Montañita Travel Guide

Montañita, Ecuador: Our 2020 detailed guide from how to get there, where to stay, what to do and much much more!

Montañita, Ecuador Brief Summary

  • Located on Ecuador’s coast.
  • Home of beautiful white sand beaches and tropical greenery.
  • Well-known for its laid-back, bohemian vibe.
  • One of Ecuador’s nightlife capitals.
  • Famous among surfers for its strong surf breaks.

Montañita Guide Contents:

  1. How To Get To Montañita – Compare transportation options.
  2. Sightseeing & Tours In Montañita – Most popular activities for travelers.
  3. What to Do in Montañita – Activities to try in Montañita.
  4. Nightlife In Montañita – Good places to go for a drink.
  5. Montañita Safety Tips – Safety issues to be aware of.
  6. Where To Stay In Montañita – A few of the best options in Montañita.
  7. Photo Gallery – A few of the best photos of Montañita.

Below, we have created our extensive guide to Montañita based on our expert local knowledge and experience transporting countless people in Ecuador each year.

SIGHTSEEING & TOURS IN MONTAÑITA

ISLA DE LA PLATA

Two hours from Montañita by boat you’ll find the Isla de la Plata. It is the home of hundreds of bird species like the blue-footed booby or the frigatebird.

The tours often include snorkeling or diving in the zone. You can book a tour with a reliable agency in the town of Montañita itself. The island can also be toured on foot, but only in the company of qualified guides.

IMPORTANT: There are no shops or restaurants on the island, so take plenty of water and snacks. Other must-brings are: sunblock of at least 50 SPF, a hat, a bathing suit, a towel, and good shoes to walk under the sun.

la plata island - ecuador
la plata island - ecuador

ROUTE OF THE WHALES

Between June and October, the migration of the humpback whales offers a unique spectacle really close to Montañita in Ecuador’s Coast. If you travel to town around this time of year then we recommend you make your way to see the whales as they pass with a reliable sightseeing tour.

Generally, whale tours last an hour and a half. It only takes 15 minutes until you can see the whales passing. The guides say that the whales are happier and more likely to jump from the water on sunny days.

hunchback whales - montañita ecuador
hunchback whales - montañita ecuador

AGUA BLANCA

Inside the National Park Machalilla, you’ll find a community that keeps alive the archeological museum that holds crucial pieces of the Manteño culture. In this community, you’ll find the famous stone chairs and sulfuric waters that are said to have skin healing properties and are great for relaxing.

agua blanca commune - ecuador
agua blanca commune - ecuador

SALINAS BEACH

From Montañita you can travel to Salinas Beach, whose environment is a little less boho than the one in Montañita. Here, you can find great options for restaurants, malls, and accommodation in slightly more luxurious hotels near the beach than you can find in Montañita.

salinas beach - ecuador
salinas beach - ecuador

WHAT TO DO IN MONTAÑITA

The town of Montañita is one of the most beautiful places to visit on Ecuador’s coast. Come here to relax and get some sun, and enjoy any number of the many activities available. Here are the best options for things to do in Montañita:

RELAX ON THE BEACH

As one of Ecuador’s most beautiful beaches, Montañita offers the perfect opportunity to just relax on the beach. Make sure to set aside some beach time while you’re in town.

GO PARTYING!

There is no better place to have a good time than in one of Montañita’s many bars, clubs, and hostels. Party the night away with cheap drinks, good music, and fun-loving people from all around the world in Ecuador’s fiesta capital.

GO SURFING

Montañita is known for having some of the best surfing around, with areas suitable for both beginners and experienced surfers. Regardless of your skill level, discover for yourself what makes this town’s surf scene so legendary.

OTHER OPTIONS

BEACH SPORTS

Join other beachgoers for a game of soccer or volleyball on the sand. Another popular pastime is yoga, and you’ll find plenty of people practicing their downward dog or mountain pose in the quieter areas of the beach.

DIVING AND SNORKELING

The warm, equatorial waters of Montañita are the perfect place to spot exotic fish species and marine wildlife. Go diving or snorkeling to see some extraordinary underwater ecosystems for yourself.

