Montañita Travel Guide

Montañita, Ecuador: Our 2019 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.

HOW TO GET TO MONTAÑITA

The town of Montañita is located in western Ecuador along the country’s Pacific coastline. The best way to get to this beautiful beachside town from other places in Ecuador is to take an Ecuador Hop bus, especially because the track that leads to Montañita is often rainy. You’ll need to count on a safe and responsible service.

Our Hop on/Hop off service helps you safely travel throughout the country and see some real hidden gems along the way. With Ecuador Hop, you’ll experience the best of the real Ecuador including many unique free stops, all on your own flexible schedule.

SIGHTSEEING & TOURS IN MONTAÑITA

LA PLATA ISLAND

Two hours by boat from Montañita, you’ll find the Island of La Plata or the Small Galapagos. It is the home of hundreds of bird species like the blue-footed booby or the frigatebird.

The tours generally include snorkeling and diving in the zone. You can schedule them with a reliable agency in the town of Montañita itself. The island can be toured on foot, but only in the company of qualified guides.

IMPORTANT: There’s nothing on the island, so you must take your water and snacks. Try to take a 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 hunchback whales offer a unique spectacle really close to Montañita in Ecuador’s Coast. If you travel to town around those days we recommend you to make the whales sightseeing tours with a reliable agency.

Generally, the tours last an hour and a half, but 15 minutes into the experience it is already possible for you to see some whales. According to the guides, on sunny days the whales are in a better mood to jump and be seen.

hunchback whales - montañita ecuador
hunchback whales - montañita ecuador

AGUA BLANCA COMMUNE

Inside the National Park Machalilla, you’ll find a commune that keeps alive the archeological museum that holds pieces of the Manteño culture. In this commune you’ll find the famous power chairs or stone chairs and sulfuric waters with skin healing and relaxing properties.

agua blanca commune - ecuador
agua blanca commune - ecuador

SALINAS BEACH

From Montañita you can arrive to Salinas Beach, whose environment is a little less boho than the one in Montañita, but that offers great options in restaurants, malls and lodging in more luxurious hotels near the beach. The journey may take you around 1 hour and 30 minutes.

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, or enjoy some of the many fun 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 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, ecuatorial 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 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

To enjoy the best beach parties of Ecuador, Montañita is the right place. In fact it is really famous for attracting young travelers from around the world, eager to live the party at its finest.

Visit the cocktail street that leads directly to the beach and stay in any of these places:

Lost Beach Club – Montañita, a place of electro music where there are always festivals and renowned 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, at evening, 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 really fun place with an indoor pool, the best music and a really diverse environment, it also has really good snack food. Make sure to ask for its open bar.

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If you want to enjoy latin rhythms, salsa, cumbia, merengue and more tropical music, Alcatraz is the option. There are two floors of pure fun, the drinks are affordable, there are usually theme 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 festive atmosphere, the downtown hostels 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

It’s the place where travelers will find all the comfort they need, with pool, bar and even with a coworking space, combined with a unique party environment 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

It is another excellent option in the town of Montañita. Ideal for surfers and sports lovers, offering private surf classes. It is on the top 20 of the 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 couple of girls have made of their house in Montañita a home for travelers. This simple, clean and very comfortable hostel offers a quiet environment, especially if you look forward to feel safe and in family. It is a few steps from the beach. Note: It doesn’t have an air conditioner.

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BALSA SURF CAMP

They offer a complete experience, with yoga, hammock zone, restaurants, surf classes with board rental, etc. It 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 hostel for backpackers is all you need. It is 100 meters away from the beach, it has an indoor pool, a bar with delicious cocktails, a restaurant and lots of different attractions in the common areas for you to have a good time.

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KUNDALINI MONTAÑITA BEACH HOTEL

One of the hostels with the most complete services in Montañita. It is located right in front of the beach and has a private terrace where you can sunbathe and watch the bay. The rooms have air conditioners, private bathrooms and breakfast included.

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WHAT TO EAT AND WHERE?

Nothing better than to start off your memorable day at the beach with a powerful breakfast. In Montañita there’s a whole street dedicated to breakfasts. If you wake up really hungry, you won’t need to go very far.

This street offers all kinds of breakfasts, from crepes passing through sandwiches and going to 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 to get more elaborated plates are Tiki Limbo, Papillon, Shankha and The Wave.