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I Slept Alone in a Jungle (Salinas, Ecuador)

Author: Patsy Smith
Date of Trip: April 2012


I discovered, by accident, an ecolodge on the beach of Salinas that is like a small jungle. Hosteria El Faro is a tropical paradise with monkeys, parrots, peacocks and turtles.

A sign on the side of the road pointed the way about 3 blocks down a bumpy dirt road where I ended up in a small tropical paradise.

I was in awe as I stepped inside the wall surrounding the property. The first thing that caught my attention was the 3 story lighthouse which was the home of Gabriel Faidutti, the owner of the property. Round sofas circled half of the first floor while a small kitchen took up the other half. The second and third floors were bedrooms. Lights were installed in the top floor to give the appearance of an active lighthouse at night.

Across the path was the hotel. Cold air filled the hallway. Inside my room I saw that everything was built out of natural wooden branches from the beds and shelves to the bathroom fixtures and furniture, all varnished to a glossy finish. The plump comforter had colors of greens, yellows and oranges with large fluffy pillows and outside my windows plants and flowers painted a picture of greens and purples.

Anxious to continue my exploring, I walked out onto the path, passing a rustic restaurant built of wood and bamboo with only a roof to keep out the rain. People were dining on scrumptious ceviches, fried fish and chicken al ajillo. Small monkeys jumped around on the rafters overhead, climbed down the posts and landed on top of the dog, pulling at his ears to get his attention.

Cages of cockatiels, parrots and macaws sat along the path while others held ducks, turkeys and chickens. Large blue parrots used their beaks to climb along the trees while a peacock spread it’s feathers of blue, green and purple.

As I walked down the path admiring the beautiful flowers I had to stop to let a large turtle cross in front of me.

At the end of the lane was a 2 story lookout tower. The bottom was a covered bar while the top was an open lookout area with tables and benches for the guests to admire the ocean view.

I stepped out onto a small path and followed stone steps down to the beach. There I sat on a large rock soaking up the sun while admiring the view of Salinas and watching the large oil tankers farther off from shore. Later I walked down the almost deserted beach collecting shells and watching the sand crabs scurry into their holes.

As evening approached I settled into the upper deck of the lookout tower to watch the sky light up with colors in red, orange and yellow as the sun set over the ocean and I listened to the waves crash onto the rocks below.

As my perfect day came to an end I thought that this is definitely a place I’ll come back to.

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