AERIAL SPORTS

Touch the clouds as you paraglide over the coast and see Montañita from above. Or if that doesn’t get your adrenaline pumping enough, take to the sea for some parasailing or kitesurfing.

WHALE WATCHING

Boat tours are available between July and November to see humpback whales, who make the journey all the way from Antarctica to mate and give birth in the warm waters off Ecuador’s coast.

NIGHTLIFE IN MONTAÑITA

Nightlife in Montañita

Montañita is the right place to enjoy the best beach parties in Ecuador. It is famous for attracting young travelers from around the world, eager to live life and experience the party at its finest.

Visit the infamous cocktail street, which leads directly to the beach and visit any of these places:

Lost Beach Club – Montañita, a place full of electro music that boasts regular festivals and renowned guest DJs. A “must” in the nightlife of Montañita.

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Caña Grill, a multifaceted place where, during the daytime, you can eat delicious hamburgers. In the afternoon you can grab some cocktails and, during the evening you can party all night long. This place is famous for being one of the first clubs in Montañita and for having a dance floor covered with sand.

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Hola Ola is a fun place with an indoor pool, great music, and a really diverse environment, it also has great snacks. Make sure to ask about its open bar.

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If you want to enjoy Latin music, from salsa to cumbia, merengue and even more tropical music, Alcatraz is the best option for you. There are two floors of pure fun, the drinks are affordable, there are usually themed nights and it’s always full of people.

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Nightlife in Montañita

MONTAÑITA SAFETY TIPS

  • Don’t carry too much cash on you. Take only what you’ll need for a few days.
  • Try to avoid using ATM machines after dark, if possible.
  • Avoid flashing valuables like cell phones, expensive jewelry or credit cards when in public.
  • Don’t get distracted. Always keep an eye on your belongings.

WHERE TO STAY IN MONTAÑITA

where to stay Montañita

The decision of where to stay in Montañita very much depends on the type of traveler you are. If you like parties and enjoy the merry atmosphere, the hostels downtown are ideal. You’ll easily find where to have fun and rest a while before keeping it up at the beach. We recommend:

SELINA – MONTAÑITA

This is the place where travelers will find the comfort they crave. With a pool, a bar and even a coworking space, combined with a unique party environment and all just a few steps away from the beach. In Selina you can also buy your Ecuador Hop passes to keep travelling around the country.

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HIDDEN HOUSE – MONTAÑITA

This is another excellent option in Montañita. Ideal for surfers and sports lovers, even offering private surf classes. It is on the list of the top 20 best surf hostels in the world.

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If you prefer a calmer environment to rest away from the noise, but you still want to be near the beach it’s better to choose options that are further from clubbing streets like:

CASA TAISHA

A cozy family-run bed and breakfast in Montañita that supplies homes for travelers. This simple, clean and very comfortable hostel offers a quiet environment especially if you are looking to feel safe, everyone is family here. It is just a few steps from the beach. Note: It doesn’t have any air conditioning.

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BALSA SURF CAMP

Offering a complete experience with yoga, a hammock zone, restaurants, surf classes with board rental, and so much more, this place is found a few steps from the beach so you can practice.

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KAMALA

15 minutes by foot from the center of Montañita, this traditional backpackers hostel is all you need. 100 meters from the beach with an indoor pool, a bar with delicious cocktails, a restaurant, and lots of different things to do in the common areas, you can have a great time here.

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KUNDALINI MONTAÑITA BEACH HOTEL

The hostel with arguably the most amenities in all of Montañita. Located right in front of the beach with a private terrace where you can sunbathe and watch the bay, you are welcomed into paradise here. The rooms have air conditioning, private bathrooms and breakfast is included.

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WHAT TO EAT AND WHERE?

There’s nothing better than starting your day at the beach than with a powerful breakfast. In Montañita there’s a whole street dedicated just to breakfast. If you wake up hungry, you don’t need to go very far.

This street offers all kinds of breakfasts, from crepes to sandwiches and even traditional Ecuadorian breakfasts like the bolón verde (a tiny ball of green plantain with cheese or pork rind), oatmeal or green plantain empanadas.

Other great options, if you’re interested in a more elaborate plate, are Tiki Limbo, Papillon, Shankha and The Wave.

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