Montañita Howls At The Moon

By Michelle Trauring and Brandon Quinn

Thailand’s isle of Koh Pha Ngan is practically synonymous with its raging Full Moon Party, but Montañita, Ecuador, isn’t too far behind.

The Full Moon Party on Cocktail Alley.
Before the Full Moon Party action begins on Cocktail Alley.

Hundreds of tourists and locals alike descended upon the beach shanty town—not at all deterred by the festivities falling on a Monday night—and celebrated the moon rising with a ton of heat.

Fire-breathing dancer.
A fire-breathing dancer.

Bonfires, fire dancers and fireworks lit up the sky as masses of sweaty revelers pushed their way down Cocktail Alley, if they weren’t waiting in a packed open bar line that wound down a side street from 8 to 10:30 p.m.—meeting its fate an hour and a half too soon, as it was broken up by two policia.

The Full Moon Party open bar line is never-ending.
The Full Moon Party open bar line is never-ending.

No matter. The masses—many smoking marijuana freely—headed for the beach, following the sound of techno and reggaeton beats reverberating through the air, and danced the night away. Dealers hovered nearby with cocaine, shrooms and other drugs normally foreign to their buyers.

For some, it was only until the drunken walk home that they even noticed the full moon at all.

The next full moon will rise on Wednesday, March 23. Montañita stands at the ready.

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