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Archive for December 2015

Kite Surfing Southwest of Manta

LiveTheLifeinEcuador  | December 23, 2015

The port city of Manta is the fifth-largest city in Ecuador, and one of the largest cities in the province of Manabi. The city is famous for being an important hub for the country’s fishing and tuna-processing industries. It is also an attractive tourist spot due to its vibrant nightlife and close proximity to the handicraft town of Montecristi.

kitesurfingAdditionally, Manta is increasingly becoming a popular jump-off point for outdoor enthusiasts heading to Santa Marianita Beach, a world-class spot for kite surfing/kite boarding.

The perfect kite surfing destination

Because of its fantastic conditions for kite surfing, Santa Marianita Beach is recognized as one of the best beaches in the entire world for the sport.

The beach boasts an extended windy season that stretches from May to December, with wind speeds that average 14 to 25 knots. The 5km sandy beach combined with side-onshore wind direction and one to two-meter waves makes Santa Marianita Beach a safe and enjoyable location for beginners as well as experienced pros.

Kite surfers in Santa Marianita Beach typically use kites that measure 9m to 12m. The perfect time to kite surf is usually around noon, with the wind gradually increasing towards mid-afternoon. Kite surfers can enjoy consistent, calm wind conditions with no gusts that can last until 5pm.

More experienced kite surfing enthusiasts can choose to schedule their trip during November to January, as bigger waves that can reach up to three meters start to come in.

Other activities in Santa Marianita

  • Visitors can drop by the nearby town of Montecristi to shop for handmade crafts and other great souvenir items. Montecristi is the town where the famous Panama hats are made.
  • Surfing is a popular activity in other beaches south of Santa Marianita. Tourists can also experience whale watching at some of the beaches from June to October.
  • The Machalilla National Park in Puerto Lopez is easily accessible from Santa Marianita. Here, many tourists can enjoy activities like snorkeling, whale watching, and hiking.

If you’d like to find out more about Santa Marianita Beach and other superb kite surfing destinations in Ecuador, get in touch with Torrin Brauch at 239-848-5876 (US) or 097-994-7640(Ecuador). You can also send him an email at

Ecuador’s Organic Coffee

LiveTheLifeinEcuador  | December 21, 2015

Though Ecuador isn’t known as a large coffee-producing country, it is one of the very few that cultivates and exports Arabica and Robusta coffee beans – two popular varieties used to make coffee consumed around the world.

Because of Ecuador’s rich and biologically diverse landscape, various ecosystems within the country allow a wide range of coffee cultures to thrive.

History of coffee in Ecuador

iStock_000032700000_FullWhen coffee grains were introduced in Ecuador during the mid-1800s, it eventually became one of the country’s top export products for a very long time to come. The Arabica variety was mostly grown in coastal Manabi Province, in the mountainous province of Loja, and along the western foothills of the Andes mountains. Robusta varieties were cultivated in Guayas and the northern region.

As soon as Ecuador opened for foreign trade and commerce, many small plantations sprouted throughout the nation, boosting Ecuador’s economic growth.

Ecuador’s coffee industry significantly declined during 1903, but it recovered two years later, when the country started exporting coffee beans to several European countries.

Ecuador currently produces around 575,000 bags (60kg per bag) annually. The country exports their coffee to more than 50 countries, which include the United States, France, Germany, Spain, Japan, Colombia, Italy, Canada, Argentina, and Holland.

Coffee production

Coffee is grown in 10 of the 24 provinces in Ecuador: El Oro, Manabí, Loja, Guayas, Zamora Chinchipe, Pichincha, Orellana, Sucumbíos, Galapagos, and Napo.

Traditional methods are still used today to produce about 80% of coffee in Ecuador. Beans are handpicked, and farmers usually avoid using fertilizer for the soil. Instead of the modern irrigation systems used in most farms today, many coffee farms rely on rainfall to water the crops. Farms that use traditional methods produce about 300kg of coffee per hectare, while plantations that use technical or semi-technical methods yield about 700kg per hectare.

The relaxing hot springs of Baños de Cuenca

LiveTheLifeinEcuador  | December 2, 2015

One of the many attractions in Ecuador includes the country’s abundance of natural hot springs. One small town in particular is known for having the hottest, most rejuvenating natural hot springs – the town of Baños de Cuenca, which is conveniently located a few minutes from Cuenca, Ecuador’s third-largest city.

The town is located at the foot of a mountain where warm mineral water flows through to the valley. Sensing a great opportunity to attract tourists, the town’s residents took advantage of the natural resource by building spas and mineral spring parks where people can relax and enjoy bathing in the warm mineral pools.

A few of the mineral spring parks are perfect for families with small children, as the pools are completely natural, with no chlorine or other chemicals added to the water.

Benefits of natural mineral spring water

There are many healing effects that come from bathing in natural mineral spring water. Simply inhaling its vapors is already an effective treatment for those with asthma, allergies, sinus problems, or other respiratory conditions.

As the water flows through underground canals, it absorbs minerals such as calcium, sulfur, iron, magnesium, and others. Waters rich in minerals are known to be good for health issues like arthritis, joint and muscle pain, heart and circulatory diseases, and other physical ailments.

Piedra de Agua

Photo courtesy of

Photo courtesy of

One of the most popular thermal spas in Baños is Piedra de Agua, a well-designed venue that offers a range of services and relaxation amenities.

The spa boasts several top-notch features which include:

  • Thermal pools
  • Underground thermas
  • Massage caves
  • Steam baths
  • Music therapy caves
  • Relaxation terraces
  • Volcanic mud pools
  • Japanese pools
  • Skin treatments

Visit Piedra de Agua’s official website for more information.

If you’re interested in visiting the mineral spring parks and spas at Baños de Cuenca, LIVETHELIFE can gladly help plan and schedule a trip for you. Simply get in touch with Torrin Brauch at 239-848-5876 (US) or 097-994-7640 (Ecuador). You can also send him an email at