Beach Lovers Welcome – Montanita, Ecuador

Montana, Ecuador
Day 46-50 of our South America trip (read from day 1)

How we arrived:
We took a flight from Quito to Guayaquil which is the second largest city in Ecuador and then a two and a half hour bus to the coast and Montanita. Overall it didn’t take too long and was one of our easiest trips.

Quick overview:
As we only had 9 days in total in Ecuador we decided to not overstretch ourselves and just go to two places. In hindsight I think we would have shortened our time a little in Colombia to be able to go to Banos and Cuenca in Ecuador as we heard they were great to see too. For two Irish people deprived of sun we decided a week traveling on the sunny coast was needed.

Montanita is a small surfer town on the Pacific Coast that has gotten more and more popular with travelers over the last 5 years. Not just with the standard Gringo though, as there were plenty of South American’s there too. We met people from Uruguay, Argentina and Chile.

The town itself is small but with plenty of places to eat and drink. We spent the 4 days relaxing on the beach and heading out with a few different groups of people. I was tempted to do surf lessons but the waves weren’t meant to pick up for another week so I decided to leave it. That’s my excuse anyway…

Montanita is a really fun place and I would definitely recommend it as a stop in Ecuador. Although quite touristy it maintains decent prices for food and drink so you don’t feel too ripped off. The Galápagos Islands were another thing we missed out on but our budget wouldn’t have justified spending so much on it. Maybe we’ll come back when we’re rich. 🙂

Accommodation:
Stayed 2 nights close to the town centre at a hostel called Hidden House Hostel in a private room with shared bathroom. The hostel is pretty fun but the shared bathrooms weren’t great and the room was very basic. But a decent spot for heading to the beach and centre.

The second two nights we stayed at Kamala Surf Hostel which is about a 25mins walk up the beach from the centre. We had a private room with a bathroom. The hostel itself has amazing potential as its right on the beach, has a cool bar and a massive swimming pool. The reality was that it’s full of people “volunteering”, the pool was broken and you get a bizarre sense of being in a place that no one ever seems to leave. Aka a crack den.

Rory’s rant:
You meet quite a mix of people in hostels along the way but no matter where you are the “volunteer” guy is generally a knob that thinks he’s cool. That and they don’t actually do anything in terms of work so the more volunteers the more terribly run the hostel is as a rule of thumb.

Sorry mate…Dreadlocks aren’t cool on a 27 year old Australian and you smell appalling.

Heather’s highlight:
We had the beach to ourselves and the waves were so high so we spent the days jumping around in the sea. There is also a good nightlife scene with little stalls by the beach serving cocktails for cheap!

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