Montanita has a special place in my heart for a lot of reasons. This place made me break a lot of rules I had set for myself. Two weeks in this place and I came out as a different person and I’m not exaggerating even a little bit.
I started off on the trip being the girl who would sit in a corner, just watch people dance, couldn’t tell the difference between weed and tobacco, no matter how amazing the party was, how brilliant the music was, or how hot the men were, I was immune to everything. I couldn’t be convinced into dancing along or you know just letting go. However, by the time I was leaving Montanita, I was the person who would dance with EVERY single person in the club, never say no to shots or a joint. I often met people during the day time who would give me the warmest hugs and tell me how much they enjoyed dancing with me the other night, And I would have no memory of them.
I also have a couple of random people added on my Facebook friend-list thanks to Montanita. Whenever I noticed someone clicking a selfie, I wanted to be in it as well.
Besides all this, I also became much more expressive with love. I don’t shy away from showering my friends with hugs and kisses whenever I feel like it, something I sucked at back home.
Two weeks at one place didn’t mean that I stopped traveling. It gave me an opportunity to explore one place to my heart’s content.
Below are my favorite things to do in Montanita:
1. Cascade de dos mangas:
How to reach: I went walking and hitchhiking but there are shared cabs available from the turn for Cascada de dos mangas off ruta del spondylus for $.75
Park entrance: $1.25
It’s such an underrated place in Montanita. I was surprised initially but later learned why.
It was really good hiking by myself then successfully reaching the waterfalls. Once in a while, I was mad at the authorities for putting up no signs at all. they shouldn’t really be charging for this trek. there is no signage whatsoever on this trek. I eventually just followed the river direction on the maps hoping to reach somewhere.
Fortunately, I reached the right place (‘right’ is also very subjective though). The fun part was the waterfall rappelling. There was no one from authorities again to keep an eye on the visitors, I survived the ‘not-so-difficult’ rappelling and the clumsy me was very happy about it.
The water was very a good temperature to swim in. When I reached, there were a total of 4 people there and they all soon left.
Good to know info:
- The hike requires a lot of walking through the river. Renting boots would be a great idea
- The entrance was about USD 1.25 however the very next day few people from my hostel went there and were told that taking a guide is mandatory which $15
2. Los Frailes:
How to reach: There are buses from Montanita directly to Los Frailes.
This reminded me of the Brazilian beaches. It was amazing. Stunning blue water, few people on the beach, and easy to reach. But the waves were too strong for me so I was mostly sitting and soaking in the sun. We also went on a little adventure exploring a little cave we could see in the distance. This was one of my favorite thing done there.
3. Olon Beach:
How to reach: There are buses from Montanita but I had a friend along and we decided to walk
Head to Osorno beach if you seek a quieter place. There are generally very few people there so you have your peace and soak in the sun.
4. Party at Lost Beach and/ or Caña Grill:
How to reach: Cana Grill is on the cocktail lane and Lost beach is the very next block.
Cost: Cana Grill allows free entry until certain hour then men have to pay a cover. Lost Beach was $10 for men. Both have free entry for women.
Even if you’re not a party person I would strongly recommend this. The party scene in Montanita is very strong and you get to meet a lot of people there as there are only two very popular clubs. For electronic lovers, it’s lost beach and for raegaton, Caña Grill.
5. Surf at Montanita:
Cost: $5 for an hour
There are many surfboards available on rent. Grab one and keep trying to catch the wave. You got to do something before the party begins, right?
6. Volunteer in a hostel if you wish to stay longer:
There’s a good demand for volunteers in this little town. If you wish to party and meet tons of new people try your luck at the party hostels otherwise choose a quieter one by the beach. The place is really tiny so no place is too far from the beach really.
My guide to volunteering abroad.
7. Learn Spanish
The vibe of the place makes it a perfect spot for people to stay on and learn Spanish before hitting the road again.
8. Mirador Santuario de Olon
This was my favorite place to be around sunset. It’s about 10-minute walk towards Olon from Montanita and the sky looks fabulous.
9. Attend bonfire party at the beach and walk on the cocktail street
The bonfire party might not be an everyday thing as it became a tradition only when the clubs were closed (owing to presidential elections) but if that’s off then walking on the cocktail street makes for a great alternative. Watching drunk people is quite fun and walking around drunk as well.
10. Isla de la Plata
Considered to poor man’s Galapagos I heard mixed reviews about this place. I eventually had decided to skip it as the reviews were not very encouraging except if you really very badly want to blue-footed boobies.