Where Is the Best Surfing?
If you’re looking to surf, you’ll find plenty of beaches along Ecuador’s Pacific coast with excellent waves. The best time to surf is during the wet season, from November to May. On the coast, these months are the warmest and sunniest.
The following spots are the best known, and most heavily frequented by tourists and locals alike. If you’re interested, we can help set you up with surfing instructors and surfboard rentals.
Montañita and Vicinity – Guayas Province
Montañita is Ecuador’s most popular surfing beach, located a little over 100 miles (180 km) northwest of Guayaquil. This beach has hosted several World Masters Surfing Championships. It has what many think of as a typical surfer scene, with a strong bohemian vibe. Surfing and partying are the little beach town’s main attractions, and you’ll find a variety of restaurants and bars in town.
Surfers should take caution – rip tides and big waves are common here. At one section of the beach, known locally as La Punta, experienced surfers can take on waves between 6 to 10 feet (2m – 3m).
There are several beaches nearby Montañita that are also worth checking out.
Las Tunas beach is only 10 minutes away, and usually less crowded than Montañita. This is a better option for beginner surfers. It’s also a good place to visit when Montañita gets too crowded on the weekends.
14 miles (23 km) north of Montañita, you’ll find Ayampe. This small fishing village is popular with locals, but does not get nearly as crowded as Montañita. Ayampe's beach usually has strong waves, but is still suitable for most experience levels.
Mompiche – Esmereldas Province
Mompiche is a quiet town, and only recently accessible by a decent road. It’s located about an hour’s drive south of the popular beach town of Atacames, in the very southernmost part of the Esmereldas province.
Beaches at Mompiche have black sand and big waves. The beaches here can produce very long waves, up to 985 feet (300 m). Only skilled surfers should tackle the waves, which can be tricky and quite powerful.
Canoa – Manabí
Canoa is a relaxed beach, popular with the locals but not heavily trafficked. Surfers of all levels can catch a wave here.
Canoa is a good destination for a number of sports besides surfing. It’s often windy, and hang-gliding and parasailing have become quite popular. Low cliffs overlook the beach, and create the perfect takeoff spot for hang-gliders.
Puerto Baquerizo Moreno – San Cristóbal Island (The Galápagos)
This beach is located on one of the larger islands of the Galápagos. The surfing here is of the same high caliber as the waves in Hawaii. But the waves are also powerful, and best left to experienced surfers. If you take a cruise to the Galápagos, try to make this gorgeous beach one of your stops.