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“Not Quick And Convinient, But Worth The Effort”
Review of Playa Escondida

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Playa Escondida
Reviewed June 3, 2012

We hit Attacames and stayed at a place called The Chill Inn the first night. Yolanda who runs the Chill Inn has a great but fairly standard beach town hostel. We wanted someplace a little more unique and went out to the Playa Escondida on a recommendation and were glad we did. Don't head out there if you want a great swimming/surfing beach, a night scene, are uncomfortable hitch-hiking or taking the Chivo buses, want fancy hotel accommodations (AC, no bugs, luxury showers, and flush toilets). Do go if you want to stay somewhere memorable and unique, explore secluded beaches, caves, and tide pools, all with pleasant and personable service. The pictures don't do this place justice. The small collection of buildings are amazing open air palm frond bungalows incorporating natural features and archeological artifacts from the site. The room came with mosquito nets, hammocks, and a big jug of potable water. The food was good and was presented beautifully with flowers etc, from the property. We were glad we got a room in the big "4 plex" near the ocean because of the views and the breeze. We could hear our neighbors but it wasn't bad. We could have had our own building up the hill for the same price but were happy closer to the ocean. Having been to a nice jungle lodge on the oriente side of Ecuador years ago, if you cant fit a trip to Coca or Tenna in your trip, a stay at the Playa Escondida will just about make up for it. Great place.

Room Tip: Closer to the beach gives better breezes which helps make up for the lack of AC or fans.
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  • Stayed: May 2012, traveled as a couple
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1  Thank Austin W
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
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21 - 27 of 37 reviews

Reviewed June 25, 2011

We headed to the coast thinking we'd start at Playa Escondida, and head south, exploring a few places over our two to three week vacation. However, once we checked into Playa Escondida, we didn't need to go anywhere else! It was exactly what we were looking for: a low key beach scene (no discotecas, no surfer scene, peace and quite and good beach combing). We were the only ones on the beach most of the time! The big bonus is that Playa Escondida is a low impact eco-hotel (composting toilets, land management, building out of natural materials etc), but yet has the services to keep you comfortable! The restaurant food was delicious, and we found their kitchen prices very similar to restaurants in Same and Tonchique.. but way more tasty. Our cabin was huge with a view of the ocean, a shower and sink. The composting toilet was just outside the room, and was well maintained (no odors or insects and plenty of dry stuff) and easy to use. I highly recommend Playa Escondida for people looking for a natural, serene, and amazing beachscape to explore. The walks in either direction along the beach from Playa Escondida were so interesting that we spent days and days exploring, over and over again, and every day was different with the dramatic tides and sunset. Absolutely perfect and for nature lovers looking for undiscovered paradise! Oh, and very romantic too!

Stayed: May 2011, traveled as a couple
Thank AndesMtnWoman
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Reviewed February 15, 2009

This is a great eco-lodge place to relax. Good food if slightly overpriced. Wonderful view from our cabin; ask for the cabin with most breezes as there are no fans. Composting toilets are inspiring; bird-watching was plentiful; wonderful evening of fireflies. Owner Judy is a great host, speaks English and has lots for sale for eco-friendly development. Contact: judithbarrett@hotmail.com or from US: +593-6-733-106, +593-6-733-122 or www.playaescondida.com.ec

  • Stayed: February 2009, traveled as a couple
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Thank kobonash
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Reviewed April 20, 2008

My girlfriend and I arrived but we left and decided to go to another hotel. There is nothing wrong with this place, but I (and through no fault of the establishment) was expecting something different.

This place is very isolated, and is set in an almost jungle setting. The rooms are very rustic, with only a shower. The bathrooms are elsewhere. (note I knew this beforehand)

The place is small, with a rustic lodge restaurant

Why we left: Nothing to do with room, but rather the beach, this place was filled with tidepools and rocks (awesome for some) but I live on the coast with the same geography and wanted something different. I was expecting an isolated beach with caves, white sand and a nice place to body surf and swim. Instead this place was isolated, with lots of tidepools, but when the tide was it was nearly impossible to gain access to the water.

If you are looking for a place to swim in the ocean, have tropical drinks, and relax on the beach, go elsewhere

If you are looking to explore tidepools, be in total isolation, enjoy a camping enviroment, and like exploring rugged beach without a lot of services, I think you will be very happy here.

One other note: Because it was off-season we were told that the cook left early and we had to order dinner at lunch time. This was a turn off because we didnt want the food to be sitting around. There were lots of bugs and flies, and obviously no other restaurants. This is much different than the other towns.

The staff was very nice, and let us leave w/o problems. I was a little dissapointed in that I felt I was led to beleive that there was a sandy beach with easy swimming.

Advice: This place will be amazing for some, just dont expect a clean sandy beach with swimming. For those that like rugged, isolated camping with tidepools you will be very happy

We ended up staying in nearby Same which offered what we wanted. Basically a private sandy beach with noone around, a few restaurants, but at least a few services. The beach, was clean, without rocks and was easy to swim and surf. There are few beach bars around but Same is tame compared to Atacames, you can walk on beach at dark as it is very safe. For those that want isolation with some services and swimming beach head to Same.

  • Stayed: April 2008, traveled as a couple
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4  Thank dacooper
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Reviewed October 7, 2007

We camped here, easily one of the best campsitesin Ecuador. The accommodation looked good too, but we didnt use it. Excellent composting toilets, quirky shower. And best of all a fantastic beach right on your doorstep. Recommended.

  • Stayed: October 2007, traveled as a couple
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Thank Mike-Anna
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Reviewed December 10, 2016 via mobile
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Stayed: December 2016, traveled as a couple
1  Thank Cath H
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Reviewed November 7, 2016
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Room Tip: Leva una carpa, ubicala frente al mar y mira el amanecer de ensueño
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  • Stayed: October 2016, traveled as a couple
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1  Thank Victorcev
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.

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Additional Information about Playa Escondida

Address: km 14 - via Tonchigue | Punta Galera, Galera, Ecuador
Location: Ecuador > Esmeraldas Province > Galera
Amenities:
Bar / Lounge Beach Beverage Selection Free High Speed Internet ( WiFi ) Restaurant
Hotel Style:
Ranked #1 of 1 Specialty Lodging in Galera
Price Range: $5 - $36 (Based on Average Rates for a Standard Room)
Number of rooms: 14
Official Description (provided by the hotel):
In South America, from the foot hills of the Andes Mountains of Ecuador, the river Malpelo winds down to the Pacific Coast forming a beautiful bay now called Playa Escondida (hideaway beach). Truly off the beaten track, with the nearest town fourteen km's away, you are assured of privacy, safety, a pristine beach and gentle surf. The backdrop for this idyllic shoreline is an ecological refuge of 100 hectares. Here we are dedicated to protecting the diverse flora and fauna of the semi-tropical forest from local hunters, logging, cattle and shrimp farming, not to mention commercial tourism; all forces which the threaten the fragile eco-system of this vital littoral. Come and experience the magic of one of the last frontiers on the Pacific Rim. The refuge currently has capacity for thirty people. Prices range from US$7 to $25 per person. There is a secluded area with lots of shade for camping, with showers. Children up to 10 years old pay half price. ... more   less 
Also Known As:
Playa Escondida Ecuador/Galera

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