Puerto Cayo, Ecuador


Price per night from$398.20

Price information

If you haven’t entered any dates, the rate shown is provided directly by the hotel and represents the cheapest double room (inclusive of taxes and fees) available in the next 60 days.

Prices have been converted from the hotel’s local currency (USD398.20), via openexchangerates.org, using today’s exchange rate.


Nurturing tropical nest


Sitting pretty by the Pacific

Designed with preserving its precious biodiverse surroundings in mind, Tanusas Hotel & Villas in Ecuador has just 15 naturally crafted rooms and thatched villas, coddled by swathes of virgin greenery, set just steps from the Pacific. Surfing, mountain-biking and whale-watching rev up a relaxed beach break here, and lush nature reserves nearby guarantee sightings of native monkeys. And, this sense of place extends to the kitchen, where Alain Ducasse-trained chef Rodrigo Pacheco uses unique local ingredients in his rainforest-and-ocean-sourced cuisine – the paper parasol on top of this piña-colada-hued hideaway’s offerings.

Smith Extra

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A welcome drink, chocolate-covered fruit and two glasses of wine


Photos Tanusas facilities

Need to know


15, including 10 villas.


11am, but late check-out is available until 6pm, subject to availability and a fee (50 per cent of the full rate). Earliest check-in, 2pm.

More details

Rates include breakfast and a welcome drink.


Manager Pacheco hires staff from the surrounding villages, and he’s embarked on a ‘green’ school project, to raise awareness about rainforest conservation and ethical harvests.

At the hotel

Private beach, 39-hectare forest with walking trails, lounge (with decor inspired by the colourful city of Montecristi), parking, bikes and surfboards to borrow, sauna, free WiFi throughout. In rooms: air-conditioning, ocean views, organic eco-friendly bath products.

Our favourite rooms

Set a short stroll from the main house, and shielded from prying eyes by palms and cacti, the Honeymoon Villa is the most secluded. Spend lazy lie-ins gazing at panoramic views of sprawling greenery from your bed. Hand-thatched fixtures add an authentic air, and a pair of ocean-view sunloungers accentuates the petite private pool’s deck.


Outside the main house, by the bar, there’s an ocean-facing heated pool and a large bamboo-shaded terrace. Stretch out on the sunshine-yellow sunloungers that surround them.


The spa offers essential-oil massages that’ll leave you as headily scented as the grounds. There’s also a sauna and jacuzzi to round off the pampering options. Be sure to book in advance.

Packing tips

A pocket-sized Spanish phrasebook if your Español isn’t up to scratch.. Don’t pack that Panama hat: handsome, locally made toquilla hats are sold on-site. A cache of GoPros ensures some action-packed holiday snaps too.


Pacheco’s wife owns a fitness studio in Quito and gives pilates and yoga lessons. Please note visitors to Ecuador are required to show proof of public or private health insurance upon entering the country. Without this, you could be denied entrance.


Well-behaved pups are welcome for an extra fee (under-5kg are free; 6–15kg are $15; 16–25kg are $25 and over-26kg are $45). Prices are charged once every three nights. See more pet-friendly hotels in Puerto Cayo.


Baby cots (US$20) or an extra bed (US$40) for five-to-12 year olds can be added to rooms, kids' meals are offered, and babysitters can be hired for an extra fee with one day advance notice. The Two-Bedroom Villas are spacious enough for families.

Sustainability efforts

Absolutely –Tanusas Hotel & Villas is set on a small section of the world’s last five per cent of dry forest land, so sustainability and conservation take centre stage. There are solar panels throughout and waste is filtered. Furnishings in-rooms and around the hotel are hand-crafted by local artisans, ingredients come from local farms, and the hotel owners have started community programmes focused on responsible food production, nutrition, education and protecting the environment. You’re also encouraged to take part in cultural activities, including lessons on the making of toquilla-straw hats, to ensure Columbian traditions are kept alive.

Food and Drink

Photos Tanusas food and drink

Top Table

Sit peering at the ocean through the swaying palms on the clearing just outside the restaurant.

