The river, the lagoon, and the jungle
Ayampe is one of the unique beach towns in Ecuador that has a river that meets the ocean, but not just any river, a river that when it fully connects to the ocean it creates the ever-so picturesque Ayampe Lagoon.
If you follow the river from the ocean, along the Colibri Nature Trail, it takes you to what we like to call the “Ayampe Jungle”. While your goal may be to arrive to the river for a refreshing swim, do not miss out on the opportunity to see a wide range of plant and animal life along the trail; such as the Estrellita Esmeraldeña Colibri (the 2nd smallest bird in the world about the size of a bee!), Toucans as well as a variety of other bird and butterfly species.
The trail itself is far from strenuous, but more like a pleasant stroll through nature, breathing fresh-jungle air, an escape from the sun, a few river crossings, and a unique adventure to share with a group of friends or other travelers.
What we love about this hiking trail is that it is only a few kilometers of walking into the jungle from the center of Ayampe. In these few kilometers, you will find yourself deep into the jungle arriving to the natural swimming pools in the Ayampe River, so much so, that you forget you just arrived from the beach!
And to be honest, there is no better way than to cool off from the Ecuadorian sun than for a dip in the refreshing Ayampe River! Paired with a packed lunch, it makes for an epic picnic set up beneath the large, sprawling trees and bamboo leaves. How many places can you surf the morning, hike the afternoon, spot one of the world’s smallest birds, take a dip in a river, and all in a matter of a few kilometers?!
It truly is an experience that offers you something different, which is why we always recommend our guests to at least spend one of their days hiking this trail while staying at La Casa long-term hostel. Plus, it is always nice to experience something other than the sand between your toes without having to travel far at all.