Made up of scruffy surfer shacks, the charm of Montañita lies less in the town itself as the jewels around it. Found on the Ruta del Sol on the Pacific Coast, this is a place of perfect surfing waves and golden sunsets, hidden beaches and mangroves, strange islands and sea creatures.
By night, this sleepy town awakens and morphs into a party hotspot where international DJs and beach raves keep revellers dancing until sunrise – techno lovers obsess over Lost Beach, voted one of the best clubs in the world.
What to do in Montañita
- Learn to surf with the pros
- Take a boat trip to see the blue-footed boobies, pelicans and frigate birds of Isla de la Plata, the so-called “poor-man’s Galapagos”
- From June to September, marvel at sperm whales making a pit-stop here to mate and give birth
- Relax on the perfect Los Frailes beach in the Machalilla National Park, where different ecosystems and microclimates create stunning scenery to explore
- Soak up the fishing village atmosphere of Puerto Lopez
Eating and drinking
Watch as your ceviche is prepared fresh on the beach or have your grilled fish served straight to your deckchair. The party scene here is legendary; grab a cocktail from one of the many stands on the side street leading up to beach before heading out to the nightclubs. For the hangover, a spicy encebollado (fish soup) is in order, or a fresh juice from the same guy who made you all those mojitos the night before.
To escape the party vibes of Montañita beach, head a few hundred metres north to Olón, a sleepy village whose beach has a much cleaner, more laidback feel to it. There are plenty of other fishing villages all around Montañita to explore. Fun though it is, safety is an issue in Montañita. Stay aware of your situation and don’t separate from your group.