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montanita

Beaches, waves, palm trees and sunny weather: Linguaschools Montañita has it all! Montañita is a small vibrant city with a large surf community where you can learn Spanish in a relaxed and active environment.

The classes in our Spanish school in Montañita are very dynamic. On a daily basis (Monday to Friday), you will have 2 classes with a focus on grammar and 2 classes which are more conversational and/or activity orientated. Through playing games, movies, cooking and even going to the beach you will be encouraged to come out of your comfort zone and to speak Spanish as much as you can. The groups are very small: there is only a maximum of 6 students per group. This enables the teacher to adapt to individual needs and give personal attention to the students. The teachers are very experienced and besides the Spanish language, they can also teach you a great deal about the Ecuadorian culture.

Alongside the Spanish course, it is also possible to book surf classes, the main asset of Montañita! Due to very consistent waves all year round, Montañita is considered as one of the best surf spots in South America. Linguaschools Montañita offers a special Surf and Spanish program, which combines the Spanish lessons with great surf lessons. The program runs from Monday to Friday and consists of 20 Spanish classes combined with 7.5 hours of surfing lessons per week and rental of a surfboard.  Our own instructor Antonio will make sure you will be able to ride all kind of waves!

Besides the surfing, Montañita has a lot of other activities to offer. In our school we offer yoga and cooking classes, we organize bonfires, barbecues and welcome dinners and of course there is the option to go on a surf trip. We could also arrange scuba dives or even book you the PADI certificate course, if you have enough time to spend! In general, Montañita is a good base to explore the rich culture and magnificent nature of Ecuador.

All in all, Montanita has something for everyone and our professional Linguaschools staff is more than happy to welcome you.

Last weekend was a long weekend in Ecuador and we took this opportunity to organize a special school activity from our school in Montañita and went with our students for a weekend trip to Quito.

After a bus ride all night we arrived in Quito where we took a taxi to the hostel. We arrived early in the morning so we had some breakfast, some people already explored the city a little bit and when everybody was ready, we went to the teleferiqo. This is a cable car that takes you all the way up to 4 km. From the mountains next to the city you get an awesome view of the city. We were really lucky that it was warm and sunny our first day, so we made a lot of photos on the top. Everybody walked around and took photos and when we all got a bit tired (it is hard to walk around at 4km height, not a lot of oxygen) we went dow again. There is an amusement park at the bottom of the teleferiqo where we walked around it for a bit and took afterwards the bus to Mitad del Mundo.

The teleferiqo

teleferiqo

 


Mitad del Mundo

It was a lot further then we thought but we made it in the end. It was still nice and sunny, so we walked around a lit bit, made a lot of photos again and took the bus back. We were all super tired because we didn’t sleep much on the way to Quito, so when we got back to the hostel everybody took a power nap. We already talked to an old student, who is living in Quito to meet up with us here, so our group went to dinner with her in the center of Montañita. After dinner we were all still super tired so we went straight to bed.


 

The next morning after breakfast in the hostel we went to Otavalo. Otavalo is a town 2 hours from Quito where they have the biggest market of Ecuador. If you want to buy crafts and llama sweaters this is the best place to shop! We spend about 4 hours on the market and everybody bought nice souvenirs. When we got back we had a really nice dinner.

Capture

Everybody was super hungry, we went to a Mexican place close to the hostel and everybody was really satisfied after that meal. After dinner we went to the volunteer house the girls are staying we met the day before and had some drinks there and after we all went out. We were a huge group of mostly Europeans so every bar wanted us inside. I think in total we were with more than 20 people. Some people only went out for a little bit and some had a hard time the next morning.

Otovalo

 

The old with first picture: La basilica and second picture: Plaza grande

One of our students went to buy tickets back in the morning, but it turned out even more people wanted to go back from Quito. In the morning all tickets during the day were already sold out to Guayaquil. And only passport numbers weren’t enough this time, we needed the actual passports to buy tickets. When we met everybody again at the hostel, we explained this and decided all to go to the terminal and hope we could still buy a ticket. We said goodbye to a few students who were going to stay in Quito and went to the bus terminal.  When we got there Guayaquil was completely sold out, but in the end we found enough tickets in the same bus to Manta and we could take a bus from Manta back to Montañita. It took us all night and morning, but we made it back and didn’t have to stay an extra night in Quito.

Even though most bus travels weren’t going as smoothly as we hoped it was still a very nice weekend.

I’m Marit, I’m 23 years old and I come from a small town around 30 kilometers above Amsterdam, the Netherlands.  When I finished university in September 2014, I had no idea what to do with my life. I studied Global Health and I realized needed to become more international in order to get a career in this field, so an extra language would be a good add to my resume.  So, why not choose to learn one of the most beautiful languages in the world, Spanish?


Before deciding to go to Ecuador, I followed a ‘Spanish for beginners’ course in Amsterdam. However, my bad language knowledge and lack of time to really study didn’t help me. That’s when I realized I needed to plunge in Spanish to actually be able to speak the language some day. But where to go? Spain is quite close to home and I felt I needed a challenge, an adventure. South America would be perfect for that. After searching the Internet for days, I found a cute little party town at the coast of Ecuador. As I love the beach and cocktails, the decision was easily made: I am going to Montañita!

