Live authentic Reconnect with the world​

Intercultural colive-cowork-community 

at the Ecuadorian coast.

Intercultural colive-cowork-community at the Ecuadorian coast.

Live authentic
Reconnect
with the world

What to expect 🔥

Nestled along the Ecuadorian coast, Punta La Barca brings together long-term travelers, digital nomads, nomadic families, and locals to a unique coliving experience. Our lively community, comprising 5-15 colivers from diverse backgrounds, fosters an inclusive environment where cultural exchange, collaborative living and connection flourish. Expect shared spaces and communal meals that weave the fabric of our daily lives, complemented by private rooms and coworking areas equipped with excellent wifi. Situated in the tranquil fishing village of Santa Marianita amidst deserted beaches, panoramic Pacific views, wind for kitesurfing and waves for surfing, we embrace the simple life.  

We all noticed this voice saying that there is something out there worth discovering, aligned with being together, immersing with the locals, and slowing down. It is not easy to find our modern tribe to go on this path together. That is what Punta la Barca is for.

It is the spirit of slowing down to the rhythm of an Ecuadorian fishing village. The vibe of living outdoors, following curiosity, and connecting across languages. A communal atmosphere where kids freeplay while adults get stuff done. It is the mindset of venturing out, immersing in the local, living another life, and focusing on what matters. It is the spark of feeling the world outside what we’ve always known, discovering, being outside, and uncovering our inside. It is the mood to experience life and light up what we can mean in it. It is the way life feels right. Whether you’re here for a short stay or considering longer term coliving, our shared values unite us in co-creating Punta la Barca.

It is a modern implementation of tribal life. It is the way life feels right.

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Frequently asked questions and doubts

The small fishing village of where Punta la Barca is located is safe, tranquilo, not very touristy (yet), practical, and at 20 minutes in ‘las camionettas’ (local public transport) to the city of Manta (1,25$). For food shopping, there are local vendors coming to the door selling their veggies and fruits, and small village shops have all basic local ingredients. 

Temperature all year round is between 20 and 30 °C. 

You can read more about practical day to day stuff in  the welcome folder.

Am I traveling solo”, “am I a digital nomad”, “am I traveling long term”, “am I a surfer”, “are we a digital nomad family”, “are we world/home/unschoolers”…. They are all vague terms and boxes where nobody actually fits in, so understand their use as sketching out a frame. Reality is easier: if it resonates, you join. Feel welcome 🤗. I am also just me :). 

 

So whether you’re venturing out on a world trip without a return date, you’re on holiday discovering for a couple of months, you’ve been a digital nomad for the past years, you’re on a gap year, you’ve been worldschooling for a while, or you’re moving to Ecuador. Whether you’re traveling solo, a friend joins for a while, with or without your partner, you travel with a baby or with three teenagers. You’re welcome. It’s the mindset that counts 🤙🔥❤.

 

¨It’s the mindset that counts. Venturing out, discovering other cultures, gaining a deeper understanding of the world and what life is about.”

Punta la Barca is not a place for everyone. Living in the middle of nature, community and local immersion is amazing for those who look for it. But nature also means gekko’s in your room, community als means cooking for another and keeping the place clean together, and local immersion also means not understanding the Spanish around. Local coordinators live at Punta la Barca just as you do, have their own jobs aside, and merely carry the final responsibility for the place that we all shape together. Locals can have a different standard to how to speak, act, and clean than you are used to. Smarter than expecting others to know your standard and act upon it, is to make an effort to bring what is important to you in the coliving as a contribution to all. 

 

It can be difficult to grasp the concept of Punta la Barca. We are a coliving with a full fridge, an eco-hostel that we keep clean together, a community with mostly temporary members, a coworking but only for those who live here as well, an immersion homestay with various travelers, a modern tribe of independent travelers. To set expectations right, watch a recorded introductory call or schedule a private call with us through whatsapp. We post often on our facebook and instagram page as well, so follow those to get a better idea of what life at Punta la Barca is like.

