Ecuador Surf Safari
Come join us in this lesser-traveled part of western Ecuador where surfing is still the way it used to be. Uncrowded point breaks, warm water, predictable waves, friendly locals, great food and cheap drink…this is a real surfer’s paradise!
Ecuador’s prime surf season is from December to April during the season of NW swells that are generated by winter storms in the North Pacific ocean. Winds during this time of year are predominantly glassy to offshore along most of the coast resulting in often good to epic conditions. During this season Ecuador is a world-class surfing destination and one of the most consistent places to score tropical waves during the Northern hemisphere winter.
Ecuador’s coast offers outstanding surfing and adventure opportunities but few luxury services. ROAM, in conjunction with local surf legend Sol Funk, has built the ultimate surf house right on the beach in Mompiche. Each room has gorgeous beach views, large balcony and ensuite facilities. The best beach break in the area is outside your door and we are situated one mile down the beach from Mompiche’s famous left-hand point.
Mompiche is a sleepy fishing village turned surf Mecca but still offers a raw and authentic adventure in one of Ecuador’s most spectacular coastlines. Your local host, Sol, will treat participants to the best surfing, great organic and whole food meals, local seafood and a host of other experiences beyond the surf.
|Trip Length||8 Days|
Nov 11-18, Dec 9-16, Dec 23-30
Jan 20-27, Feb 3-10, Feb 17-24, Mar 10-17, Apr 14-21, Nov 10-17, Dec 8-15, 22-29
|Meeting Place||Quito, Ecuador|
|Gateway City||Quito, Ecuador|
|Age Range||8 - 70|
- Itinerary at a Glance
- Meet & Greet in Quito
- Deluxe hacienda accommodations on first and last night
- Transfer to Casa Surf via Mindo
- Enjoy warm waters, sandy beaches and tropical paradise and home to Ecuador’s best point break
- 5 days of surf lessons or guided surfing
- board rental
- Options for horseback riding, yoga, massage,
- Indulge in “boat access only” surfing in outer islands where there are no line ups or even people!
- hiking, snorkeling and SUP’s
- Transfer to Esmeraldas and flight back to Quito
- Detailed Itinerary
We pride ourselves in running a relaxed and flexible schedule. Every trip is different depending upon the group, other trips in the area, and sometimes the weather. The following is a sample of what your trip might be like.
Day One – arrival in Quito
Today you will arrive in Quito and take a taxi to your hotel. Here you will rendezvous with the rest of the group and get prepared for morning transfer to Mompiche via the beautiful village of Mindo.
Day Two – Quito to Mompiche
Your driver will pick you up after breakfast and take you on a scenic drive to Mompiche. We’ll stop for lunch along the way and visit the town of Mindo. As we approach the coast we will quickly adjust to the tropical climate of the tiny fishing village of Mompiche. The town is still primarily a fishing village but is slowing becoming recognized for Ecuador’s best lefthand point break. Tonight we’ll have a welcome dinner and prepare for tomorrow’s surf sessions. Overnight Casa Surf
Days Three to Six
A typical day will start with tropical fruit, rich coffee and healthy breakfast before heading to the water. Massage and yoga classes are available as well (at additional cost). Long stretches of white sand and warm waters are an added attraction to one of the world’s best places to learn surfing. In addition to miles of beach break, there are 4 distinct sessions at the point with the latter 3 being over sand. Predictable waves up to 4 meters are easily accessed. Beginners will revel at the opportunity to ride long waves into a gentle beach while more advanced surfers will be able to catch massive rides for up to 400 meters. Overnight Casa Surf.
After a morning session in Mompiche, it’s on the road for a two hour drive to Esmeraldas and flights back to Quito. Overnight Hacienda La Jimenita.
Breakfast and transfer to the airport or onwards for your next adventure in Ecuador.
ROAM surf safari guests will be transferred from the airport to Hacienda La Jimenita for the first and last night of the trip. Jimenita is a deluxe facility conveniently located near the international airport.
- About the Region
As its name implies – Ecuador lies draped across the equator in the northwestern corner of South America. It shares a border with Peru to the south and east, and is bounded by Colombia to the north and the Pacific Ocean to the west. Ecuador contains within its borders an improbable variety of landscape and culture. Our trip starts high up in Quito but quickly heads down to the coast. The coast, when compared to other places, is still undeveloped yet offers travellers a bounty of unique experiences.Geographically as well as culturally, Esmeraldas Province is a unique corner of Ecuador. Here the dry Manabí coastline turns green with palm trees. Inland, the rainforests of Esmeraldas are part of the Chocó bio-geographic region, shared with neighbouring Colombia. And most Esmeraldeños are Afro-Ecuadoreans whose ancestors were brought as slaves to work the cane fields. Their cultural heritage includes marimba music and dance, as well as a special cuisine which makes extensive use of coconut and plantain. You can explore small African and Amerindian villages in the north of the province, and the last remnants of jungle by the Cayapas and Santiago rivers.
- Trip Planner
Planning Your Trip
This trip planner has been created to help prepare you for your upcoming adventure. We have tried to anticipate questions you might have concerning travel arrangements, what to bring, and getting in shape. If any of your questions remain unanswered, please don’t hesitate to call.
