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Montañita Beach
Montañita Beach
Lo que pasa en Montanita, se queda en Montanita
Montañita is located in Ecuador
Location in Ecuador
Coordinates: 1°50′0″S 80°45′0″W / 1.83333°S 80.75000°W / -1.83333; -80.75000Coordinates: 1°50′0″S 80°45′0″W / 1.83333°S 80.75000°W / -1.83333; -80.75000
Country Ecuador
ProvinceSanta Elena
CantonSanta Elena
ParishesList of urban parishes
 • Total1,000
Time zoneUTC-5 (ECT)

Montañita is a small coastal town in Ecuador located in the Parrish of Manglaralto in the province of Santa Elena about 180 kilometers northwest of Guayaquil.[1] Translated as "little hill", it became famous very slowly, decades ago, as a place only for surfing, with only a few rustic fishermen houses and one or two surfers tent on summer time.[2] In 1960, Montañita was the place where many foreign people linked with the hippie movement became enamored and decided to settle permanently. A popular destination for surfers from around the world and considered one of the best beaches in Ecuador's south coast, Montañita is a town located on the Peninsula of Santa Elena.[3]


The layout town of Montañita is a grid of small streets crowded with shops and restaurants. Most of the east/west roads have beach access. North of Montañita's little town is a small mountain often called the Point that separates its beach from Olon, Montañita's neighboring town. The two surfer's tents mentioned were Gringo Jack and James, who later built the first cement beach house near the cliffs.


Montañita's climate is consistent with that of a tropical, coastal city and is quite hot. Its average temperature is 28°C (82°F), and it undergoes a rainy season December to May. However, rainfall is low and typically in the evening and overnight.[4] Water temperatures range from 13-20°C (56-68°F).[5] The warm weather and rideable waves draw swimmers and surfers despite drizzly weather.[6]


Tikilimbo, a hostel in Montañita

Montañita's economy is based in tourism, mainly with respect to food service, surfing, and craft sales.[7] High season for tourism peaks in January and hits its low in June. Each February Carnival is held in Montañita. Water sports that draw tourists and locals to Montañita include bodyboarding, scuba diving, and windsurfing.

Surfing in Montañita[edit]

Surfing in Montañita offers strong, consistent waves and good tubes make it a great place for accomplished surfers and challenging for newer surfers. Montañita is an increasingly popular destination on the international surfing circuit.[5] In the summer months wave heights range from 0.3 to 1 meter. In the late fall and winter waves can be as large as 1.5 meters. On occasion, from January to March, waves as large as 2 meters can be seen. Each February during Carnival, Montañita hosts an international surfing competition.[5]


The main means of transportation are bicycles, pedicabs and the occasional truck, although the streets are mostly pedestrian. It is common to hear reggae music on street corners, tropical and hippie, with banners of peace symbols, or the portrait of Che Guevara, John Lennon or Bob Marley. The streets of Montañita are filled with bars, restaurants, and cafés that cater to all the budgets and tastes of tourists from all over the world. During the peak season, there are many electronic/house music festivals on the beach. Montañita is separated into four main sections, the beach, the point, trigrillo neighborhood and the center of Montañita.[8] There are two schools that specialize in teaching Spanish. Montañita Spanish School was the first professional school of Spanish in town.[8][9]

On December 5, 2014 the movie "Sexy Montañita", directed by Alberto Pablo Rivera, hit the cinema.

Montañita is widely known for its common cannabis use due to an Ecuadorian law according to which individuals are allowed to carry a small "personal" amount of marijuana.[10]


  1. ^ "Montañita Area Road Map: Useful Information". Montañita Area Road Map.
  2. ^ "What is Montañita?". Retrieved 2009-07-10.
  3. ^ "Montañita Beach: Running the surf of the Pacific". Ministry of tourism. Archived from the original on 12 November 2012. Retrieved 10 December 2012.
  4. ^ "Montañita: Useful Information". Helpful Information about Montañita.[permanent dead link]
  5. ^ a b c "Montañita, South America's surfing mecca". Retrieved 2009-07-10.
  6. ^ Alicia, Chang. "A Trek Through Ecuador Without A Stop In The Galapagos Is Possible". Go Montanita. Retrieved 10 December 2014.
  7. ^ Martillo, Jorge (2009-02-01). "Montañita. En la Ruta de Artesanos y Mochileros". El Universo. Retrieved 2009-06-30.
  8. ^ a b "Info: Montañita, Meet Montañita". Montañ Retrieved 10 December 2012.
  9. ^ "Montañita, Ecuador #48 The Surf Town". David Hoffman. Retrieved 10 December 2012. and Mar Azul Mar Azul Spanish School with local experienced and certified teachers. Mar Azul Spanish School offers customized private lessons. Montanita has a real reputation of being a devils town but there really is a myriad of other activities to take part in.
  10. ^

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