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“Top Surf Camp”
5 of 5 bubbles Review of Balsa Surf Camp

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Balsa Surf Camp
Ranked #1 of 42 Montanita B&B and Inns
Certificate of Excellence
Harvey Cedars, New Jersey
Level Contributor
4 reviews
4 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 3 helpful votes
“Top Surf Camp”
5 of 5 bubbles Reviewed 29 January 2014

After visiting many surf camps in Central America, Africa and South America this one ranks at the top of my list. Very nice accommodations (remember it's a surf camp), tasty food and a great location. However, what makes Balsa special is the people. Julie, Rasty and Jonathan were very attentive and tried to meet our every request. No one was in a hurry (good thing) and they were happy to answer our many questions and engage in interesting conversation covering a wide range of topics. We surfed some nice breaks (away from Montanita) while immersing ourselves in the Ecuadorian culture. A few of our experiences; helping locals in a small fishing village pull in their nets, giving a ride to a nice older man so he could find his donkey (he did!), great cheesecake after a long day of surf and trading waves with some "Loco Gringos" at sunset with pelicans flying overhead. Oh yeah, all while driving around in an old VW bus with funk music pouring out of the speakers. Thank you Julie, Rasty and Jonathan for a great stay!

  • Stayed January 2014, travelled with friends
    • Value
    • Location
    • Sleep Quality
    • Rooms
    • Cleanliness
    • Service
Helpful?
3 Thank SurfHC
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
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198 reviews from our community

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Rating summary
  • Location
    4.5 of 5 bubbles
  • Sleep Quality
    4.5 of 5 bubbles
  • Rooms
    4.5 of 5 bubbles
  • Service
    4.5 of 5 bubbles
  • Value
    4.5 of 5 bubbles
  • Cleanliness
    4.5 of 5 bubbles
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ireland
Level Contributor
9 reviews
7 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 4 helpful votes
2 of 5 bubbles Reviewed 20 January 2014

My boyfriend and I stayed here in january. Out of our 2 weeks in Ecuador and the 7 hotels we stayed in this was the worst. We were expecting a bit of luxury here seeming that it was a good bit more expensive than the usual. The shower didn't work properly. No soap in bathroom. Hello how much for a bar of soap. Then the bed looks the part alright. But the plastic matress cover made the bed the most uncomfortable I have ever slept on. Didn't get much sleep and wouldn't recommend it.

  • Stayed January 2014
    • Value
    • Location
    • Rooms
    • Cleanliness
    • Service
Helpful?
2 Thank tessbess
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
BalsaSurfCamp, Propietario at Balsa Surf Camp, responded to this review, 26 January 2014
Good evening Tess & Terry. I'm Julie, the owner, we meet us in the hotel during your stay of one night, I personally made your check in. I'm so sorry to read about your bad experience in our beautiful place. Let me give you all my sincere apologies. About our price, is true that Montanita is an expensive place, and not only for touristic reason, but for example, for very expensive basic service. And you came a Saturday night in very high season. Anyway, it's true that we are usually one of the most expensive place in the area because of our service. Imagine we have more staff than room! Security the 24hours (3 watchman), 2500 meters but only 12 rooms (25 m2 each one or more), and a very big and amazing garden (so lot of work to take care of it), restaurant open more than 15 hours per day, surf school the whole week, massage etc....Only for ours 5 options of great breakfast include we need 4 persons working in the kitchen (pancakes, salad fruit, eggs, sandwiches, “tortilla de verde” or corn one etc.)...So all these have a price, we can't do cheaper, or we will close very soon :( For this, we are very sad about your bad qualification on our service, only 2/5, is very bad, and usually, ours services are very loved by our hosts. You stay only one night, and I think is very short to realize and note it, maybe it's for this. About your rate of our location, 2/5, we can't understand it. We are at 10 minutes walking from town, so in a quiet residential place, at 30 meters from the Ocean, it's difficult to make better :)
All my apologies about the soap, I guess that the cleaning girls forget it, it was a very busy Saturday, but why you didn't ask to me about it, I will give you few soap of course! About the mattress protector, sorry if was a nuisance for you, but we need to use it for hygiene, and we made it custom to avoid inconvenience. Before we read your review, we checked it again, we asked to our others guests and they told us that all was fine with their sleep. So we don't understand why happen, we will investigate more about it....Our goal is our hosts have a nice night and a good experience sharing time in our little paradise, so we feel bad with you, we feel unaccomplished. We hope that all this situation will help us to make us better. I invite you to come back in other opportunity in order to have other experience, a good one this time! Thanks, take care. Julie.
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Edmond, Oklahoma
Level Contributor
10 reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 8 helpful votes
5 of 5 bubbles Reviewed 4 January 2014

My family has taken surf classes on two occasions with three different instructors and they were all fantastic. They made the experience for my children fun, it was the highlight of their vacation. I have not staid overnight, and have not seen the rooms, but the hotel common areas are nice, bright and tropical. The owner Julie is great, excellent service.

