The Ecuadorian coast, with an extension of approximately 1,400 miles (2,250km) along the Pacific Ocean, is a great place to surf. With warm water all year round, the mild weather makes it a perfect place to catch waves without a bodysuit on sandy beaches. Rentals and surfing schools are cheap as it is still a growing sport, and the surfing community is committed to making it more popular in the region. Here are the best places to go surfing in Ecuador.
Even with a song to its name, Puerto Chino is one of the prime spots to surf in the Galapagos. Its the reef shores that make beaches like Puerto Chino some of the prime surfing spots. This area is not the best place for beginner surf lessons, but if you’ve been practicing for a little while, you can ask for some advanced lessons. If you are in the Galapagos, there is no excuse to miss the waves in this area.
Located on Santa Cruz Island, Tortuga Bay is one of the top destinations for not only tourists, but also for surfers. With a few surfboard rental shops in the area, this is one of the beaches where locals first learn how to surf—its white sand makes it a surreal spot to first take surfing lessons. It is also a great spot to hook up with other surfers and get any advice, or the latest forecasts of where the waves are best.
A fishermen’s town full of bamboo huts and hostels, Mompiche is one of the best places to surf in continental Ecuador with a break point where, within feet, you can take your first surfing lessons, while conditions are also good for experienced surfers. This town is a perfect mix for travelers looking to meet people and go to a party or two, but to also quietly enjoy a sunset.
One of the most popular surfs spots, Montanita is known internationally by surfers, beach combers and backpackers. Low cost places to stay make it a popular destination. La Punta is the famous beach spot in town, and Montanita is also the best spot to buy a surfboard in Ecuador, as this town is the epicenter of surfing culture in the country.
If you are an experienced surfer, you cannot miss this beach. Playa de la FAE is located inside the Ecuadorian Air Force Base in the town of Salinas, on the southern Pacific Coast of Ecuador. This beach has no sand, but it does have reef so its breaks are on rocks. Reef breaks are more dangerous, because they are stronger and its pipes push you down so there is less margin for error, so make sure you go to this beach only if you are an experienced surfer. Surfers on the same beach do look out for each other. You can catch great waves there, but make sure you bring your ID to gain access to the base.
Ayampe is a sleepy town that remains loyal to its laid-back spirit. Ayampe is the place to go if you want to relax and enjoy waves in a quiet environment. The great part of this town is that they have good conditions for surfing all year round, with waves reaching up to eight feet and plenty of beach breaks.
This town has a beache with good waves year round and also a vibrant nightlife, so if you are looking for a few surfing lessons and to have fun, Canoa is the place to go. Remember that this town was near the epicenter of the 2016 earthquake, so if you visit there might still be places under reconstruction. If you are looking to give a helping hand, make sure to look up hostels and reach out and ask what their needs are and how you can contribute.
This area has a great point break from December to March. Waves can reach up to nine feet, which attracts surfers from all over the country to ride its waves. Beaches nearby, such as San Lorenzo and Santa Rosa, make other great surf spots. The area is also close to the Pacoche reserve—a great hike if you want to see monkeys and more Ecuadorian nature. It can get chilly in this area, so make sure to bring warm clothing.