Ecuador Surf

Ecuador Travel Tips

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If you are coming over, I recommend printing this page and bring it with you. If you would like tips on Mainland Ecuador Travel, go to "Ecuador for outdoors Dummies". And for Surfers, go to botom of this page " Mainland Surf Travel Tips".



Our Recommended Places


Waves Map (distances) at Wreck Bay and Sorroundings.

Tips for Mainland Ecuador surf travel

Ok. So you are coming to the mainland too. Great idea! and you won´t regret this desition. Here are main Tips to come to surf and travel the coast of mainland Ecuador.

  • Come with all your shots done. We have all tropical deseases. So better come protected. Tap Water can be very bad!...
  • Bring cash or debit card. Also when possible change bills to lowest ($5 or $10) nobody have change in Ecuador for more than a $5 or maybe $10 dollar bill..
  • Be aware of sun, is very very (Hot sesason Jan-May) hot and here you can wrinkle your face like a raisin in one month only, now if you have money and after get up to you... no shit you are in THE equator not only in Ecuador and for hours on sun and salt water...well..
  • Be aware of taxis they always, like everywhere in Latin world, want to rip you off!..thats why I offer my services. Also in renting car better do it at airport they are little bit more $ but more reliable. Etc.
  • Bring, all your surfing equipment needs. There are few Surf Shops and in certain areas only/towns like: Guayaquil, Salinas, Manta-Montanita and that´s it...and it´s expensive and you won´t find a great variety of things and maybe worse brands.
  • Better if you travel with a local guide or local friend. That way you know where are the dangerous areas are in terms of rocks or bad locals (not surfers, surfers in general are easy going and welcome foreign tourist, except for the guy with the diving knife at Montanita whom appears anytime...scaring the shit away out of all even locals.! ..I am joking....!:)
  • Bottled Water is not all reliable. Buy the most known or sold. Here few suggestions: All Natural, Manantial(best), Acqua, Vilcabamba (best), check if they registered ISO 9000.
  • Roads are great right now (2008-2009) and should be enjoyed before another so called government comes (2012) and fcks (sorry) up all and stop maintanance etc. Especially enjoy the road up the coast from Bahia de Caraquez-Manabi province to Mompiche-Esmeraldas province. Now we this governmemt we have a new bridge!.
  • If you come on July-September and you are around Montañita, make sure you get to Machalilla Naional Park (and even if you come on other seasons) and get on a tour to see whales mating by the Isla de la Plata, also worth visiting and to watch birds like Galapagos albatross and masked and red footed boobies nesting. Ask the guides for seasons.
  • Another recomendation around this area is to bike by the 5 Cerros area and take hikes around this wonderful Tropical Forest which stay green year round and have a great variety of fauna and flora.
  • Renting cars is expensive like Costa Rica (Vitara 2-5 door-$51-60/day, Rodeo 4x4 A/C ´99: $80/day or Double Cabin Pickups 2001- NO AUTOMATIC TRANSMISSION AND CHECK CHANGING TIRES EQUIPMENT). Fuel of regular octanage is $1.85-regular-$2.40 super /galon.(Jan-08 update) Remember you wont find that much variety to choose from as models and brands. And be careful driving through Guayaquil-Montanita area as there are A LOT OF SPEED BREAK BUMPS WITH NO SIGNS AND SPECIALLY AT NIGHT!! You can kill your self or hit hard on your roof if not buckled up!. Please try avoiding driving at night!. Check Ecuadorfordummies for more on driving Ecuador etc.
  • One area I recomend most is the Montañita-San Mateo coast, which has a great road and has very different surf spots that break in different sizes and conditions. These area is very very uncrowded and needs more exploring and you should very likely discover a few new spots.
  • If you come on March-June season. This is South to West (actually a real West does not exist but is a combination swell N-SW) swells season and you can either stay at certain areas North of Montañita, or stay at Montañita which is great with big Wests, or head for "Playas" beaches. Careful with " EL PELADO" at "Playas", recently robberies have been occuring more than normal (Oct-02). We suggest you surf with other people and not by yourself. And avoid camping here or staying late..
  • Conditions on January-May are very hot and especially is el Niño hits. Montañita for some reason, has a very strong heat, probably due to the color of the beach. Anyway, wear good sunscreen and a hat. Early mornings glass is the comom occurrence all this season, with winds picking up from 10 am. to 3 pm and then slacking down to an evening glass again from 5-7pm. Nights can be very hot and humid when raining. Mosquitoe nets are a must or repellent.
  • If camping, pick up a good location away from roads so nobody can see your tent. That way you may not have a midnight visitor(s)..There is not much delinquency on beaches, but there are and one never knows when this may happen. So just do not atract attention too much. This is also a good reason for having a local along.
  • Average sizes along the coast is around 4-10 feet. more than that, either they are braging or took some kind of pill or drink while surfing. Only Galapagos goes over 10 feet in all Ecuador.
  • Ecuador mainland has great waves and most of all uncrowded ones plenty. The surf can be either glassy or light offshore. Waves are definetly better than Costa Rica, but maybe similar never surfed there. Although, being closer from the source, our waves have a lot more punch and speed I hear from comments.
  • Soon more info and if questions email me. Happy to help on you travels around Ecuador coasts. We are working on a surfing map especially for Playas at the moment. We should be have it online around December. For rest of spots check the wavemaps on HomePage
  • Best time for Montañita: end April- May-June especially little windier but OK(less crowds and good swells still). Best San Mateo: February-March. Best Playas spots: March-June but breaks thrughout November. Best Mompiche: January-Feb. Best North of Montañita spots: January-April. BEST LUCK BRAH!:)