Stays of 1 to 3 months are standard. The minimum stay is 10 days. Longer stays (4+ months) come with the intention to cocreate Punta la Barca.

 

If you’ve never been to Punta la Barca before, we recommend staying for 1 to 3 months. You get a monthly discount, a kite/surf try-out, and pick-up upon arrival free. We strongly encourage monthly stays, because it takes time to immerse in a culture, hear yourself again, feel another flow of life, and really get to know each other. Most western passports let you stay in Ecuador 3 months without a visa.

 

The minimum stay is 10 days, which is ideal if you prefer to start with a try-out, don’t have much time, or want to get a quick taste of what this kind of living can be like. 

 

From 3+ months, you become a permanent member of Punta la Barca. For permanent members, financial contribution lowers and you commit to a return favor. Most western passports can apply in Ecuador for an easy visa for 3 or even 6 months extra. Imagine half a year of the community, the ocean, Ana’s breakfast, the cowork, inspiring travelers, the normal of slow living, no agenda, the pitahayas, the surf, volunteering your skills with the locals.. It is those long stretches of communal slow living that our bodies, minds, and in extension our whole planet truly craves for. 

*you get a great permanent member discount on your monthly financial contribution. It is even retroactive to the three first months, which practically can mean that you get your 4th month for free (!!!)

*cocreate: we invite you to contribute deeper into the purpose of this modern tribe, by helping to move Punta la Barca (and in extension Santa Marianita and other colivers) in the direction of regeneration. Onward, fellow humans 🔥

Honestly, you can’t choose a bad period. These are typical seasons which might influence your choice -take them with a grain of salt, they are only averages to give an idea of what to expect. 

-> For kitesurfers, there is wind from may until december

-> Whales are swimming in front of us (amazement all around!) june until october

-> For surfers, there are waves all year round, though in january-april they get a lot bigger

-> Sunsets get incredibly beautiful especially from january to april

-> May until december it rarely rains, the environment is dry, mornings are cloudy with the sun coming out in the afternoons, temperature around 27°C, towards 20°C at night

-> From January until april, about one in three nights would get some rain making you loose your slippers in the mud the next morning, days are very sunny, everywhere turns beautifully green, and temperature goes around 30°C.

We cover the costs at Punta la Barca (including food, maintenance of the place, amazing but expensive internet, work and coordination ao) together amongst the colivers. With each of us having different abilities to contribute, this is how we do it.

The normal monthly contribution ($694 for a solo traveler) is still lower than most popular colivings for travelers and digital nomads, so if you can, help us in this simple way. That being said, the world is unequal, and we understand that what is little for one person is a lot for another. If this is the case for you, read here how you can lower your financial contribution and still live & contribute in Punta la Barca 🤙🔥.

1/ Stay longer! If you stay more than 3 months, your monthly contribution will be 25% less (4+ month rate)! This also makes you a more permanent member of Punta la Barca, giving you the chance to co-create Punta la Barca with us from the inside out in its quest for a more free, fair, and sustainable way of living.

2/ Bring your partner or a good friend to share the room (and fridge) with! It gives you a 25% discount each (couple rate). 

3/ Are you Latin American? We have opportunities available for Latin American travelers seeking discounted rates due to financial challenges, with a discount of up to 25%. Write to us if you think you might benefit from this 🤙. Please understand these spots are limited.

4/ Do you speak Spanish fluently, have a skill to offer, and some free time left? Then you can lower your financial contribution by doing semi-volunteering. Send us a personal message with a proposal on how you can help us. If your proposal gets accepted, you can reduce your contribution by 10% (2 hours a week of help) or up to 25% (5 hours a week of help), contributing your skills to Punta la Barca.

5/ Do you speak Spanish fluently, have a skill to offer, and a lot of free time? We have one spot for a full time volunteer, which is about 20 hours of weekly help. Send us a personal message with a proposal on how you can help us. If your proposal gets accepted and the volunteer spot is available, you don’t pay anything—zero, nada, nothing :).

