaus Kracht Feb 10, 2011, 1:39 pm

        Bryan, my friend Edith White and I would like to come to Salinas @ April/May, find a modest apt for one month, look all around and find possible places to buy, near water not on, we could not make contact, so trying this. Want Easter rush to be over! Condo/house/apt no matter, need to see to evaluate.No Gringo prices pl.Am visiting near Tucson AZ, going home tom. contact either, Klaus (kkracht7@gmail.com) Any ideas re best way Quito to Salinas welcome. Thanks!

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