River Chone Excursions
Around Bahía, excursions can be done in the estuary of the
Río Chone to the following islands:
Isla Corazón.- Take a canoe tour of the island. The birds on this
island are amazing, and the Frigate Bird colony will give you a real 'Jurassic Park' type of relling. The red, white and black mangroves are neat, and watch for the crabs living among the mangrove roots.
Isla Fragatas.- Located ¼ of an hour by boat from Bahía Isla Fragatas has a myriad of bird types. Between August and January a large colony of frigate birds can be seen very closely showing their inflated red sacksduring the mating ritual season.
Be sure to visit Punta Bellaca, a beautiful beach on the way to Chirije close to the Cerro de lasOrquídeas hill.
The archaeological site of Chirije is surrounded by tropical forest
and is situated on a beautiful beach. Located 45 minutes south of Bahía, Chirije used to be a seaport of the Bahía Culture (500 BC-500 AD). This is a good place to relax, as well as for other activities such as birdwatching. Chirije is also know as the UFO hotspot in Ecuador!
Located 5 km from Bahía, is a very interesting private park with
accommodation and a restaurant. This site has a very unusual
combination of native and domestic animals and birds such as chuchuchos, sloths, ostriches, macaws, deer, geese, rabbits, peacocks, donkeys, and cows. The park also has a cactus collection and a bonsai garden.
Canoa is a frontier beach town about 20 minutes north of Bahia
that is popular with the surfing set.
Rio Muchaco Organic Farm
Rio Muchacho is nestled in a small valley on the coast of
Ecuador, 40 minutes north of Bahia and 15 minutes from
the popular beach town of Canoa. 11 hectares make up
the sustainable farm and learning center based on
agroecology /permaculture principles. The property
incorporates food forests with large vegetable gardens,
pasture, agroforestry areas, models of alternative energy,
rotational animal raising areas and a meditation/yoga
garden overlooking the river. There are over a hundred
crops rotated throughout the year. The farm balances
as a home to many pigs, chickens, dogs, ducks, cats,
goats, composting worms, cows, guinea pigs, horses,
and of course humans with the vegetation.
Take a Drive on the Beach
At low tide you can drive wouth 20km down the beach to San
Clemente, a charming beach town. San Clemente seems to have its own micro-climate with generally more sunshine and cooling breezes than it's neighbors. There is amazing scenery on the way, and you be able to grab a bite to eat at one of the local restaurants. Be sure to be off the beach well before high tide as it pretty much disappears! For variety, return to Bahia by the road.
Museo Bahía de Caráquez
A good introduction to the area’s indigenous history is the Museo Bahía de Caráquez. The modern museum, which opened in 2004, has hundreds of pieces of pre-Columbian pottery, as well as local crafts for sale. A guided tour in Spanish is included with admission.
Visit the Fish Market
fish market is located on the ground floor of the newly renovated
market. Fresh fish arrives daily, and the best selection is available before noon. The seafood vendors will skillfully fillet your corvina, clean and dehead your shrimp while you wait! For a real treat buy some of the giant shrimp. One is a meal in itself!
Ecuadoreans love their holidays with over 42 of them (at last count) happening over the course of the year. Parades seem to be a way of life in Bahia and if you plan to stay here for long you should be prepared to join in the festivities. Nov 3, for example is the anniversary date of Bahia de Caraquez and festivities begin to ramp up in late October. Everyone seems to get involved in the action!
See the First Organic Shrimp Farm in the World
This shrimp farm is located close to Bahia de Caraquez Ecocity
in the estuary of the Chone River. It is the first and only certified organic shrimp farm in the world. The methods used on the farm are based on principles of organic farming and permaculture.