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Ecuador - Montanita // The Bird Over The Reef

Killvan's Ecuador. A tale of surfing with the local inhabitants of Montanita in the north of Ecuador, South America.


Empty, lonely, a South American gun slinger town. I'd once described it to an Australian friend as "somewhere like Byron Bay, a hundred years ago after a holocaust". It was a town to loose yourself in, a place where your mind could expand, become obsessed with a lost pursuit.

Montanitas is a small community, how many are residents who knows, amidst the party girls, spiritual healers, drifters druggies and drunks the actual locals existed. In the heat of the day you'd see a farmer or a housewife, going about their daily business. The daytime was when the blow-ins seeking Nirvana slept, only rising to greet the setting sun with dance, chanting, bongo drums, rum and mary jane. Surfing was not the major draw card though it was why I had ventured to this weird corner of Ecuador, and it was why I surfed alone most days at the right point break at the north end of town.

It's a nice wave, a 3 star banger with sweet curves and some idiosyncrasies to keep you guessing. With some size in the swell the wave would grow into a mini beast and deliver a hot section, sometimes a tube, plus nice opportunities to drift the fins and lay some rail carves. Many sessions were to be had alone, or with recreational types washing off their midnight vices. The only company that I really took notice of was a bird of prey, an ominous feathered beast of the air.

Circling gracefully in Gods vector currents, the humid rising jungle air of Ecuador perfect for routines of arcing spirals, it was hypnotizing to watch between lulls. A huge bird with a wing span like a jet plane gave it's black feathers a death from above shadow. Mind you, it was probably some chicken shit lice riddled turkey vulture, fresh from pecking at a diseased road kill courtesy of a speeding Banana truck.

Most days when the point had a wave this bird circled looking for food, or maybe just expanding its own mind, enjoying the empty lonely air space, following suite by doing what everyone else does in Montanitas. Getting high, getting lost and flying in the humid air of Ecuador.




Location: Montanita, mid coast, Ecuador.
Optimum: December to April for north swells, and southern hemisphere winter months for the juice.

Weather: Equatorially tropically blissfully.
Surf Conditions: Beachbreaks, Reef Breaks.

Access: It's a bit of a mission as Quito and Guayaquil are not cities you'd expect to be flying into. Columbia to the north is, well, Columbia, and Peru to the south and Lima is a long way away. Buses and long drives.

Accomodation: Epic cheap little hippy town where beach rentals and hostel type stays are at call.

Live Free:  7.5/10.  Escape and dissappear.

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