SUNSETS IN MONTAÑITA, ECUADOR
A BUDGET GUIDE TO MONTAÑITA, ECUADOR
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. With budget friendly in the air – is it any wonder that so many backpackers arrive on the shores of this coastal town?
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 budget backpacker hotels and hostels along with enough budget friendly food options for you to never get bored. Montañita is simply a budget travellers playground and I can see why so many people forget to move on.
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.
BUDGET FOOD AND DRINK IN MONTAÑITA, ECUADOR
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.
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.
BUDGET 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 which makes spending more than a few nights here perfectly budget friendly. 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, ECUADOR
SUNSETS IN MONTAÑITA, ECUADOR
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
|Incredible sunsets – some of the best in South America|
|So stunning. We watched the sunset from the beach every single day|
Getting around Montañita
Crime and dangers in Montañita
Drugs in Montañita
A 20-something travel blogger based in Liverpool. Covering all things from Latin America to Liverpool local guides and everything in between.