When traveling in Ecuador a visit to the beach-town of Montañita is a must. Its amazing surfing, great food spots, crazy partying, perfect beach, and general awesomeness make it very popular! Backpackers from all over South America, North America and Europe gather here to enjoy the laid-back vibes and low costs. Dorms in Montañita start as low as $5 per person and the cost of a meal ranges between $1-$10!
Originally a fishing village, Montañita became popular amongst hippies and surfers in the 1960s. The crowds who visit today haven’t changed much (and it’s definitely still a village), but the locals have taken up surfing and become world champions in the process! Mimi Barona is a local surfer who has recently been smashing international surf titles. The waves are good all year round but best from December to May. If you are looking for somewhere relaxed to learn Spanish, learn to surf, or just chill out, don’t miss out on this little piece of paradise.
Montañita is the perfect beach town in Ecuador
Allegedly one of the best beaches on the Ecuadorian coastline, Montañita is stunning. If you’ve seen an amazing picture of a beach sunset, you know those ones with the silhouette of a surfboard in, chances are it’s Montañita. Spending time on the beach here is so much fun, you don’t have to move for a thing as vendors will pass by selling ice-cold beers, coconuts, snacks, and even ceviche! You can also rent shaded beach chairs which can be necessary on a scorching sunny day (be prepared with lots of suncream, the UV is crazy).
To surf or not to surf, is not even a question! If you’re a pro, you’ll love the waves here, which are good all year but especially between December and May. There is a spot at the northern end of the beach called La Punta, where all the locals surf and the waves can be up to 3m! If you’ve never surfed before, Montañita is the perfect spot to learn. Boards go for about $10-15 for a half-day rental, and you can even take classes for about $20. Some places we recommend are
Montañita is home to some of the best parties in Ecuador, from techno club Lost Beach to the multitude of bars on Cocktail Alley, there is something for everyone. Check out Montañita Brewing if you like a good craft beer, or Hola Ola for some crazy ‘spring break’ style parties at the weekends. For more options, don’t miss our list of the top 10 places to party in Montañita.
Whatever your budget, there are plenty of food options in Montañita. From the range of amazing street food stalls which sell traditional Ecuadorian ‘pinchos’, to Argentinian empanadas, pizzas and even burgers, these meals won’t put you back by more than a couple of bucks. On the slightly pricier side (AKA restaurants with actual seating areas) you can find Italian, Thai or even sushi. If you’re feeling fancy, try the seafood platter at Tiki Limbo.
Places to Stay in Montañita
If you’re on a budget, try the $5 dorms at Iguana Backpackers or $6 dorms at Funky Babylon Backpackers. The latter even has breakfast included as well as a big kitchen for all of you meal preppers. For a something out of range of the blaring music but still on the seafront, try Kamala hostel (it has a pool!). Most hostels have surfboards to rent and can sort out surf classes and other activities for you.
Although Montañita has a reputation for being safe, locals recommend that women don’t walk along the beach alone at night. Keep your phone out of sight when you’re out clubbing for best measure too.