Olón

Area Description

See and Do

Beach

The beach of Olón is one of the nicer ones in Ecuador. It's 150 m wide on low tide. Restaurants can be found on the boulevard along the beach.

Surfing

OIón offers good surfing opportunities and it is one of the best places in Ecuador to learn to surf. The Escuela de Surf Olón offers surf classes.

Swimming

The ocean is usually too rough for long-distance swimming in Olón.

Walking and cycling

Olón offers perfect opportunities for walking and cycling. Walking is possible on the beach and in the mountainous forest area east of Olón. Cascadas de Alex offers excursions to waterfalls in the forest area. You can cycle to surrounding towns (such as Montañita and Dos Mangas) and in the forest area.

Viewpoint

The Sanctuary Blanca Estralla de la Mar on top of the cliff south of Olón gives goods views over the town and its surrounding areas.

Bird-watching

Directly north of Olón, where the river flows into the ocean, is a sanctuary. South of the river between the ocean and the Ruta del Spondylus road is a lookout place with information about the birds that you can watch here. The forest east of Olón also houses numerous birds.

Climate

Climate

Olón has two seasons: a wet season and a dry season.

The wet season runs from December through June. Almost all days have abundant sunshine in the morning and the afternoon. When it rains, the rain usually falls during the evening and night hours. The temperatures are about 30°C (86°) during the day. Because of the high humidity, it may feel hotter than the actual temperature is.

The dry season starts in June and runs through November. July still has sunny days, but from August to November, almost all days are grey. Having a sunny day is a matter of luck. The temperatures are between 20 and 24°C (68-75°F), and the humidity is lower. For many people, the dry season is more comfortable than the wet season.

Environment

Insects

Mosquitoes are common in Olón, especially during the rainy season. The nuisance is not too bad.

Noise

In general, Olón is a quiet town. There are occasional parties near the beach which can cause a nuisance. Some shops play loud music. Barking dogs cause the most significant nuisance, especially on the weekends, when visitors come with dogs.

Eating and Drinking

Olón has many restaurants. There are restaurants with traditional Ecuadorian dishes but also restaurants with international kitchens.

Nearby Montañita also has numerous restaurants.

Shopping

Olón has numerous tiendas where you can buy basic food products, but there is no real grocery store. The nearest grocery store is TIA in Montañita. You will find bigger grocery stores in Ballenita (Mi Comisariato), La Libertad and in Salinas.

Gorilla Delivery is a local delivery service that operates in the area between the villages of Cadeate (south of Olón) and La Entrada (north of Olón). You can give them your grocery list and they will make sure that your groceries (or whatever you want) will be delivered at your home.

Organic food

Vitálika Ecostore offers organic products, superfoods, handmade products, and foods.

Rancho Tortuga sells itself as an organic market, but it's actually a store.

Fish

Every day there is a small market with fresh and cheap fish.

Housing

Olón is a popular place to own a home. The price of housing in Olón is therefore higher than in many other coastal towns.

North of Olón are various housing projects with houses and lots to build your own ocean view home.

There is very little supply of housing directly on the beach. If such a property is offered, it is very expensive compared to the other properties in Olón.

If you want to rent a property in Olón during the high season (December - May), it is best to arrange this well in advance (for example in July or August).

Examples

Expats and Remote Workers

There is a relatively large community of expats and digital nomads in Olón. This community organizes many events an does it best to involve the locals.

Utilities

Water

Olón is not connected to any water facility. Instead, a local government company pumps water from the ground. Due to drought, water is often only available for a few hours a day. Many people, therefore, maintain their supply of water by using a cistern. However, the water is not drinkable.

There are rumors that new connections to the water network will not be allowed in the near future until the problems are resolved.

Electricity

Electricity is provided by CNEL. Power outages do occur, but not as often as they used to.

Money and Tax

There is one ATM in Olón. Nearby Montañita has several ATMs and a Western Union office. For bank offices you will have to travel to La Libertad.

