Surfing in Ecuador

6 surf spot to discover

Ecuador is one of the finest surfing countries in South America because of its warm water and varied spots.

Fae - surfing in EcuadorAlong the 2200 kilometer coast, especially in the northern part, you can enjoy surfing. Ecuador is a surf country on the rise so many beaches are still relatively quiet, rental is cheap and lessons are also affordable.

Ecuador is popular among beginners, but also offers enough challenge for intermediates and experts.

We went – without a wetsuit – to this diverse country to check the surf with the naked eye and to get lost in the beautiful nature.

Conditions in Ecuador

The period between November and March is the best time to catch waves in Ecuador. As said before, the northern part of the country is a pleasant place to be. This zone runs from the border with Colombia to Guayaquil, the largest city in the country. In winter (May-November) there are also regular waves, but there is a fog on the coast and it is cooler.

The wind in the morning is light (read: glassy conditions), gets stronger during the day and comes from the west or south.

How to travel in Ecuador

As in most South American countries, public bus transport is also well organized in Ecuador. Because the country is relatively small, travel times are short. Moreover, the costs are very low. You pay about one American dollar (the national currency) per hour of travel. For 20 dollars a day you rent a decent car. If you look at the driver nicely, he will drop your board in the hold for free.

Staying in Ecuador

Ecuador is a cheap country to stay in. Hostels and hotels are plentiful. For a dorm you don’t pay more than 8 dollars and about double for a private room. The food is also cheap. In most places you can score a complete meal on the street for just one dollar. Restaurants in seaside resorts are logically a bit more expensive, but for 5 dollars you have a good dinner there as well.


MontanitaMontañita is such a seaside resort in Ecuador. It is known as the Ibiza of South America because of its vibrant nightlife and is all you can imagine. It is a place of pilgrimage for stray hippies, proppers and trained bodies in bulging beach bars.

Nevertheless, it is home to a fairly consistent right-handed pointbreak and a long beach break. All day surfing through all levels here. Because of the hustle and bustle and thus the competitive atmosphere, Montañita was not our favourite, but the cocktails tasted extraordinarily good in the evening.

Best conditions: south-north swell, north-east wind, all tides.


Just a short distance from Montanita, on the other side of the mountain, lies the peaceful Olon. This village is the perfect health resort to escape the hustle and bustle of Montanita. The beach break is quieter and the atmosphere in the water calmer. A perfect spot to stay if you don’t want to stay until the next day.

Do you still feel like having fun? A $1.50 taxi ride and you can go on a pub crawl like a rolling stone.

Best conditions: south-west swell, north-east wind, all tides.


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The city of Salinas has the appearance of a garbage dump brought to life. But you can’t deny that the city has great surf spots, of which FAE is the coolest and most constant. The spot is located on the grounds of the air force of Ecuador and is best reached by car.

On the way on the terrain you will meet patrolling soldiers, which brings a special atmosphere.

The left-handed pointbreak is for the experienced surfer because of the reef. On the rock a jury consisting of sea lions watches in a militant way.

Best conditions: south-north swell, north-east wind, all tides.


MompicheHidden deep in the north of Ecuador you will find one of the best waves of the country in Mompiche. This left-handed pointbreak was undiscovered until 20 years ago, but is now home to a lively surfing community. On a good day the break has a ride of a few hundred meters.

On days without a big swell, the lazy waves can still be ridden by longboarders. A little further on you will find an entertaining beach break within walking distance: playa Negro.

Best conditions: south north-west swell, north-east wind, all tides.


In 2016 Ecuador was shocked by a violent earthquake that hit Canoa hard. Now, three years later, traces of it are still visible. The collapsed buildings and empty lots sometimes give a sad sight. The residents are still scared, but surf tourism keeps the locals on their feet.

On the beach in front of the village there are several spots, but also kilometers to the south you’ll find lots of quiet breaks. We were lucky to be able to surf together with the best surfers in the region: dolphins.

Best conditions: south north-west swell, south-east wind, all tides.


AyampeThe laidback surfing village of Ayampe has a vast beach break that at times takes on mythical proportions. When a powerful north swell pops up, Ayampe even delivers barrels. The hippie-like atmosphere makes this one of the nicest spots in the country.

It’s easy to take root here and a long stay lurks fast. Las Tunas and the right-handed pointbreak La Rinconada will make sure that you show off your snout outside Ayampe once in a while.

Best conditions: south-west north-west swell, north-east wind, all tides.

Check out these other surf destinations:

Surfing in Morocco

Surfing in Peru

Surfing in Chili

Surfing in Ecuador (that’s this page)