The unknown under-belly of Montanita: Manglaralto, the top rental opp on the coast?

manglaralto beach
Manglaralto Beach, Ecuador

Everyone loves Montanita.

But nobody actually wants to live there.  Unless you’re a 20 year old hippy.

It’s a neat mix of a traditional bohemian-Ecuadorian surf village turned mega-tourist attraction.

And its a great place to meet people, eat, drink or party.

But to live, for most, it’s just too noisy, too scandalous, too touristy.

There’s restaurants, heaps of hotels for every budget, travel agencies, surf shops, discos, bars… in a word, it’s fun.

And since 2009, when the local Ecuadorians started to discover the town, it’s absolutely exploded.

All year every weekend the place is packed, and during the high seasons (Jan-Apr and Jul-Aug) its got loads of travelers midweek too.

But what a lot of people don’t realize is there is a sleepy little town right next to Montanita that actually shares the same beach head.

And yes, it means you can walk between the two in a little under a half hour.

Yet most people just skip it.

They don’t even realize its there.

Its 4 km away from the center of Montanita, in fact, it is a 5 minute drive or 30 minute walk along the nice, wide, sandy beach.

Welcome to the town of Manglaralto, the town next to and just south of Montanita.

Manglaralto is still as local as it gets, like Montanita was maybe 10 years ago.

Theres one guy that sells chicken (for cooking), another street shop tucked away that sells the beef, another little nook sells the vegetables, and there’s one guy that come out in the mornings and sells the fresh fish.

You learn as you go.

It’s real quiet, the streets actually look quite empty or dead most days and there’s only 3 or 4 streets that run parellel to the ocean, a little park with a church and a landromat, a hardware store and 2 or 3 small hotels, thats it.

But it does sport the only hospital along this stretch of the coast, and its free to all (public).

Also, a little less than a year ago in early 2013 the streets of this tiny town were paved, which is HUGE.

But the reason I mention this town is the opportunity.

I discovered this town by accident 2 years ago when I bought a little dinker house there.

Not many foreigners live here full time yet, but there are certainly more than when I first bought 2 years ago.

And I can tell you first hand that the demand for rentals in the area is HUGE, being a quiet place to sleep near the action but not right in it as most prefer, and its the ONLY town that shares a beach with Montanita (one of the biggest tourist destinations on the coast of Ecuador).

So like most, eat or party in Montanita, then catch the $1.50 5-minute cab ride to sleep in peaceful Manglaralto.

Specifically over the last year or two, developers have started to move in to the southern end of town starting a few small subdivisions, but deals can still be found like the $15,000 4 bedroom house I found and bought 2 years ago.

Small 250 m2 lots in and near town can be found in the $10,000 range.

Oceanview lots go for anywhere from $30-60 per m2.  A lot a block or two back from the beach with no view can go for half that.

But you have to look, cause prices are all across the board.

It’s still one of those neat opportunity areas where prices have already risen a bit but you can still find a deal.

But mostly know that Manglaralto is not only a cool, peaceful place to live, but also one of the best places (at least top 5) to put a rental property on the coast of Ecuador.

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