Two years ago my friend sold everything and moved to Montanita to run a bar and start a new life. Three of us immediately flew down to visit and deliver some house warming goods. He greeted us warmly and excitedly to his little beach bungalow in Kamala. The four of us stayed as a perfect little family for a week of basic simplicity where some people pay mass quantities of money to go and unplug. We had exactly what we needed. Our hammock, our neighborhood animals, our communal kitchen, and sunsets that would melt even the coldest of hearts. From here we could take a cab for $1-$2 USD (YES USD!!!) to get to the city center, otherwise it’s a lovely walk at sunset. Sometimes in the mornings or evenings the Dolphins greet you during your sun salutations and downward facing dogs.
In the evenings we would head for dinner at Hola Ola for hummus and falafels. The nightlife options are limitless. It’s a fun beach town so it’s not necessary to wear heals and go over board. It’s not about being seen. It’s about living life to the fullest. Montanita has the chillest vibe. You could easily get stuck there. I met people who were just traveling through and fell in love with the energy and stayed 4 months past their original departure date. It’s the perfect jumping off point for jungle tours and hiking adventures but also just a place to recover and tune back into nature.
Montanita is a perfect little secret beach town that can turn up at night regardless of what you are into. I think every apartment and hostel I saw had multiple hammocks on the balconies, if that tells you anything. Almost on every corner, you can find fresh juices and delicious crepes, ham and cheese toasties. It’s a mecca for surfers and yogis. There is something different about the animals in Montanita and I’m convinced being so close to the Galapagos Islands that the animals just have a different concept of life. Dogs, cats, chickens, frogs were all constantly following us and just sitting on our bungalow wanting to be near us. I woke up from a lovely nap on a hammock one day and had a cat napping on my stomach and a dog laying underneath my hammock. I love sitting on a patio with good music and just people watching but ocassionally I can be convinced to party until sunrise at a club with a good DJ… Lost Beach Club was just that for me.
I can’t say that I ran into one single person in Montanita that I didn’t like and that I didn’t click with. At the beginning of 2016 the murder of two Argentine girls devastated South America but no one took it as hard and personally as Montanita did. I arrived to Montanita for the second time a few days after the event. The mood was sullen. Everyone in the area personally felt the loss in some form. Our sacred place had been violated by evil. Our sleepy little beach town was now overrun buy military and police officers and travelers questioning everyone and everything.
While everyone was a little more cautious and the city in mourning, there was still so much to celebrate and love. We rented a villa in Montanita Estates from a good friend and while we may have stayed a little closer together than usual, we soaked up the vibe of the city. We had meals at Hola Ola, Pigro and Safari Cafe. While our friends bar and restaurant may no longer be an option, the words of “Poco Loco” follow us… We found our favorite tapas bar in Amsterdam just because it was named “Poco Loco“.
Montanita is an experience you won’t soon forget. Affordable to everyone and will not likely disappoint your tastebuds either. The city has a free life art vibe for every personality. Whether ur chilling or looking for the next greatest adventure.