Santa Elena Province - Ecuador

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Santa Elena Province

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Santa Elena Province

The province of Santa Elena is a province off the coast of Ecuador, the youngest of the current 24. It has a holiday infrastructure and a rich variety of archaeological, historical, natural, cultural tourist attractions, extensive beaches and picturesque fishing villages.
In this province there is a large hotel infrastructure, an oil refinery, airport and sea port. Santa Elena, Salinas beach and Montañita beach are well known internationally. Trade is based on fishing and tourism.

The peninsula has some fishing ports: Santa Rosa, San Pedro and Chanduy the most important centers in the area. Although politically the three cantons are separated, physically and in their coexistence the three cities: Salinas, Libertad and Santa Elena together with the rural parish José Luis Tamayo are merged forming a single city. Urban conurbation or agglomeration at present, which in total accumulates a population of 205 969 inhabitants according to official data of the INEC, 2010 census.

Also noteworthy is the population density of the province. 90 percent of the entire provincial population is concentrated on the coast between the town center of Ayampe, to the north, bordering with the Puerto López de Manabí canton), to the city of Salinas, in the south. It is estimated that 281,467 inhabitants live in that area, that is, 90 percent of the population of the province (205,969 of them in the continuous but politically separated entities of the Salinas, La Libertad and Santa Elena cantons).

Climate Santa Elena Province

Its climate is dry, its annual average temperature is 25º C. The climate is pleasant due to the freshness of the sea breeze. The rainiest months are February and March. Snow may appear in the highest areas of the Park between one and five days a year. The average annual number of storms ranges between 10 and 15. The average annual temperature is 15 degrees, with the average for January being 4-6 degrees and July for 26-30 degrees. The average annual number of days with frost would vary from 20 to 40.

Fauna Santa Elena Province

The fauna is rich and varied; among the medium sized predators the fox and the gineta abound, as well as the very scarce and difficult to find otter. Numerous birds of prey nest in this natural area, highlighting the eagle partridge (hieratus fasciatus) and the eagle owl (bubba bubo). The variety of ecosystems - Mediterranean and riverside forests, adhesioned areas, walls and cornices favor the presence of an abundant birdlife among which the rock plane (ptyonoprogne rupestris), nightingales (luscinia megarrynchos and cettia cettia) and capirillated warblers (sylvia atricap) ).

Flora Province Santa Elena

The vegetation is characterized by its enormous heterogeneity, abounding the mixed forests of holm oaks (Quercus rotundifolia) and cork oaks (Quercus Suber) with abundant Mediterranean scrub in which the arbutus (arbutus unedo), the pear trees (bourgean pirus) or the labiérnagos are frequent (phyllirea angustifolia) accompanied by jaras and rosemary (romarinus officinalis). There is also a hollowed-up area of ​​holm oaks, located to the south of the space and which is known among the locals as La Dehesa, and repopulation pine forests consisting of two species of pine, the pinion (pinus pinea) and the black (pinus pinaster).

In addition to this vegetation, in the rivers and streams of this protected area there are splendid examples of riverbank forest, which have an excellent state of conservation, and in which the alder (alnus glutinosa) and ash trees (fraxinus angustifolia) dominate next to oleander (neriun oleander) and brambles (rubus ulmifolius) in the most open and sunny areas. Likewise, in some ravines with high humidity and deep soils there are grove groves (celtis australis) accompanied by pimpinelas (pimpinella villosa) and hoops (aurum italicum). It is noteworthy, also the rich rupícola flora that populates the walls and cornices of the gorges, colonized by ferns, such as doradillas (ceterach officianarum) or culantrillo (adianthum capillus-veneris), and mosses.

Economic development of the Province of Santa Elena

Trade is based on fishing and tourism. The peninsula has some fishing ports: Santa Rosa, San Pedro and Chanduy, the most important centers in the area, economic potential that were previously managed from the Province of Guayas. As for tourism, the Santa Elena Peninsula receives in its spas approximately 80 thousand tourists per season, which indicates an estimated income of $ 12,000,000. A large percentage of these revenues are collected by entrepreneurs from the Province of Guayas who have invested in hotels, restaurants, entertainment centers, etc. The main sources of income are state allocations and taxes. The peninsula of Santa Elena has two major shortcomings according to its authorities: health care and sewerage.

Gastronomy of the Province of Santa Elena

The gastronomy of the place stands out for being sea food such as:

  • Ceviche
  • Seafood rice
  • Onions
  • Fried fish
  • Breaded shrimp or garlic
  • Delicious Bolones
  • Empanadas de verde
  • Roasted Yucca

Tourist Places of the Province of Santa Elena

Montañita Province of Santa Elena

Montañita is perhaps one of the most famous beaches in Ecuador and recognized worldwide by foreign tourists since, despite being small, it has a cheerful and fun atmosphere that the party is said not for any day. There are several ways to get to Montañita from the nearby beaches, but the best known is taking a bus from the Terrestrial Terminal of Guayaquil. There is only one bus line that leads directly to this beach and is called "Peninsular Freedom" with a ticket that costs around $ 6.25. The theme of lodging is simple because there are countless hotels at different prices. Obviously during the holiday season, you must call to reserve a room and not be surprised. Regarding the gastronomic theme, Montañita offers tourists various food options from street carts to restaurants with prices from 2 to 15 dollars.