Dress Code

A casual beach-chic look works well; layer it up with a light jacket once the post-summer sea breeze cools.

Hotel restaurant

Here, the in-house chef’s Ecuadorian cuisine is plucked straight from the source: forest-scavenged fruits, fish and crustacea straight from the nets (often Pacheco’s own) and kitchen-garden goodies that showcase the Manabí Province in full flower. The menu changes daily, but expect carita-fish fillets with curried-artichoke salad, or fig parfait with sea-salt sables and coffee ice-cream. The thatched restaurant is coolly casual with sun-saluting views. Lunch is served here, and a generous buffet – with must-try home-made dulce de leche – is laid out in the breakfast room.

Hotel bar

The small but sweet, citrus-hued bar – on the pool deck – is strung with kitsch pineapple lights and displays local handicrafts. Signature cocktail Sol de Manabi (rum, passion-fruit juice and cinnamon) is the perfect poolside cooler. If abstaining, sip an iced glass of zingy Limonada del Coco.

Last orders

Breakfast is served from 8am to 10.30am, lunch from 1pm to 3pm. In the evenings, the chef’s magic comes into play from 7pm to 9.30pm.

Room service

From 8am to 11pm, burgers, grilled octopus, tempura platters, deep-fill fish sandwiches and home-made ice-cream can be whisked to your door.


Photos Tanusas location
Ruta Del Sol Vía Puerto Cayo Manta 12k
Puerto Cayo

The hotel is on a 50-acre reserve on Ecuador’s Pacific coast, flanked by dense verdure and a quiet beach in little-known Manabí province. Fishing village Puerto López is 40 minutes’ drive away, and Machalilla National Park lies to the north.


Eloy Alfaro International Airport is the closest, about an hour’s drive away. European flights connect via Quito or Guayaquil and direct flights are available from major US hubs.


It’s not essential to book a car as the hotel can arrange day trips and airport transfers. Ensure you have GPS if you do hire a car as signage is sparse. There are car-hire booths at the airport.

Worth getting out of bed for

The hotel’s 43-acre reserve has plenty for nature-lovers. The hotel can arrange trips to vast nature reserve Machalilla National Park, a 45-minute drive away, which comprises of pelican, albatross and booby-populated Isla de la Plata (a sort of mini Galápagos) and protected forest – home to howler monkeys, ocelots, white-tailed deer, armadillos and more. Bike or trek through the trees, take a whale-watching trip, or scuba dive from Los Frailes beach, where manta rays and sharks hang out. The pottery workshop also has guided sessions on the making of traditional toquilla straw hats. 

Local restaurants

Daily changing dining is included in your room rate; trust us, you’ll want to savour every morsel of these chef-prepared meals. However, if you’re looking for something local head to Puerto Cayo for Manabi-favoured feasts at Cabalonga and fresh woodfired pizzas, served Wednesday to Sunday, at the unassumingly red-hooded Cabaña Rojo.


Photos Tanusas reviews

Anonymous review


Every hotel featured is visited personally by members of our team, given the Smith seal of approval, and then anonymously reviewed. As soon as our reviewers have returned from this boutique beach retreat on the Pacific Coast and unpacked their ikat-patterned shawls and pan-pipes, a full account of their chilled-out coastal break will be with you. In the meantime, don your shades for a quick peek inside colourful Tanusas Hotel & Villas in Ecuador…

Fine dining steps down from its ivory tower at Tanusas Hotel & Villas, and slips on a pair of flip-flops. Chef and manager Rodrigo Pacheco has plied his tasty trade in world-renowned eateries, but it’s only here that you can calypso back to your suite’s hammock for a snooze after polishing off his locally plucked delicacies. Work up an appetite with a horse ride through mangroves, spotting the furred and feathered locals or somehow upping your relaxation levels in the spa. If decision-making becomes too tiresome, ask staff to plan your itinerary. Don’t be afraid to get pally with Pacheco too: he runs cookery classes and often attends fishing excursions, so guests can glean a few tips on how to recreate his decidedly local dishes back home, albeit with supermarket-foraged ingredients.

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Price per night from $362.00