Official language: Spanish
Time zone: UTC -5
Currency: United States dollar (USD)
The city is called the green province, thanks to its abundant vegetation. Legend says though that initially the name was referring to emeralds, which the area was famous for. Today there is no trace of their existence.
Make sure to try local drink – coconut with a tiny hole, to which alcohol is poured and then it is plugged with cork and put away for a month. Drink is served in coconut or glass with a straw.
Esmeraldas is located in climate zone, where there are just two seasons – dry from June to November, when humidity of air is at 40% and humid, when the air has almost 100% of humidity.
A port city on the northern West of Ecuador is vibrant ever since the first settlement was founded there in 1526. The city is famous for beautiful beaches and richness of historical buildings from times of the Spanish reign. The city’s life was focused on port ever since its beginning, which has remained the most important trading centre in Esmeraldas.
Perfect place for sunbathing and relaxing whole year around – pleasant seaside climate and sandy beaches makes you want to spend there idly whole days. Dou you fancy a bit of adrenaline? On local beaches there is very popular doing ocean canoeing. Travelling in canoe alongside shore brings a lot of thrill.
When you get tired of the sun, you can find solace in nature reserve that are stretched along the seaside, often just by the beach. Visit Manglares Mataje – Cayapas, a forest preserve, where many wild animals live. This place is especially appreciated by birds’ observers.
The most typical souvenir you can bring back from Esmeraldas is Panama hat made od leaves of specific type of palm tree that grows in that region. A hat will serve you from the first day of your trip as protection from the sun. Go to get it to a market near the port.
Local cuisine, thanks to great conditions for fishing, since centuries has been dominated by fishes and seafood, especially crabs and shrimps. Dish that you certainly have to try is encocado do pescado – fish flavoured with coconut milk. To try some local tastes, ask also for tapao, dish with wheat, fish and bananas. When it comes to seafood, order arroz con menestra, camarón y patacones – rice with lentil, shrimps and fried green banana. The best traditional cuisine you will find in Cafeteria restaurant Bolivar, located on crossroad of Olmedo and Quito.