  • Stayed December 2013, travelled with family
    • Value
    • Service
Helpful?
4 Thank Veronica D
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
BalsaSurfCamp, Propietario at Balsa Surf Camp, responded to this review, 13 January 2014
Google Translation
Que bien que sus ninos disfrutaron de nuestras clases de surf! Es todo un placer para nosotros poder compartir esta increible experiencia del surf, sobre todo con ninos, las sonrisas de ellos cuando se paran en la ola, es el mejor regalo para el profesor! Gracias por su tan buena opinion que nos ayuda un monton! Y que sus hijos siguen surfeando! Estamos a las ordenes por su proxima visita :) El equipo del balsa surf camp.
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This response is the subjective opinion of the management representative and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Level Contributor
10 reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 3 helpful votes
5 of 5 bubbles Reviewed 22 October 2013

It was perfect vacation last year. Julie, Rasty & all, all, all! Thank you for your
friendliness and professionalism! It's excellent place to surf and rest. Nice colorful rooms that clean every day, various dishes in own cafe, surfshop and surflessons or rent. I liked it and we gonna back here this january =)

  • Stayed January 2013, travelled as a couple
    • Value
    • Location
    • Sleep Quality
    • Rooms
    • Cleanliness
    • Service
Helpful?
2 Thank Janies G
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Arizona
Level Contributor
31 reviews
15 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 21 helpful votes
5 of 5 bubbles Reviewed 20 August 2013 via mobile

I didn't stay at Balsa, but had dinner there. The celice is the BEST I've had in the world! Loaded with fresh fish, shrimp, octopus, and peppers. The roasted sweet plantains are a fantastic accompaniment to dip with. Delicious!

Stayed August 2013, travelled with friends
Helpful?
3 Thank Emmy125
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Johnstown, Pennsylvania
Level Contributor
203 reviews
38 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 146 helpful votes
5 of 5 bubbles Reviewed 15 August 2013

There is so much to love about Balsa Surf Camp. Honestly. First of all, it's a short walk to the ocean. Second of all, the place is so unique and inviting, it makes you wish you could live there. I should also mention that the owners--plus all the people who work there--are super friendly. They'll give you recommendations, let you use their laptop computer, call a cab for you, etc. The room in which my boyfriend and I stayed was both clean and comfortable--we loved it. In fact, my boyfriend said it was his favorite place that we stayed during our month-long trip to Ecuador. With a beachy, laid-back feel to compliment the Rasta vibes found on the beach, Balsa Surf Camp is truly the place to stay if you want to feel like you're in your own little part of paradise at the beach. Top-notch place with top-notch food and lodging. Stay here! Stay here! Stay here! :)

  • Stayed July 2013, travelled as a couple
    • Value
    • Location
    • Sleep Quality
    • Rooms
    • Cleanliness
    • Service
Helpful?
4 Thank KPsRECs
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Santiago, Chile
Level Contributor
18 reviews
6 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 5 helpful votes
5 of 5 bubbles Reviewed 7 August 2013

Recently returned from Montañita, there are many hotels and hostels, Balsa Surf is a perfect balance, pefect ¡¡¡

Recién volvimos de Montañita, hay muchos, muchos hoteles y hostales, Balsa Surf es un perfecto equilibrio.

  • Stayed July 2013, travelled with family
    • Value
    • Location
    • Sleep Quality
    • Rooms
    • Cleanliness
    • Service
Helpful?
2 Thank ClaudiaZubra
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
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Additional Information about Balsa Surf Camp

Property: Balsa Surf Camp
Address: at the Point (En la Punta), Montanita, Ecuador
Region: Ecuador > Santa Elena Province > Montanita
Amenities:
Free Breakfast Free High Speed Internet ( WiFi ) Free Parking Restaurant Room Service Wheelchair access
Hotel Style:
Ranked #1 of 42 B&Bs / Inns in Montanita
Price Range (Based on Average Rates): £
Hotel Class:3 star — Balsa Surf Camp 3*
Number of rooms: 10
Official Description (provided by the hotel):
Discover our BALSA SURF CAMP in Montanita, Ecuador, made by and for surfers! The perfect place to discover a country and its waves, its culture and the wonderful art of balsa wood boards shaped by César Moreira, owner of the camp. It is a reconciliation, a union with nature. Imagine! Surfing a tree! Discover our beautiful style of Ecological bungalows only 30 meters from the surf! There are handcraft built by local carpenters using bamboo and wood. In a friendly environment you will enjoy the Montanita surf! ... more   less 
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Also Known As:
Balsa Surf Camp Hotel Montanita

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