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Ecuador boutique hotels Playa Escondida beach lodge

Playa Escondida ecological retreat

Playa Escondida a hidden beach in the lowlands of Ecuador´s Pacific coast.

In South America, from the foot hills of the Andes Mountains of Ecuador, the river Malpelo winds down to the Pacific Coast forming a beautiful bay now called Playa Escondida (hideaway beach). 

Truly off the beaten track with the nearest town fourteen km's away, we are assured of privacy, safety, a pristine beach, and gentle surf. The backdrop for this idyllic shoreline is an ecological refuge of 100 hectares.  Here we are dedicated to protecting the diverse flora and fauna of the semi-tropical forest from local hunters, logging, cattle and shrimp farming, not to mention commercial tourism; all forces which the threaten the fragile eco-system of this vital littoral.

We welcome feedback from our visitors on how to improve and protect this very special beach, estuary, and forest. Come and experience the magic of one of the last frontiers on the Pacific Rim.

Playa Escondida is so private that it feels remote, but we are actually only one half hour by car from the nearest village, and one and one half hours from the airport in Esmeraldas for a twenty-five minute flight back to the capital, Quito.

If you prefer to come overland so you can see the incredible scenery as you drop from 10,000 feet down through the cloud forests of the majestic Andes mountains, the journey takes about 6 hours from Quito. 

In this age of computers and cell phones, there's no reason to feel out of touch, just because you're finally living in paradise. Here is a chance to integrate your inner and outer worlds in this enchanted ambience. Help us protect this ideal habitat where we can experience the interdependence of humans and nature, at Playa Escondida.

Here, one can walk for kilometers exploring warm tidal pools full of marine life and marvel at dramatic rock formations with caves and tunnels carved by wind and waves.

Activities

Stargazing

After a glorious sunset, do some serious stargazing beside the campfire and see if you can pick out some of the southern constellations. We are less than half a degree north of the equator on the eightieth parallel of longitude.

Birds and other Fauna

In the morning, awake to the cacophony of huge flocks of parrots or wild turkeys running through the underbrush. If you like to mountain bike or practice sea kayak, this locale is perfect.  In September one can take a tour to see whales frolicking half an hour off shore.  

Life's a beach!!!

If you like birds...  You'll see Pelicans, Frigate birds, Hummingbirds, Sandpipers, giant and tiny Kingfishers, Horneros, Parrots and Parakeets, Azulejos, Caciques, Flycatchers, Masked Tyrants,  Mot Mots, Herons, and even Ospreys escaping from the cold northern climate, just like so many of our guests.

Go take a hike...When you've had just about enough sunshine, take a stroll to the bamboo grove or along the river, discover our organic gardens or take a hike up the hill into the dense forest. With luck you might catch a glimpse of Monkeys, an Anteater, Guanta, Armadillo, raccoons, wild pigs, an Ocelot, a Boa, a Sloth, or a family of giant iguanas. Giant turtles lay their eggs in the shelter of the bay.

Organic living

We also hope to extend our garden with a greater variety of vegetables and fruits, and continue nascent reforesting projects. Soon we will be equipped to host conferences, seminars, workshops, and classes so that we can offer our guests the ideal getaway for relaxation as well as a learning centre.

Massages

Treat yourself to a relaxing massage with the sound of waves in the background.
Massage helps to reduce stress, relieve muscle tension and pain, improves circulation and raises your overall sense of well-being.

Day Tours from Playa Escondida:

If you are planning to stay at Playa escondida for awhile, and would like to see more of the surrounding area, we can organize various day tours for you.

  • Ecological Adventure: Visit a nearby nature reserve and hike through primary and secondary forest with a local naturalist guide. You will learn about the ecology of the area, see natural gas spouting from the earth and swim in natural swimming pools.
  • Atacames: Spend the day in Atacames. you can shop in the local market, enjoy the beach and visit the marine museum.
  • Family Visit in Estero de Platanos: Visit a local family to learn more about the local culture of coastal Ecuadorians. We will visit a family home and you can have the chance to make your own chocolate straight from the bean!
  • Surfing, Surfboard Rental and Surf Trips: We offer beginner surf lessons and surfboard rental here at Playa Escondida. You can book a day surf trip tp Estero de Platanos or Mompiche. We also offer full packaged surf trips to beaches located along the Ecuadorian coast.

Playa Escondida Educational Adventure Camp

In July/August Playa Escondida will be holding a series of 1 week long camps. These camps will be offered for people ages 4-14 years old. Starting every Monday of each week we will start a new session, and the kids will leave to go home on Sunday. The parents are welcome to drop off and pick up the children, stay here at Playa Escondida for a week. Kids are welcome to stay for as many weeks as they would like to. The aim of the camp is to combine learning with adventure.
The following is a list of activities offered:

  • Lessons and explorations in Marine Biology, Archeology, and Ecology
  • Swimming and Surfing
  • Nature Hikes
  • Nightime fires and stargazing
  • Outdoor cooking
  • Survival Skills
  • Arts and Crafts
  • Football and other team games

When you register we will send you the medical and information forms that need to be filled out. We will also send you a detaild itinerary of each day and a list of clothes and things to bring.

Archaeology

One of the most fascinating aspects of Playa Escondida is the wealth of ancient ceramics to be found. We would love amateurs, students, and professionals in this field to help us find and identify these pieces. Our collection consists mainly of shards, as it is rare to find an intact example near the surface, on the beach, or in the riverbed. But the abundance of it suggest that more could be found further underground. We are reluctant to dig deeper without professional guidance, for fear of damaging some treasures. There are "tola-like" mounds where the fragments are so numerous, they're like gravel! It is obvious that this site facilitated large populations over the centuries!

Facilities

Rooms:

The lodge currently has capacity for thirty people. There are four rooms with double beds, two with twin beds, two with three single beds and two rooms for small families.

The rooms are located in rustic cabins tucked into the tropical foliage, ideal to have a siesta or observe a fascinating variety of butterflies and birds from your shady balcony.

Casa Wantara:

A beautiful large round house, with kitchen facilities and private bathroom (minimun 2 people, maximum 5)

Services:

Enjoy the hospitality of our charming restaurant. Savour some local specialities or our international cuisine. You can select a book from our library, pull up a hammock and wait to savor some local specialties or our international cuisine. We offer a full range of seafood and vegetarian plates, as well as chicken and beef. Choose whether you'll listen to an interesting collection of music or just the sound of the birds and ocean.

Playa Escondida ecological retreat photo gallery

Click on images to enlarge to full size and open photo gallery

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Main Offices Address: Av. Gral. Rumiñahui , San Rafael                                                                                                           Quito - Ecuador