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The minimum recommended age is 14 years

Montañita

Montañita

Montañita - Santa Elena, Ecuador

Surf, Bodyboard

Montañita is considered as Ecuador’s surf capital. It’s the most popular of all the stops on La Ruta del Sol (Route of the Sun) which is a scenic route that runs along this part of the Ecuadorian coast next to the Pacific Ocean from Salinas to Manta. To get there, the easiest way is to fly to Guayaquil from Quito. It takes around thirty minutes and costs around 75 USD with Tame Lan Aerogl or Icaro airlines. The other much slower option (around 6 hours) is to get the bus from the station at Quitumbe, south of Quito, to Guayaquil. Once you’re there, you’ll need to get another bus to Montañita (between two and four hours). The journey with the bus company CLP takes two hours and although they aren’t that frequent, it’s a good option. You should buy the ticket in advance, especially in peak season. On the other hand you could get a taxi as it isn’t excessively expensive either.

Montañita gets its name from its location in a cove surrounded by vegetation rich mountains next to the sea. At the beginning of the sixties, the first surfers arrived at this peculiar place and discovered the Montañita wave and the rest of the marvellous waves that are nearby. Impressed by the quality and beauty of the place, the word soon spread across the whole of South America. A short time later, an Irish pioneer opened the first accommodation with a bar near to the point and soon enough Montañita became a meeting point for hippies and alternative movements. It’s somewhere where you can disconnect, have fun and relax whilst in full contact with nature. Around fifteen years ago, the tourism became more constant and the town began offering more services like restaurants, hostels and shops. All excellent quality and reasonably priced. It’s interesting to see the houses still being built the original way with canes and straw, but with all the comforts and hot water. There are things going on all year round and you’ll often hear reggae or some other type of music on the streets and there are many electro music festivals during peak season. The pedestrian streets are populated mainly bicycle as it’s the main means of transportation.

Montañita is one of the classic stops of the Latin-American circuit. It’s history goes back to the first international surf championship which was held in 1987 and it has since hosted the annual events known as ‘Clásicos Internacionales' and the Master of the ISA World Championship in April 2013. There are various surf schools with equipment to rent and instructors that speak English. There are other spots with good peaks near to Montañita like Las Tunas, Ayampe, Manta, San Lorenzo, Salinas, Playas and more along the Ecuadorian coast.

montanita-ecuador

Conditions

At the extreme right of the beach you’ll find the famous rocky formation known as La Punta de Montañita, it's also where the most precious wave starts to break. La Punta is a right pointbreak above a coral bottom that can be world class. Towards the left, between La Punta and the centre of Montañita, there are more peaks and options for all levels. It’s a fantastic place for those wanting a bit more peace and quiet without the pressure that normally surrounds La Punta. To the left of La Punta requires a bit more level when it’s bigger than four feet at low tide, but most of the time, especially at high tide, it’s a very safe zone which is good for learning.

The months with the good wind conditions are from December to April, the best being between January and February due to the consistency of the NE offshore wind. It holds well with all tides, from 2 to 10 feet and the best and most frequent swell is SW. Montañita is consistent but it’s useful to know about the conditions of each season. For example, from December to May it’s very hot and sunny and there are good waves nearly every day along with the occasional heavy shower at night. Between June and August the days are cloudier with light showers and the temperature is a bit fresher, around 24 ºC. This is when it’s a little less consistent and it’s a good time for learners. From October to November the days are colder, around 20 ºC, and predominantly cloudy with pretty constant light rain. Despite the latitude, a light spring wetsuit is recommended during these months.
Optimal Conditions
  • Wave
    Long & powerful righthander
  • Wind
    SE - NE
  • Tide
    Low - medium
  • Swell
    N - S
  • Bottom
    Sand - rock
  • Size
    1 to 1,5 m
  • Time of year
    October - April
Suggested Spots
  • 298 km from Montañita Talara - Piura, Peru
  • 670 km from Montañita Puerto Malabrigo - La Libertad, Peru
  • 1337 km from Montañita Costa del Pacífico - Puntareanas , Costa Rica
  • 2578 km from Montañita Oaxaca - Pacific Coast Mexico, Mexico