Ecuador is perhaps one of the smallest countries of the Americas but it still is the most impressive place to visit for the different biodiversity offered in its four well marked regions, Coast or lowlands, Sierra or highlands, Oriente or Amazon Rain Forest and the unique Galapagos Islands.
Montañita is a magical beach.
The combination of a perfect right wave, golden sand and tropical vegetation have made this place a truly paradisiacal beach from long time ago, when you cannot even see it in the maps of Ecuador.
Montañita (can be translated as “little hill”) become 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.
Few years later, Montañita grow with some summer houses, little hotels and only a few little restaurants, all built mostly by Guayaquil born and foreign people that felt in love with this place and decided to establish at this beach, from tropical sea lovers to surfers that like the ocean, the warm water and the peaceful ambience that still can be felt on the present.
Today Montañita is a multicultural beach, with tourists from all over the world that enjoy some surf lessons to a shrimp pizza.
Nightlife is an special subject in Montañita: Bars that transform into discotheques and music on every corner, that’s to the happy spirit of craftsmen and musician that always stay a little longer in Montañita than they have planned.
Montañita or Punta Montañita like is spelt it on some maps, is located on Santa Elena district, Guayas province, coast of Ecuador. The geographical coordinates are 2 00 S, 77 30 W.
How to get here:
The only way to get directly to Montañita is by land, by the road known as La Ruta del Sol, a beautiful pavement road that cover part of the coast of Ecuador.
Guayaquil – Montañita (direct)
From the terminal bus of Guayaquil, you can take a direct bus to Montañita with CLP Bus Company, daily departures at 06h00, 13h00 and 16h30. Approximate time: 03h30. Approximate price: US$7
A second alternative is taking a bus from Guayaquil to Santa Elena, departing every hour. Approximate price: US$4. Then from Santa Elena take a bus that leaves you at Montañita. Approximate price: US$3. Approximate total time: 04h00.
Either from Guayaquil or Santa Elena there is the possibility to take private taxi, just in case you need more comfortable transport or you want to travel after 21h00, because there are no more buses from that time up to Montañita.
From Cuenca, Machala, Loja or others places from the centre, southwest of Ecuador:
We strongly recommend that you go directly to Guayaquil and then take the options before described.
From Quito, Esmeraldas or other cities from the north or northeast of Ecuador:
From Quito take a direct bus to Jipijapa or to Portoviejo. From there take a direct bus to Montañita or to Puerto Lopez and then to Montañita.
From Peru (coastal border Huaquillas – Aguas Verdes).
From the international bridge Peru – Ecuador that cross Zarumilla River. Cross to Ecuador, take a bus to Guayaquil, but don’t forget to tell the bus driver that you need to make a stop at Immigration of Ecuador, 6 kms away from the border.
Weather at Montañita:
Coast Tropical. The average temperature is 28C. The rains prevail from December to May, raining usually at night. At daytime, usually the sun shines, been cloudier from June to November, with less humidity and less hotness on these days.
Tips: we recommend light clothes and for the nights thin and long clothes, cause here appear mosquitoes during the sunset and early morning. We also recommend the use of mosquito repellent and also sun block. The majority of the hostels and hotels have mosquito net on their rooms and bed.
Useful info of Ecuador and Montañita
Electric energy: 110V / 60 Hz.
Ecuador time zone: -5GMT
The actual currency of Ecuador is the American Dollar (US$). At Montañita there is no bank or CASAS DE CAMBIO, so try to change money on bigger cities.
Tip: Avoid big bills of US$100 or US$50 on Montañita. Is really difficult to pay with them, local people never have any change and they don’t like to receive this big bills. Try to carry bills of 20, 10 or 5 dollars. Also give and receive only bills in good shape, sometimes people don’t receive broken or scratched.
ATM’s and Credit Cards:
There are two ATM in Montañita for Visa, Visa Plus, Mastercard, Cirrus, Maestro y American Express.
One ATM belongs to the Bank of Guayaquil and also accept BanRed local credit card. The other ATM is from Banco Bolivariano.
There is Western Union service (at Montañita Express Internet) to send and receive money.
Only a couple of hotels and restaurants accept payment with credit card. We strongly recommend carrying cash at Montañita.
At Montañita there are some Internet access service, with all the computer services like printing, scanning and CD burn. Wi-fi, wireless Internet connection is really difficult to find at Montañita at the moment, but you can connect and configure your laptops on some Internet places.
On several stores at Montañita are public telephones to make national and international calls. Also there are some stores that charge calls per minutes. There are not too many private line phones at Montañita
In Montañita there are only basic health services. For serious problems, the best thing to do is go to Santa Elena or Guayaquil.