A guide to Playa Los Frailes, the most beautiful beach in Ecuador

Ecuador, a country where you can climb a glacier mountain one day, hike through incredible forests the other day and end up at the beach. Ecuador is a country with  a marvelous diversity and definitely worth travelling.

Los Frailes is the nicest beach on the western coast of South America and located in Machalilla National Park. Take your time, go for a hike instead of a tuk-tuk and enjoy the cliffs high above the ocean, the turquiose water and the white beaches. It is simply breathtaking. In order to avoid the heat, it is reccomended to leave in the early morning.  With the bus from Montan᷉ita it will take around 1 hours and it is incredibely cheap!

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During the walk you will pass different beaches. And one thing is for sure: they are all worth the hike! Playa Prieta is a cove home to hunderds of crabs.  At the shore you will see loads of little balls of sand as the crabs feed. The view of the beach is just stunning, and wants you to go in the water and have a swim to cool down. However, don’t swim at this beach as there is a strong undercurrent which will take you out to the sea!  The name of Playa de Tortuguita will make you assume that you might see turtles. But these turtles won’t let themselves see if they are there.  However, the white sandy beach makes sure you won’t miss them!

The route will end at Los Frailes, and you will realize why this is one of the most beatiful beaches. Now it is time to swim, relax and enjoy your day!

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Things you should know about Los Frailes:

  • Free entrance!!
  • Take a lot of sunscreen, there is no shade
  • You can hire parasols for 4 dollars a day
  • Bring a lot of water
  • The park shuts at 4pm. Find a tuk-tuk to leave in time: 1 dollar per person
  • Visit on a weekday when possible. The beach might be crowded in weekends.

The most amazing surf class!

animals-731327_960_720“WOOOOOW! We had the most amazing surf class today! The waves were nearly perfect for us beginners and everyone was catching waves.”

While studying Spanish at Montanita Spanish School, it is also possible to have surf classes. Everyday groups of students are catching the amazing waves Montanita has to offer. one of our students continues to tell his incredible experience:

“At one point, the waves slowed down and the ten of us were sitting in a line waiting for the next set to come in. I was at the end of the line admiring the storm clouds rolling in, when all of a sudden two fins popped up no more than 5 meters away from me. For a split second I thought.. SHARKS!.. But when I saw them dive straight down under me I started yelling DOLPHINS!! Then all at once, a pod of 40+ dolphins began surfacing behind them, all headed straight for me and the line of surfers next to me. It was as if they came down the line of humans just to high five us! Absolutely surreal! As they passed by me just out of arm reach, I tried to look for them underwater, but the storm made the water too dark for me to see without a mask. So I turned around an surfed the waves.. with the pod of dolphins.”

You never know what is going to happen during a surf class. Nature does what it wants, and takes care of the most incredible experiences you can’t buy!

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Carnival in Montanita

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Carnival is an ENORMOUS celebration in Montanita. The streets are PACKED with people, music, booze, foam and water fights. Complete craziness! Especially Foam is flying around everywhere and everyone goes as loose as possible.

When thinking of Carnival in South America, we think of the famous parade in Rio de Janeiro. However, Carnaval in Ecuador is not quite the same.

Carnival in Ecuador is about throwing any liquid that you can imagine. This can be from water to oil to the unimaginable! Sometimes people top off the water with flower to make it a big mess. The good thing is: in Montanita people just throw with water and Carioca, which is foam in different colours. Because of the problems with for example car oil, there are television announcements which tells people to play nice

When you are not an Ecuadorian, you are a special target during Carnival! So, if you want to avoid the craziness in Montanita, you should lay low for a few days until the storm passes over

The last years carnival is changing more into the Brazilian one. It is starting to look more like the Brazilian carnival parade. However, The traditions of throwing water and partying will stay the main focus of Carnival!

The beauty of sunsets in Montanita

It is a cloudy day in Montanita, and when looking through some photos, I discover that there are a lot of sunset photos. I love sunsets, and I think We all do have a special feeling when looking at the warm colors of a sunset. The awe effect of watching sunsets gives you a special feeling of satisfaction.

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It doesn’t matter with who you are watching the sunset. With a group of friends or just with your partner, the sunsets in Montanita are just incredible. Often a group from the cabanas is going to the beach to watch the sunset and have dinner at the beach. When it is still too early to have dinner we will play some volleyball or go surfing.

Interesting is that studies have shown that watching a sunset boosts your well-being, increases generosity and improve your life satisfaction! There is no better way to end a long day of studying Spanish!

 

Machilalla National Park

img_0051On Sunday a group of guests went to Machalilla National Park (Parque nacional Machalilla) for a nice stroll and look around. The park is a 750 square kilometer preserve, consisting of beaches, different forest types and both small and large islands. The preserve has a vast array of wildlife including bearded dragons, iguanas, crabs and many other strange and fascinating   creatures.

The day started with a 1.5 hour bus journey north that cost just $3 and then entry to the park was free! Once in the park the group took a 2-3 hour walk through the many types of terrain, admiring the incredible preserve and all its beauty. one guest said it is like something he has never seen before. The beaches were very nice with lovely clear water and amazing scenery. For the journey back the group took a tuc tuc for $1 each which was described simply as fun!

All the people that went said they had a great time and recommended highly, so its one that I think will definitely happen again.

Life at the Cabanas

“its like a community”

the cabanas are a great place to stay a few days or a few months. consider this when paying you are not only getting accommodation for the price you pay, you get a beautiful group of humans that create great atmosphere. it is a place for all ages and very family friendly.

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the facilities are fantastic, they include many assets check out there new website for the full details:  http://montanitacabanas.com/

 

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I hope to see more people here!  🙂

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Our Students Teach Too!

Teaching English to the local children in Montanita

Benefits for the community:

  1. it brings people together
  2. supports families an youth (mentoring, daycare etc.)
  3. improves schools (tutoring etc.)
  4. encourages locals to participate in cleaning, or generally helping out
Benefits for the individual:
  1. learn new skills
  2. experience will be rewarding (potential job ideas, or
  3. you will become closer with the local community
  4. you will be supporting the community you are visiting/living in at the time.
  5. every person counts

 

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Last Wednesday and Friday the students of http://www.montanitaspanishschool.com/ helped the local kids learn English. For one hour on both Wednesday and Friday we taught English in many ways,  through visual methods, including food, balloons, or basic props.

it was full of fun and activities and was highly beneficial for all. it was a good way of giving back to the community in which we are so grateful for.

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