I must begin this text by making a confession: for years I was convinced that Salinas held nothing to surprise me. Luckily, I was mistaken. When you live in a very active city and choose the seaside as a destination for an escapade, fleeing from places that are likewise saturated is usually the option, with intent to escape the noise and everyday life. Salinas was already a cosmopolitan beach for me, until I met La Lobería.
La Lobería is a beach located inside the Maritime Wildlife Reproduction Reserve at the Puntilla de Santa Elena, in the province bearing the same name. It is located only a five-minute drive away from the Salinas Waterfront and you can reach it by entering the Air Force’s (FAE) main gate. Access is free for nationals and foreigners.
La Lobería is a beach that is part of the Coastal Maritime Wildlife Reproduction Reserve at Puntilla de Santa Elena, within the province of Santa Elena. It lies only five minutes away by car from the Salinas waterfront.
When you reach the vast, boat-free ocean with clear and light green shades of water, such as that found in the Galápagos, you get goose bumps. It seems that your gaze is unable to reach the entire colony of sea lions that live there, or the group of surfers striving to ride waves next to them. All of this takes place while you step on white sand, with colorful fish swimming only meters away from the shoreline.
The Ecuadorian Ministry of the Environment developed a new infrastructure plan for this site, which includes self-guided paths, an observation deck at La Puntilla; cabins, restrooms and a wonderful bikeway that blends in with nature. Hence, mostly the entire reserve may be toured while bordering the ocean. It´s a dreamlike experience; especially if you get there at five in the afternoon, the time limit to enter the reserve, and you pedal while the sun sets amidst a heaven-like space of peace and quiet.
In each one of my visits -which are numerous already- I have been keen on discovering La Lobería through various activities. There are four that I recommend and mustn’t be missed at this beach: surf at La Puntilla next to sea lions; kayaking; biking and trekking along its paths; and venturing into the ocean bottom doing snorkeling. The last one is my favorite plan and it is just amazing that you can have so much fun being so close to Guayaquil, or within an hour’s span when taking a plane from Quito.
From the minute you touch the water and discover how transparent it is, you know that snorkeling will be memorable. Sea urchins or puffer fish can be observed with water at waistline depth, and it is precisely then that you realize that this reserve may be explored even from its submarine world. It is a great opportunity, taking into account the fact that no basic course is required to launch into this activity, and is suitable for children and adults. You need to be able to swim and have a good set of fins, goggles and a snorkel.
If you have not yet visited La Lobería, you must ready your backpack right away. The area offers a large array of hotels and hostels suited to satisfy the most demanding preferences. I dare you into doing this trip. Just as Mark Twain said at some point, “life has been made to explore, dream and discover”.
What to do?
- Surfee en La Puntilla junto a los lobos marinos;
- Surfing at La Puntilla next to sea lions
- Kayak / kayaking
- Ciclismo / Biking