Well you all know the rule: don't leave anything in the room unless you don't care if you never see it again. This rule of course doesn't apply to all hotels but it's the general rule for your peace of mind...I usually hide small things among dirty clothes and lock up my bag. As for money I generally carry it with me.
I dont know how long this tip will stay up but here it goes.......
It is said that Montanita is a place where anything goes. From what I have heard weed, cocaine and acid are found very easily here. I have also been told that no one really cares if you do thiese things, everyone minds their own business and even one advertisment that I read said " When you come, forget your prejudices, and criticisms, Montanita is a place to live with your heart."
I was told that you can walk around while smoking a joint...This is not true. Some people in our group did that when they were stopped by some Rasta guys and were told that they could get in trouble for doing that. So its not as free here as one might think. As a matter of fact some of the locals said that just recently some guys got busted . An undercover guy hung around the beach and was trying to score some weed. When the guys brought it to him, they got busted. I dont know specifics like how much weed and what happened to the guys but be careful because certain drugs are tolerated but still not legal.
Another thing is that although I didnt see any acid or coke, the weed wasnt exactly the best quality. One guy brought Rob some stuff, Yes it was cheap but it was pretty much crap. The next time they got some more they had the guy get them some better stuff. It took the guy a long time because he had to go up the mountain to get it. This time it was better but if you are used to good quality you might be alittle disappointed. Bottom line is if you are going to do anything be careful....
Like most great surf spots they can also be dangerous. The water may look calm but you always have to be careful. From what I was told is that there are two big craters on the ocean floor in this area. They form a whirlpool type of effect. Also there are rip tides and very strong current. My uncle complained that he was almost taken under. He is 85 years old so that was a worry.
While we were here we saw a couple of people drown. There was a family out swimming and enjoying the water when four of them were taken under. The first victim was found and brought to shore. She looked shaken and scared but I think she was going to be ok. The second person they brought out of the water was a male. He didnt look so good. My heart stopped as I saw them lay him down on the sand and try to administer CPR. My uncle is a doctor and he was helping to save him but it was no use. A third person was found a little further down the beach but the fourth person wasnt found.
Talking to a few locals we found out that there are quite a few drownings here. This is the problem: The nearest hsopital is in Salinas, about an hour away, I didnt see a clinic or first aid stop anywhere in the town, There are no life guards on th beach, there are no signs on the beach explainning the dangers here. Also like one of the victims that day, people drink alot here and them tempt fate by being inibriated and going into the dangerous surf. So if you come here, be careful, use your head and good judgement.
According to specialists (I'm not one), Montanita is an excellent surf spot. The waves can get big and dangerous. Riptides are common.