No previous experience is required. Your guides will give you an orientation to safe expedition practices on the first day and teach you all the basic skills that you’ll require to safely enjoy the trip. Our prime consideration is to provide you with a trip that is as safe and comfortable as possible while still maintaining the integrity of a wilderness experience. Activities are always more fun when you are physically fit so try to exercise regularly prior to your trip. All participants will be required to complete a medical questionnaire prior to departure.
We are committed to the preservation of Ecuador’s wilderness habitat. Our excursions are designed to promote an understanding of the delicate ecosystems that make this region unique while preserving their fundamental integrity. We ask participants to share our concern for the environment by practicing low impact touring in this sensitive area. ROAM operates on a “no trace” policy and our goal is to immerse our guests in Ecuador’s vast natural beauty that, in turn, supports eco-tourism as a viable, economic choice.
In order to confirm your space on the trip, we only require a non-refundable deposit. Upon receipt of deposit, we will send you a letter of confirmation, pre departure information, equipment list, medical questionnaire and liability release form. The latter two items should be returned to our office with the balance of payment due 120 days prior to departure. All payments are non-refundable so we recommend purchasing trip cancellation insurance at the time of deposit.
- Professional guide services
- 2 nights of accommodation in Quito
- 5 nights beachfront accommodations in Mompiche
- transfers form Quito to Mompiche and return flight from Esmeraldas
- surf board rentals, lessons, surf guides
- all meals from breakfast Day 2 to breakfast Day 7
Services Not Included:
- airfare to Ecuador
- alcohol or items of personal nature
Your trip begins and ends in Quito, Ecuador. You will need to arrange for your international flights. American, Delta and Continental airlines offer direct service into Quito from Miami, Atlanta and Houston respectively. We will make the arrangements for your Quito-Manta flights.
Upon arrival at the Quito Airport you will clear customs and then take a taxi to your designated hotel. We will advise you of the hotel prior to departure.
Ecuador uses US dollars as their currency. Having between $300 and $600 for souvenirs and meals in Quito should be more than adequate depending on how much you like to shop! In Manabi, you will most likely need cash as ATM machines are limited and credit cards are not widely accepted. In hotels and shops in Quito you can use credit cards to charge purchases such as food, accommodations, and clothing. Visa, and MasterCard are widely accepted.
The trip leader is responsible for the safety of all trip members and he or she may evacuate or disqualify a trip member in the field if anyone’s safety is jeopardized. Please be aware that hospital facilities for serious medical problems may be far away, doctors are not always available and that evacuations can be prolonged, difficult and expensive.
If you are taking any prescription drugs, be certain that you bring a sufficient supply to last through the trip. Do not pack these medications in your checked luggage. You will not find common American drugs in Ecuador.
Currently, if you fly direct between the USA and Ecuador, no vaccinations are required. However, regulations and recommendations change frequently, so please check with the Center for Disease Control (www.cdc.gov/travel/tropsam.htm) for up-to-date information.
Essential Travel Documents
Your Passport – If you don’t have a passport, apply for one immediately because the process can be lengthy. If you do have a passport, find it and check the expiration date. Make a photocopy of the photo page of your passport and carry it separately from your passport. If your passport is lost or stolen, a photocopy will help the local consulate speed up authorization for replacement.
Check your passport for blank pages. If you do not have a least two blank pages in your passport, we recommend that you apply to have additional pages added.
Please do not pack your passport in your check-in luggage. You may be asked for your papers not only upon departure but a various times during your trip, even while checking into the hotels. If you are carrying a customs form, please keep it in a safe place at all times, perhaps in your pouch along with your other valuables. We do not recommend carrying it in the passport because you must often submit the passport at hotels, where the form can easily be lost.
Visas are not required for US or Canadian citizens to enter Ecuador. For others, please check with the Ecuadorian Consulate.
Travel and Evacuation Insurance
Travel insurance that includes medical emergency evacuation is mandatory in order for you to take part in this expedition. You must provide proof of purchase of evacuation insurance prior to the trip. Purchase information is included in your confirmation packet.
You may call Travel Insurance Service at 800-937-1387 or visit their website at http://www.travelinsure.com/what/imedhigh.htm?32931. Coverage for baggage loss, medical protection, trip cancellation, trip interruption is highly recommended. When selecting a policy please make sure you are very clear about what it will and will not cover. No travel insurance covers all scenarios. Proof of insurance will be required prior to your trip.
* Duffel Bag: Bring your gear packed in a soft duffel bag rather than suitcase
* Daypack: For day hikes it should be large enough to carry water bottles, camera and rain jacket and can double as your flight carry-on bag
* Spare soft duffel for purchases while in Ecuador (or purchase in Ecuador)
* Plastic Bags: Large trash bag and Ziploc bags to separate clean and dry clothes from wet and dirty.
