Relaxing in an oasis

Yesterday was a “chill” day.  We slept in, had a leisurely breakfast in town, did some writing, photography, and generally just goofed off.  Our hostel is a beautiful place to just kick back and relax.  This has been the best hostel we have stayed in to date. The hostel is located on the north edge of town, engulfed in a lush, tropical garden that contrasts sharply with the bleak, dry vegetation that prevails along the coast during the dry season.

We spent the first couple of nights in a private cottage (photo to the right) which was lovely, but then we had to switch to a different room because the cottage was already booked.

Our second room was larger, the bed more comfortable, the shower hotter, and being on the second floor of a four-unit chalet made us feel like we were in a tree house.

The best part was our private balcony with a view of the ocean and two lovely hammocks that invited us to just relax.

We don’t think we fared to badly in the room switch.


The hostel owners are environmentally conscientious and “save the whales” information is everywhere, including the t-shirts worn by all staff.

The other unique features of this hostel include the amazing gardens and the artistic handiwork that appears everywhere, from the toilet seats to towel racks to the architecture of the main lodge.  I’m by no means an expert, but I think these gardens outshine the Botanical Gardens in Quito by a mile.

In the photo below, Chris is standing at the entrance of a second story deck equipped with multiple hammocks – a perfect place for a siesta.  Notice the woodworking detail on the floor.

Another feature of this hostel, believe it or not, were the resident dogs.  We have seen hundreds of dogs throughout our travels in Ecuador – dogs are everywhere and usually have free reign to roam wherever they please.  We have seen all kinds of dogs – good, bad and downright ugly and mangy.  The four dogs in this hostel are gorgeous and the one remaining pup (out of a litter of 10 – all of which have found new homes) is adorable.  Check out this video of the puppy playing with mom.

We did some “work” yesterday – sort of.  It was laundry day.  There are laundry services everywhere in Ecuador and Puerto Lopez was no exception.  It costs $7 or $8 to do a week’s worth of our laundry.  Money well spent in our opinion.  So far, we have only done laundry by hand once while we were in the hostel in Canoa.  The rest of the time we have used laundry services wherever we are and we have always been quite happy with the results.  Mind you, it is always a little unsettling as you drop off all your clothes to a little hovel or shack that happens to have a washing machine on site.  You don’t get a ticket or a receipt or anything to prove that they have your clothes.   I’m always amazed and relieved when we return at the end of the day to find our clothes fresh and clean, and all neatly folded and ready for us.

We also made some plans for the next leg of our trip – Galapagos Islands.  We have booked our flight for next Tuesday and we will be on the islands for 2 weeks.  The current plan is to find a hostel and do day trips to the various islands.  However, we might consider a boat cruise for a week if we find a good last minute deal.  Eduardo and Paola are planning to go in December and highly recommended basing ourselves on Isabela Island, something we are seriously considering.  We still have a week to figure things out, and even then, we really only need to know where we want to stay the first night or two.  At least our flights are now booked and we feel we got a pretty good deal:  $560 return for both of us, including taxes.  There is a national park entrance fee of $100 per person that we must pay at the airport before we leave.  It will be an expensive couple of weeks, but we think it will be well worth every penny.

We must be in Guayaquil in one week’s time so we have some time to explore the coast a little more fully.  We have decided to leave our wonderful hostel today and head down the coast to Montanita. After that, we may go to Salinas.  As you may have noticed, we are not making plans too far in advance.  This gives us the utmost flexibility.  This approach is working out really well for us so far.  We find that we are planning our itinerary based on the input we receive from people along the way.  For instance, we weren’t planning on going to Montanita, but based on Eduardo’s recommendation, we will stay there for a few days.

The following is a collection of photos of the town of Puerto Lopez that have been taken over the past few days.  Enjoy!

Category: Ecuador, South America
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