From its origins as a hippie beach destination in the 1960s to its present-day reputation as a surfing hotspot, Montanita has been luring tourists and expats to its golden shores for decades.

A town that started with a handful of local fishermen and a few foreign hippies has evolved into a vast cultural melting pot of people from all nations and walks of life. In addition to U.S. expats, residents of Montanita include Argentinians, Jamaicans, Russians, Australians, Canadians, Germans, and an assortment of other Europeans. As diverse as their nationalities are the lifestyles of those who live in Montanita. As opposed to the rest of Ecuador, which remains fairly conservative, differences are celebrated–applauded even–in Montanita. Locals voice approval to same-sex couples who show public affection, something that would be frowned upon elsewhere in the country. The city promotes the ideas of tolerance, acceptance, and maybe even a bit of rebellion. Peace signs adorn cars and t-shirts, as does the image of the famed Marxist revolutionary Che Guevara.

Today Montanita attracts surfers from all around the world. It boasts strong, consistent waves that can get over 3 feet during the calmer summer months and during the late fall and winter, especially January through March, waves get as large as 6 ½ feet. Montanita presents a challenge for beginners while still remaining tricky enough for even the most advanced surfers. The surfing in Montanita has earned a spot on the international surfing circuit, as well as a place in the town’s annual Carnival celebration. An international surfing competition now holds a spot on the agenda of the February festivities.

It definitely hasn't lost its hippie feel with many colorful characters you feel like you have taken a step back in time. 

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