* Sunglasses with securing strap
* Sunscreen (Waterproof & SPF 15 or higher)
* Lip Protection (SPF 15 or higher)
* Moisturizing Lotion
* Insect repellent
* Personal First Aid Kit (Band-Aids, antibiotic ointment, ibuprofen, moleskin)
* Spare pair of glasses and/or contact lensess
* Water Bottles: Heavy duty and minimum 2 quart capacity. For day hikes, hydration systems like a “Camelbak” are great too
* Headlamp or Flashlight, extra batteries and bulb
* Camera, batteries, film or memory cards
* Notebook and Pen
Any clothing you bring should be synthetic, quick drying, and breathable. This is a sub-tropical adventure and you will be exposed to sun, wind, and water. Long sleeves, long pants, and wide brimmed hats are recommended for sun protection. In general, you will need loose fitting clothes for the hotter parts of the trip and some extra layering for evenings. Keep in mind that some of what you bring may get sweaty and wet due to the humid climate. You will also encounter dust, sand, and salt, and may feel a little grubby from time to time. No fancy dress clothing is required.
* Long Sleeved Shirt: Lightweight and light color for sun protection.
* Long Pants: Lightweight and light color for sun protection (jeans not recommended)
* Shade Hat or Visor with tie and a spare
* Rain Jacket & Pants: A hooded jacket is recommended as well as good secure closures around your head, neck and wrists. Rain pants are optional
* Swimsuits: 2
* 1 -2 rash guard tops for snorkeling
* Underwear: Quick-drying
* Shorts: 2-3 pair lightweight, and fast drying
* T-shirts or lightweight fast drying tops
* Sport Sandals: Teva, Chacos or Keen brand
* Athletic Shoes or Lightweight Hiking Boots: 1 pair, comfortable and with good tread
* Hiking Socks: 3 or 4 pair mid-weight
* Casual clothes for evenings and in Quito (Note: evenings are cool)
* Walking Stick: collapsible
* Binoculars: compact
* Shortie wetsuit
* Electrolyte mix for flavoring water
Bringing the right camera equipment will go a long toward determining the quality of your photographs. If you’re an avid photographer, we recommend bringing a good digital SLR camera that can be used on land. There are many great underwater digital cameras that are salt-water resistant and protected against sand. Bring more memory card space than you think you’ll need, and don’t forget to pack spare camera batteries or a charger. You should be ready for bright sunlight, so you may want to bring a polarizing filter. Zip-Lock plastic bags help protect you camera against sand and salt. We strongly recommend you take out a rider on you homeowner’s policy to cover your camera -especially if it’s fine equipment.
For Women Only
Even if you aren”t anticipating your menstrual period, come prepared for it. We recommend you bring some sandwich size zip-lock bags. They can be used during the day while you are on the water or hiking and can be disposed of when you reach your overnight lodging. (Hint for tampon users: o.b. tampons are 1/3 the size of regular tampons, tuck discreetly into pockets and have less paper wrapping). Many women suggest bringing a small supply of baby wipes.
Packing Your Gear
We recommend traveling as light as possible! Excess baggage can be a burden to you and to support personnel. On an international flight, you are typically allowed 1-2 pieces of checked luggage at no additional fee but luggage restrictions are changing regularly and vary according to airline – please check with your specific airline to determine luggage allowance.
Purified water will be available throughout the trip It is best to bring your own reusable water bottle or hydration pack, in order to limit waste. Do not drink water from the tap as it frequently contains bacteria that can cause stomach problems.
It is crucial that you stay hydrated. Electrolyte powders make water taste better, while replacing salts and minerals lost to sweating.
Ecuador is on the 110V AC system. Sockets are the standard US style, either 2 flat prongs or 2 flat prongs and a round ground. There are sockets on the catamaran for recharging batteries. In order to save power, please remember to switch off the light and A/C when not in your cabin.
The sun is very strong in the Ecuador. Reapply sunscreen often, and wear your hat and sunglasses.
In hot climates, cuts and scratches can easily become infected and take a long time to heal. Prevent infection from coral cuts by immediately washing wounds with fresh water. Use an antiseptic like hydrogen peroxide and an antibacterial like Neosporin. Prickly heat, or salt/heat rash is a common ailment for tropical adventurers. It is caused by salt buildup in the sweat glands. The skin becomes soggy and small red blisters appear. At first sight of the rash, wash with fresh water and apply calamine lotion, dust with talcum powder and change clothes. Until the rash improves, avoid alcohol and caffeine.
In Ecuador, people are asked not to throw anything into the toilets, including toilet paper. A wastebasket is provided for toilet paper, and it is emptied often. This may seem strange to North Americans, but please obey this rule and avoid being the cause of a backed up septic system. Thanks!
Quito time is the same as Eastern Standard Time.
The tipping of R.O.A.M. guides is entirely discretionary, and we feel strongly that gratuities should not be offered to them if they lead anything less than a great trip. However, we expect that our guides will do a great job in making your trip memorable and, when they do, it is not uncommon for our travellers to offer a gratuity. The guides very much appreciate it. We are often asked what is appropriate. In general, we have found that when our travellers offer a gratuity, it is in the range of a “thank you” to 10% of the trip cost per person. But again, tipping is entirely at your discretion.