Photo courtesy of Cara Befort

Ecuador Backpacking

surfing montanita ecuador the pointThe bustling surf town of Montanita in Ecuador is one of my favourite backpacking destinations. In fact it’s the place I headed to for my first real long haul solo travel experience back in 2007 and I’ve currently juts finished my third stint there.

Considering I could literally be anywhere in the world right now I think that means it comes highly recommended?!

So I thought I’d give you the low down on the beach side mecca of Ecuadorian surf lifestyle – why you should come visit, what there is to do here, how to get there and of course what you can expect to spend once you finally turn up…


Like most surf towns Montanita becomes a bubble, and once you’ve entered that bubble it’s hard to stray away – and moving onto a city no longer becomes a viable option!

sunset beer montanita ecuador backpacker-2What

So what is there to do? What keeps me coming back for more?!

For most the surf is the main draw of the town – but whether you’ve spent years trawling the globe for warm water waves or want to give it a go you’re covered. The main beach offers up some great beginner waves year round with a whole host of local surfers offering private and small group lessons and board hire is an easy option once you’ve got the basics.

For those with a bit more wave experience the bigger days hold true and you can find some solid waves across the beaches. For those looking for something a bit less crowded though (especially in high season between Jan-Apr) the neighbouring town of Olon offers empty beaches and uncrowded peaks.

backpacker montanita ecuador surf spanish-4The crown jewel in the surf through is the iconic point. A reeling right hander it can hold solid sizes of swell and is pretty forgiving with a mainly sandy bottom. Tubes, big open faces and long rides await you…but if it’s firing there will be plenty of competition in the water!

Even if you don’t surf yourself a big day of surf means grabbing a beer, heading to the rocks overlooking the point and enjoying the show!

But it’s not all surf – plenty of beach based activities are in abundance – be it games of football at sunset, volleyball, slack lining or simply kicking back and topping up the tan.

The days here are a slow pace of relaxed lifestyle – enjoy the time to unwind!

The other big draw is the world famous Spanish School in town (disclaimer – this is who I was surf coaching for!) and they run a variety of courses including group lessons, privates, survival Spanish and medical Spanish alongside other activities like surf lessons and yoga.

backpacker montanita ecuador surf spanish-5 montanita cabanas ecuador backpacker
Backpacking Ecuador!
Backpacking Ecuador!
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