Sunsets in Montañita

Thursday, February 04, 2016

The Magaluf of South America, its Ecuador's very own Zante. Montañita was where I chose to turn 23, celebrate Australia Day and finish off my Ecuadorian travel experience. 8 days after arriving and the same number of sunsets later we forced ourselves to move on from the beach resort of Montañita with significantly lighter wallets and splitting headaches. Montañita is the ultimate backpacker party stop on the pacific coast.



Montañita, Ecudaor at a glance

 ✓ Language: Spanish

✓ Currency: US Dollar 

✓ Street food: $1-$4 - The most street food we've seen

  Restaurant food: $3-$10 - Look out for smaller restaurants with Menu del Dia

 ✓ Drinking: Cerveza $1 Cocktails $3

 ✓ Where to stay: Iguana Backpackers - Request the loft

 ✓ Must try food: Rasta Pan, Donde Topa, Ceviche

 ✓ Places of interest: Cocktail Alley


All prices in US Dollar


Ecuador, Travel, Sunsets, blogger, travel blogger, travelsandmore, Montanita
Birthday party 

Why visit Montañita?

When cocktails are pint sized, rum based and $2 it's very easy to see why so many people arrive in Montañita and never actually leave. There's a constant flurry of backpackers who arrive on the busses that drop you off on the main road as you enter Montañita.

Named one of the best beaches in Ecuador and best surf spots on the pacific coast there's never a day in Montañita where new people don't arrive.

There's a few reasons people choose to spend some time on Montañita beach, Ecuador but the primary reason is usually to party. In terms of appeal to tourists that aren't backpacking South America I struggle to think of any other reason to visit a place like Montañita that resembles a European party island more than it resembles anything remotely South America.  

Montañita to look at is ugly, actually it's a hideously overbuilt and messy looking coastal town with make shift bars and pop up stalls everywhere. Except for the beach in Montañita and the long coast line there isn't anything natural about Montañita and even then, the beach is so built up and packed it's hard to see where the backpackers end and the ocean begins. Even so, that's not to say I didn't like Montañita it's a purpose built party resort and it certainly serves that purpose.

There's a whole range of typical backpacker hotels and hostels along with enough food options for you to never get bored. Montañita is simply a travellers playground and I can see why so many people forget to move on.

Montañita, Ecuador 

Located on the Santa Elena peninsula along with several other coastal villages Montañita became famed for its surfing which is still ever present amongst the backpackers and hostels. There is a surf vibe in Montañita with tourists arriving to sample some of the waves and party atmosphere. Historically, Montañita was linked to the hippy movement in the 1960's and there's still influences of this in modern day Montañita.

Although very commercialised to lure in passing backpackers every aspect of Montañita as a resort has been developed for visitors to enjoy.

You can arrive easily from the North or South and all the passing busses stop on the main road to collect leavers and drop off the new arrivals. We came from Puerto Lopez on our bus and the journey took around an hour. Others chose to stop off at Olon, a smaller, quieter surf and yoga village 15 mins from Montañita.

The weather in Montañita, Ecuador is warm, the hot tropical coastal climate means sunny days and humid nights. When it rains it pours and there's usually a daily storm where the streets of Montañita, Ecuador are drenched before the sun returns again. 

The Cost of Eating and Drinking in Montañita

I would compare it to any of the European party islands in a flash. There is more street food in Montañita than probably the whole of Ecuador's capital Quito and every restaurant serves up traditional and non-traditional cuisine to the thousands of backpackers and travellers that arrive in Montañita every weekend. Enjoy a Rasta Pan ($3) - folded pizza from one of the stands on Cocktail Alley. Look out for pizza cones too, another popular Montañita special.

For traditional look for bowls of Ceviche a fish dish you'll find all over the coast of Latin America. Expect to pay ($2-$5) depending on the restaurant. 

Grab yourself a Bloody Mary from Cocktail Alley ($3) or any other cocktail you may fancy. If there's space jump on one of the plastic chairs at your favorite cocktail stand and don't be surprised if you get a little discount for spending more time there.

Breakfast is also served near cocktail alley under the multi-coloured umbrellas you can grab a toastie, smoothie or a crepe ($2) or the ultimate hangover cure of frozen yogurt ($2.50).

Some hostels in Montañita do offer a free breakfast and some also have a kitchen for guests to use, it's always wise to check on your booking but this is a great option for a budget trip.

