Balsa Surf Camp in Montañita, Ecuador

By Cacinda Maloney

Tropical Flower at Balsa Surf Camp, Montañita, Ecuador

Tropical Flower at Balsa Surf Camp, Montañita, Ecuador

Tropical Flower at Balsa Surf Camp, Montañita, Ecuador

Tropical Flower at Balsa Surf Camp, Montañita, Ecuador

So here I am, expecting a “hidden treasure”  with “perfect waves” and “golden sand” and a “tropical paradise”, taken directly from wiki.  I don’t know who writes this wiki stuff, but we have different ideas about what paradise is!!

Road to Montanita, Ecuador

Road to Montanita, Ecuador

Upon arrival, we did, however, find our “hidden paradise” but what we were hiding from was Montañita!  Don’t get me wrong, I like rustic as much as the next guy (OK, maybe not, but I can tolerate it for a little while if the experience of the place is worth it).

Balsa Surf Camp, Montañita, Ecuador

Balsa Surf Camp, Montañita, Ecuador

Balsa Surf Camp, Montañita, Ecuador

Balsa Surf Camp, Montañita, Ecuador

Balsa Surf Camp, Montañita, Ecuador

Balsa Surf Camp, Montañita, Ecuador

Then we found Balsa Surf Camp!!!  And after looking the town and beach area from end to end, we were lucky that is where we were staying while there.  It is an oasis away from the crazy, dirty beach that Montañita turned out to be.  The sand there is not golden, it is more like dirty brown.

Balsa Surf Camp, Montañita, Ecuador

Balsa Surf Camp, Montañita, Ecuador

Balsa Surf Camp, Montañita, Ecuador

Balsa Surf Camp, Montañita, Ecuador

Balsa Surf Camp, Montañita, Ecuador

Balsa Surf Camp, Montañita, Ecuador

Balsa Surf Camp, Montañita, Ecuador

Balsa Surf Camp, Montañita, Ecuador

So imagine my relief when we pulled into the back gate of Balsa Surf Camp and they shut the door!    Here we were in an oasis in the far east end of Montañita!  I remember feeling this way one other time before while in the Atacaman Desert in Chile, but that is another story.

Balsa Surf Camp, Montañita, Ecuador

Balsa Surf Camp, Montañita, Ecuador

Balsa Surf Camp, Montañita, Ecuador

Balsa Surf Camp, Montañita, Ecuador

Balsa Surf Camp, Montañita, Ecuador

Balsa Surf Camp, Montañita, Ecuador

It was as if they knew exactly what we needed: a hip collection of bungalows in the middle of a tropical paradise, along with some of the best eats in the neighborhood.  I could not believe our luck!  Rasty, the owner, shapes surf boards, as well as shaping the tables and chairs within the compound out of balsa wood.  He has added some great custom-built touches made from inlaid rock and glass as well.  The property is welcoming – with porches that have hammocks, the pit area, the movie room, the benches throughout the tropical property.

Balsa Surf Camp, Montañita, Ecuador

Balsa Surf Camp, Montañita, Ecuador

Balsa Surf Camp, Montañita, Ecuador

Balsa Surf Camp, Montañita, Ecuador

Balsa Surf Camp, Montañita, Ecuador

Balsa Surf Camp, Montañita, Ecuador

My husband and kids liked the fact that they could use the surfboards there, so we didn’t have to drag them along the flight path.  As well as the fact they have a great selection of boards to use.  Apparently, it is known for strong, consistent waves and good tubes, and the surfers in the family agreed with this.  Unfortunately, while we were there, Rasty was on vacation and so we never did get to meet the locally famous owner/surfer.  And I wanted Rasty to know that his staff was amazing while we were there and could not have been nicer.  They have the place working like a sweet dream, which is a reflection of Rasty himself.

Balsa Surf Camp, Montañita, Ecuador

Balsa Surf Camp, Montañita, Ecuador

 

You may also be interested in:

Cuenca, Ecuador:  Stepping Back in Time

Chordeleg:  A Day Trip from Cuenca

The Markets in Cuenca, Ecuador

 Ahh! The Foods of Ecuador

Quito: A Visit to the Middle of the World

 

 

 

2018-01-27T22:05:02+00:00

13 Comments

  1. Tara @ Miles To The Wild July 31, 2013 at 4:38 pm

    I’m not a surfer or even much of a beach person but that lodge is gorgeous! Place it in the middle of a rainforest, surrounded by exotic birds and I would be right in my comfort zone! Nice find though, I think beach people and surfers would love this place.

    • admin July 31, 2013 at 7:58 pm

      I tried surfing a few times, but finally gave up, as I tried later in life and not as a teenager! Yes, it was quite a surprise and quite a relief to have found such an amazing place.

  2. […] Post #8:  Montanita, Ecuador:  Balsa Surf Camp […]

  3. Sand in my Suitcase August 7, 2013 at 3:01 pm

    We’ve tried surfing in Cabo San Lucas and Hawaii – and it’s tough! But Ecuador looks like an intriguing place to visit…

    • admin August 7, 2013 at 9:59 pm

      I did a Diva Surf Camp in La Jolla one summer, when my kids went to surf camp in California and I finally decided it wasn’t for me! But the rest of the family really enjoys it (I have a husband and two teenage boys). But I love the ocean, so I am OK with going! Ecuador is interesting…but be sure to read my piece on Montanita, before you go, as it is not for everyone!! It is known world wide as a party town.

  4. Patti September 2, 2013 at 3:33 pm

    Wow! That 2nd flower photo is so cool!

    • admin September 2, 2013 at 5:34 pm

      Thanks so much!!

  5. noel September 2, 2013 at 4:17 pm

    A very cool place I love the buildings and the whole look with the straw roofs…sweet where’s my hammock?

    • admin September 2, 2013 at 5:34 pm

      It was awesome! An oasis in Montanita!

  6. Cathy Sweeney September 2, 2013 at 7:49 pm

    I think I could use a hip bungalow in a tropical paradise.You were lucky that Balsa turned out so nice after getting a glimpse of what Montañita was really like. I’ve been to a couple of those places described as a rustic paradise, too. 🙂 Love those beautiful tropical flowers.

    • admin September 2, 2013 at 7:54 pm

      I know I was lucky!! It was a paradise among…something that wasn’t, although my husband and kids enjoyed the surfing. They did have amazing food at the cafe within the compound, so it was a paradise within itself!

  7. Balsa Surf Camp September 21, 2013 at 1:58 pm

    WAO! what a beautiful article 🙂 We appreciate a lot this words you have dedicated to our place. We are very happy you had such a wonderful time and that you were treated good. You are very welcome to come back anytime, as everybody else that visits this blog!
    Greetings from Montanita, Ecuador!

    Rasty & Julie (+the Balsa staff)

    • admin September 21, 2013 at 3:57 pm

      A good time was had by all! So sorry we missed you, you have to have a vacation too!!

Comments are closed.