6/ Do you love kids, have experience in alternative education, or want to share a particular skill with our future generation (woodworking, photography, languages, etc)?  We support a wonderful local Montessori initiative at walking distance. From time to time there is a spot for a full time volunteer for the Montessori school. You offer 20 hours of weekly help at the school while staying at Punta la Barca. Send us a personal message with your motivation for helping the Montessori. If your proposal gets accepted and the volunteer spot is available, you don’t pay anything—zero, nada, nothing :).

And if you manage to stay more than 3 months, get one of the Latin American spots with less privilege, share a room with your friend, and help us for 5 hours a week with your skill that serves Punta la Barca? Your monthly contribution drops to 25% of 25% of 25% of 25% of $694, which is $220 monthly!! And so we manage to connect cultures that do not have the same privileges… ❤

Yes, private video calls are possible in the ‘focused work’ area, where there is a call booth for this purpose. It is open 24/7.

Such a great question. Feeling bored is a transition feeling that comes up when we transition from a full life (whether full with our home routine, full with external impulses of new activities, or full with travel from place to place) to a life where you have the freedom to do nothing

We find it important that Punta la Barca is a place where you can feel this freedom to do nothing. A refuge where space still exists, where you can ‘be’ and hear your inner voice again, without quickly getting distracted by all the shouting of the world.

Living at Punta la Barca with a lot of free time, most probably you will get to feel boredom at some point. And, you will easily find your way out of boredom as long as you communicate authentically about this feeling. Bring it into the group, at a dinner, during a weekly reunion, on a campfire, or share it privately with another coliver if that is more comfortable. Being able to transition from boredom into hearing your inner voice again and following the sparks that lead from it, is extremely valuable. It is the gateway to living from within.. The ultimate freedom. Punta la Barca forms an ideal supportive environment to practice this life skill. 

That all said, we also love doing things 🔥🤪. We don’t set any schedule or pre-organized activities, though let things depend on the magic of personal initiative, third level fun and the vibe of the moment and the group. Some travelers radiate the energy to try out every day something different, others don’t leave the house for three months. We understand both, and leave freedom for both to thrive and inspire each other. “We’re doing this today, welcome if you wanna join in” is a magic phrase 🥰.

Get more of an idea here about Santa Marianita (heaven on earth), kitesurfing (the best spot ever!), surfing (there are 2 surf boards to use for free at Punta la Barca!), whales, and day trips around. Before or after staying at Punta la Bara, travelers typically consider discovering the Galápagos islands or exploring more of ecuador.

Yes, your volunteering skills and energy are very welcome at Punta la Barca 🔥. Punta la Barca is a co-creation initiative, and a lot has been put into the earth by volunteering hands. Also the local community around can always use your positive energy.

-We do two weekly reunions in Punta la Barca. One for practical things (from painting a mural and repairing the fridge, to providing non-plastic bags and planting in the garden), and one for administration and communication. You are welcome to join any of them and make suggestions or help us in activities. 

-We support the alternative local Montessori school close-by. Do you love kids, have experience in alternative education, or want to share a particular skill (woodworking, photography, languages, etc) with our future generation? The school is welcoming your help.

-Clinically oriented volunteers are welcome in ‘Foundation Rostro de Jesus’ in Manta, a local foundation providing orthopedic and psychological help to those most in need. 

-The youth group ‘Pensamientos positivos’ regularly organizes minga’s to clean the beach. Your enthusiasm is very welcome to help out.

-There are more great initiatives in the villages around (a dog shelter, an english teaching class.) who you can contact on your own initiative and offer your help to.

The modern tribe, familia mundial, intercultural coliving (or whatever you want to call it) at Punta la Barca accommodates the needs of a mixed community of all kinds. It is a group of 5-15 colivers, of which usually several solo travelers, several remote workers, and several kids. Local kids tend to come over to play. The coliving is so designed that it’s quite easy to find a balance between communal living and personal space. There are a lot of separate areas, including one where kids are not allowed. The beach is a 50m-run down the hill close, which makes for the best refuge when in need of solitude. You are also very welcome to join our weekly reunion which starts with a check-in, a safe space to share your feelings and suggestions.

