Out of my Comfort Zone: Montañita, Ecuador

I not only like to travel, but I love to travel. So imagine my surprise when even for me, I end up out of my comfort zone! Where on earth could this be? It happened to be Montañita, Ecuador.It was just one of those places that make me feel a little uneasy. Montañita is a little beachside town about one hour’s drive outside of Guayaquil in Ecuador. We were going to Cuenca and had some days to spare and so decided to make a short trip over to the Ecuadorian beaches that we had heard so much about. Instead of trying out the more affluent Salinas Beach, we decided to go for the more hippie/eclectic Montañita beach, because we had the kids in tow and my husband loves to surf.

Ecuador Map

Ecuador Map

Road to Montanita, Ecuador

Road to Montanita, Ecuador

Look at the photo above on the road to Montanita! Once I saw that I knew our vacation was in for some trouble!

Why I can’t recommend a trip to Montañita, Ecuador

According to some who do recommend it, Montañita was supposed to be a “hot” surf spot, where all the local surfers go to catch some waves. My husband and kids wanted to try it out since they heard it was called a surfer’s paradise. This place looked more like a backpacker/hippie paradise to me!

Road to Montanita, Ecuador

Road to Montanita, Ecuador

It definitely was not what I was expecting when I read that “Montañita is a hidden treasure that did not even appear on the maps just a few years ago, but the combination of perfect waves, golden sand, high tolerance among their locals and visitors and tropical vegetation have slowly developed its reputation as a tropical paradise.” according to Wiki

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

Once you are in Montañita and on the beach though, there are plenty of things to do. They have quite an array of surf schools to pedicabs, and beach vendors with food carts to parasailing.

Montañita, Ecuador

Montañita, Ecuador

Montañita, Ecuador

Montañita, Ecuador

Montañita, Ecuador

Montañita, Ecuador

Montañita, Ecuador

Montañita, Ecuador

 

Montañita, Ecuador

Montañita, Ecuador

Montañita, Ecuador

Montañita, Ecuador

Montañita, Ecuador

Montañita, Ecuador

Montañita, Ecuador

It is an eclectic beach and town with handmade jewelry to street performers.

Montañita, Ecuador

Montañita, Ecuador

 

Montañita, Ecuador

Montañita, Ecuador

Montañita, Ecuador

Street performer in Montañita, Ecuador

The streets of Montañita are filled with bars, restaurants, and cafés, as well as banners of peace symbols and portraits of Che Guevara, John Lennon, and Bob Marley!  So don’t be surprised if you smell a whiff or two of that substance that hippies like to smoke. There are also street performers almost every night from fire dancers to unicycles and everything in between.

Also, at night, while returning back to our bungalow, there were some unusual characters that washed up on shore:

Montañita, Ecuador

Montañita, Ecuador

Montañita, Ecuador

Montañita, Ecuador

Speaking of a bungalow, we did find one hidden gem! It was called Balsa Surf Camp and I cannot say enough how it saved my soul! When we finally found it, pulled up into the enclosure, I was ecstatic! It was nothing like the rest of the chaos from the town and the beach. It was an oasis!

Montañita, Ecuador Balsa Surf Camp

Montañita, Ecuador

But one of the best activities to do while in Montanita, at least for me, was to people watch. There were quite a few interesting characters.

 

Montañita, Ecuador

Montañita, Ecuador

Montañita, Ecuador

Montañita, Ecuador

This guy was just sitting and relaxing at a table in town. He never even moved when I pointed my camera at him!

 

Recommended Reading about Ecuador:

The Markets of Cuenca

Should We Retire in Ecuador? Exploring Cuenda, Ecuador

Chordeleg:  A Day Trip from Cuenca

 Ahh! The Foods of Ecuador

Quito: A Visit to the Middle of the World

Cultural Tourism in a City Upon a Hill: Quito, Ecuador

And about Galapagos:

What is it really like to be on an Ecoventura Yacht in the Galapagos?

Post Office Bay, Floreana, Galapagos

Through the Eyes of a Galapagos Gringa

9 (+1) Reasons You Should Visit The Galapagos Before It’s Too Late

 

2018-02-21T03:38:43+00:00

14 Comments

  1. […] Post #8 Montanita, Ecuador:  Out of My Comfort Zone […]

  2. […] Post #7:  Montanita, Ecuador:  Out of My Comfort Zone […]

  3. Wendy DeChambeau September 6, 2013 at 12:41 pm

    I’m sorry to hear that Montanita was a disappointment. Honestly, Ecuador’s coast is okay, but not the best the country has to offer. Much better beaches can be found in other parts of the world.

    • admin September 6, 2013 at 1:02 pm

      Yes, this is true, and I don’t regret going, just want to tell people my perspective, as I did enjoy Ecuador, just not this party town.

  4. Lindsay September 9, 2013 at 5:30 pm

    OHMYGOSH! Is that a PUFFER FISH!!?? Wild! It looks pretty cultural! We didn’t make it to Ecuador coast (but did go to the Galapagos)…. I’m still trying to decide if I missed out… 🙂

    • admin September 9, 2013 at 5:56 pm

      Yes, that is a dead puffer fish that ended up on shore that night, on our walk home from the town to our “resort”. We didn’t make it to Galapagos, so now I have to go back!

  5. Lacy February 13, 2014 at 7:25 pm

    I am currently in Montanita, and I appreciate your honesty. I thought Montanita would be everything I dreamt it to be and more…but really, I don’t think it’s for me. It’s good to know that you enjoyed the rest of Ecuador much more!! I’m in Montanita the next three weeks learning Spanish, and then Ecuador/Peru for the next two months, so this gives me hope that the rest of my trip will be much more enjoyable. 🙂

    • admin February 13, 2014 at 7:27 pm

      Yes, I had to be honest and say that it wasn’t for me either. Each of us enjoy different places for different reasons. However, if you come across Balsa Surf Camp, stop on by, as it was an oasis away from everything else there! Here is the link http://balsasurfcamp.com/en/

  6. […] Post #7:  Montanita, Ecuador:  Out of My Comfort Zone […]

  7. Hannah @Getting Stamped February 15, 2015 at 10:54 pm

    I 100% agree, Montanita has been the biggest disappointment on our entire around the world trip.

    People raved about it being a great little beach town, it was far from it…We will NEVER return!

  8. April June 16, 2015 at 8:15 am

    Where or what part of Ecuador would you suggest? I have a family of 5. I would like to rent a house or villa for 2-3 weeks. I would like it to be located do that we can see the G. Islands, volcano, rain forest, and beach (tall request, I know). I also would like to be in a safe, not-too-busy, but not-too-secluded area as well.

    • Cacinda Maloney June 17, 2015 at 8:31 am

      If in Montaninta, of course Balsa Surf Camp is a great oasis from the craziness (https://www.pointsandtravel.com/balsa-surf-camp/) Otherwise, I loved the area up in the mountains near Cuenca. I wish I knew more, but if you find a place that fits what you mentioned, please come back and let me know.

  9. Cultural Tourism: Quito Ecuador September 26, 2015 at 4:12 pm

    […] Montanita, Ecuador:  Out of My Comfort Zone […]

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