Montañita: nightlife, surf and Nature

  Marica&Sonia   |     29/09/2015

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We begin to explore Ecuador on the 29th of September from Vilcabamba, located in the province of Loja, 45 km far from the homonymous city. We are attracted by this place because people say that the inhabitants here live longer than usual. Nobody knows the exact reasons, but it is assumed both for the diet and lifestyle that they lead. Here you can breathe pure air; indeed, the valley is surrounded by the mountain Mandango which is considered a historical place of Inca’s refuge.

We recommend staying in a very nice hostel with a perfect position for total body and mind relaxation: Izhcayluma- $ 17 for a double room (Ecuador uses the US dollar as currency). In the early morning, in fact, we take part in a yoga class in the middle of nature, with a peace and silence difficult to describe.We stay here for 2 nights in order to rest and relax a bit.

Then we leave for Montañita passing through Cuenca and Guayaquil (the bus costs about $ 20 for about 12 hours of travel).

Montañita is located on the south coast of Ecuador and has become famous during the last few years especially for surfing. Thanks to it, a hippie’s movement has also developed in the village. Surf here is the most popular sport. It is practised all year round but the most popular period for tourists goes from December to April. The water temperature reaches 25 degrees, so you just need a lycra t-shirt to protect yourself from the sun and then you can start challenging yourself. There are waves for all types of surfers: from beginners to the most experienced. Surfboards can be rented directly at the beach. A lesson can cost you $ 20 an hour (slightly more expensive than Peru - Mancora - where we paid about $ 10) and there are surf schools everywhere.

The name Montañita means "small mountain", and on the main street of the village, you can find stalls with local crafts, shops, restaurants, bars, pubs and hostels/hotels. This location is also famous for its nightlife. The music starts in fact from the afternoon and ends with the first lights of dawn.

We stay at a hostel called Kiwi Hostel for $ 10 per person in a 5-bed dorm with private bathroom. Here we find prices quite high compared to other countries of South America, probably due to the popularity that it is reaching thanks to various international surfing competitions. But we manage to share a bed and save a little.The next day, we have lunch at the Punta Hills Hotel, a hotel-restaurant with a fantastic view of the bay below, together with 2 Ecuadorian guys met on the beach.

We order a plate of rice with vegetables and fish for $ 6. We must admit that this week the weather is not the best, always cloudy and almost rainy.

The day after we visit the long Olón beach (40 min walk from Montañita) with our Argentine friend David and Los Frailes in the Machalilla National Park.

Olón is an alternative place to Montañita especially if you want a relaxing holiday and here you can also surf!

While Los Frailes is a virgin beach that, unlike the other beaches that face the Pacific Ocean with big waves, is located in a small bay. In the park there are 2 beaches, but only in the first one it is possible to swim because the second one is a turtles’ conservation area. From this last one, you can see a small island a few meters away. It is also possible to meet lizards of various sizes and colours during the hike.

If you are not tired of walking, we suggest you reach the "mirador" - panoramic viewpoint - where you can admire the beauty of the beaches and the unspoiled vegetation of this park.It can be reached by local bus, 1 hour and half from Montañita for 2.50 $ or by taxi. On the way back, we are lucky to meet a local gentleman who offers us a ride to Las Tunas and from there we catch a bus for $ 1.50.

We spent 5 nights in Montañita and we could enjoy nature, nightlife and meet new friends.

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