Beach break: Montañita
By Sarah Ann Allen
Montañita. The name may bring to mind mini mountains, but in actuality it is a chill-out, laid-back beach bum town, perfect for relaxing after going so hard for so long.
In between getting asked if we wanted to partake in some “happy brownies” or “magic brownies” the beach was gorgeous. We stayed at Hostel Iguana Backpackers in a private three-person room for 24 USD per night. It lived up to its name with at least 3 or 4 Iguanas always visible from the back porch. The town began as a tent town created by surfers as the waves are strong and break on soft sand instead of the dangerous coral reefs. Later it was inhabited by hippies and the surf by day, party by night culture was born.
We spent lazy mornings cooking pancakes and French toast (or eggy bread as the British call it), chill afternoons on the Internet or watching movies to avoid the strongest hours of the sun and our late afternoons and nights lounging on the sand and getting pummeled by waves created to surf. The three nights we spent there were perfect. The people wonderful, entertaining and unique. It is a backpackers’ town for sure.
As I have spent some time in Hawaii and let the locals teach me how to surf (not to mention being obsessed with the first Blue Crush in which you get to see a movie montage of football players learning to surf) I found myself being the surfing expert of the group. Our hostel allowed us to rent surf boards for only $5 for 3 hours so we took advantage of it the last night we were there and I taught Jordan and Adrianne how to surf.
They each got to ride a wave or two but we kept getting rolled by the waves so after an hour in the water we headed back to the sand for a photo shoot with the longboard. The surf was pretty rough with a lot of double waves… Which made for great photos but tough surf.
The guy at the hostel really seemed to like me as I answered all his questions about his new iPhone (he was a droid person before) and taught him about Amish culture in America, so we ended up not having to pay for the surfboard rental which was nice. Other than that we just enjoyed the sand and the shallow waves and we found a sushi restaurant that had amazing burgers and was decently priced so we ate there twice (though don’t ask the name of it because I can’t remember).
We were sad to have to leave, but it helped that we were going Baños, the land of hot springs and waterfalls! (Although it was nice to shake all the sand out of our stuff…)