Weather on the equator is nearly perfect between January and May. Temperatures range from nighttime lows of 24 degrees Celsius to daytime highs of 31 degrees Celsius.
During Canadian winter, the Ecuadorian coast is almost always sunny, clear, and hot. In late-February, early-March we have a brief rainy season. When the rains come, you can expect about two weeks of heavy downpours. After that, the sun reappears and the surrounding hills turn a deep, verdant green.
From June through to the end of the year, the oceanic currents change, and the weather becomes cool and overcast. This is when the humpback whales arrive from the Antarctic for their mating season.
You can watch breaching whales from Casa Luna’s rooftop terrace. It is an experience you will never forget!
The nearby fishing communities offer small farmers’ markets where you can purchase fruit and vegetables at astonishingly low prices. For larger supply runs, Manta has many grocery stores of the kind you will find at home.
Megamaxi, at the Mall del Pacifico, is where most expats and vacationers shop for food. Expect North American-style selection – and prices! Hipermarket, Mi Comisariato, and the new chain Tutti, are where locals shop for most of their supplies. Prices at these stores are markedly lower.
Lower still are the larger mercados and fish markets in Manta, where locals buy their fruit, vegetables, cheese, eggs, and fresh shrimp (usually around USD 3-4 per pound) or tuna (USD 10 for three pounds). Prices are frequently negotiable, and it’s not uncommon to leave with several bags of fresh veggies and fruit for under USD 10.
Don’t forget to ask for your yappa! If you purchase more than eight or nine dollars at the local mercados, it is customary to offer an extra portion of food at no additional charge. Most merchants remember the yappa. If yours forgets, don’t be afraid to use the magic word!