We spent a week at Montanita although I’m not really sure where the time went! The bus from Puerto Lopez to Montanita cost $2.50 and took less than an hour (expensive in Ecuadorian terms). You’re dropped off on the highway just up one street from the main thoroughfare so refreshingly, no need for a taxi here. We trudged up along the beach trying to find accommodation but everything seemed full (we always end up travelling to new places on Sundays; bad idea) so we stopped at a café…which ended up having accommodation and so began our week at Hosteria Comuna Montanita. We had a beachfront shack here for $25 per night with hammocks on a little porch area; ok I want to call it a porch but it was just about swingable in a hammock. Still, many an hour was spent chilling here. Montanita is like the Byron Bay (in Australia) of Ecuador. Full of hippies, backpackers and I heart Montanita fringed vest tops. There are probably a hundred or more places to get a cocktail, they even have a cocktail avenue running from the beach to the town. There are plenty of cafés too (all with wifi) so there’s lots to keep you occupied. The beach is huge, whisper quiet during the week and filled with Ecuadorians at the weekends – they seem to congregate near the town so a five to ten minute walk up or down the beach gives you plenty of space. One afternoon we wandered down the length of the beach to the next village, Manglaralto. It’s tiny and quite run down but it’s a nice thirty minute wander along the beach, complete with a host of skeletons from the sea (not human now lads), bloated puffer fish and hundreds of little crabs peeking out of the sand and scuttling about.
There’s not too much one can say about Montanita to be honest; it kind of is what it is! We found a café called Hola Ola where we pretty much ate all our meals – good pizzas and lovely fresh juices. We tried the Italian run Pigro one evening (they make their own pasta) but it just wasn’t great and Tiki Limbo is another spot where a lot of people seemed to frequent; we just had cocktails and wifi here. We also tried Papillion who had a pretty nice granola breakfast. On our last day we found the fastest wifi (John actually does a speediest every time he connects!) at CoffeeArt just across the road from Tiki Limbo. Typical! Montanita also has done frozen yoghurt spots – yay! We went to Greenfrost where you get plain frozen yoghurt, 3 fruit toppings and hot chocolate sauce which tops it off beautifully for $2.50 (for a pretty massive portion). The largest portion toy could get would easily feed 4 people and it $6. I’m used to paying about $7 for the tiniest portions in Sydney!!
Next stop: The Galapagos Islands.