Ecuador

A Week's Break in Montanita, Ecuador

by Mattimperial on March 11, 2012

A Week's Break in Montanita, Ecuador

Ok, so all backpackers know the feeling.  You've been on the road for a couple of months, moving every second day and trying to pack in as many sites, scenes, bars and, unfortunately, buses as possible.  The time has come for a break, to catch up on some sleep and relax.

Well, that's the feeling I had on the road to Montanita.

I arrived at Montanita the same way I seem to arrive at most places, on a bus and armed with some knowledge passed on from a fellow backpacker. Off the bus and out to find a place to stay, my advice here is to head for the point, but hopefully you'll realise the reasons for that by the end of the story.

We (with my girlfriend) looked at a few hostels and hotels before settling on one of a small group of huts right on the beach (see photo).  I think the saying "a picture paints a thousand words" is relevant here, but let me paint a few--simple, friendly, hammocks on the balcony and right on the beach.

The plan was to spend about five days relaxing and catching some waves, which I had badly missed since leaving Sydney. The five days quickly turned into ten, and to tell you truth, I could still be living there happily if I didn't have friends to meet in Peru.

Montanita is one of those places which has got it right; it has this amazing mix of travelers, hippies, surfers and locals who all seem to be on the same wavelength, and somehow, the town still has a soul. It feels real and not overly commercialised. Don't get the wrong idea, you're not going to have the beach to yourself, but you will feel welcomed and will struggle not to have a good time.

So I guess the big question is, what does a day in Montanita involve?  For me, waking up and eating some fresh fruit bought at the market the previous day before heading to the point for a surf on those right handers my mind can't forget. This was normally followed by a nap in the hammock and maybe a stroll into town for some local seafood for lunch. The rest of the day is a repeat of the above followed by some beers in the afternoon while watching the sunset, or some cocktails at one of the pop up bars in town.

I don't recommend going to Montanita for a couple of nights. You need a bit longer to really slow down and get a feeling for the place. 

I guess one of my favourite parts of the day, which sums up the town is sunset. The whole town seems to stop and head to the beach and take half an hour out of their lives to watch this happen. After moving to London, it was about two months before I noticed a sunset, that's what the difference comes down to.


Matt
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by Laura
About 5 years ago

What was the name of this hostel Mattimperial?

Matt
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by darli
About 6 years ago

Hi Akanksha, how did you get on with your hiking? Can you recommend a tour company and rates? I had not planned on being in ecuador so im a little unprepared and would like go go to cotopaxi or at least get to some mountains without too much effort planning.. And suggestions most welcome. cheers

Matt
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by akanksha
About 6 years ago

Hi, I need some advice! It'll be great if you could help :) I'm planning to go to Quito on 10th feb. I'm wondering if it will be ok for me to climb the cotopaxi on 11th feb itself ? Keeping in mind the acclimatization etc. Also, what tour company did you use ? I'm trying to book in advance. Thanks!Akanksha

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