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“I wish I was there!” 5 of 5 stars
Review of Balsa Surf Camp

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Balsa Surf Camp
3.0 of 5 Small Hotel   |   at the Point (En la Punta), Montanita, Ecuador   |  
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Hotel amenities
Ranked #4 of 37 Montanita B&B and Inns
Durham, New Hampshire
Contributor
11 reviews 11 reviews
5 hotel reviews
Reviews in 5 cities Reviews in 5 cities
5 helpful votes 5 helpful votes
“I wish I was there!”
5 of 5 stars Reviewed June 24, 2013

I visited Balsa about a year ago, and have wished I was there on a regular basis ever since! Some places seem great when you leave, and then the memory fades after a while. However, the location, the great accommodations and food, the wonderful staff, and the overall community down in barrio la punta make this place a truly wonderful experience that one would be hard pressed to forget about. If you are thinking about going, do yourself a favor and just go!

  • Stayed July 2012, traveled solo
    • 5 of 5 stars Value
    • 5 of 5 stars Location
    • 4 of 5 stars Sleep Quality
    • 5 of 5 stars Rooms
    • 5 of 5 stars Cleanliness
    • 5 of 5 stars Service
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This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
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119 reviews from our community

Traveler rating
    89
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    3
    1
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Rating summary
  • Location
    4.5 of 5 stars
  • Sleep Quality
    4.5 of 5 stars
  • Rooms
    4.5 of 5 stars
  • Service
    4.5 of 5 stars
  • Value
    4.5 of 5 stars
  • Cleanliness
    4.5 of 5 stars
Traveler tips help you choose the right room.   Room tips (10)
Date | Rating
  • Dutch first
  • English first
  • French first
  • German first
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  • Spanish first
  • Any
English first
New York City, New York
2 reviews
Reviews in 2 cities Reviews in 2 cities
1 helpful vote 1 helpful vote
5 of 5 stars Reviewed June 18, 2013

Beautiful place, it's like you're walking into a different world when you arrive! Steps from the beach, but it's away from (but walking distance to) the insanely loud part of town. Amazing staff, daily breakfast was great, surfing lessons great, room was nice and clean (no air conditioning, but it wasn't too bad in February). Would definitely stay here again if I returned to montanita!

  • Stayed February 2013, traveled with friends
    • 4 of 5 stars Value
    • 5 of 5 stars Location
    • 4 of 5 stars Sleep Quality
    • 4 of 5 stars Rooms
    • 5 of 5 stars Cleanliness
    • 5 of 5 stars Service
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This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
El Paso, TX
Senior Reviewer
7 reviews 7 reviews
6 hotel reviews
Reviews in 7 cities Reviews in 7 cities
2 helpful votes 2 helpful votes
5 of 5 stars Reviewed June 3, 2013

Had a great trip to Montañita and staying at Balsa was a huge part of it. Weather was cloudy all week but it didn't matter because the hotel was great.

The hotel is outside of the main part of town about 1km, which you can easily walk via the beach. A note on the beach - it is about 50m from the hotel and easily accessed.

Room was very clean and serviced daily. Service staff was very nice and flexible in case you did or did not want the room serviced, or serviced at a different time. Always good shower water pressure and always hot (thank you!).

Food. Had breakfast daily and there is plenty to choose from as others' have mentioned. One day has ceviche at lunch with some vegetable soup. Ceviche was really good but a smaller portion than I expected.

Surf shop. Borrowed some equipment (balls, racquets) for the beach. Due to weather, didn't take a surf lesson but the lessons are typically taught by the owner or one of the local surf champs, both who are very knowledgable and professional.

Movie room and book barn. Used this one night when it was raining. Really cool to have a projector screen with lots of different DVD's to choose from. Borrowed a book or two from the large collection as well.

Drinks. Had a few beers over the course of the stay. Competitive prices ($2.25 for a large Pilesner or Club). Other drinks (soda, fruit, water) available. Best fresh squeezed juice is from the kitchen and so ask for that if you want juice.

Recreation areas. There are plenty of covered hammocks, tables, bean bags and places to lounge at Balsa. There were all so comfortable. I think I slept every afternoon on a bean bag for 1 hour. Heaven.

Reception area. This is where all meals are served and the desk staff is very helpful and professional. They can direct you on anything - there is also a lot of magazines to read on surf, nature, Ecuador, etc., and a number of local attraction books/brochures.

Insect control. If the mosquitos et. al. kicked up, the staff would burn an herb/leaf substance. It did definitely help. Would also recommend you come prepared with bug repellent.

Overall ---- GREAT TRIP!

