Sustainable Tourist Beaches in Ecuador

Ecuador is a country known for its stunning natural and cultural diversity. To ensure sustainability and the quality of the tourist experience at these beaches, the Ecuadorian Ministery of Tourism has implemented the “Sustainable Tourist Beach” strategy. In this article, we will delve into what this strategy entails and how it is transforming Ecuador’s beaches into exemplary tourist destinations. Playa Los Frailes and Playa de Ayampe, are excellent examples of how sustainability and responsible management are revolutionizing tourism in Ecuador.

The “Sustainable Tourist Beach” strategy is an innovative initiative aimed at enhancing the quality of tourism at Ecuador’s beaches through four key components: (1) Environmental, (2) Security, (3) Tourism, and (4) Beach Management. This strategy also includes 36 guidelines that are implemented to ensure effective and sustainable beach management. Its focus is specifically on beaches with tourist activity, aiming to strengthen local strategies for marine-coastal territorial planning in Ecuador’s beach jurisdictions.


Los Frailes:

Located in the province of Manabí with a length of 3 kilometers, this beach is situated on the continental coast of Ecuador. Los Frailes Beach is a protected area inside Machalilla National Park in Manabí, Ecuador. Being inside the park has kept it natural, clean, and peaceful. You can go there to swim, take a walk, or just relax on its soft white sand. It’s known for its cliffs and is about 3 kilometers long.

To get there, you have to go through a dry forest with bottle-shaped trees and lots of palo santo trees, which are typical for the area. Moreover, what sets it apart is its commitment to sustainability and cleanliness. In 2015, during the Quality Tourism Awards competition led by the Ministry of Tourism, Playa Los Frailes was recognized as the first-place winner in the “Cleanest Beaches.”

The management and control of Playa Los Frailes are exemplary. This protected area is administered by the Ministry of Environment, Water, and Ecological Transition in collaboration with ASOPROAFRAILES under a “Community Association” model. This association allows for joint and coordinated work that ensures this beach’s preservation and continuous improvement.



Another example of sustainable tourism on Manabí’s coast is Playa de Ayampe. Stretching over 3 kilometers, this beach is located in the Ayampe Commune, part of the Puerto López Canton. Ayampe is a haven for surf enthusiasts and predominantly attracts foreign tourists. What makes this beach special is its dedication to organization, safety, cleanliness, and environmental maintenance, resulting in a well-preserved attraction.

The management and control of Playa de Ayampe are carried out through effective collaboration between the Ayampe Commune and the Autonomous Decentralized Government of Puerto López. These actions ensure the conservation and care of the beach and its surroundings, significantly contributing to the sustainable tourism development of the region.


Ecuador is taking significant steps to preserve and enhance its beautiful beaches. The “Sustainable Tourist Beach” strategy is a step in the right direction, and examples like Playa Los Frailes and Playa de Ayampe demonstrate how sustainability and responsible management can transform tourism in this country. If you plan to visit Ecuador in search of pristine beaches and sustainable experiences, you should definitely consider these wonderful coastal destinations.

Come and discover the beauty and sustainability of Ecuador!



Written by Elisa Castillo



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