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Getting There

By Bus -- Libertad Peninsular (CLP; tel. 04/2140-975) buses leave the main bus terminal in Guayaquil three times daily for Montañita, at 5am and at 1 and 4:30pm. The ride takes around 3 1/2 hours. The fare is $6 (£4).

Local buses run between Santa Elena and Puerto López roughly every 15 to 20 minutes throughout the day. All these buses stop in Montañita to pick up and drop off passengers. If you're coming from Puerto López, hop on at the main bus stop in town, or anywhere along the highway heading south. The fare is around $1.50 (£1). If you're in Salinas, grab a taxi to Santa Elena and ask them to drop you off at the bus stop for Puerto López.

By Car -- To drive to Montañita, follow the directions for driving to Salinas. Montañita is located at Km 59 on the E15 coastal highway.

Getting Around

You can easily walk anywhere in Montañita. That said, taxis usually hang around town to take surfers up and down the coast in search of secret spots. If you can't flag one down, have your hotel or any local business call one for you.

Orientation

Montañita is a tiny town, roughly 10 blocks long (running along the ocean), and 4 blocks deep (from the coastal highway to the sea). The center of town is a tight jumble of budget lodgings, restaurants, bars, surf shops, and souvenir stands. Erosion has claimed much of the beach right in front of the town, and a large stone-barrier wall has been put in to try to slow the ocean's advance.

Fast Facts -- To contact the police, dial tel. 101 in an emergency, or 04/2901-251. There are no banks in Montañita, but you'll find a couple of ATMs in the center of town. Still, I recommend you stock up on cash before heading to Montañita. Very few hotels or restaurants here accept credit cards. There are also no medical services, and very limited supplies. Local general stores carry aspirin and other basic remedies, but the closest real pharmacies and medical care are in Santa Elena, Salinas, and Puerto López. There are several Internet cafes in town.

Note: This information was accurate when it was published, but can change without notice. Please be sure to confirm all rates and details directly with the companies in question before planning your trip.