Photo Tour: San Clemente to Bahia

This past Mother’s Day, Tom, Kai and I decided to take a little leisure ride along the undeveloped stretch of beach that connects San Clemente and Bahia. Tom had done the trip on his motorcycle a couple of years ago, but I’d never gone past Punto Charapoto and was interested in seeing this section of coastline.

View of Punto Charapoto (also called “Punto Bikini”) from San Clemente.

 

The trip inland between San Clemente and Bahia via the present highway cuts inland along meandering, hilly roads and takes about 25 minutes. The trip along the coast according to our odometer was 17.9 km (~10.8 miles) and is only navigable at low tide.

Map showing relative locations of San Clemente and Bahia. The beach drive between San Clemente and Bahia is about 18 kilometers (10.8 miles)

 

Fishermen often travel this stretch of coast at low tide as a short cut between San Clemente and Bahia.

Approaching Punto Charapoto from San Clemente

 

On the other side of Punto Charapoto

 

Tide pools are so much fun to explore and have many residents, including oysters and lobsters.

Fresh spiny lobster for sale! Lobsters are caught in the tide pools and typically sold for $4-7/lb.

 

Beautiful colors: Green algae covering rocks, gold iron pigments in exposed layers of rock along the cliffs, bright blue of the sky

 

Untouched beach for miles

 

Good potential for paragliding using updrafts off the cliffs

 

One of the few lightly developed sections of this stretch of coast is Chirije, an ecolodge with an impressive collection of pre-Incan artifacts collected locally.

 

A mototaxi awaits as oysters are collected from the tide pools

 

Beautiful Ecuador

 

 

Several small cave formations can be seen along the drive

 

Nothing here on the beach except for hordes of panicked crabs frantically trying to escape the oncoming wheels of our truck

 

More beautiful formations

 

Lone sea stack among the tide pools

 

 

One of the southern entrances down to the beach from Bahia

 

More cool caves

 

End of the drive looking back to the south towards San Clemente

 

That concludes our photo tour. The Correa government is considering constructing a coastal highway along this stretch of beach to significantly shorten the distance to Bahia. Plans for the specific route have yet to be released.

Visit Bahia and Stay at CasaGrande

Bahia de Caraquez is a charming place to visit while you are on the Ecuador coast. Known as Ecuador’s “Eco-City,” Bahia (pronounced “Bah-EE-ah”) is the closest major city to Canoa (the location of our beautiful Lots 8 and 9).
Bahia sits on a narrow peninsula between the Pacific Ocean and a large estuarine bay

What to Do in Bahia


Bahia has many diverse attractions, including the city museum containing well-displayed Pre-Incan artifacts that were discovered locally. Museum guides offer tours in both Spanish and English.
Be sure to visit the “Cross”, literally a cross-shaped structure with a staircase inside that leads to a fantastic viewing platform offering a 360 degree view of Bahia, the bay, and surrounding landscapes.

Another must-visit is Chirije, an impressive Eco-Lodge and Archaelogical Museum that is set in a breathtaking and tranquil oceanfront location (lots more, including photos on visiting Chirije in the next blog to come).

There are also tours of the nearby mangrove island Isla Corazon that serves as the nesting grounds for thousands of magnificent frigatebirds amongst other charismatic bird species. A must for bird and nature lovers, Tours are guided by knowledgeable local fishermen who practice sustainable fishing techniques that support the long-term survival of this endangered and vital ecosystem.

Male magnificent frigatebird attempting to attract the lady birds with his red neck pouch


There are also 1-3 day tours of the wonderful Rio Muchacho organic farm where you discover how to prepare your own coffee and chocolate straight from the plants! Visit: http://www.riomuchacho.com for more information.

Where to Stay in Bahia


So while you are checking out all that the Bahia area has to offer, we highly recommend you consider staying at CasaGrande. English-speaking Patricio Tamariz and his mother Flor Maria (who incidentally own the Chirije eco-lodge mentioned above and also created the first organic shrimp farm in Ecuador) offer superb accommodations at their lovely little ocean view guest house.
CasaGrande offers six accomodations that vary in cost between $61 and $98 for 2 people (price includes tax). Additional guests cost $20 each. Amenities include pool, private bath with hot water (sometimes hard to find in hotels along the coast!), air-conditioning, Wi-Fi internet, cable t.v., and breakfast. The suite accommodation comes equipped with a jacuzzi.
Beautiful ocean views from CasaGrande


Looking towards the pool at CasaGrande


One of the rooms at CasaGrande

One of the bathrooms at CasaGrande

CasaGrande can help you arrange your Bahia activities:
  • Tour to Isla Corazon (~$20/person)
  • Day viisit to Chirije Eco-Lodge and Archaeological Museum, including lunch (~$30/person)
  • Surf lessons with a bilingual instructor (~$20/person)
  • Hiking in the Cerro Seco dry forest
For more information and photos, visit CasaGrande online: http://www.casagrandebahia.com/
For reservations and questions, please contact Patricio: tamariz at gmail dot com

Be sure to tell Patricio that you heard about CasaGrande from Ecuador Beachfront Property to receive a 5% discount.