 

Being part of a mixed group can be incredibly enriching. As a solo traveler, you have the opportunity to enjoy the energy and wonder of children, and pass on your energy to future generations, without the responsibility of caring for the kids. As a traveling family with kids, you feel the joy of kids feeling safe to interact with all kinds of people. The different life paths bring unique perspectives and experiences together, creating inspiring stories to engage with. Intergenerational community feels like such a natural way of living.

 

So I’d dare to say.. you’ll only know by finding out yourself :). If you doubt, start with some weeks (the minimum is 10 days) to get a feel of what it is like.

There are nearly always colivers who don’t speak Spanish, and colivers who don’t speak english. It doesn’t matter, we find each other anyhow. Your openness and willingness to learn and sit in a conversation where you don’t understand is the only important factor.

 

You’ll learn a lot by just listening and trying to speak. Especially younger kids.. I remember a 4-year old who neither spoke English nor Spanish when she arrived, and after 5 months she ended up translating between other travelers! From time to time we organize language exchanges as well. You can take Spanish classes in Manta.

Locals coordinate the basics of the place. Ana, who makes breakfast, is at the outset a sombrero weaver. Juana, who helps us with communal cleaning, is before anything else the head of a large extended fisher family reaching easily 40 people. Micho is Juana’s son, breaking with the fisher tradition starting out as a graphic designer, lives at Punta la Barca and coordinates practical stuff like guiding you around the first day, filling the fridge every week, answering messages (in spanish), and looking after the finances of the place. Others pass by: Maria Jose is Micho’s girlfriend, Gabriel aka loco is a simple guy with a golden heart, a love for driving and a loud voice, Nexar is Micho’s younger brother and half time fisherman, and Abraham, Karelys and Vander are some of the neighboring kids who are comfortable coming over.

 

A bilingual traveler with a soul for connection and a deeper understanding of how the dynamics of community work across inequality and cultures, stands by the locals to coordinate Punta la Barca. This makes sure a traveler who doesn’t speak any Spanish can also be heard enough to feel at home. Small misunderstandings across cultures can easily clear out. Important values of connection, focus, outdoors, slow living and regeneration are looked after. 

 

Inge & Juan, the Belgian-Ecuadorian family who founded Punta la Barca, live alternatingly in Belgium and at Punta la Barca. They always continue to help behind the scenes for continuity of finances and communication, and as emergency contact for any major issues at Punta la Barca.  


You can read more about who we are.

Kids need kids to thrive, and adults need time for themselves, whether that is for work or personal care. Punta la Barca creates a family atmosphere where it is usual to invite/take out/give food to others’ kids. Our advice: take the first step, ask the kid of another traveling family or a local to join you to the sea/a trip/a morning of crafts/ playing football.. And chances are high you’ll quickly get the favor back.

 

There are also more structured possibilities at Punta la Barca. Don’t hesitate to contact us for information about pricing, getting in touch with the school, etc. 

 

-> Babies/toddlers: possibilities to arrange a local nanny or volunteer-traveler.

 

-> Kids 4y – 12y:

A wonderful initiative of local homeschoolers has started in 2023. It is Montessori-based, walking distance to Punta la Barca, and welcomes travelers’ kids! Rafaela, a french-ecuadorian mom of two, coordinates the Montessori.

 

-> Teens 12y+

Teens are very free at Punta la Barca. And honestly.. tend to love that freedom. Teens grab a surfboard and go surf, the walls are available to paint murals on, tend to love the responsibility of being a chefs’ helper cooking for everyone, get inspired by other travelers passing by, go play football with the locals, spend their day on duolingo, gathering their courage to talk with Ana the next morning, volunteering at Punta la Barca or at the Montessori with the younger kids. Lots of teens being used to school love the free time of not-having-to-do-something. Ofcourse, no false expectations, there are specific struggles as well with such a free life -and that counts as well for us adults as for our teens :). You need to find and access your own inner guidance, again and again, which is a process passing through boredom. Amazing tools to help you through these periods are opening up about it to others, long walks, and gazing from the hammock at the sea. It is a beautiful thing to witness teens in such freedom. 

