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Ride the Waves in Chill Montañita

Ecuador may traditionally lure thrill-seekers to its volcanic peaks, Amazon River, and Andean mountains, but what people don’t realize is that it's a gnarly surf destination, too. The laid-back coastal town of Montañita is not only the number-one party destination for local vacationers, its constant stream of rolling waves delights surfers from all over the Americas. At certain times of the year, waves can reach up to 6 feet high, and during the Easter Carnival, the ISA World Masters is held here. Most hotels and lodges can arrange surf lessons and equipment for around $25. Montañita lives up to the surf-town vibe, so expect many locals to be dreadlocked, topless, and strolling around almost horizontally. Do take care, though, as police have seemingly bought into the town’s chill vibe and let a lot slide.