Montanita is synonymous for surfing and partying for most backpackers all at a reasonable price. It is really a bubble away from most of Ecuador, where you can spend the day in flip flops on the beach enjoying the slow pace of life and doing very little.
The waves bring many surfers to Montanita, however you can easily learn (if you are new to surfing) as the waves are really for the beginners. For me, I didn’t surf but was happy to watch the ‘show’ of all the others enjoying the waves. But don’t expect the beach to be as pristine as some of the other beach spots in South America.
Whilst there you must try the ceviche, where you can enjoy the mix of fish, octopus, squid and prawns! As well as a cocktail from ‘Cocktail alley’.
The nightlife is where the slow pace of Montanita disappears with music and dancing coming out onto the streets from late evening to the early hours of the morning. The peak times are from Thursday- Sunday, but by Sunday evening the area becomes quiet and ‘recovers’.
If the party lifestyle isn’t your thing, it is easy to take the bus up the coast (Ruta del Sol) to other nearby beach spots where the beaches are really empty and to enjoy the small villages with local fisherman. Or even get to the Isla La Plata where you can see some amazing wildlife- similar to the Galapagos.