My friend Gail, visiting from South Carolina, drove an SUV rented from Cuenca Car Share (Emilio Morocho – firstname.lastname@example.org). While the drive during the day through the mountains was an adventure, with numerous landslides and only a few crazy drivers, we reached the Casa Del Sol (casadelsolmontanita.com) with no problems.
Emilio was very supportive in making the rental happen and I can recommend him for service quality and ease of doing business. He delivered the car to us and picked it up when we returned. Having a car allowed us to drive up to Puerto Lopez and go out to Isla de la Plata for a wonderful day trip and to make another trip to Olon for an afternoon on the beach. (We both liked the La Punta area more than Olon, BTW. It was simply more casual, less commercial and uncrowded. But this was, after all, Carnival weekend. And there were a number of restaurants within easy walking distance.)
Jackson at the hostel was incredibly attentive to us and the other guests. We always felt supported and any requests we had were met promptly. Everyone was respectful and there was a real sense of collegiality among everyone; it was just the style of operations. Our room was great (a king bed and air conditioning) and everyone staying there shared the hospitality and openness that helped make our trip even better.
We were right at the beach, right at the point where the surf was fantastic and the where the surfers were out in numbers and fun to watch. Sunsets were fabulous and the walk down the beach to the city was easy and safe. Gail spent a lot of time picking up seashells and rocks and the beach itself was amazing – very clean and wide. We also had perfect weather, making things even better.
Walking to Montanita was always interesting with people playing in the surf (fabulous temperature!) and some amazing beachwear. Everyone was friendly and we were not bothered. Downtown, we had some really great cocktails on Cocktail Alley (I recommend Gabby for the best mojitos I ever had.) We made friends with some street vendors, ate good food and ice cream and had fun walking around.
I enjoyed the trip so much that I booked for next year.