This post is in partnership with the Montañita Cabanas and may contain affiliate links. I promise that my reviews are honest and I’ll never link to anything I wouldn’t pay for myself!
It’s been an awfully long time since I’ve taken a beach vacation. I normally travel to cultural centers, but what backpacker wouldn’t love unpacking their bags in a tiny beach town and walking around barefoot for a while? After looking into Spanish schools in Quito and Cuenca, I realized that a few weeks learning Spanish on the Ecuadorian coastline wouldn’t be so bad either. So, while I studied Spanish in Montañita, I was also living in my very own thatched-roof bamboo cabaña at the Montañita Cabañas. Man, I could get used to this.
Are you going to Montañita for a while? Avoid the rowdiness of other Montañita hostels and stay at the Montañita Cabañas instead. Here’s what to expect.
Life in the Montañita Cabañas
The Montañita Cabañas have private cabañas ($41), private cabañas with kitchen ($45) and mini-dorms ($17). The private cabañas have a full bed, desk, mosquito net, dresser, bookshelf, safe, en-suite bathroom, and an outdoor hammock. The dorm rooms have the same general layout, but with 2-3 bunks (sleeping 4-6 people). All guests also have access to the shared facilities, including a swimming pool, Jacuzzi, communal kitchen and a sitting area with TV and DVD player. If you are traveling solo or during low season (May-November), expect to pay between $2-5 less per night.
Value: The Montañita Cabañas are a good value, but they aren’t the cheapest accommodation in Montañita. If you’re just looking for somewhere to abandon your stuff and don’t mind noisy dorms, some Montañita hostels rent rooms for as little as $6. The Montañita Cabañas make for a better home than a hostel. You’ll pay a bit extra for the security and the atmosphere, but I think it’s still worth it. Bungalows from $34.
The location of the Montañita Cabañas is pretty awesome. Tucked off the main road on the north side of town, the cabañas are just 5 minutes from the Montañita Spanish School, 3 minutes from the beach, and 2 minutes from town. Montañita is pretty tiny, so I’d say the only bad location is a noisy one. The downtown is only about 5 blocks small, but clubs pumping house music and bar-goers loitering in the streets can make 5 am awfully loud. You’ll still need earplugs out at the cabañas, but I would recommend skipping beachfront views in favor of some shuteye.
The community centered around the Montañita Cabañas is definitely the best part. Just about everyone living in the cabañas is also studying Spanish at the Montañita Spanish School. Rather than getting stuck with people in town for a quick party, you’ll have time to make some real friends during your stay. People typically stay for between 2-6 weeks, so you end up living, going to school, going out, and fighting hangovers with the same crew of people. You’ll celebrate birthdays, cook shared meals, play pickup basketball, and say genuine goodbyes. I’d imagine that you miss out a bit on the Montañita Spanish School experience if you didn’t also live in the cabañas. The staff at the cabañas is also really amazing. There were more than a couple of instances where they went above and beyond for me. They keep things clean and create a secure environment that is super hard to beat. If you’re looking for a home away from home, the Montañita Cabañas have a lot to offer.
The cabañas have security cameras and a guard on staff all night long. Almost everyone staying is also a student, so there’s a greater sense of trust and community than you typically get from a hostel. Each room locks and also comes equipped with a small safe. Locking up your possessions is a bit trickier in the dorms, so I’d recommend bringing your own lock for bigger bags. If you’ve got anything valuable, the staff is happy to watch over it or keep it locked away for you.
The town itself has a reputation for pickpockets, but serious incidents are more anomalous than normal. You should still use your best judgment (sticking to busy roads, leaving your cash at home, etc.) but I generally felt safer in Montañita than in Quito.
Every morning, the cleaning crew comes through to mop, wipe down counters, and get rid of yesterday’s trash. While the common areas did get a bit out of sorts throughout the day, this was a result of guests not cleaning up after themselves. The rooms are thoroughly cleaned every other day so you’ll always have shiny floors and an empty trash can. As with many tropical destinations, ants are everywhere, so I’d recommend leaving all food in the kitchen or in the common areas.
The Montañita Cabanas have just about everything you could want in a long-term stay. You’ll have access to a shared kitchen, lounge area, TV and DVD player, pool, and Wi-Fi. Food in Montañita is quite expensive compared to the rest of Ecuador so having a kitchen was a huge perk. There are also tons of hammocks around the Montañita Cabanas and you might love swinging in them more than you expect.
While many hostels in Ecuador will provide you with coffee and drinking water, you need to buy your own here. There’s a shop down the street that sells 5-liter jugs for just $1.50.
Inside the Montañita Cabañas
Book Your Stay: Booking.com
Phone: (+593) 4206 0116
Address: Barrio El Tigrillo, 50 Meters on the Right
Headed to Montañita? Check out these other posts!
- Why You Should Learn Spanish on the Beach
- The Other Galapagos: Isla de la Plata
- 8 Reasons Why You’ll Never Leave Montañita