Heading out of Guayaquil towards the coast, we start to take small local buses. Our first stop is in an unattractive but friendly town called Santa Elena. Waiting at the side of the road we flag down another bus that will take us along the Ecuador coast towards Lopez. Unfortunately the bus is full so we’re standing all the way, hanging on as the driver screeches around the coastal road.

About an hour into the two hour bus ride gringos start to appear and join us on the bus. Small fishing villages make way for beach restaurants and bars and we know we are getting near to Montanita, a surfing and party mecca prized by the locals as much as visiting tourists. We are coming back here after Lopez for a few days before heading into central Ecuador again.

We are making our way to Puerto Lopez on a wing and a prayer. It is known for being one of the best placed on the planet to see humpback whales doing humpback whale stuff. They come here in their hundreds around July-August to mate and then rest before the long migration to the Arctic. We arrive in town in mid-September so chances More >