|Travel Ecuador : Beaches : Ecuador Beach Resorts|
Montañita is a popular village, located on the southern Ecuador coast. The town has something of a hippy-ish atmosphere to it, with a laid back ambience. It is difficult to feel stressed in Montañita, and tourists visiting just for a day or two often end up staying a lot longer.
The town is particularly popular with surfers as there are excellent waves here. Montañita is home to an annual surfing competition, during which surfers travel from all over Latin America to take part. Surf chic is a feature of this town, which has a few funky bars and also clothes shops, selling fashionable items to those with the money to buy.
While fairly well-developed for tourism, Montañita can struggle to deal with the vast crowds that it attracts during the public holiday weekends. Be sure to book a room in advance at these times, and do not expect a quiet and peaceful weekend.
Montañita is a small village that is fairly heavily developed for tourism considering its size. While most places cater to the budget end of the market, there are a couple of more expensive options that have private parking and a pool. Montañita gets very crowded during holiday periods and you may want to consider the positioning of your hotel relative to the main strip and the continual noise during these times. Most places to stay are located either along the main street, or along the beachfront.
Out of season you may be able to bargain a bit on the price of your room, but during holiday times prices rise significantly. During these times, do not expect to be able to turn up and find a room – Montañita will often be bursting at the seams during these busier periods.
For such a small village, Montañita has a fairly wide selection of restaurants. Some of these restaurants serve the standard coastal fare of seafood with rice, patacones (fried slices of plantain) and menestras (lentils in a brown sauce). However, unusually for its small size, Montañita is well developed for the international clientele that it receives, and here you are able to find a variety of different types of international food from pizza and pasta through to Asian fusion.
Most places are open from fairly early in the morning for breakfast, through to late at night for those who are looking for a late dinner. Most people in Montañita are pretty laid back, so don’t necessarily expect rapid service.
Montañita nightlife is relaxed and laid back. You’ll find a variety of bars along the main street, most of which offer special deals on drinks during their happy hour. In addition to this, there are a couple of places to go to dance, if that’s your thing.
Montañita also usually has an alternative nightlife scene going on, with travelers hanging out on the beach around campfires. Often, there will be individuals entertaining the small crowds, either with guitars and singing, or alternatively circus-style acts, such as juggling or flame-throwing.
Montañita is most easily reached from Guayaquil, and buses leave from Guayaquil fairly frequently. Some of the buses are direct, while others are not.
Quito is quite a distance from Montañita, so if heading to Montañita from Quito, it is possible to speed things up by flying to either Manta or Guayaquil and taking a bus from either of these cities.
The bus drops you fairly close to the center of town. You can head towards the sea from the bus station, in order to find most accommodation and restaurant options.
Montañita’s beach is excellent for those wanting to surf, but beware of the strong undercurrent that exists. With a larger traveler crowd than in other coastal towns, and while Montañita is relatively safe, it is not advisable to walk along the beach at night alone. Finally, take care of your drinks in bars. Don’t accept drinks from strangers, and do not leave your drinks unattended.