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ABOUT PLAYAS First of all, let me tell you about Playas, our little beach and fishing village on the Pacific Coast of Ecuador. Its Chamber of Commerce claims that a United Nations study found that Playas has the “second best climate in the world.” Although I have never been able to confirm the authenticity of this claim, from nearly 14 years of living here I can tell you that we do in fact have an amazing climate.
There are basically two seasons: rainy and dry. The rainy season occurs roughly from December to April, which is also the hottest time of the year and vacation time on the Coast of Ecuador. The wonderful thing about Playas, is that when it rains it almost always rains at night and clears up in the early morning with the sun coming out to deliver a clear and sunny day.
During the dry season, roughly May to November, it almost never rains and it is sunny almost every day, but not as hot as during the rainy season, and it cools off nicely at night.
We swim at the beaches in Playas 12 months of the year, with a water temperature that ranges from tepid to cool.
Our central beaches are crowded on weekends only during the tourist season and holidays (Carnaval in February and Easter Week mainly). However, there are nearly 8 miles of beach, and if you want more privacy, that is no problem. The beach directly down the road from our home, which is about a quarter mile from the center of town, is virtually a private beach during the week for most of the year.
Playas, the town, is the opposite of plastic or touristy. Most businesses are family run and most people make their living from fishing. Food and meals are unbelievably inexpensive. Ecuadorians eat their main mail at mid-day, and most restaurants serve a fixed menu “almuerzo.” At the better restaurants you pay two US dollars for a hearty soup and a main dish that will usually consist of fish, shell fish, beef, pork or chicken, along with the ubiquitous rice and perhaps some salad.
Another specialty is “arroz con menestra,” which Ecuadorians love. Doesn’t that sound better than rice and beans? But the bean stew is delicious, made with a variety of beans, including lentils, and it is served with chicken, beef or pork.
But if you are a seafood lover, than in Playas you will be in Heaven. Sea bass, sole, and mahi-mahi are the main catches. Shrimp, lobster, crab and other shell fish galore. You will not believe the size of the oysters, which can be as much as 8 to 10 inches in diameter!
And I have never had more delicious charcoal broasted chicken than our friends Maria and Alicia serve at their Pollo Salsero hole in the wall restaurant downtown, a local favourite.
What more can I say about Playas? I love this little town, with its fruit and vegetable market, tropical fruits (papaya the size of a small watermelon for a dollar; mangos 12 for a dollar in season, etc.), its quaint central park where children mix with iguanas who live in the trees, youngsters and grown men playing pick-up soccer in the streets, and its lazy and informal ambiance.
We do also have a night life with half decent bars and discos, and there is even a casino on the main drag (two cent slot machines!).
ABOUT THE RENTAL SUITE
What we have to offer is a small independent suite off the patio in our private home 2 blocks from a beautiful tropical beach and a few minutes walk to the center of town. Carmen and I live upstairs. I am a Canadian artist married to an Ecuadorian poet. We can help with tourist information and arranging Spanish lessons. We can provide a homey atmosphere and help you learn about our local community if you are interested. Although our area has many tourist attractions and interesting archaeological sites to visit if you wish, you would be living in a non-touristy setting in the midst of a small local community. We can tell you where to find the best restaurants, ones that you can rely on to be clean. We can introduce you to our friends, advise you on safety and how not to get ripped off. This is our community, and we know it inside out. And if you are honeymooning or just prefer to be left alone, we can do that too!
Our suite is available for rental only or Bed and Breakfast on a daily, weekly, monthly or longer term basis. It is suitable for a single person or a couple (straight or gay or just friends). A single parent with a small child would also work. It is small, but cozy and comfortable, and you will have the use of our patio, barbeque and hammocks.
Playas is located about 55 miles west of Guayaquil, which is Ecuador’s major seaport and a jumping off point for the Galápagos Islands. It has a brand spanking new modern airport; and the drive from the airport to Playas takes about an hour and a half. We can arrange to meet you at the airport (for a reasonable fee) or you can take a taxi or a bus to Playas. I recommend the first option. If you are staying for a while, you can get around Ecuador economically by bus or air. The adult bus fare from Guayaquil to Playas, for example, costs a whopping US$2.40 (that comes to about four cents a mile). You also have the option of a tour of the Galapagos, and Machu Picchu in Peru is a bit of a hike, but it is one of the wonders of the world.
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