Wake up early in the morning and open the door of your room. You have at your disposal a quiver, ranging from 5'2" up to long boards. All of them balsa wood made. The surf break is meters away, with warm and clear water. La Punta has waves from 2 up to 10 feet, with some crowd, but without localism. Just choose your board and go have fun.
Once in the sea you will end up finding Cesar "Rasty" Moreira, surfing with one of his boards. Rasty is a shaper and owner of Balsa Surf Camp. He was born in a village up north and has made already almost 1000 balsa wood boards (#960 is mine). In his surf camp there are 14 rooms, surrounded by an inside garden. It is hard to believe that about 5 years before that place was a garbage dump.
When you've had enough of surfing, you better come back to Balsa and restore your energy. Breakfast is served at 8:30 AM, with 5 menu options. Then you will probably meet Julie, Rasty's french wife. She moved away from Paris, planning travel around the world, teaching french and learning other languages. I can understand why she settled down at the first destination.
Together they built this surf camp in front of La Punta surf break, at Montañita, a famous surfing and partying destination in Ecuador. In the vicinity of their place there is a small expatriate community running their bussiness. The hostel next door offers yoga classes (US$ 8/class) with a Californian instructor. Her husband is responsible for a small craft brewery (Montañita Brewing company) just in front, at the beach, and just besides a sushi restaurant. It is the best point for a beer and sushi in the late afternoon, after the last surf session of the day.
Balsa Surf Camp is located not much more than 600 meters from the center of Montañita, but it seems kilometers away. In the city center, full of hostels, loud music plays non-stop, with young people coming and going and lots of booze. It is the antithesis of what is found in La Punta, where the quality of the musical selection is worth of notice.
For those who do not want to spend all day in this hard life of surfing, sunbathing, eating and drinking, there are several tour options to other beaches and islands in the region. Just ask Julie for help. She fosters a good relationship with local community, in a way they can also profit from tourism, which is now a significant industry for the region. Some years ago they had fewer options to employ themselves, as shrimp farms and fishing. From december until the beginning of may, chileans, argentinians and, obviously, ecuadorians, are the most frequent visitors. In may and june, there are less tourists, but from july to september, it is when europeans come more often. During the national holidays in october and november, ecuadorians, especially from Guayaquil, enjoy the party scene of Montañita.
Rasty witnessed the growth of Montañita along the years, and when drunk boys started to appear more frequently to take surfing lessons early in the morning, he moved away from the city center and built his own paradise. Pragmatic, he knows that the fiesta will end up growing and maybe one day disturb the peace that reigns in his space. Everything in life has an end, including itself. The important is to enjoy it while lasts. Don't loose your time.
- 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
- Reservation Options:
- TripAdvisor is proud to partner with Booking.com, Expedia, Hotels.com, Priceline and HRS so you can book your Balsa Surf Camp reservations with confidence. We help millions of travellers each month to find the perfect hotel for both holiday and business trips, always with the best discounts and special offers.
- Also Known As:
- Balsa Surf Camp Hotel Montanita