Relax in Tranquility in Olon, Ecuador
If the boho vibe and nonstop partying in Montanita leave you searching for a little tranquility, then look no further than Olon, Ecuador.
This serene oasis off the central coast of Ecuador is just a few kilometers down the road from Montanita, and a two and a half hour drive from the metropolis of Guayaquil.
Olon affords travelers and expats alike the chance to bask in Ecuador’s natural beauty while experiencing the easy pace of the beachcomber’s lifestyle; many even choose to call Ecuador home and invest in Ecuador Real Estate.
Olon, Ecuador is located off the Santa Elena peninsula, which sits right in the center of Ecuador’s coastline. It is the westernmost land area in the country and contains some of the most famous surfable beaches in South America. People don’t just travel to Olon and Santa Elena to surf however, as you’ll see when you read on.
What to Expect on Arrival
If it’s your first time to Olon, Ecuador, don’t expect to find an overdeveloped resort community like you’d encounter off the coast of say, Florida or southern California. While those types of areas offer their own perks, they can’t beat Olon Beach in terms of undisturbed natural beauty. Once a well-kept secret enjoyed by Guayaquil professionals and Latin American retirees, Olon today is home to many expats from the world over.
The small town sports a coastline of charming and refreshingly simple bungalows and hostels for locals and travelers alike. There are a handful of restaurants, a malecon (more on that later) and a stunning nature preserve to the north, and that’s about it.
There Is Lots to Do in Olon, Ecuador
Despite the town’s sleepy appearance, there are actually plenty of activities available to pass the time in Olon Beach. Many people enjoy surfing the waves, hiking to nearby waterfalls, or just taking a dip in the cool waters. Lifeguards are on duty during summers and events to help keep you safe in the water.
If sports are not really your thing, don’t fret; Olon also offers plenty more relaxing fare. Many residents enjoy animal watching near the water, where exotic birds and reptiles can often be seen in their natural habitat.
If you’ve only ever seen these beautiful creatures in zoos or in pictures, then there is no comparison. You can also enjoy whale watching from the shore, where migrating humpback whales have been known to approach. Some even report spotting wild horses galloping across the sand! What a treat!
The malecon, or boardwalk, sits on the beach and features a recently refurbished red brick esplanade for leisurely walks on the beach, among other activities. There are several restaurants and other attractions lining the malecon, including public restrooms.
Amateur and professional photography buffs alike will appreciate Olon, Ecuador’s soothing vistas, pristine beaches, and unforgettable sunsets. You might even be able to snap a pic of the majestic humpback whales we discussed earlier!
You’ll Be in Good Company
Are you thinking right about now that Olon Beach sounds like a retiree’s dream? You wouldn’t be alone. The international community in Olon includes many investors, businessmen, and retired citizens who saw the potential to get more bang for their buck in Olon Beach.
While property near the beach can cost more than other comparable coastal areas in the country, it is still an affordable option for many. The quality of life is what really counts here, as the restful pace and incomparable surroundings contribute more to Olon residents’ happiness than their “bottom line”.
If It’s Not in Olon, Ecuador, Just Drive Down the Road
There are a few things you should know before checking out or even settling down in Olon, Ecuador. For one, if you’re looking for anything beyond a dinner out or a few souvenirs to send home to your grandkids, you may have to travel a bit outside of Olon Beach to find it.
This means groceries, toiletries, and any other living essentials you might need. Most residents choose to travel up the road to the much more established Montanita to do their weekly shopping.
For many this can be a big lifestyle change, especially if you’re coming from life in the United States where unless you live in farmland, most “convenience” stores are at most a few minutes’ drive away. Expect to travel a bit up the road for other modern necessities as well, such as managing finances or shopping for new clothes.
Another aspect of life in Olon, Ecuador to consider is whether you want to go through the hassle of driving a vehicle around town.
Olon is a prized destination in Ecuador; the beauty and serenity of the area that initially brought you to the coast will invariably draw crowds during the high season as well.
Because Olon, Ecuador is such a small community, parking becomes scarce during these times. What’s more, it is not uncommon to see those large travel “coaches” loading and unloading right next to the beach on a regular basis. These oversized buses can halt traffic close to the water, so avoid them at all costs if you’re in a car.
There are plenty of other ways to get around Olon, as most of the town’s attractions are very close to one another. In most cases you can easily get around with a bicycle or motorized scooter.
Of course, it never hurts to simply walk around and take in the sights while you reach your destination! However, keep in mind that these towns are quite isolated from the rest of Ecuador. You will want to have a decent car (and be prepared to drive it quite a ways) in order to reach a proper city.
Is Olon, Ecuador Right for You?
We hope you’ve enjoyed this overview of the natural beauty and relaxing lifestyle available in Olon, Ecuador. From the wild horses to the pristine waters, the breathtaking waterfalls to the unforgettable sunsets, Olon offers tourists and expats an enriching environment and an enviable lifestyle that’s more accessible than you might think. One thing’s for sure; you won’t find anywhere else quite like it.