Our first stop at the Ecuadorian Coast. After a few weeks travelling inland, we kind of looked forward to see and feel the ocean again. That feeling is indescribable, we love it!
Arriving by night bus from Baños we were keen to drop our bags at the hostel and enjoy the beach, some sand between our toes and the ocean. Staying in Montañita means partying, surfing (or learning to surf), buying souvenirs and enjoying the beach.
The people of Ecuador like to enjoy their own country, especially towns like this in the weekend. Can’t blame them of course. In most towns its rather busy in weekends, as is Montañita as well.
The beach was stamped with locals, mostly in groups, entire families together. Luckily the beachline of Montanita is wide and has lots of space. So we could find a quieter place, more to our linkings as well. After enjoying the ocean, the sun, some music on the beach, watching the surfers and a nice cooled beer offered by one of many sellers walking the beach with big white styrofoam cases, we went back to the hostel. It was a saturday, what meant open bar in our hostel! You can probably guess how we spent the evening 🙂 and the rest of that night. Owkay and probably also how we spend the next morning.. pff.
In our first week of travels we met a guy in our hostel in Taganga, Colombia (yep, long time ago), he recommended us this chill, vibed, relaxing hostel in Las Tunas. Half of the backpackers arriving at this hostel extend their stay, as did we! With a nice garden, swimming pool, located at the ocean, look-out over de beach + every evening beautiful sunsets, this hostel just had it all. As a bonus it was well located, perfect for day trips to Los Frailes, Puerto López and Isla de la Plata.
The volunteers worked hard to make your stay feel like a family visit and because the hostel was small (room for 16 backpackers) you knew all the other backpackers as well. Diner and evening time was filled with social talks and playing cards. A place never to forget, especially because Martin took his first surf lessons at this beach! Doing real good! Until he got bitten by a stingray, after treating the bite (thanks google for your advice) the pain faded and he got back on his board.
One of the hidden bays around the coast. They say it’s one of Ecuador’s most beautiful beaches. Well we haven’t been to them all, so we can’t compare, but we can confirm that this beach was well worth visiting, especially because it was not crowded at all.
Generally we just go to places with just little research which most of the times works out quite well. Unfortunately not this time, we arrived at 2 P.M. discovering that the beach closes at 4 P.M.. But what freaking beach closes at 4 right? This case it was because it’s located in a National Park which the close down entirely to avoid people destroying nature or littering etc. Looking at the bright side, we got to spent 2 hours at a lovely beach.
Isla de la Plata
The “poor man galapagos” an island two hours off the Ecuadorian coast. We choose not to go to the Galapagos, although everybody is over enthusiastic about this place. But it’s expensive, seriously expensive! Also it kind of screws up your standards.. Because from stories we’ve heard, many other places fade in comparison to the Galapagos Islands.. So we will come back for it some other time.
Luckily Ecuador offers an alternative: Isla de la Plata. We booked a tour starting in Puerto Lopez, a full day of boat ride to the island, hiking and swimming/snorkeling. Sounds good right 🙂 It was a great day spotting turtles, many species of bright colorful fishes, the famous blue footed boobie and many many more beatifull birds. It was nice to see so many of the wildlife and all in close proximity.
Next stop: Cuenca (final stop in Ecuador)