In case you have a device with GPS, there are coordinates that could be helpful. We would recommend reading these instructions carefully and having a printed copy with you.
From Gualaquiza, at the bus terminal, take a small bus (they call them “ranchera”) to Proveeduria. They leave at 4:45am, 6am, 7am, 10am, 11am, 12:30pm, 1:30pm, 4pm and 5:30pm (avoid this later one as you would arrive after dark) from Gualaquiza. Most of the buses going to Proveeduria go further and usually don’t indicate Proveeduria as a destination, they may instead say Tink, Al Tink, Tin, Asao, Guapis, San Luis.
The ride takes about 35 minutes, you should look out for the village of Proveeduria and the bridge across the river (pictured below). Approaching Proveeduria the bridge will be on your right. If you are unsure if you have reached Proveeduria you can ask the other people on the ranchera/bus. Coordinates (latitude, longitude) -3.40811010662139, -78.48507017165423 (as OLC: 6783HGR7+QX). On arrival, go to the driver’s window to pay the ride cost of $0.90.
You could instead take a taxi from Gualaquiza to Proveeduria, this costs $5-6.
Once you have made it to Proveeduria, you need to walk towards the bridge. There is a path between the house pictured above and the school.
From this point, it is either:
- A 3.5 km walk. At a good pace, it will take you about 45 minutes, longer depending on how much luggage you are carrying and your fitness level. It’s simple, go over the bridge and follow the dirt road.
- If this does not sound appealing, you (may) have the option to take a boat (motorized canoe), the ride is about 15 minutes. There isn’t a reliable schedule, you may get a ride right away but you may have to wait 2 hours. Don’t count on a boat if you arrive at the bridge after 4pm, it’s too likely you wont get any. Lastly, (most) boats won’t go if the river is too dangerous (but that happen only about half a dozen days per year).
Head down to the river front below the bridge (eventually after looking down to see if there are any boats around). Depending on river level, the boat will “port” close to the confluence or a bit upriver of the bridge. and ask if they are going “arriba” (point in the direction that the road would otherwise have taken you). Likely if you are white they will know where you wish to go, but if this is not the case you may say that you would like to go to “la playa grande, la finca de los gringos”. Coordinates -3.4398281750958164, -78.47939729958773 (6783HG6C+36). The boat ride will cost $1 per person. From the beach you should be able to see a path going uphill, follow it upwards until you hit the road and driveway, then continue up to the community centre. It is possible that they will drop you at another beach slightly further up the river. In this case after following the path up from the beach you will reach the road and not see a driveway. Turn right along the road and walk for about 5 minutes, the driveway will be on your left.
- If you took a taxi from Gualaquiza, there is also the option to ask the taxi to take you over the bridge, until the road runs out. You will still have 1.8 km to walk. This ride costs $10+ total. You will need to choose a taxi that is a pickup truck as pickup (the simple car will do poorly on the gravel road). From this point follow the walking directions to find the farm.
Walk along the road until you reach the driveway and sign to your right. Coordinates -3.4385101, -78.4810077 (6783HG69+HH). Then walk up the driveway to the community centre. There is usually someone there, if not help yourself to a glass of water and bananas out of the cabinet in the kitchen while you wait.
It is highly advisable to wear wellington/rubber boots to walk the road as it is often very muddy in places. In the dry season (October-January) walking boots are usually sufficient.