Salinas Province of Santa Elena

It is an important tourist center due to its beautiful and cozy beaches. It is known for being one of the main spas of Ecuador visited every year by national and international tourists. Salinas is ideal for water sports such as diving, surfing, sailing, beach volleyball, jet skiing and deep sea fishing. The beach has an extension of 15 kilometers and the water temperature is warm. This spa is 150 kilometers from Guayaquil and is the quintessential entertainment center of the country as it has fabulous restaurants, hotels and modern nightclubs to enjoy all year round.

Ayangue Santa Elena Province

Ayangue is a small town located on the peninsula of Santa Elena. Its beaches are known for having clear and warm waters, which is why they are nicknamed "Pacific Pools." Ayangue, despite not being immense, receives thousands of visitors from all parts of Ecuador. It is also an excellent place for diving enthusiasts who want to dive underwater. There are also boats where tourists can enter the sea in order to observe the majesty of the giant whales that live near this beach. The hotel infrastructure is good and the site has many restaurants that serve fresh and delicious seafood.

Ballenita Province of Santa Elena

Ballenita Beach has many natural benefits that have made it a nationally and internationally recognized tourist destination. It also offers a wide range of services and attractions for the whole family such as: ecotourism, gastronomic tourism and water sports tourism. One of the advantages of this beautiful fishing village is that it has a pleasant climate all year round with very few variations and is the epicenter from which you can see humpback whales. Ballenita has it all: friendly people, unforgettable landscapes and above all a lot of peace.

La Libertad Province of Santa Elena

La Libertad beach is one of the spas full of beauty that the Ecuadorian coast has. With several kilometers of extension its waters are ideal for children and adults due to its cozy climate. This has encouraged tourists from all corners of the province of Santa Elena and the entire country to visit the place. It also has a lovely boardwalk for the whole family to walk, get distracted and find healthy recreation.

Anconcito Province of Santa Elena

The marked fishing tradition of the inhabitants of Santa Elena makes there are paradisiacal sites such as Anconcito Beach where the most common image is of people diving and fishing boats that are lost on the horizon. In addition, it has avenues with restaurants where you can taste the delights fresh from the sea. Anconcito is a place to get lost and be in touch with nature.

San Pablo Province of Santa Elena

San Pablo beach is the best place to swim with friends or family. It has a seabed of incredible biodiversity and beauty for those who wish to go deep into diving. On the other hand, a wide variety of water birds and an important nautical leisure center where you can practice sports such as rowing, sailing and surfing can easily be seen outside.

Ancón Province of Santa Elena

In Ecuador there is a heavenly place, a tourist destination that presents the province of Santa Elena: Ancón. This parish offers the national and foreign tourist an alternative to live unforgettable experiences when visiting its tropical dry forests to feel the direct contact with nature. These forests have beautiful endemic and migratory birds that people can photograph. Ancón is also known for having the first oil well in Ecuador. There is also a beautiful and exotic beach surrounded by cliffs where you can do many sports and adventure activities.

Chanduy Province of Santa Elena

It is one of the most popular beach destinations for nationals and foreigners. It is a true paradise that combines incredible landscapes and warm waters practically the entire year, which makes any visitor happy. Therefore, it is best to take advantage of this beach without haste. In a week's stay, it is possible to find activities for tourists who appreciate the beach with many waves and for those who do not want any waves; for those who want to rest without doing anything and for those looking for various water activities. Chanduy also offers an extensive local cuisine for those who wish to enjoy seafood and typical dishes of the area.

Punta Blanca Province of Santa Elena

Punta Blanca is a small beach located in the province of Santa Elena, about 10 kilometers from Salinas. It is a beautiful and heavenly resort located on the Ecuadorian coast. Punta Blanca offers its visitors plenty of sun, a wide beach and a calm sea of ​​incredible blue waters. The tourists who arrive at this place will undoubtedly live an experience full of magic and adventure.

Valdivia Province of Santa Elena

The Valdivia Commune is a mandatory stop in the Province of Santa Elena because according to researchers here it was the first human settlement of the American continent. Ceramic figures from 5060 BC have been found. Tourists arriving in this corner of the country will enjoy a pleasant climate of around 25º C. Also a beautiful beach, a museum and an aquarium.

La Rinconada Province of Santa Elena

La Rinconada beach is a tourist destination for people who wish to enjoy a connection with nature. It offers a perfect balance of sun, water and sand. Visitors can relax quietly as La Rinconada has places to stay, restaurants and ecological trails. The beach is ideal for surfing.

The Entrance Province of Santa Elena

The Entrance is one of the 68 communes in the province of Santa Elena, it is two and a half hours from Guayaquil and 15 minutes from Montañita. Its name derives from its geographical position because it is on the border between the provinces of Santa Elena and Manabí. Around 1000 people live in La Entrada and its main economic activities are fishing and agriculture. The beach of this site is warm sand that invites you to spend moments of healthy recreation, as well as long walks. It is a small point on the map with a calm atmosphere full of hardworking people willing to help tourists.

Province of Santa Elena Curia

This is a small beach located in Villa Curia, Santa Elena (Ecuador) 8 kilometers from Montañita and about 70 kilometers from the Machalilla National Park. Popularly, Playa de la Curia is known as the "Consent of Santa Elena" for the warmth and hospitality of its people. In addition, the place has countless typical dishes based mostly on seafood and handicrafts made with bamboo and toquilla straw.



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