|Travel Ecuador : Beaches : Ecuador Beach Resorts|
Atacames is one of the most important Ecuador tourist beaches to be found along the northern section of the coast. Located approximately 30 minutes south of Esmeraldas, this town is blessed with a long, wide, sandy beach which is the main attraction.
This palm-lined Ecuador beach is not as quiet as some of the beaches that can be found further south along the coast – there’s usually a lot going on, from the folks walking and playing volleyball along the beach during the day, to the people dancing in the beachfront bars at night. If you like a beach where you can relax and chill out during the day, and party at night, this may be the beach for you.
Atacames beach is particularly popular with the quiteño crowd on public holidays such as Carnaval, and during the dry season (June through August).
Atacames has a wide variety of accommodations to suit all budgets. In general, the cheaper Atacames hotels can be found on the side streets that lead to the beach, and the more expensive options can be found along the expansive seafront. You may want to consider proximity to the bars when checking into a hotel or hostel, as at night things can be a bit noisy. For those looking for luxury, it is possible to find places that have air conditioning and a swimming pool, but for those just looking for a basic, cheap room, somewhere to sleep only, this is also possible.
Sometimes during the low season, it is possible to negotiate a little on the price of your room. However, during public holidays, you should expect prices to rise significantly.
As one of the bigger tourist destinations along the coast, Atacames restaurants provide a decent selection of both seafood and international cuisine. Most Atacames restaurants will serve at least some forms of seafood, but it is also possible to find a range of other good options such as pizza and tasty pastas.
Nightlife is a major attraction for a number of those who choose to visit Atacames. The beach is lined with popular bars, serving cold beers and cocktails, and pumping out a great variety of different types of music. Those who wish to party are sure to find something fun to do here. Many of the bars have special happy hour periods, during which time it is possible to get good deals on drinks, such as two-for-one offers on specified cocktails.
Atacames has good transportation links with much of the rest of the northern coast and is a transportation hub of sorts. It is possible to get to and from Atacames directly from Quito, a journey that takes around seven hours. There are buses that leave throughout the day, but there is also the possibility of taking a night bus.
Atacames has extremely good links with Esmeraldas, from which there are more frequent buses to and from Quito and Santo Domingo. Buses pass through Atacames at very regular intervals, either heading north to Esmeraldas, or south to beaches such as Mompiche.
Atacames beach is relatively safe. That said, it is best to not walk along the beach at night, particularly alone, as assaults and robberies have been known to happen. It is also important to take care in the bars with your drinks. Don’t accept drinks from strangers, and do not leave your drink unattended at any time.