Hotels and Hostels in Montañita, Ecuador 

There are a range of hotels and hostels to suit all budgets in Montañita. The hotels in Montañita are naturally a little pricer, you'll find yoga retreats and other types of accommodation a little further from the main drag and also in the next town along named Olon. For hotels in Montañita check out Dharma Beach you'll notice this hotel from its colourful domes. For surf enthusiasts why not try the Balsa Surf Camp or for something a little more budget friendly check out the hotel/hostel Tiki Limbo.

There are hostels in abundance in Montañita and there's a hostel to suit any budget. For budget backpackers hostel dorms in Montañita will cost around $10 and they fill up fast.

If you're looking for a quirky hostel dorm experience in Montañita try to grab a bed in the loft at Iguana Backpackers Hostel ($8) and just for a little while enjoy the madness of sleeping in a space with 12 others and no walls. Iguana Backpackers also has a small bar, communal area and a kitchen if you decide to save a few dollars and cook. They are also often looking for hostel staff to help out. 

The Beach, Montañita

At 5pm sharp, daily - travellers fill the sands of Montañita to watch the surf and the sunset. Backpackers trying to make it in Montañita walk the sands selling drinks, sandwiches, space cakes and homemade jewelry and rock bottom prices to newly arrived tourists. Groups enjoy a drink from Cocktail Alley whilst surfers surf and the sun begins to set. 

During the day the beach is equally as busy - the waves are big but the water is cool and the many beach bars and beach clubs offer shade if you're willing to rent a bed. We booked a bed at one of the quiet beach clubs for my birthday and spent the day in the shade enjoying bargain cocktails and friendly service.  

Sunsets in Montañita

The masses arrive at the beach with cameras read. Montañita is famous for the incredible sunsets and it seems time stands still for the 30 minutes the sun takes to set. Groups gather, sellers sell and surfers surf and everyone on the sands of Montañita faces the water to catch the perfect shot or the perfect Pacific sunset. Some beach front hotels and hostels in Montañita have the perfect balcony views of Montañita beach for the sunsets.

Don't be shocked at the impromptu round of applause once the sun sets and the music begins. Another wild night in Montañita is about to commence and many don't leave the beach for hour after watching the sun go down.

If anything, Montañita is nothing more than a grubby party resort with added surf and some quirky hostels but for the sunsets alone Montañita is definitely worth a night or two if you're heading down the Ecuadorian coast on to Peru.

If you do plan on visiting Montañita for a few days be sure to check out the infamous Cocktail Alley, spend as much as you like on all the tasty street food and whatever you do try to book a dorm bed in the loft of Iguana Backpackers for $8 - In my opinion the best hostel in Montañita.

Stick Montañita on your travel bucket list and when in Ecuador, do as everyone else does and head to the crowded beach of Montañita for a weekend of fun, friends and of course sunsets.

The Sunsets of  Montañita

Ecuador, Travel, Sunsets, blogger, travel blogger, travelsandmore, Montanita
Incredible sunsets - some of the best in South America

Ecuador, Travel, Sunsets, blogger, travel blogger, travelsandmore, Montanita

Ecuador, Travel, Sunsets, blogger, travel blogger, travelsandmore, Montanita
So stunning. We watched the sunset from the beach every single day
Ecuador, Travel, Sunsets, blogger, travel blogger, travelsandmore, Montanita
Everyone gathered on the beach for the perfect sunsets
Ecuador, Travel, Sunsets, blogger, travel blogger, travelsandmore, Montanita

Ecuador, Travel, Sunsets, blogger, travel blogger, travelsandmore, Montanita

Ecuador, Travel, Sunsets, blogger, travel blogger, travelsandmore, Montanita
Icecream and surfers



Montañita, Ecuador party - Survival guide

Getting around Montañita

Everything and everywhere is accessible on foot and the majority of the streets in Montañita are pedestrianised anyway. If you wish to go to the next town Olon, then take a bus from the main road.

Crime and dangers 

Like most party towns, surf towns and tourist hot spots there is a lot of petty crime in Montañita. Don't carry your valuables and don't walk alone late at night. Solo female travellers should be cautious too. 


Drugs

Drugs are widely available and constantly offered to you in Montañita. Always be cautious when buying and taking drugs whilst travelling and be aware of the impacts of drug consumption and production in Latin America. 


Click here for more Ecuador



You Might Also Like

2 comments

Need a hotel?

travelsandmore

travelsandmore was originally just an outlet to document my travels. It turned into something much more and now its more of an obsession for me than anything else. Thanks for stopping by. Don't forget to subscribe, I'll only ever send you my latest travel related blog posts right to your inbox.