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Teiki Mathieu Baillan surfing a self-made Alaya surfboard in Macaroni, Mentawaï, Indonesia. Photo by C. Naslain, 2009.

Surf spot atlas made by surfers for surfers
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South America

Location: Western South America, bordering the Pacific Ocean at the Equator, between Colombia and Peru
Geographic coordinates: 2 00 S, 77 30 W
Coastline: 2,237 km
Climate: tropical along coast, becoming cooler inland at higher elevations; tropical in Amazonian jungle lowlands
Terrain: coastal plain (costa), inter-Andean central highlands (sierra), and flat to rolling eastern jungle (oriente)
Natural hazards: frequent earthquakes, landslides, volcanic activity; periodic droughts
Currency: US dollar (USD)

Location: Western South America, bordering the Pacific Ocean at the Equator, between Colombia and Peru
Geographic coordinates: 2° 0' S, 77° 30' W
Coastline km: 2,237 km km
Climate: tropical along coast, becoming cooler inland at higher elevations; tropical in Amazonian jungle lowlands.
Terrain: coastal plain (costa), inter-Andean central highlands (sierra), and flat to rolling eastern jungle (oriente)
Elevation: lowest point: Pacific Ocean 0 m highest point: Chimborazo 6,267 m
Natural hazards: frequent earthquakes, landslides, volcanic activity; floods; periodic droughts
Currency: US dollar (USD)
Population: 13,755,680 (July 2007 est.)
Languages: Spanish (official), Amerindian languages (especially Quechua)
Capital: Quito
Divisions: 22 provinces: Azuay, Bolivar, Canar, Carchi, Chimborazo, Cotopaxi, El Oro, Esmeraldas, Galapagos, Guayas, Imbabura, Loja, Los Rios, Manabi, Morona-Santiago, Napo, Orellana, Pastaza, Pichincha, Sucumbios, Tungurahua, Zamora-Chinchipe

More details

Jan/Feb Mar/Apr May/Jun Jul/Aug Sep/Oct Nov/Dec
Best Surfing Season          
Typical Swell Size
Surf Equipment Boardshorts Shorty Shorty Shorty Shorty Shorty
Water temp. 25°C
Air temp. 24°C

Seasonal swell & wind variations

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figlio avatar
Estero de Platano
By figlio
Dec 11, 2009
- Estero is really one of the best waves in Esmeraldas!!!... You just need to go in the good season waves... in the south-west sweel while the level of power is better... for the wind it is always good because this beach is in the middle of two mountai

By Doctor Gonzo
Nov 2, 2009
- Great session today. The weather sucked as usual but that didnt stop us from going in. After a few hours the sun even came out. Nice, powerful waves. Even in between the sets you could still surf smaller ones. We came out when it got dark and were

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By escurridizo , 18-12-2011

info about Balsa Shapers in Playas - Firstly the pioneer shaper in Ecuador is "el Gringo Andres" ( who resides in Playas. His knowledge has been passed on to several people from this area who are now successful shapers. One of his best disciples are the brothers Jimmy and Milton Zhanay, who's boards have traversed the world with companies like, and many more who buy their boards. Their specialties are longboards, shortboards, and paddleboards especially balsa. Alejo Muniz (top 10 ASP world tour) and his brother Santiago (world champ ISA world games 2011), Fernando Aguerre (Owner of Reef and president of ISA)

Hace 10 horasDaniel Pimentel
and the infamous David Rastovich are some of the people riding Zhanay boards. Despite their success the brothers have maintained a fairly low profile and don't even have their own webpage so it may be difficult to find them. They recently got a facebook page though! If you find yourself in Playas, go to "barrio Santa Marta" and ask around (everybody knows them) to see their shop. Depending on the model the boards cost between $400-$600, three times as cheap as what they go for abroad. Many of the boards they sell in Europe, Australia, USA do not have even have their logo so be fooled, they are the real shapers.

Other shapers trained by Jimmy and Andres may also be found up north. But they are a bit more commercial and reside in tourist traps.

As far as we know "el gringo Andres" doesn't make boards anymore, he is sailing, surfing, or barbecuing at his friendly house. Xavier, a young local surfer is learning Andres' techniques and legacy of balsa shaping.

I hope all this information has been helpful and please come visit Playas.

By escurridizo , 18-12-2011

'Info on Playas/Engabao Pointbreaks Beachbreaks' - The reason for this post other than providing some good information of course is that I am tired of seeing misinformed posts about surfing/shapers/boards/renting etc. from this area. The people that are posting on here are from Guayaquil the biggest city in Ecuador (100 K from the beach) and believe themselves to be experts in this area when they are really not.

To begin with General Villamil, Playas is the cradle of surf in Ecuador. But it has [un]fortunately not been included in the surf map. It has over 14 point breaks including "el Pelado" considered to be the best wave in Ecuador. Many professional surfers from around the world compare it to Rincon and even think of it as a greater wave than Rincon, California. It requires a large/medium south swell and low tide. Once in a while norths works too.

To continue, Engabao (11 K north of Playas, easily accessed by bus or car for .75 cents) provides a very consistent wave with barrels at low tide. It is a small fishing community with friendly people who provide "casa surf" to be rented cheaply. There is also a hostel owned by a friendly Ecuadorian/Swedish couple to the right of the point (turn right at the bamboo church). They are working on a Permaculture garden and provide a friendly atmosphere for surfers and backpackers with lot's of info about other destinations in Ecuador and the price is very cheap. Great for a first visit to South America!

Moreover, "la Posada" is one of the most powerful waves in Playas. It works with south and north swells, low tide. Lots of barrels. Unfortunately you have to walk little over 1 Km unless you are able to get into the private club "casa blaca" which has taken over the beach and prevents access by car. North of "la Posada", "Pico hambre" to be road with high tide, a strong peak that breaks well with small/medium south swells. The next wave is "mal paso", a long classical wave, functioning well with low tide south east swells. Following this you have "el faro", best at high tide, south swell. Easily accessible with a car.

When you arrive to Playas, go down to the beach which can be seen from the central skate park. There are three high rises and a jetty. That is the first wave in Playas, but it requires a very big swell. Just behind the jetty is Chabelita which is a very long wave for beginners or long boarders, that works well with south medium swell or north. After that you have "el sapo", "las tetas", not very strong but getting a ride home or avoiding the small crowd in "olas verdes" and "shark bay" which are right up the beach. These two waves are the most popular waves for local surfers (I don't blame them). To reach the waves previously mentioned just keep walking north. All these waves require a medium swell, low or high tide.

During December-April (North swell) the conditions are great with no wind so you can ride the beach breaks a bit south from the jetty "los kilometros" 5 1/2 km via Posorja accessed by bus (.25 cents) or taxi ($3 one way).

Anybody who decides to visit Playas will encounter very friendly locals in and out of the water. As you can see there are a plethora of point breaks and beach breaks so people do not get territorial, just show your good attitude, smile and say Hola!

To get here from Guayaquil take "el Villamil" or "Posorja" from "el terminal terrestre" for $2.40 (2 hr) and they don't charge extra for boards. There are plenty of affordable hostels close to the beaches. If you want to eat go to Jalisco the reunion spot of Playas Club Surf (owner: Juan y Johanna "Jalisco Surf"), very friendly and hospitable.

Good luck!

By occidentalcigarbar , 02-01-2011

surf trip to ecuador feb 4- feb 18 - For anyone traveling to Ecuador to surf between the dates of feb 4 - feb 18, I'll be traveling solo, and am planning on renting a car to travel from guayaquil up to the northwest coast. If interested in splitting cost/driving I would be more then happy to take 1 to 3 people on with me.

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