Esmeraldas Canton Tourism

Esmeraldas is a beautiful city in the coastal region of Ecuador. Visit this tourist destination and marvel at all its attractions. Discover how to get there and everything you can do there.

Tourist Esmeraldas

Emeralds always in the sound of marimbas that move the joy of its beautiful people. Its fertile land, full of tourist and rural treasures with beautiful beaches that call local and foreign tourists.

Esmeraldas Canton

Esmeraldas, the capital of the Green Province

La Esmeraldas is the capital city of the province of Esmeraldas located at the north of Ecuador, the name of the city was given before that of the province, with a date of elevation to canton on July 25, 1824. The territory of the canton is armored by a rainforest full of lush vegetation even after exploitation work in the territory that has been taking place since ancient times.

The cultural and social union of this city is unique and keeps a very unexpected history of freedom in the middle of a territory ruled by the colonizers during the conquest of America, due to the migratory processes driven by its natural and economic wealth throughout the centuries.

Preferred by national and international tourists for its warm beaches, it has become a center of tourist concentration during holidays and festive dates that fill the national calendar.

History of the City of Esmeraldas

The Spaniards founded San Mateo de Esmeraldas for the first time with great success for its exuberant natural and mineral wealth. According to ancient stories, the first arrival to its shores is made by the Spaniards who encountered the ancient people of the place, the Yumbos who dressed with many gold items and other traditional pieces that looked like emeralds. This was the antecedent that turned many explorers at the end of the 18th century to Esmeraldas becoming an important center of gold exploitation during the colonial era.

The first settlements of the colony did not prosper due to the bravery of the "Kingdom of the Zambos", named after the territory that was independent of the Spanish crown and inhabited by Afro-descendants slaves and fugitives who mixed with the native Yumbos, they had their own laws, and they helped many African descendants fleeing slavery for a long time.

The most important celebrations of this city have to do with  religious rituals, their patron saints, among them San Antonio or La Virgen del Carmen, present us with a deeply Catholic people who live the Christian rite in a different way, all thanks to that ancient union between African and Spanish customs, hence the importance of many of their rites that have nothing to do with the traditions of the rest of the regions of Ecuador, for example the Chigualo which is the funeral of a child of more or minus 9 to 10 years, the deceased (Angelito) is dressed in white, giving him a crown and a white paper palm, as a symbol of immediate access to heaven.

In the same celebration, when the night falls the singers sing chigualos and lullabies accompanied by drums, marimba, cribs, maracas and guazás. The rhythms of the area lead women to dance, and many times the godmother takes the little angel to dance on her arm as a lullaby. This is a symbol of celebration that the little angel achieved eternal glory.

Esmeraldas Tourism

Places to discover in Esmeraldas

Esmeraldas Beaches

Las Palmas t is located in the city and you can enjoy the pier.

Esmeraldas Weather

The city of Esmeraldas has a tropical climate that usually reaches 30 degrees celsius, rainfall is not the same as in the mountains as they also occur in summer, which would not be expected in a subtropical region.

Sunscreen with UV filter, sunglasses, a cap and a bit of repellent should be packed first in your suitcase when deciding that you will visit this coastal city of Ecuador.

Parishes of the City of Esmeraldas

  • Urban Parishes:
    •     August 5
    •     Bartolomé Ruíz
    •     Emeralds
    •     Luis Tello
    •     Simon Plata
  • Rural Parishes:
    •     Tabiazo
    •     Tachina
    •     Long Turn
    •     Prawns
    •     Chinca
    •     Carlos Concha
    •     Majua
    •     Saint Matthew

Typical Esmeraldas dishes

Esmeraldas Canton Gastronomy

The typical Esmeraldas food shares small variations with that of the whole province. We can find many dishes made with seafood, among them: shell ceviche, shrimp ceviche, fish ceviche, ensumacao, cevicangre, the encocado, the tapao and many more. The most characteristic delicacy of this area is the delicious Cocada, traditionally introduced in the Americas by Spanish settlers, the origin of the recipe originates in the convents of Creole nuns in Peru and that was initially marketed as a sweet elaborated in convents, but at present it is a tradition that any visitor who arrives at the beaches of Esmeraldas, takes as a souvenir and gift to their dearest. The recipe is made mainly of coconut, sugar and milk is still followed by the book in Esmeraldas, it was merged by changing the sugar for the panela, so we can say that the ingredients in the Ecuadorian version have a slight change in its flavor.

The city is a fishing port that invites us to taste a unique cuisine of the sea and can be appreciated through the freshness of its ingredients and the warmth of those who offer their product, if you go to a popular place, you will find costs that accommodate to any pocket, but with unique preparation quality, a flavor that will eclipse your palate.

Esmeraldas Canton Culture

The site of great cultural exhibition is the House of Culture of Esmeraldas that often seek to promote cultural presentations with local themes of the province, there it is possible to find ancestral dance, new musical creations with Afro-descendant fusion. Here stalls you can get a lot closer to the culture of Esmeraldas and live an unforgettable artistic experience of Ecuador.

Esmeraldas Festivities

Popular festivals

  • Carnival:tourists are expected with arms wide open, especially.  The sun, the sand, food and waves are the main attraction that summons locals and tourists.
  • Afro International Music and Dance Festival: It is a space where the roots of the African descendant people are displayed with pride,  their ancestral culture has been merging with and changing.
  • Independence celebrations: It takes place in July and August every year, the city lives very happy days and celebrates this festivity in a big way. There are many activities scheduled for enjoyment such as folk dances, craft fairs, parades, cultural events as well as sporting events that bring athletes from all over the country together.
  • Festivities for the month of Afro culture: It is celebrated in October in recognition of men and women of the Afro people who have contributed to the work, culture and traditions for the development of a multiethnic and multicultural society.

Religious Holidays in Esmeraldas

  • Easter: A pilgrimage is given through the streets of the city, very traditional throughout the country.
  • Festival of San Pedro and San Pablo: It takes place in June, at El Panecillo neighborhood.


  • Trans Emeralds
  • A ground transportation service that will make your trip pleasant has some routes so you can move comfortably.

Common Destinations:

  • Tonsupa
  • Tonchigue
  • La Concordia
  • Portoviejo
  • Salinas
  • Guayaquil
  • Quito

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