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What to do in Ballenita, Santa Elena?

The beach of Ballenita is part of the Spondylus Route and the Ruta Del Sol. The difference between the routes is that the Spondylus route includes 5 provinces of the Coast (El Oro, Guayas, Santa Elena, Manabí, Esmeraldas), the north of Peru and the upper part of Loja, while the Ruta Del Sol only includes 2 provinces (Santa Elena and Manabí).

Ballenita has a beautiful boardwalk, a viewpoint, and a beach that one can enjoy at low tide. Remember that to access the beach you must go down a flight of stairs that are located on the boardwalk, as the Ballenita beach is alongside a cliff.

The reason why this beach is known as Ballenita is because it was once the most popular place to see the whales during the mating season, which happens from June to September. However now there are other spots along the coast that whales can also be observed such as: Puerto López, Salinas and different beaches along the Ecuadorian Coast.

Where is Ballenita located in Ecuador?

This fishing community is located just 5 minutes (5 km) from the city of Santa Elena and 20 minutes (13 km) from Salinas, within the province of Santa Elena.

Directions on how to get to Ballenita

If you want to drive from Guayaquil to Ballenita you have three options: private car, bus or taxi.

  • Bus: The Cooperativa Costa Azul or Liberpesa have routes to the Terminal Terrestre of Santa Elena and from there you can take a taxi to Ballenita ($2 USD). The bus costs $4.75 USD. The buses leave every 5 to 7 minutes from the Terminal Terrestre Guayaquil. Both companies have service from Monday to Sunday from 3:30 AM to 10:00 PM.
  • Car: Use Google Maps to give you the exact route from your location to the Ballenita viewpoint (there are parking available). In general the trip takes approximately one hour and forty minutes. You have to take the E40 road until you reach av. Francisco Pizarro in Santa Elena and from there continue straight until you reach the Mirador.
  • Taxi: They charge from $75 to $100 USD. Remember that you can fit up to 4 people in a regular taxi.

If you want to go down to Ballenita from Montañita you can take a taxi (1h) or take a bus from the Montañita terminal on the Manglaralto Cooperative (1h30).

Where to sleep in Ballenita?

In Ballenita you will find accommodations ranging from $10 USD per person to $50 USD per person. Here is a list of the best options:

What is the weather like in Ballenita?

The best time to visit Ballenita is during the beach season from late December to early May. The climate regularly ranges from 24 to 27°C. During the rest of the year it is a little colder and it is cloudy.

What are the best beaches are near Ballenita?

The closest beaches to Ballenita are:

  • Chulluype: Perfect for surfing
  • Mar Bravo: Watch the sunset. Swimming is not recommended.
  • Punta Carnero: Watch the sunset. Swimming is not recommended.
  • Salinas: Walk on the boardwalk and visit its beaches (San Lorenzo and Chipipe).
  • Punta Blanca: Its beautiful and long beaches.
  • Other beaches that you can visit near Ballenita are the beaches of Santa Elena, La Libertad, Capaes, Punta Blanca, San Pablo.

What is there to do in Ballenita?

The Ballenita coast is famous for its imposing cliff that forms a charming cove. Get ready to immerse yourself in the beauty of this unique destination!

Malecón de Ballenita:

You can walk along the Malecón de Ballenita and try the typical food of the area. During the weekends and holidays you will find many street vendors as well as handicrafts. If you walk along the boardwalk, you can appreciate the beach below, giving you a spectacular panoramic view of the entire area.

Tip: On the boardwalk you can find outdoor showers to clean the sand off your feet.

At the end of the boardwalk you can find a food area with an amazing view of the beach. The place is quite clean, with good prices and a wide variety of menus. Do not leave Ballenita without enjoying a delicious ceviche.

Mirador de Ballenita

My favorite place in Ballenita is its viewpoint, from here you can enjoy panoramic views of the beach and the beautiful sea. The best time to go to the viewpoint is during sunset.

Playa de Ballenita:

When the tide is low you can enjoy the calm beach below the viewpoint. I do not recommend climbing on the rocks, since they are slippery. When it is high tide, there is hardly any beach left, so it is not worth going down along the water.

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