The Beach of Olon Town is one of the longest of the Ecuadorian Coast, with a length of over 7.6 km. Along its path you can find a lot of local Flora and Fauna, and some great places to relax, eat, drink and stay! The Mangroves are green and pristine, and the little rivers are alive with shrimp and birds all year round!
Olon Town and its surrounding area have had inhabitants for thousands of years. Many Archaeological Finds are displayed at the Main Office of the "Junta de Agua Potable de Olon" (Olon Water Company), who have several display cases with original artifacts and some huge burial pots that can be viewed (with an appointment). They have found these while digging wells and tubing, and they are 100% original.
In more recent history, the hills of Olon and the wide are have been used for Agriculture, specifically plantations of Banana, Cacoa, Coffee, Oranges, Passion Fruits and Papayas. All of these Haciendas have been abandoned, and only very few ruins are still visible.
The main Activity of the locals has always been fishing. Both at sea as well as in the mangroves and rivers. Using harpoons, nets, hooks and natural and artificial pits and small canoas they would get a variety of seafood.
Together with the natural resources of the land and a great variety of cultivars, including local crops such as"Mamey" and "Mata Serrana" they would have a suficiently abundant living. Building materials such as Hardwood and thick and strong "Caña" (bamboo/cane) have always been plentyful and are important to the region. Trading with other parts of the Coast and Highlands has always been very important to the locals.
The women of the area have traditionally been very empowered, and in ancient history they might have been even more important in the local Communities and houses than they are now. Historically, woman and children have always helped work the land (but not so much in fishing) and gathering. For cleaning (clothes) the local variety of Soapberry was used, called Jaboncillo, and people still use big stones in the small local rivers to do the families washing.
Until about 50 years ago, many local women and children used to wear large dresses decorated with colorful re-purposed pieces from flour sacks. Nowadays, Olon is a modern town with a variety of shops and markets, schools and a variety of other businesses and trades focused on the local population.
With the passing of time, more and more tourists have come to know Olon. With constant progress over the last 10 to 15 years, Olon has developed a unique environment. With a mix of Tourist and Retirees from Guayaquil, Cuenca and Quito and the influx of many Expats from the US and Canada, Olon has captured the eye of the world. Nowadays, you can find travelers from all over the world that enjoy Olon at any time of the year.
Olon has also been enjoying a range of volunteers from all over the world. European Professional Musicians, Language Teachers from the UK, Canada and the US for locals and from all over South America for Spanish classes, and even Surfing and Yoga Instructors from all over the world have helped form the town of Olon into an International breeding ground of Cultural Exchange and Education.
The newly formed "Godfather Foundation" is providing direct (financial) contact between Expats and Impoverished local Families to even more encourage the exchange of knowledge and well-being.
However, one can still find a variety of Fruit, Coffee and Cacao Trees in the Forest if you have a keen eye! Thousands of birds, howler monkeys and the locals have probably already taken most of the ripe fruits from them before you reach it though!
Over 200 years ago, the first "modern" dwellings were build in the Town area of Olon by the Gabino, Potes & Pozo families.
Olon got its name from the big northbound waves that would break on the Punta of Montañita (the hill between Olon and Montañita) and roll along Olon's Beach.
Olon = Gran Ola = Big Wave!
Until very recently, the Olon Town did not have any Hostals or Hotels, but many locals would open up a room or two, especially in the high-season from December to April. Offering travelers to enjoy their town, beach and the local gastronomy, mainly based on grilled food, soups and fresh fruits and vegetables from the immediate area.
With over 35 Beach Cabins offering food and drinks, over 7 different Pizzerias in any style you may like, and at least 10 Resto-Bars and a rising number of Gourmet Restaurants, Olon offers a nice variety of worldly pleasures that can not easily be found elsewhere in the Country, not even in some of the biggest cities!
There is now a large quanity of Good Hotels, Hostels, Villas for rent and of course still many local houses and rooms with local families.
South and north of Town, there are numerous Villas owned by people from the big cities or from abroad. The fact they have well maintained properties and the area in front of them is also well kept, with publicly accessible cabins with hammocks, grass fields, palm trees and more, adds a lot to the feel of Olon and an upscale location.
Although Olon is still very much a typical Ecuadorian Town, with its Parties, Street dogs, loud Vendors and Community and many more typically South American characteristics, it's a lovely place to spend a few days or years!
The Towns Around Olon are a bit farther away from the Ideal Beach Town that Olon has become, but are also worth checking out! All the information about Olon's Neighboring Towns can be found here.