Crime and Safety

Olón is one of the safer towns on the coast. Like everywhere in Ecuador, it is not recommended to visit the beach alone after dark. The beach at La Punta (the large cliff south of Olón) is best avoided. It is a remote place and robberies have been reported.

Due to an increase in crime, the comuna of Olón has concluded a security plan in June 2021. You can read a translation of this security plan here: Olón Security Plan.

Plan Olón Seguro

Medical Care

Emergencies

In case of a medical emergency, you can go to Hospital Básico Manglaralto, which is about 7 km from Olón. This small hospital is open 24 hours per day.

Hospitals

The nearest hospital is the small Hospital Básico Manglaralto. Larger hospitals and clinics can be found in La Libertad and Santa Elena, about 60 km south of Olón.

Pharmacies and drugstores

In Olón, you can find several pharmacies and drugstores. HIPERFARMA is a pharmacy and drugstore that offers home deliveries.

Animal healthcare

Olón has one veterinary clinic: Paws Olón.

How to travel to Olón

From Cuenca

Cooperativa Libertad Peninsular (CLP) operates direct buses between Cuenca and Montañita ($16). In Cuenca the buses depart from the Cuenca Bus Terminal (Terminal Terrestre Cuenca). After arriving in Montañita, you can take a taxi ($1.50) to Olón.

From Guayaquil (by bus)

Bus company Cooperativa Libertad Peninsular (CLP) offers a direct bus service between the Guayaquil Bus Terminal and Montañita/Olón. The duration of this trip is 3 hours. They are offered every hour or every two hours during the day. The price of a ticket is about $7.20. There are no night busses.

CLP has its ticket offices on the third floor of the Guayaquil Bus Terminal and along the Ruta del Spondylus in Montañita.

An alternative is to first travel from the Guayaquil Bus Terminal to the Santa Elena Bus Terminal in Santa Elena. Several bus companies (CLP, Costa Azul CICA, Liberpesa) offer frequent services (about every 20 minutes) between these terminals. The duration of the trip is two hours, and the price is about $4.30. You can buy your ticket at windows 86 to 88 on the ground floor of the Guayaquil Bus Terminal. In the Santa Elena Bus Terminal you can buy a ticket for a local bus to Olón. Bus services are offered about every 20 minutes by bus companies TransManglaralto and CITUP. The price for a ticket is about $2,00. The duration is approximately 1.15 hours. The last bus to Olón usually leaves at 8 PM from the Santa Elena Bus Terminal.

From Guayaquil (by taxi)

A private taxi from Guayaquil to Olón costs about $120.

From Guayaquil (by car)

Most parts of the road between Guayaquil and Olón are in a good state. Be aware that there are almost every day speed checks on the Vía a la Costa, the road between Guayaquil and Santa Elena. There is one toll booth west of Guayaquil ($1,50). Almost all villages along the coast have thresholds that are difficult to see in the dark.

From Salinas, La Libertad, Ballenita (by bus)

From the Santa Elena Bus Terminal, you can take a local TransManglaralto or CITUP bus to Olón. Ticket price: about $2. Duration: approximately 1.15 hours. Frequency: about every 20 minutes. Last departure: 8 PM.

From Salinas, La Libertad, Ballenita (by taxi)

Taking a cab from Salinas and around to Olón costs about $25-30, depending on your place of departure.

From Montañita

Taking a cab from Montañita to Olón costs $1.50. An alternative is taking a TransManglaralto or CITUP bus. By bike it will take about 10 minutes to arrive in Olón, with a fast electric bike around 5 minutes.

Sports and Leisure

Fitness and strength training

There is gym in the old hangar of the former airport in Olonche, but most people prefer to go to Montañita for fitness and strength training.

Reading

Since May 2021, Olón has a small library: Bibliolón.

Olón: Pros, Cons and Alternatives

Extended periods of grey weather

If you cannot be without the sun, you may visit or move to Playas Villamil, which has about 320 sunny days per year. Another more sunny option is the Manta and Around region.