Bahía De Caráquez, a Welcoming Eco-City for Backpackers

Backpackers rejoice. We here at Travel Hunch have picked another destination that is off the beaten path and while it will take extra determination to get there, we believe the effort would totally be worth it.

Bahía de Caráquez is a town located far away from the maddening everyday life, hidden in the lovely Ecuador region. In the last couple of decades, this city has been transformed into an Eco-city and a real gem on the tourism market.

Promoting sustainable living, community involvement and recycling, Bahía de Caráquez has a distinct biological flavor in spite being a beach resort. The ecological driven port town is home to many organic farms and also to the world’s first certified organic shrimp farm. So be prepared to get your hands dirty and, even though the beaches may tempt the procrastinator inside of you, we recommend soaking in the entire ecological vibe first.

The cheapest and the quickest way to reach Bahía de Caráquez is by ferry from San Vicente. Check in at the Bahía Bed & Breakfast Inn (Ascázubi 322 and Morales) and you will get comfortable accommodation with restaurant service without burning a hole in your pocket. The city offers a lot of interesting tours organized by passionate entrepreneurs, but if you rather explore on your own, you can start your day by taking a boat to Isla Corazon, which is a bird sanctuary that houses one of the largest colonies of frigatebirds among other exotic species.

After some fascinating bird watching, head over to the neighboring archaeological site of Chirije, known for its tropical forest, where one can enjoy outdoor activities such as horseback riding. If riding isn’t your kind of activity, then just chill around on the beach in one of the cabanas, take a panama-hat workshop or see how organic shrimp farming is done. Chirije is located 90 km south from Ecuador and is the perfect place where you can enjoy some of the best seafood delicacies.

Continue on your backpacking trail and head towards Saiananda, an animal reserve park with exotic breeds like sloths, ostriches, macaws, deer, geese, rabbits, peacocks, donkeys, and even cows, located around 5 km away from the city center. The park also has a stunning Bonsai garden and there are cactuses as well, making it the perfect place to experience the diverse flora and fauna of this Eco-city.

There is only so much sightseeing one can squeeze in a single day, so set aside your exploring shoes and chill at one of the local bars in the evening. With a relaxed atmosphere and casual surf decor, the Arena Bar is our number one pick and the fact you can bite into sumptuous pizzas that won’t cost you more than $5 makes our decision that much easier to make.

Bahía de Caráquez is the ideal destination for the outdoor enthusiasts, the eco-nuts and the budget travelers. This eco-pulsating island is worth exploring by everyone and those looking for new experiences and places to discover will not be disappointed.