Montañita Travel Guide

Montañita is a surf town in Coastal Lowlands. This travel guide has information on all the best things to do, see, eat and more when visiting Montañita, Ecuador.

Montañita Travel Guide: A Comprehensive Tour Guide

Welcome to Montañita: a small surf town located in Coastal Lowlands, Ecuador. This guide aims to provide you with all the information you need to plan an unforgettable trip to Montañita.

Introduction to Montañita

Montañita is a laid-back beach town that attracts surfers, backpackers, and travelers. The town has a bohemian vibe, and it’s a great place to chill out and relax. The main street of the town is filled with restaurants, bars, and street vendors selling local crafts. The beach is the main attraction, with world-class surfing and sunbathing on the beautiful sand.

List of Places to Visit in Montañita

Culturally Important Attractions: Museums and Historical Places

  • Museo de la Cultura Salango: This museum showcases the Salango culture, which dates back to 3000 BC.
  • Isla de la Plata: A beautiful island located near Montañita, known as “The Poor Man’s Galapagos.”
  • La Casa Blanca: A historic building that has been converted into a gallery featuring the works of local artists.

Natural Attractions of Montañita: Outdoor Adventures and Scenic Views

  • Punta Barandua: A great surfing spot located just a few minutes from Montañita.
  • Isla de la Tortuga: A small island located near Montañita, known for its numerous species of sea turtles.
  • Montañita Forest Reserve: A small reserve located near the town, with an abundance of flora and fauna.

Hiking/Biking Routes of Montañita

  • Ruta de las Cascadas: A scenic bike ride that takes you to some beautiful waterfalls.
  • Cerro Montañita: A challenging hike that rewards you with stunning views of the town and the ocean.
  • Spondylus Route: A series of hikes that take you along the coast with breathtaking views of the Pacific Ocean.

Best Things to Do in Montañita: Activities and Tours

  • Surfing: Montañita is famous for its world-class surfing for both beginners and experts.
  • Yoga and Wellness: Montañita has a thriving wellness scene, with many yoga studios and practitioners available.
  • Fishing and Snorkeling: There are many tours available for fishing and snorkeling in the nearby areas.

Week-Long Itinerary for Montañita

Day 1-2: Check out the town, walk along the beach, and explore local shops and restaurants. Day 3-4: Take a surfing lesson, visit nearby attractions like the Isla de la Plata or the Montañita Forest Reserve. Day 5-6: Go on a hike or bike ride along the Spondylus Route. Day 7: Relax on the beach and enjoy local gastronomy.

Food and Drink Scene of Montañita

Must-Try Dishes

  • Ceviche: Fresh seafood dish made with shrimp or fish, marinated in lime juice and served with plantain chips.
  • Empanadas: Fried turnovers filled with cheese, meat or vegetable.
  • Arroz con Menestra y Carne Asada: Traditional Ecuadorian dish, rice with lentils and grilled beef.

Local Beverages

  • Canelazo: A hot drink made with cinnamon, sugar, and liquor (typically aguardiente).
  • Mora Chicha: A sweet, fermented drink made from blackberries and maize.
  • Pilsener: The most popular beer in Ecuador, a light lager.

Where to Stay in Montañita: Hotels, Hostels, and Guesthouses

  • Hostal Pakaloro: Budget-friendly hostel located near the beach.
  • La Gondola Hostería: A luxurious hotel with swimming pool and spa.
  • Habitaciones Chawala: A charming guesthouse located in the center of town.

What to Buy in Montañita: Souvenirs and Local Products to Bring Home

  • Tagua Nut Jewelry: Tagua Nuts are a sustainable alternative to ivory, and artisans use them to craft a variety of jewelry.
  • Panama Hat: The famous hat originates from Ecuador and makes for a perfect souvenir.
  • Cocoa Products: Montañita is close to many cocoa farms in the region, and there are many chocolate products available for purchase.

Local Culture and Customs of Montañita

Montañita is a laid-back town with a bohemian vibe. People are very friendly and welcoming. The locals speak Spanish, but many also speak English. Tipping is not expected in Ecuador but is appreciated.

Best Time to Visit Montañita

The best time to visit Montañita is during the dry season from June to September. The weather is warm and pleasant, and it’s the perfect time to enjoy the beach and surfing.

Do’s and Don’ts of Montañita


  • Respect the local culture and customs.
  • Try the local cuisine.
  • Explore the town and the nearby attractions.


  • Leave your valuables unattended on the beach.
  • Buy or use drugs - they are illegal and can lead to serious consequences.
  • Disrespect the locals or their culture.

Safety and Health

Safety in Montañita

Montañita is a relatively safe town, but it is recommended that you take standard precautions to avoid theft or pickpocketing. Do not leave your valuables unattended on the beach, and always be aware of your surroundings.

Health in Montañita

It’s important to note that the tap water in Montañita is not safe to drink. Ensure that you consume only bottled or filtered water during your stay. Mosquitoes are also prevalent in the area, so it is recommended to bring insect repellent.

Getting to Montañita: Transportation Options and Logistics

Airports Near Montañita

The closest airport to Montañita is the Guayaquil Airport, which is about two hours away by car or bus

Bus Stations Near Montañita

There are multiple bus stations in Guayaquil. Buses are a common mode of transportation in Ecuador, and there are many buses that travel from Guayaquil to Montañita every day.

Other Options

Taxis, car rentals, and private transfers are also available from the Guayaquil airport.

How to Get Around in Montañita

The best way to get around Montañita is on foot. The town is small and walkable. Taxis and rental bikes are also readily available if needed.

Where to Go Next from Montañita: Nearby Destinations and Excursions

  • Isla de la Plata: A day trip to this beautiful island is a must-do when in Montañita.
  • Cuenca: A historic city located in the Andean Mountains, known for its beautiful architecture and handicrafts.
  • Machalilla National Park: A beautiful park located near Montañita that features beaches, rainforest, and a variety of natural habitats.


Montañita is a fantastic destination that has something to offer everyone. Whether you love surfing, hiking or just want to relax on the beach, Montañita is a place to visit. Use this guide to plan your trip to Montañita and make the most of your time in this wonderful town.