Surfing in Montanita || The Ultimate Guide 

Montanita is thriving–with a healthy party scene, epic learn-to-surf infrastructure, and a wicked digital nomad community. The place offers fun waves for all abilities, spot variety, and consistency. Throw in a low cost of living, year-round tropical climate and you have all the ingredients for one of the best surf towns in South America. Let’s explore everything you need to know about surfing in Montanita. 


Table of Contents

Best Time of Year

The best time of year to surf in Montanita is between December and April. This is when large NW Pacific swells hit the coast and light up the premier breaks in the area. You can surf outside this season as there are waves all year (Ecuador is lucky enough to get swells from both the North and Southern hemispheres). However during winter (June, July, and August) the coast is plagued with low-hanging mist, onshores, and cooler water. 

Montanita Surf Spots 

Montanita Beach 

In town, Montanita Beach itself is a long stretch of beach break. The beach is long and flat, which means the inside is great for beginners – long lines of mellow whitewater. While out the back, there are fun peaks with more power for advanced surfers. Montanita Beach is one of the best beginner surf spots in Ecuador! 

Montanita Point 

At the northern end of Montanita Beach, is a fun right-hand point break. The point is one of the waves that put surfing in Ecuador on the world surfing map. The wave peels off the headland and then reforms into the shore break. It gets crowded out here and is most suitable for advanced surfers. However, on smaller days, the wave is also epic for Intermediate surfers. 

Playa Olon 

Further north you have the town of Olon which is home to a super long stretch of sand, that has punchy peaks out back and beginner-friendly rollers on the inside. Slightly more exposed than Montanita Beach, so waves can be a tad bigger. 

Where is Montanita? 

Getting There 

By Bus

You can take the bus from Guayaquil airport to Montanita, It costs around $10 and takes around 4 hours. You can book buses are BusBus or to find more routes, check out Rome2Rio. 


You can hire a car at Guayaquil airport, check out Discover Cars for the cheapest hire car prices in Ecuador. If you’re comfortable driving, you can make the drive in under 3 hours. 

Getting Around 

In Montanita, you can get around on foot. You can walk from the bus depot to everything in town; hostels, surf spots, restaurants, and bars. Taxis are also super common and you’ll see bright, NYC-style cabs everywhere in town. 

Ecuador Surf Break

Tips for Surfing in Montanita


Like anywhere, there are locals and they should always be respected, particularly at the more premier breaks! If you’re a beginner, watch out for rips and rocks at most beaches. The heat in Ecuador is also pretty gnarly.

On the other hand, during winter, the coast is often covered in low-hanging grey clouds and rain, not how you typically picture Ecuador. This is because of the Humboldt current and something I wished I’d known before booking a two-week trip in mid-July!

Withdrawing Money

Like most places in South America, particularly at smaller restaurants and for taxis, you’ll need cash. Depending on your bank, withdrawing cash overseas can be expensive, so I always use Wise Card, which allows you to set up currencies (bank accounts) in different currencies and withdraw without any extra fees. (Most ATMs will still charge you up to $5), but it’s a good way to limit those sneaky extra costs as much as possible!  


Just use taxis for short journeys, and use the buses for longer ones. Now, this seems obvious, but if you haven’t traveled in Latin America before, it can be intimidating when you step out of the airport and 5 taxi drivers are hassling you with the class “ah cheap taxi, best price to Montanita ”. 

These guys are also not very inclined to point you in the right direction of the bus depot, so politely decline and ask someone else where the bus depot is! (Donde Esta Un Autobus Terminal de Montanita, or something like that)! That’s what I do anyway hahaha. 

Making Money Online

So one of the ways I’ve revolutionized my surf travel is by learning to work online. Right now there are heaps of different things you can do to earn money online. But one of my first was teaching English online, which I started with a company called Cambly! Cambly works by having students call you, you then chat and help them with their English in the process. It’s pretty cool, and while the pay isn’t amazing, you don’t need any qualifications or experience! Check it out here. 

Playa Olon Surf

Enjoying this post? You might like my complete guide to surfing in South America or other Latin America surf destinations such as everything you need to know about surfing in Costa Rica, the ultimate guide to surfing in Florianopolis or the complete guide to surfing in southern Chile. 

Where to Stay?

Cayena Beach Hostel is a wicked spot to stay in Montanita. Right in town, with dorm rooms for less than $10 per night. A great spot to put yourself in the zone on a budget, meet other traveling surfers, and be close to the waves.

Another epic budget option for surfing in Montanita. Right in town, free wifi and hostel rooms for $9 per night. If you’re after waves in Montanita on a shoestring, you really can’t go wrong with this one. Check out Iguana Beach House on Hostelworld. 

For something slightly more “upmarket” in the hostel world, Selina is a great option. On the main street in town, Selina Montanita puts you in the mix of all the restaurants, and bars and is only minutes from the beach. Dorms and privates and plenty of space to work between surf sessions. I love Selina, and couldn’t recommend a stay at Selina (anywhere in the world) highly enough! 

This is where I stayed during my two-week surf trip to Montanita and it was awesome. Overlooking Montanita Point, with spacious rooms, great wifi, and a friendly host. If you’re looking to live the surfing digital nomad lifestyle and stay outside of the craziness of town, this one is for you. Book Punta Verde on 

Montanita Surf Camp Packages 

If you’re looking for an all-in-one surf camp package in Montanita, check out Book Surf Camps. They have a wide range of camps for all abilities in Montanita and packages that include everything from your airport transfers, accommodation, surf coaching, surf equipment, and even yoga sessions. 

Montanita Surf Trip Cost Breakdown 

As one of the world’s cheapest surf destinations, you can expect to core waves in Montanita on a shoestring. So to break things down and tally up the costs for a week’s budget surf trip in Ecuador, we have a breakdown of: 

Total = $365 

Non Surfing Activities 

Depending on what you’re looking for, Montanita has a great party scene, with plenty of bars and clubs to rip into at night time. Otherwise, sinking into the chilled beach lifestyle is the go. Throughout Ecuador, there are heaps of other cool things to do. Check out the city of Cuenca or head to the Andes Mountains for some epic volcano hiking and scenery. 

Final Words 

Montanita is a must-do stop on any South American surf trip. A thriving surf town I couldn’t recommend highly enough. If you’re after fun waves (all abilities), the tropics, and affordability, then you’ve got it all in Montanita. Any questions about the joint, let me know in the comments below. 

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A Solo Surf Journey Through Mexico, Central & South America