Curia Ecuador



This is the view from the house we rented in Curia, Ecuador (which I found using For $30 per night, we have two bedrooms, two bathrooms, a spacious living room, a well-equiped kitchen and a stunning view of the ocean. The day we arrived the sun was shining and I was optimistic that – as planned – we’d be able to spend ten lazy days hanging out at the beach doing very little except sunbathing and swimming. Unfortunately since that day, we’ve had damp, wet weather and only BigB has been brave enough to go into the water. Instead, we’ve been using Curia as a base from which to explore this section of Ecuador’s Pacific coast from Montanita to Puerto Lopez.

Curia is little more than a sleepy village just 6k or so from Montanita – where most of the tourist activity in this area is focused. The sound of the surf, which pounds the shore day and night, is punctuated in the morning by cocks crowing and in the evening by music blaring from the houses around us. Curia is a peaceful, restful spot but the longer I’m here, I’m finding myself more and more disconcerted by the cavernous gap between the lifestyle I’m used to and what it’s like to live in a rural Ecuadorian village.


Modernity is unevenly applied in Curia. People sit in houses with bare brick walls and dirt floors watching soap operas and soccer on plasma TVs sometimes with chickens wandering around their feet and pigs wallowing outside the door. I can go to the lavanderia and pay to have my clothes washed and dried in a regular automatic washing machine and dryer – at 50cents per pound, it’s cheap – but I can tell that most of the people living in this village are still washing their clothes by hand. Laundry is drying around every house on lines, hedges and walls. If the weather had held, I’m sure I’d barely notice the volume of clothing since it would dry quickly in the sun. As it is, the damp weather has meant that more laundry is added to the lines daily with very little being removed. It’s a visible sign of hard work against tough odds. I can’t help think of how much work these mothers are doing to keep their boys and girls in clean clothes. It’s a long way from choosing not to use a tumble dryer for environmental reasons.

The unpaved street has turned to mud more than once since we’ve been here causing me to reflect on simple things that we take for granted at home – like paved streets. And well-stocked grocery stores that have large signs, are brightly lit and are full of an abundance of products. Here, you might see “Se Vende …” written on the side of a house. It took me a few days to work out that the house was not for sale, rather that this was the owner’s way of advertising his or her wares. Each store is small with an eclectic mix of products. Just because you can’t see the thing you’re looking for on the shelves doesn’t mean it isn’t available – it may be, but to find it you have to ask the owner.


The guy with the bicycle in that photo is selling fish. Bicycle salesmen selling fruit, vegetables, fish or bread meander through the village or along the beach daily. You have to be in the right place at the right time to catch them. Buying food for dinner this way certainly makes you feel closer to the producer, but the randomness of it is confounding. There is a supermercado in Libertad which is an hour’s bus-ride away. We could go there and stock up – as I’m sure many locals actually do – but I’m loath to do so since that would feel like cheating on this experience of figuring out how and where to buy what we need here. The local bus passes by every 15 minutes or so making it easy to get to the larger towns of Montanita or Puerto Lopez if necessary.

I’m sure that as development marches up the coast – the streets in Montanita were recently paved, for example – Curia will change. I’m glad we got to experience it now but I’ll be curious to return here in five or ten years just to see how it has changed. Hopefully the changes will be for the better and the simple character of the village will be preserved.

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This entry was posted in Ecuador, International Escapades and tagged , , , on by .

About wandermom

". . .life is short and the world is wide" - Simon Raven I'm not sure I've ever consciously planned a trip based on this sentiment, but it definitely influences my subconscious! I've been traveling as frequently and widely as possible since I finished school. And I love it. I love the research, the planning, the fervent packing and the curiosity of exploring somewhere I've never been before. My husband & I are both Irish - as in born-in-Ireland. But we live in Seattle. We have two boys: wild, boisterous, regular boys. So, since becoming a Mom, I've been a WanderMom. Given our slightly-unusual family situation, routine "visits-to-Grandma" are international trips requiring passports, 10hr-flights and (oh joy!) airport transfers. I have rants, raves and opinions about how, where & why to travel with kids (start them as young as you can, I say!). I hope to learn even more by researching topics which other wandermoms may be interested in reading about on this blog. Passports, pacifiers, diapers and gameboys at the ready - off we go! Contact Info: Email Michelle: michelle (at) murphnduff (dot) org

7 thoughts on “Curia Ecuador

  1. Theodora (Travels with a Nine Year Old)

    I don’t think change ever comes that tranquilly, sufficient to preserve the character, and the rhythms, of a simpler, easier life. Tranquility and muddy roads, I think, go together. This is one thing I think we’ve learned travelling: that you can’t have prosperity without the consumer angst and aggression that goes with it.

  2. Sue Jackson

    I am really enjoying your trip blog so far. I am also a writer and a mother of two boys and our family loves to travel, so I can relate to your adventures. Most of our travels have been in the US, though. I am trying to plan a trip to Europe next year but am finding it a bit challenging since we are used to long road trips with our camper, not jetting across the ocean!

    I look forward to hearing about the rest of your trip both here and at your kids’ blog!

    Sue Jackson

  3. J. Is a Bird

    “It’s a long way from choosing not to use a tumble dryer for environmental reasons.”

    My family and I try to be “green” and so your statement here really struck me. You’re correct of course, something I should remind myself of, when I’m feeling proud for hanging my bras up on the shower rod to dry.

    I’ve been telling my husband of your progress. We both love to travel but have not done much “off the beaten path” type traveling. Your trip as turned into our “proof of concept” for the idea of taking our children out into the real world one day.


  4. wandermom Post author

    @J: Thanks for reading and leaving comments and our trip inspires other families to do something similar, then I´ll be very proud – and will be able to tell my husband (who chides me sometimes for thinking about blogging rather than just enjoying our traveling) that it´s all worthwhile!

  5. wandermom Post author

    @Sue: Welcome to Wandermom :)
    You know, you could always plan to rent a camper in Europe too. We have friends (from Seattle) who rented a VW Eurovan in Bremen and took it into the Nordic countries (even way up to the Arctic Circle) for their summer vacation a couple of years ago.

  6. shelley rampton

    Hello! We will be in that area in November. Where did you stay? Can you share the information on your accommodations? Would you recommend the place? We will be staying 3-4 nights in Cuenca and then 9 nights in Curio. We aren’t surfers or party people, so it that too long of a stay, or would you spend a few of those days seeing other places? We bought property in Olon, so we are going to Ecuador to check on our property, relax and eat lots of shrimp ceviche! Any suggestions would be appreciated. Thanks. Shelley

  7. Howard Smith

    Hi Wandermom
    I very much enjoyed this article on this villege and House on the beach. In 2008 my friend Barbara and I rented the same house.
    We have vacationed and traveled to gether for a number of years, and enjoyed every trip including the one to Curia. We did go to the mall in Libradad and also went to Porta Lopez. Great trips.
    Something seamed out of place to me and untill reading your account of Curia I have thought that it was not speaking any spanish that gave me the uncomfortable feeling.
    Thanks to your account of the feelings you had in Curia now I know that it was being in a Third World Village with the seamingly Happy simple lifestyle surounding us that gave me the out of place feeling.
    I enjoy your Website and will put you in my favorites.
    Thank you Howard

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