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“Great place”
Review of Balsa Surf Camp

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Balsa Surf Camp
Ranked #1 of 42 Montanita B&B and Inns
Certificate of Excellence
Reviewed July 22, 2014 via mobile

The place is awesome, the owners are very enthusiastic on helping you and making your stay the best one.
Very satisfied.
The location is perfect, even if you can't see the ocean, is perfect.
The food is great.
Everything was lovely.
:):):):)

Stayed: July 2014
Thank JuanisBananis
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
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41 - 47 of 208 reviews

Reviewed July 11, 2014

It was just a short 2 nights weekend stay in Montanita to escape from the town. What a great place! Beautiful, quiet, but close to town if you would like to walk. We basically had our own private kitchen :o), the staff was very nice and friendly and there were some nice looking surfers too :o))) Mama, mama! Thor is here!!! Yes sweetheart, he is on holidays :o))) It was pretty funny :o))) Kids had a blast surfing! Thank you Julie and Cesar, you are doing a great job! We will be back :o)

  • Stayed: June 2014, traveled with family
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1  Thank DoroWitch
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Reviewed July 8, 2014

important: far enough from the noice from town, but only 5-10 minutes walk along the beach
very good breakfast and restaurant was ok too - nice cabins/rooms, we would have loved to have more (hot) surf folk around though, but we weren't there in high season

  • Stayed: June 2014, traveled as a couple
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1  Thank Jurgen B
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Reviewed June 22, 2014 via mobile

Balsa house is one the best places in Ecuador to relax, surf, and overall great vacation. Rasty and Julie has done an outstanding job creating a unique environment where u are like in oasis, away from all the "locuras" of the town but yet close enough to be part of it u prefer. I would recommend Balsa House as top destination in South America

Stayed: May 2014, traveled as a couple
Thank Emilio A
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Reviewed June 12, 2014

Wake up early in the morning and open the door of your room. You have at your disposal a quiver, ranging from 5'2" up to long boards. All of them balsa wood made. The surf break is meters away, with warm and clear water. La Punta has waves from 2 up to 10 feet, with some crowd, but without localism. Just choose your board and go have fun.

Once in the sea you will end up finding Cesar "Rasty" Moreira, surfing with one of his boards. Rasty is a shaper and owner of Balsa Surf Camp. He was born in a village up north and has made already almost 1000 balsa wood boards (#960 is mine). In his surf camp there are 14 rooms, surrounded by an inside garden. It is hard to believe that about 5 years before that place was a garbage dump.

When you've had enough of surfing, you better come back to Balsa and restore your energy. Breakfast is served at 8:30 AM, with 5 menu options. Then you will probably meet Julie, Rasty's french wife. She moved away from Paris, planning travel around the world, teaching french and learning other languages. I can understand why she settled down at the first destination.

Together they built this surf camp in front of La Punta surf break, at Montañita, a famous surfing and partying destination in Ecuador. In the vicinity of their place there is a small expatriate community running their bussiness. The hostel next door offers yoga classes (US$ 8/class) with a Californian instructor. Her husband is responsible for a small craft brewery (Montañita Brewing company) just in front, at the beach, and just besides a sushi restaurant. It is the best point for a beer and sushi in the late afternoon, after the last surf session of the day.

Balsa Surf Camp is located not much more than 600 meters from the center of Montañita, but it seems kilometers away. In the city center, full of hostels, loud music plays non-stop, with young people coming and going and lots of booze. It is the antithesis of what is found in La Punta, where the quality of the musical selection is worth of notice.

For those who do not want to spend all day in this hard life of surfing, sunbathing, eating and drinking, there are several tour options to other beaches and islands in the region. Just ask Julie for help. She fosters a good relationship with local community, in a way they can also profit from tourism, which is now a significant industry for the region. Some years ago they had fewer options to employ themselves, as shrimp farms and fishing. From december until the beginning of may, chileans, argentinians and, obviously, ecuadorians, are the most frequent visitors. In may and june, there are less tourists, but from july to september, it is when europeans come more often. During the national holidays in october and november, ecuadorians, especially from Guayaquil, enjoy the party scene of Montañita.

Rasty witnessed the growth of Montañita along the years, and when drunk boys started to appear more frequently to take surfing lessons early in the morning, he moved away from the city center and built his own paradise. Pragmatic, he knows that the fiesta will end up growing and maybe one day disturb the peace that reigns in his space. Everything in life has an end, including itself. The important is to enjoy it while lasts. Don't loose your time.

  • Stayed: February 2014, traveled with family
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3  Thank marcioas
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Reviewed May 24, 2014

We have to say that the place looks just amazing! The garden is wild and decorated with sculptures, the rooms are clean and spacious, and the owner Juju is very welcoming and always looking to improve your stay! A perfect place to stay in family, quiet in comparison to the pueblo (amazingly noisy at night!) and if you like surfing, you are just at the right place!
A must go

  • Stayed: April 2014, traveled with family
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Thank StephDSebM
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Reviewed May 3, 2014

Love it!

Julie, Rasty, Jonathan made me feel like at home and part of the family; they are amazing!! All the staff is very Professional and friendly. The property is awesome (beautiful garden/balinese style); very clean and beautiful; so unique and inviting; the rooms are nice and colorful, and the food fantastic! Great place to learn surfing.

Fortunately, the place is only a few steps from the beach but a bit further (walking distance) from 'downtown'; wich is very noisy.

I highly recommend Balsa. Can't wait to go back; pretty shortly :)

  • Stayed: January 2014, traveled solo
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Thank Joanne G
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, Montanita, Ecuador
Location: Ecuador > Santa Elena Province > Montanita
Amenities:
Free Breakfast Free High Speed Internet ( WiFi ) Free Parking Restaurant Room Service Wheelchair access
Hotel Style:
Ranked #1 of 42 B&Bs / Inns in Montanita
Price Range: $56 - $81 (Based on Average Rates for a Standard Room)
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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