Ecuador Surf Spots

Ecuador is bordered by Columbia to the north and Peru to the south. It is influenced by the Pacific’s Humboldt Current, and an ecological diversity rivaled by few countries its size. You can break the country down into four distinct regions: coastal lowlands, eastern jungle, the Andean Mountains, and Darwin’s Galapagos Islands. Suffice it to say there is much to see and do in Ecuador. Because there is so much geographical diversity packed into one country, it is important to know when and where to go for surf.

Any surf trip to Ecuador would be incomplete with out a few days in the city of Montanita. Montanita is popular with backpackers and those who enjoy first-class right point breaks. If you like to strike a good balance between partying and surfing, this is the place. The touristy surf village also has the advantage of being centrally located to a bunch of quality surf spots to the north and south, and is good place to fuel up before striking out to more remote locals.

Montanita, Ecuador - Surf Video

 

Because there is so much geographical diversity packed into Ecuador, it is important to know when and where to go for surf. Like most tropical climates you can break the seasons into two: rainy and dry. The rainy season is roughly January thru May and is also the time of year when the coastline welcomes both north and south swells. The north swells are the same ones unloading on the north shore of Hawaii so expect large clean surf. It is good to take a board suited for bigger waves since your odds of mixing it up in the big stuff is likely. Besides bigger surf, expect warm water in the mid-seventies, humidity (you are on the equator), and a healthy dose of south swells to go with those from the north. This is the best time for consistent surf for the mainland and the Galapagos Islands. While the best waves in the Galapagos are born of north swells, there are some quality breaks that work from the south so your chances are good –on catching it good- during this time.

The dry season, June thru December, is not only dry, but also cooler. The Humboldt Current works its magic by ushering in cooler water (mid-sixties), overcast conditions, fog, and onshore winds. It’s best to head for the southern facing beaches since south swells are the only option during this period. A quick look at the coastline shows the beaches south of Manta are the call. The beaches to the north of Manta do not receive much south swell and north swells are nonexistent during this time of year. The Playas area in Southern Ecuador is your best bet since south swells hit a series of right hand points and beach breaks that hold the wind well.

Whether you opt for a surf trip to the mainland, the Galapagos Islands…or both, you will be satisfied by the cultural, ecological, and surfing diversity of Ecuador. The surfing areas to the north of Manta do not receive much south swell and there are no north swells during this time of year. The Playas area in Southern Ecuador is very good for surfing this time of year since the south swells do it straight on and it does hold the wind.

Lastly, any surf trip to Ecuador would be incomplete with out a few days in the city of Montanita. Montanita is popular with backpackers and those who enjoy first-class right point breaks. If you like to strike a good balance between partying and surfing, this is the place. The touristy surf village also has the advantage of being centrally located to a bunch of quality surf spots to the north and south, and is good place to fuel up before striking out to more remote locals.

Part 3 in a series of videos on surfing in Montanita, Ecuador:

 

 

Advertise with The Surfing Site!