Montañita Ecuador

Montañita Ecuador – Surf, party and balene

8 hours of night bus and crossing the border at midnight sealed the entry into Ecuador with the arrival at Guayaquill at 5 in the morning when it was still dark. The situation was not the most inviting.

As usual I didn’t have booked a hostel and I wasn’t even sure I wanted to stay in the city. In this year of travel I have come to the conclusion that I don’t like staying in cities especially when the alternatives on the coast seem more attractive, fun and safe.

Invited by Andrea the New Zealand girl I had already met twice in Peru I then headed straight to the sea, the day after the end of the weekend in which the birthday was celebrated Independence Day of Ecuador and where it seems that the small village, once a fishermen’s village. it was packed with people and the party didn’t stop for 2 days.
In reality, I still didn’t know that in Montanita the party never stops, regardless of national holidays.
I then get on the first available bus, pay a $5 ticket and in 2 and a half hours I arrive at this small village.

Montañita, which obviously means small mountain, is a village sui generis. Typical surf town distributed on a main street where one after another there are hostels, bars and restaurants and the ocean-view promenade, where accommodation options extend for about a kilometer and are far from the 24-hour music of the town centre.

I arrived on a Monday and yet the few small streets were crowded with local tourists, many Argentines, who as usual amazed me with the creative ways of reinventing themselves, artisans, street vendors of empanadas on the beach or street artists and obviously they couldn’t be missed surfers coming from all over the world.
A single room with en-suite bathroom costs approx $10 in the center while prices go up for ocean view rooms and in slightly more private and quiet (and less noisy) areas:

After asking around I landed on Casa Blanca hostela beautiful and spacious room with double bed, small terrace with hammock and bathroom with hot water.

Although the location of the hostel was perfectly central and the room really lovely unfortunately if you are a light sleeper it is not ideal. The music starts playing at 10am and becomes a crescendo around 6pm. For this reason I recommend other hotels/hostels (such as the Selina and the Weekendhostal)

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The small bars with cocktails at $2.50 and the clubs play until 5 in the morning and it doesn’t matter whether you close the windows…either you sleep heavily or you join the party on the street until even the last amplifier is turned off and we go to sleep for those 3 hours of silence that the village offers.

Montanita in ecuador

Why go to Montañita

Upon my arrival, the village seemed like one of the many surf towns I have been to and which the Pacific coast is full of, starting from Peru and reaching Mexico.

Nothing new therefore even if the mere fact of being a stone’s throw from the sea, despite the cold water for my tastes, is already an advantage.
But it took me a day and a half to understand that despite the loud music, the crowded streets at night and the noise, I didn’t mind being there at all.
Montañita is ideal for solitary travellers, like it or not you talk to everyone, it’s that Hippi spirit a bit like Peace and Love that makes everyone more available and open, easy to say “see you just for a drink at 9pm” and go home tipsy at 5 in the morning.


You are alone? No problem! TO Even the stones speak Montanita and you have no escape! This is one of those places where even those who, like me, are not used to going to the bar alone will be motivated to do so in the certainty of returning home with a slew of friends.
Whether you are on the beach, at the bar having breakfast or at the restaurant eating, sooner or later someone comes along and strikes up a conversation and as if by magic you teleport to some bar where there is live music or to Native Bamboo the country’s club.


I’m not a great surfer, in fact I offend the category if I declare myself one, but after having attempted to surf the waves of Costa Rica which caused me considerable fear, the waves of Montanita seemed rather simple to me. Ideal to learn to surf despite the cold water. Generally we surf with wetsuits because of the water which at least in these months of the year (summer) is not exactly temperate, the waves in this period of the year are rather small and regular, everyone surfs, as in all surf towns who respect each other.

two women walking towards the ocean carrying surfboards during day


In truth Montanita is not known for whale watching or at least it is not as famous as its neighbor Puerto Lopez but call it luck for $5 a boat took me 200 meters from the beach where a whale of about 15 meters was wallowing undisturbed showing the large tail that seemed to keep it in balance with its head under water.
This is not a usual business, the wooden boats were in fact improvised for the special occasion, but it happens! I ended up in the “whales in love” period.

black and white whale tail on blue ocean water during daytime


For everyone, Montañita means celebration, party and more party. The music starts at 10.30 in the morning and doesn’t stop until 5 in the morning. The streets begin to get crowded after lunch, the small bars that make cocktails for $2.50 work hard to serve the hundreds of customers who crowd the small street where one after another stalls with local barmen play different music and the street turns into a crowded and fun passage.
Here it doesn’t matter what day of the week it is. It always seems to be Friday even if at the weekend the number of tourists, much local and South American tourism, triples, just as room prices increase.

Cheap eating

Montañita, like all the towns on the coast, is not very cheap, within the obvious limits given that life in Ecuador is not as expensive as it can be in Argentina or Colombia, but in fact finding a nice private room for less than $10 is difficult and on weekends prices rise to at least $15 but to eat it is easy to find restaurants that sell “Almuerzo” or the menu which generally has a soup and a second course made of rice, beans and meat or fish depending on what the house has.
you just need to leave the main road and always keep an eye open for the offer.

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