  • Stayed May 2013, traveled as a couple
    • 4 of 5 stars Value
    • 5 of 5 stars Location
    • 4 of 5 stars Sleep Quality
    • 5 of 5 stars Rooms
    • 5 of 5 stars Cleanliness
    • 5 of 5 stars Service
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This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Durban
1 review
1 helpful vote 1 helpful vote
5 of 5 stars Reviewed May 8, 2013

Thank you for our wonderful stay. The South African surfing team had the most awesome trip and was well looked after. The Staff, although under pressure with a busy week, smiled all the time and made us feel welcome. Accomodation is clean and well maintaned, the gardens are awesome and the food is amazing. The Owner even cried when we left!
Dont stay anywhere els if you going to Montanita!

  • Stayed April 2013, traveled with friends
    • 4 of 5 stars Value
    • 4 of 5 stars Location
    • 4 of 5 stars Sleep Quality
    • 4 of 5 stars Rooms
    • 4 of 5 stars Cleanliness
    • 5 of 5 stars Service
Was this review helpful? Yes 1
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
sydney
Senior Contributor
26 reviews 26 reviews
25 hotel reviews
Reviews in 23 cities Reviews in 23 cities
14 helpful votes 14 helpful votes
5 of 5 stars Reviewed May 4, 2013

Nice staff, good service, great layout & design, excellent location. Our room smelt a bit damp & musty but was spacious, clean & comfortable & serviced daily. Special deal with 2 meals included was good value ($70 for 2 of us). Hearty & healthy breakfast, delicious ceviche. Very close to the surf - beach break & right point break. Nice balsa boards for rent but bit pricey ($5 per hour, $8 for 2 hours, $20 per day) - cheaper board hire on the beach & in town. We bought some DVDs in town for $1.50 each & took advantage of the great little cinema they have upstairs. Wifi didn't work during our stay but they have a laptop for guests to use.

  • Stayed May 2013
    • 4 of 5 stars Value
    • 5 of 5 stars Location
    • 5 of 5 stars Rooms
    • 4 of 5 stars Cleanliness
    • 5 of 5 stars Service
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Quebec City, Canada
1 review
5 of 5 stars Reviewed January 31, 2013

It's the best place to go in Montanita!! We've been there for 3 weeks and we felt like home!! The staff is perfect and the owners are 2 pieces of sunshine!!! Very clean and beautiful! The food is excellent and you have to try the pancake for breakfast!! Fortunatly, it's about 5 minutes walking on the beach from ''downtown'', and it's ideal cause there's way too much music and noise downtown to sleep, 7 days a week, up to 6 in the morning!! I strongly recommand this place to everyone without a doubt!

  • Stayed January 2013, traveled with friends
    • 5 of 5 stars Value
    • 5 of 5 stars Location
    • 4 of 5 stars Sleep Quality
    • 5 of 5 stars Rooms
    • 5 of 5 stars Cleanliness
    • 5 of 5 stars Service
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This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Top Contributor
71 reviews 71 reviews
37 hotel reviews
Reviews in 36 cities Reviews in 36 cities
37 helpful votes 37 helpful votes
5 of 5 stars Reviewed December 9, 2012

We spent only one night at Balsa surf camp but it was enough to make me dream to spend a week.The place is just a short walk from the beach and out of the noise of the center of montanita. When you enter it feels like being in a tropical garden very well maintained and with attention to details. Rooms are new, the ones on the top floor have very nice balcony; all have outside hammocks. Just the perfect place to relax and catch a wave if you feel like.
Breakfast and dinner were both very good.

  • Stayed December 2012, traveled as a couple
    • 4 of 5 stars Value
    • 4 of 5 stars Location
    • 4 of 5 stars Sleep Quality
    • 4 of 5 stars Rooms
    • 5 of 5 stars Cleanliness
    • 4 of 5 stars Service
Was this review helpful? Yes 1
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
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Additional Information about Balsa Surf Camp

Address: at the Point (En la Punta), Montanita, Ecuador
Phone Number:
Location: Ecuador > Santa Elena Province > Montanita
Amenities:
Free Breakfast Free High Speed Internet ( WiFi ) Free Parking Restaurant Room Service Wheelchair access
Hotel Style:
Ranked #4 of 37 B&Bs / Inns in Montanita
Price Range (Based on Average Rates): $
Hotel Class:3 star — Balsa Surf Camp 3*
Number of rooms: 10
Official Description (provided by the hotel):
Discover our BALSA SURF CAMP in Montanita, Ecuador, made by and for surfers! The perfect place to discover a country and its waves, its culture and the wonderful art of balsa wood boards shaped by César Moreira, owner of the camp. It is a reconciliation, a union with nature. Imagine! Surfing a tree! Discover our beautiful style of Ecological bungalows only 30 meters from the surf! There are handcraft built by local carpenters using bamboo and wood. In a friendly environment you will enjoy the Montanita surf! ... more   less 
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Also Known As:
Balsa Surf Camp Hotel Montanita

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