A long crescent of white sand framed by rocky cliffs, Los Frailes Beach is considered one of the most beautiful in Ecuador. To reach it, you first have to hike through the dry forest of the Machalilla National Park, passing two smaller beaches on the way. The first, Playa Prieta, is a small beach in a rocky cove. While you can’t swim here because of the strong undercurrent, the stone walls and beautiful blue water paint a pretty picture. From here, the trail continues on to Playa Tortuguita, which again has a dangerous current, but the pristine white-sand and impressive rock formations make for a great place to enjoy the sun. After heading back to the trail, you’ll finally reach Los Frailes Beach, where you can soak in the sun and cool off in the turquoise waters. While you should bring plenty of water for the hike, once you’re at Los Frailes, there’s a vendor selling drinks and ice-cream.
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