If any beach embodies the rebellious spirit of South America, it’s Montañita. This vibrant coastal town is bursting at the seams with international visitors, bars, discotecas and restaurants. The beach itself is teeming with ambulantes that sell everything from hotdogs to happy brownies. The availability of edibles isn’t surprising, since the entire beach reeks of marijuana smoke. People casually smoke joints like it’s legal, because it is. Due to Ecuadorian law, patrons are able to possess small amounts of cannabis for personal use. This rambunctious mixture of mostly South American tourists and 420 friendly atmosphere is absolutely enchanting.

In a world that’s getting inundated with more frivolous regulations by the day, Montañitas is a breath of fresh air. This beach became a hub for an unlikely Hippie movement in the 1960’s while simultaneously being invaded by surfers. Its waters are just as warm and inviting as the locals, which creates a truly hypnotic vibe. Even though it’s easy to stay on the beach, Montañitas is surrounded by natural attractions. In this article we will cover our favorite areas to explore. Each destination has its perks, so read more to get a dose of Ecuatoriano paradise!

Top Attractions Around Montañita

Destination #1: Dos Mangas – The community of Dos Mangas is only a half hour away from Montañitas, but it’s the gateway to a different world. It’s amazing how quickly the coastal climate transforms into lush jungle terrain. After stopping by the Centro de Información Sendero Las Cascadas, visitors can organize tours with locals. The most popular is the one-day trek where a local guide takes you to the first round of streams and waterfalls. Despite being only 6 feet tall, this waterfall is extremely refreshing. 

The walk is filled with monkey sightings, random wildlife and a surprising amount of culture. There’s also a virgin set in a hill that locals pray to, which allows hikers to indulge in an unorthodox religious experience. This is the entry way to the humid tropical forest of the Cordillera Chongón-Colonche, so you can go as deep as you want. Hang-gliding is also available, so negotiate what you want to do at the entryway kiosk!

Destination #2: Playa Rosada – This beach is located in Ayangue, which is a 40-minute drive from Montañita. Even though taking public transportation is the cheapest option, hiring a cab is recommended. This is due to the fact that Playa Rosada is a surprisingly long way from the highway. The dirt road is surrounded by dried out trees, which makes it an even more intimidating hike. For those who don’t mind wandering around like Jesus in the desert, our tip would be go early to avoid walking in the darkness.

Despite being surprisingly remote, there is a certain charm about Playa Rosada. The sand is indeed pink colored, which provides a breathtaking backdrop. There’s a restaurant and multiple woven umbrella posts, but they are mostly in disrepair. While the entrance could use a tuneup, the beach speaks for itself. It’s very beautiful, and boasts a way to escape the crowds in Montañitas. It’s definitely worth visiting, so don’t miss out on this tucked away attraction!