From the baggy shorts to the friendly, sleepy demeanor, surfer-dude culture is universal. The good surf at the beach here insures a steady stream of travelers, some you’ll see settling up their bills after weeks and months, or taking up trades like hair braiding and wristband weaving. The accompanying Rasta vibe and laid-back ethos means the end of the road for some. Most of the buildings lining one of the several dirt streets in town house a restaurant on the ground floor and either residences or rooms for rent above.
The beach break is rideable most of the year – though it’s best from December to May – but beginners should keep in mind that waves can get big and riptides are common. Real surfers ride the wave at the north end of the beach at la punta (the point), a right that can reach 2m to 3m on good swells. An international surf competition is usually held around Carnaval.
A few kilometers further north from Montañita is the coastal village of Olón, which has a long though not especially attractive beach and a couple of inexpensive hotels. Seven kilometers north of Olón, the province of Guayas ends and Manabí begins.