Our favorite type of vacation is to just get away, turn off, and decompress. What better place to get that accomplished than on a vacation at the beach. We have been to many beaches throughout the world and one of our top favorites is Playa Murciélago in Manta Ecuador.
Playa Murciélago is different from the usual beach vacations we take as it is a public beach located in a city. When we go to Manta we usually stay at the Balandra Hotel. It is a wonderful hotel with great staff. Best of all it is only a block from the beach and a very short walk. The roof top bar / restaurant at the Balandra Hotel is called El Faro and is considered to be one of the top restaurants in the city.
When you are on the beach you can rent a beach tent or a beach umbrella which comes with 2 chairs. On the weekday the rent for a tent is $2.00 (USD) and on the weekend $5.00. No need to lug everything with you down to the beach. In addition, all along the shore side of the beach are little shops, bars, and restaurants. It is a great place to experience the beach just like the locals.
If you decide that you want a little bit more action you can just drive along the coast to a few Xtreme Sport locations on the beach such as wind surfing or hang gliding. There is always something for everyone to do.