Arriving in Atacames Ecuador
After the week I’d had going through Quito, Santo Domingo de los Colorados, and Esmeraldas, arriving in Atacames Ecuador was a much needed breather. Atacames is a peaceful beach town with friendly people that seem to outnumber the bars by about three.
I arrived in Atacames after getting lost and confused in Esmiraldas. I finally linked up with the guy, Sean, that I was in town to meet at the Hotel El Marques. It was early in the evening and I was sick of traveling, so I booked a room here. Once I had my luggage stored, I went to meet Sean at the hotel bar by the pool. It was a really nice hotel, but the view from the bar was looking down the road at all the other bars. We shared a few beers and he took me on a stroll of the town. It was a quiet place and we ended up at a pool hall just a few blocks away.
I had been having trouble dealing with the food in Ecuador, and my stomach was a bit out of whack. When we got to the pool hall, I had an emergency bathroom call. When I went to use the restroom the bar tender had to run out to the back to get TP and water to flush the toilet with. Needless to say it was not my favorite experience. We finally called it a night and I swung by a few beach bars to check out the local scene before calling it an early night myself.
My time in Atacames
I spent the next couple of days walking around Atacames and relaxing. The grey skies did little to illuminate the beautiful beaches but I enjoyed them all the same. I had originally planned on staying only two days, but when the time came to leave I just walked down to another hotel and checked in. I had finally found a friendly place in Ecuador and the thought of traveling to another stressful city was discouraging. I ended up spending six days total in Atacames, Ecuador.
I bagan making friends around town. A family from Guayaquil, another local family, the gay receptionist that was infatuated with me…
Although, I’m not actually counting him on the “friends” list…
All in all, I was comfortable and enjoying my time here.
Activities in Atacames
The wasn’t a whole lot to do in Atacames other than relax. Para-sailing trips and boat tours were top attractions. I did eventually take the boat tour and it was pleasant. There was a nude beach (top photo), but I think their idea of “nude beach” means that nobody is on the beach. There was town where every building was a sparkling white. That was a nice view but it didn’t keep my attention very long. There were some cool caves where indigenous people were said to have lived/hidden, which was probably the coolest part of the trip. Well, actually the coolest part was watching the girl on the boat who couldn’t swim panic with every wave.
I also got to see the workers day march. I think there might have been a couple hundred people dressed in all white and I never really did figure out if there was a message behind it all or they were just celebrating a day off. My last night I was lucky enough to stumble into a birthday party on the beach for a young man. I had my camera with me so I was practically drug into the group to become the impromptu photographer. Everyone was friendly and determined to get me drunk but they didn’t seem to grasp the fact that there wasn’t enough light for action shots. It was a good time none the less.
Essentially, the worst part about Atacames was getting there.