Peaceful, gorgeous, natural. Just adjectives. But they describe Chirije perfectly. It’s a small lodge tucked away on a beach just south of Bahía de Caraquez in Ecuador. It’s remote enough that there is no road for the last few kilometers of the trip. Instead, a visitor needs to arrive at the sister hotel in town and meet up with a guide who can drive you out (or allow you to follow if you have a high clearance vehicle that you don’t mind getting sandy). And you need to time your visit with low tide. We planned it perfectly, without even trying. Call it vacation kharma.
This lodge has so much to offer that I will be writing three different pieces – one about the beach itself, another about the trails into the forested hillside, and this one, about the lodge and grounds.
Chirije offered a little for everyone in my family. My husband and I could hike to our hearts content, either on the beach or in the local hills. More on that in future posts. My son could hang out in the hammock on the open air porch. He could read a book, take a nap while cooled by an ocean breeze, or just sit and admire the view. The porch became the place where we shared a glass of wine before dinner (bring your own), played a game, and photographed frame after frame of beautiful sunsets. We rested there after boogie boarding the waves and hiking the local trails. It became a magnet for our family. If you weren’t sure where someone was, they would eventually show up here.
And second – probably my husband’s favorite – was the small museum filled with local archeological finds. We had our own personal tour and explanations of the many figurines and vessels found on site. The digs that have existed in the past have probably only scratched the surface of what might be found in this area. On our walks on the beach, we found pottery shards decorated with hashmarks and colored black with time. We left them for the local collection of odd bits and pieces. Instead, we brought home shells and stones, small markers of the memories we made at this timeless place.
Information For Your Trip
Bring you beach items, including extra towels. We also packed snacks, extra water, wine to have with dinner, and our own boogie boards. We used everything we bought with us.
- Direction by Car, use WAZE and look for Bahia de Caraquez, Manabi, Ecuador. Be sure to contact the hotel for the meeting point in town.