I like to come up with spots that are not widely known. When I was searching for information about the board scene in Ecuador I couldn’t find a lot of information, but it would sure be interesting to combine some backpacking with a couple of days on the water there! There is one spot that shows up on the map for kitesurfing in Ecuador.
Santa Marianita is, according to the kitehouse located at that spot, the best beach in Ecuador for kiteboarding. This beach is part of the coastal city of Manta, and is located 13km southwest from it. This spot offers wide, sandy beaches and the wind season is also the best season to spot whales, so if you are very lucky you can spot these magnificent creatures from up close while they migrate south!
The spot is reached by southwest swells. The wave spot at the southernmost point of the beach provides waves of 1 – 2 meters – they are perfect for learning, strapless riding or improving your wave skills. It’s not all waves; on the other spots you’ll find choppy water.
Best time to visit
Santa Marianita knows a long windy season from May to December, with on average 14-25 knots. Local riders use their 9m to 12m most of the time. The wind comes from the southwest and hits the coast side-onshore. Don’t expect the wind to be blowing all day long, it generally starts around noon and increases during the first hours of the afternoon, on most days it lasts until 5:00 pm. But the sun sets early anyways, considering that Ecuador is named after the equator running through the country. The wind at the spot is very consistent, so no gusts but a nice and smooth session.
What to do when there’s no wind
In the Manta area you can SUP, surf, snorkel, watch whales, walk around Monte Cristi town or go on a day trip to Isla Plata (the poor man’s Galapagos). But it doesn’t end here; this entire country has a lot of adventure to offer. You can climb volcanoes, go on hiking trips, explore the Amazon and/or the amazing wildlife of the Galapagos, go rafting, mountain biking, tubing, paragliding and so on!
How to get there
Ecuador is quite an easy country to travel since it is the smallest South American country. From your home country you can fly to Quito or Guyaquil. When you fly on Quito you can catch another flight to Manta, from Guyaquil you can take a buss. When you are at the airport in Manta, you can contact the kitehouse Ecuador and they will pick you up!