Diving with Giant Manta Rays

Ayampe draws visitors from all parts of the globe for the peaceful, restorative energy of the town and the striking beauty of the nature that infuses every aspect of life here. While there are many activities to do in Ayampe, the vast majority involve a journey into the area’s wildlife; be it the sea, the shore, the river or the mountains.

Explore Islands

Floating just offshore of the Ayampe beach is Los Ahorcados, the three-tiered islet that is iconic of this tranquil town. Journey by kayak out to the little landmark and spend the day snorkeling, observing the migratory birds, or simply get a different perspective of the lush, Ecuadorian coast. Another popular activity is diving down below the rocky walls of the island to get a better look at the wildlife teeming in this turquoise world. Various species of fish, eel, sea turtles and other marine life are abundant in these waters.

Manta & Whale Diving Season

For those willing to try Ayampe’s cooler, “Garua” season, special visitors pass by Los Ahorcados providing a very unique opportunity for divers. Giant manta rays, which are the world’s largest species of manta ray, gather in this part of the Pacific ocean from June until October to mate and feed. The Ecuadorian giant manta ray is the largest species of mantas in the world; they can be up to 7 meters (23 feet)! And this particular species of mantas loves to hang out right outside our hostel’s doorsteps. The enormous creatures are gentle and graceful in the water and swimming under their nearly thirty-foot wingspan is sure to be a humbling experience.

Giant manta rays are not Ayampe’s only massive guest during this time of year, as families of Humpback whales also migrate north from Antarctica. The whales are often seen breaching offshore and may pass by to say hello to lucky surfers or divers. To anyone intrigued by the ocean, this opportunity to swim alongside some of Earth’s largest animals should not be missed.

Book your trip

In addition to Los Ahorcados, there are various other dive sites near Ayampe each offering distinct coral and reef formations, underwater wildlife, and of course difficulty level. Dives can be arranged for beginners or for those with more advanced certifications. Prices generally range from $90-150, depending on the site and number of dives. Diving is possible any time of year, but if you are interested in seeing the Giant manta rays or Humpback whales, make sure to plan your visit to coincide with theirs (June-October). Book your beachfront stay with us, enjoy ocean views of the whales breaching right outside our doorsteps, enjoy free yoga classes included in your stay, and a once in a lifetime diving experience with giant manta rays (and whales)!

Guest Post & Authored by Mackenzie Perry (mackenzielee.perry@gmail.com) – yoga teacher, writer, english teacher, stayed at La Casa for 6 months


  • La Casa
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    Long-term beachfront living in Ayampe, Ecuadorfrom $150 / weekLa Casa — Long-term beachfront living in Ayampe, Ecuador
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  • Ayampe


    La Casa is situated right on the beach of the small coastal town of Ayampe.

    Travelers from all over the world come to Ayampe to cultivate a community of peace, happiness, and mutual respect.

How to get to La Casa

Arriving in Ecuador

The nearest international airport is in Guayaquil. From there, you can take a taxi or a bus to Ayampe.

from Guayaquil

Take a bus either to Olon or Montanita. It is the CLP bus company (large brown/maroon buses) direct from the Guayaquil Bus Terminal.

from Montañita / Olon

Take a green Manglaralto bus heading north. Ask the bus to stop at Ayampe. Ayampe is approximately 25 minutes away. Taxis from Montanita or Olon are around $15.

from Quito

Take the Reina Del Camino Bus directly to Puerto Lopez.

from Puerto Lopez

Take a green Manglaralto bus heading south. Ask the bus to stop at Ayampe. Ayampe is approximately 15 minutes away. Taxis from Puerto Lopez are $5.

Once in Ayampe

The bus will let you off on the E15 by a small store. It is a five minute walk to La Casa from here. Walk straight towards the ocean. At the end of the road, La Casa is the large white three-story building directly on the corner.

See you soon!