By Cacinda Maloney
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!!
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).
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.
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.
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.
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.
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