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Surf Guide: Surfing in Ecuador

Surf Guide Ecuador

Surf Guide: Surfing in Ecuador

Ecuador has a coast of more than 2000 kilometers where you can find many excellent surf spots. There is a wonderfully mild climate in the country, which attracts surfers from all over the world, especially in the north. Surfing tourism is growing and becoming an increasingly important source of income for the local economy. The beaches of Ecuador offer excellent surfing possibilities due to the high quality of the waves in combination with favorable prices and a very friendly population.

check out these articles for more information about surfing in Latin America

Surfing in Ecuador in a nutshell

The beach of Manta Ecuador


  • Climate: Ecuador owes its name to the equator; this runs across the country. Because of this location there is a very pleasant tropical climate in this beautiful country.
  • Galapagos: the Galapagos Islands form a volcanic group of islands that lies on the equator in the Pacific Ocean. This island group has of course become very famous because of Darwin’s theory of evolution.
  • Surfing: Ecuador has a coast of more than 2000 kilometers where you can find many excellent surf spots. Montanita is even known as one of the very best surf spots on the continent.
  • Favorably priced: A huge advantage of Ecuador, especially compared to competing countries in Central America such as Costa Rica and Panama, is that the price of daily life is enormously favorable. Ideal!
  • Diversity: Ecuador has an enormous diversity. You will find tropical rain forests, huge mountains, volcanic landscapes, beautiful beaches and bustling world cities.
  • Learning Spanish and surfing: Montanita in Ecuador is known as one of the best surfing spots in South America. In addition, this town is known for its hippie vibes and vibrant nightlife. The ideal place for your surf + language trip!

About surfing in Ecuador

Ecuador is a country located in the northwest of South America. The country borders on Colombia in the north, Peru on the east and south and the Pacific Ocean on the west. The world-famous Galapagos Islands, where Darwin laid the foundation for his famous evolution theory, also belong to Ecuador. This island group is located around 1000 kilometers from mainland Ecuador. The South American country is famous for its nature, in which the Galapagos Islands and the Amazon play an important role. As a result you will find an enormous diversity of plants and animals. Ecuador is therefore officially one of the 17 megadiverse countries in the world.

History of surfing in Ecuador

In 1960 it was Peruvian surf pioneer Piti Block who traveled along the coast of his neighbor Ecuador in his search for new waves. During his surfing trip he came into contact with four Ecuadorians: Luis Estrada, Victoriano Posada, Dorothy Jurado and Christian Bjarner. She learned to surf from Piti Block and spread the surfing virus among the Ecuadorian population. Around the same time, hippies settled around Montanita, attracted by the laid-back lifestyle and the excellent waves. The interest in surfing faded somewhat in the 1970s, but there was renewed interest in surfing in the 1980s and 1990s. Nowadays surfing plays an important part in the life of the Ecuadorian population, especially among those who live in coastal areas.

The Surf Seasons

Although surfing is possible all year round in Ecuador, the real surfing season runs from December to April. During these months, waves of absolutely world class form in Ecuador. Ecuador then grows into one of the most consistent surfing destinations in the tropical region. During the months of May to November the waves are somewhat less high, but still very suitable for beginning and intermediate surfers.

Surfing in Montanita

Montanita, which you can translate to “little hill” from Spanish, is seen as the center of surfing in Ecuador, thanks in part to the endless, white beaches and fantastic waves. There are more than 10 surf spots around Montanita, each with its own character. The famous Montanita Wave is a challenge for every surfer, but also novice and intermediate surfers can handle one of the many surf spots that Montanita has to offer.

Montanita is also a bustling town with a large selection of accommodation, restaurants, bars and night clubs. You will also find an excellent language school, perfect for when you want to work on both your surf skills and your Spanish skills.

Surfing in Galapagos

The Galapagos Islands form a volcanic group of islands that lies on the equator in the Pacific Ocean. This island group has of course become very famous because of Darwin’s theory of evolution. What many people do not know is that it is also an excellent surfing destination. The favorite surf spot in the Galapagos Islands is San Cristobal. Like the mainland of Ecuador, the surfing season runs from December to May, but you can surf the entire year on the island group.

Surfing in Salinas

This gem on the coast is actually a collection of 15 different surf spots that blend effortlessly into each other. The waves work best during the tourist high season, between December and April. Important surfing competitions are regularly organized in Salinas. For example, the World Junior Surfing Games was organized here in 2009. You also don’t have to get bored outside of surfing. You will find a large number of restaurants and bars in the region.

Surfing in Playas

Located in the province of Guayas, this coastal city has more than twelve surf spots that share the same neighborhood. Most surf spots work during most of the year, pumping medium and large waves to the south and southwest.

Surfing in Canoa

This is a town located in the province of Manabi. Along the coast of Canoa you will find a 10 kilometer long sandy beach without rocks and reefs. This is a very suitable surf spot for beginners to intermediate surfers. However, you will also encounter challenging waves here during the winter months. In addition, Canoa has a very active nightlife where people stay up late to dance and drink. If you are not on the beach, try the local fresh ceviche or insert a straw in a fresh coconut.

Surfers at the beach during christmas

Surfing in Mompiche

During the high season, between December and April, fantastic waves can arise at Mompiche under the right conditions. Unfortunately, are not always showing. So it’s definitely a surf spot to keep an eye on.

Learn Spanish and Surfing in Montañita

Want to work on both your Spanish and surfing skills? Surfing and learning Spanish can be perfectly combined in Montañita, where SurfaWhile has a partnership with one of the best language and surfing schools in the world, at the coolest surf spot that Ecuador has to offer.

The language school in Montanita

The school in Montañita with which SurfaWhile has an exclusive partnership is one of the best in the region. In 2009 this school was nominated for a STAR Award, because it was one of the 5 best language schools in the world! The main reasons for this prize were the excellent performance of the teachers, the prime location in Montañita and the opportunity to undertake activities near the school.

Check out the link for more information about learning Spanish and Surfing in Montañita.

Thomas Oosterhof

Via mijn studie Tourism Management ben ik terecht gekomen bij SurfaWhile. Waar ik elke dag meer leer over het surfen, en het verkopen van surfreizen. Door het schrijven van artikelen over surfvakanties, ervaringen en prachtige surfbestemmingen zorg ik er voor dat jij goed voorbereid op surfvakantie gaat!

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