Montañita

Montañita is a hippy town on the coast of Ecuador, known as the party-spot of the coast.  The streets are lined with cheap happy hour drink specials and numerous bars where the DJ’s blast house music all day every day.  On a hot sunny weekend, the beach can be seen cluttered with yellow and red umbrellas as far as the eye can see.  It’s also a place where you can find beach vendors often selling some type of “happy” brownie or cookie. 

But don’t let the party scene scare you away, the beach itself is beautiful and extends more than 6km allowing for many small restaurants and bars (complete with hammocks) to entice all sorts of travelers.  We especially loved grabbing a beer and watching the experienced surfers catch a few waves as the sun was setting in the background.  

Accommodation

Lucky for us we found a slice of paradise just off the main streets of Montañita.  We’d even go as far as saying we’ve found a perfect spot where we’d like to host our wedding- that is if we ever choose to have a wedding.  Nativa Bambu Ecolodge & Ohana Language School were exactly what we were looking for after arriving in Montañita.  Located on the hillside just steps from where the bus drops you off it’s the perfect location, close enough to the party but far enough away from the noise.  From the moment we arrived the staff members were so friendly and helpful.   Sylvia from Ohana even went out of her way to go find me tea and brought it to our room as she could tell I still wasn’t feeling very well when we first arrived.  We couldn’t have asked for anything more considerate at that moment.  

The property is nothing short of stunning, you can tell a lot of care went into this place.  There are numerous outside sitting areas spread around the property, as well as kitchen and BBQ facilities for guests to use.  An even better bonus is the well maintained garden that we could help ourselves to as well.  The rooms are beautiful, with a big comfy bed and air conditioning and a beautiful bathroom with high pressure hot water!  They even come with a TV that has English movies playing for those who want to nurse their hangover in bed inside a cool room.

We were lucky enough to eat breakfast on the property each morning. The selection was second to none and the quality of the food was amazing. We didn’t have a problem at all rolling out of bed after too many drinks the night before to indulge in this meal. Our favorite was the French toast and fruit smothered in honey and chocolate!

The best part of being located up on the hillside is that we got the best view of sunset every night from where we were staying.  They have this amazing spot at the top of the property with an infinity pool overlooking the town and ocean.  With music playing and a drink in our hand watching the sunset together, life couldn’t really get much better.

Activities

While we were here, we were able to take Spanish lessons every morning for 2 hours.  We told our instructor Miguel on the first day that we knew almost no Spanish but he insisted on giving us a quiz to see where our placement should be.  Well let’s just say that both of us got as far as being able to write our names down on the correct line before we started chuckling and Miguel understood we really knew nothing.  Lucky for us after 10 hours of lessons, I’d say we are well on our way to being able to hold some sort of conversation in Spanish.  At least now we will be able to converse the necessities instead of doing the finger pointing and head bobbing we currently do.

On two of our days, we dabbled in some surf lessons with Ohana and they were awesome!!  I’d taken a lesson once before in New Zealand but this was 100x better.  Aiden coached us through every step and made us so comfortable being on the board it felt great.  By the end of Day 1 we were both able to stand up and by day 2 we were riding waves like pros – or at least that’s how we felt when we stood up on those huge monstrous white caps and rode them all the way back to the beach!  We can’t wait to try surfing again!

Ohana Language School has created a special atmosphere that combines learning and fun all in one.  The staff is amazing and we had a blast getting to know each and every one of them.  They go above and beyond so much so that we thought of them more as family than friends.   Ohana's laid back nature makes it an easy place to fall in love with and we can see how some travellers end up coming to Montañita for the weekend and end up staying the month. 

Next Stop: Ayampe