Although I had some minor beginner knowledge of Spanish, in Montañita I started all over again in the beginner class. In total I had an 8-weeks of lessons. The first 4 weeks I had group lessons. I had 2 hours of lessons in the morning and 2 hours in the afternoon. The group lessons were really good, especially in the beginning you need a lot of vocabulary, and it is fun to learn together with your fellow students with the help of games etc. The structure the teachers have with explaining grammar is perfect.

In the beginning I was in a class of mostly 5 or 6 people (which is the maximum for group lessons), but later on higher levels I had just one or two other fellow student. Despite the fact that I liked the group lessons, I really wanted to switch to private lessons. Being in private lessons forces you to talk, as there is nobody else to answer questions or to help you translate something. Also, when you are in private lessons you can choose what you want to learn and if you want to slow down or move quicker. For example: I needed to practice more speaking in stead of learning all grammar forms, so for the last 2 weeks of classes I mostly chatted with my teachers. I love that during these 2 weeks we talked a lot about the Ecuadorean life and habits. Talking about these things learns you a lot about culture too, which was really interesting.

My experience with Linguaschools in Montañita was amazing. The teachers and staff were always friendly, fun and enthusiastic. The positive vibe really helps you to stay motivated, as learning a new language can be frustrating sometimes. Everybody at the school is flexible and helpful.

Thanks to the school my Spanish improved greatly. I went from knowing some words when I arrived, to being able to chat in Spanish, which I am so happy with. For example: when I arrived in Ecuador, a driver picked me up from the airport (you can arrange this pick up with the school, I really liked it, especially when you arrive at night!). The driver didn’t speak English and I didn’t speak Spanish, so there was a huge language barrier there! But when I left Ecuador 8 weeks later, I was talking to people I met on the airport, and chatting with them in Spanish.


Next to learning Spanish, the school also offers surf lessons. Often you surf in between classes. For example you have Spanish class 8-10, surfing from 10-12 and class again 13-15. And yes, you need a nap after that! I really liked the surfing classes, there are amazing teachers who help you and are very motivating and cheerful go get you standing on the board. The lessons are given in the next town where it is quiet, a perfect place to practice. Transport is included. I had a total of 10 lessons and I had a lot of fun during them, and I am definitely able to catch some good (baby) waves now!

During my stay I went on 2 trips organized by the school. To Baños and Cuenca. Both trips were beautiful, really well organized. Great hostels and great activities. Both cities are definitely worth visiting. Baños is a place where you have a variety of extreme sports, of which I tried ziplining, mountainbiking from a mountain and rafting! Cuenca on the other hand is a beautiful city with lots of churches and culture.


During my stay in Montañita, I had a room in de Cabanas, which is close to the school (around 5 min walk). I loved this place. Almost everybody who stays here is also a student at the school. At the cabanas there are many events like water volleyball in the swimming pool, barbeques, cooking nights, movie nights and of course lots of pre parties! The Cabanas have dorms and private rooms. I had a private room, which was huge! The room was cleaned everyday, bed sheets every week. Although you don’t spend that much time in your room, I loved it, as it was a perfect place to have some quiet time on your own.


About the little town: Montañita is amazing. It’s definitely a touristic place, but it’s really fun and sociable. There are so many cool people from all over the world who visit this place. The beach is beautiful; I loved swimming in the ocean and jumping over the big waves. Then there is the cocktail street, where you can buy impressive cocktails for only 3 dollars! After you finished your cocktail, you are ready to dance in a nice bar called Caña grill. Often there is life music early in the evening, and later on the DJ puts on some nice booty shaking music to go loose on. Off course there are so many more bars and clubs in Montañita, but to be honest I have been in Caña grill most of the time, as it was a lot of fun.

As a vegetarian I was a bit worried about the food before arriving in Ecuador. But luckily for me Montañita is full of nice little places and restaurants where you can enjoy yummy lunch or dinner with great vegetarian options too! There is for example a fruit salad street where there are little stands where they sell amazing fruit salads, omelets, sandwiches and yummy smoothies. Perfect for lunch! Also I loved a little restaurant, which we called ‘the wrap place’, as they sell great wraps. But my absolute favorite place to go was Kaffeina, a small restaurant near the church in Montañita. For me as a vegetarian this place was heaven, as they had vegetarian burgers and green curries, all freshly made. And then I didn’t even tell you yet about their perfect deserts! Further I recommend going to Savannah LaMar, a small bar at the beach. Try their cocktail called basil smash, its so good! Oh, and after dancing your butt off in Caña grill, don’t forget to treat yourself on an delicious empanada they sell on the way to the cabanas!

Although Montañita is full of places where you can have yummy food, most of the time I prepared food together with friends in the cabanas. Fruits and veggies are really cheap in Montañita. Therefore, cooking dates, hangover pancake-baking mornings, toast-brunches and avocado-lunches were often seen in the Cabanas.

I am so glad I chose this Linguaschools to learn Spanish. I don’t think this experience couldn’t have been any better. The combination of learning Spanish, surfing, partying and chilling in such an amazing little town was perfect. I met so many cool people and we all had a great time together. I am really going to miss this place and I am pretty sure I coming back to Montañita someday to study more Spanish! (just like a lot of other travelers do as well)

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