Ecuador’s “Ruta del Spondylus” is named after a particular type of shellfish found here—in English, they are also referred to as thorny or spiny oysters. Perhaps a better way to remember this famous coastal road that passes by pristine beaches and quiet fishing villages is the Ruta del Sol, as this area is particularly blessed with warm, sunny days.
Puerto López sits roughly in the middle of Ecuador’s Pacific Coast, on a lovely arched bay. Wandering the streets that parallel the beach, you’ll find restaurants serving fish straight from the sea and local dishes of the Manabí region (where Puerto López is located). Head out to sea, you can admire the majestic migrating humpback whales, which pass through from June to August. Or you can go inland to see other wonders of the animal kingdom, albeit somewhat smaller ones—armadillos, oncilla, and anteaters.