In the future we might organize a few times a week activities for teens with a local youth leader, especially to get teens more comfortable and involved in the village and immediate surroundings of Punta la Barca. If you resonate with this, maybe it is the moment to co-create..

 

To get a better feel of what it can practically feel like, contact us and we’ll bring you in touch with other traveling families with kids of similar ages as yours, who have lived at Punta la Barca before and are happy to give their perspective.

Yes: there are no sharks, no reef, the water is great temperature, the beach is huge and the shore shallow. Even small kids can play safe and happy in the water at low tide. 

Waves can get big especially at high tide. Sometimes small rip currents tend to form, you can spot them from the coliving when that happens. 

Yes, and Santa Marianita is an amazing place to do so, with great conditions and knowledgeable teachers. Read here about kitesurf  and surf, and contact us to know more.

Yes, we find it important that everyone can join in the shared meals. Put it on the wall so everybody knows and can take it into account. We can’t guarantee, but it is always easy to cook

your own thing aside on a day when it doesn’t work out.

The shared cooking is the backbone of the community, so you’ll definitely get encouraged to contribute. We love the connection, sharing and practicality that flows automatically through cooking together. Ingredients are provided in the common fridge & food area, preparation is

the responsibility of all of us. Maybe awkward at first, don’t stress, the idea is ordinary weekday meals and we are there to guide (we’re always surprised how good burned rice with

love tastes 😊). Share your usual cooking and be creative with the present ingredients. That said, you can always opt in as an ‘ayudante (helper)’, which basically means someone is going to give you instructions ‘cut this’, ‘stir this’, etc. It’s the best way to learn! If you really don’t want to cook, you can contribute in other ways (eg washing dishes, buying pizza for everyone..).

Interesting question. It actually doesn’t happen often, in our 8 year experience so far. And I would pinpoint several reasons that contribute to that

-We are a mix of ages, nationalities, socioeconomic backgrounds, languages, temporary and permanent colivers,.. united by values. You know that who comes at Punta la Barca, resonates like you with values as community, simple life, being authentic, connecting across cultures, desiring a more free, fair and sustainable world. We put out these values quite strongly in how we do things, which forms quite a big filter for people joining. 

-Colivers at Punta la Barca value personal growth, freedom, open mindedness. We dare to look inwards when something doesn’t fit. At that deeper level, there is compassion instead of differences in personality. We foster an atmosphere of open and authentic conversation.

-There is a temporary character to coliving at Punta la Barca. Who really doesn’t resonate, will simply look for another place without further issues or lingering tension.

Feel very welcome with your van! We love campers actually. You’ll get a great spot in front of the sea on top of the hill, and we’ll encourage you to join in the dinners to become part of the community for the time that you are here. You contribute 7,5$ per person per night,, and use the shared work areas, kitchen, bathroom, hot showers, and play gear (amongst which the surf boards). We have special monthly rates for vans staying longer term.

A relaxed, safe, authentic village.

Amazing, generous, honest people.

 

Punta La Barca is not only a coliving for the traveler, it is also a home of locals. Punta La Barca is owned by locals, who’s family comes over to use the internet, watch their fathers arrive from their 3-week-fishing trip, make a birthday party, and to go catch pulpo at the beach. 

 

Shy to approach a traveler themselves, most locals love when the traveler takes initiative to connect. The youth loves when a traveler joins them playing football on the village’s fields, or invites them for a game of beachtennis/volley at Punta la Barca . Though the big city of Manta is only 20 minutes away, people here still prefer to live their culture of “buen vivir” – it is a simple but happy life, very welcoming and with strong social bonds and habits. Families here consist easily of 50 members, with traditionally the men go fishing and the women ruling the house.

 

It is a culture with only 1 car every 20 people and a very communal atmosphere, interchanging food (fish, chicken, pig) between each other, making shopping in the big city almost unnecessary. 

After covid Ecuador has become a problematic country in certain ways, with criminal organizations from Peru and Colombia using Ecuador as a transition country to ship illegal substances from South America to the US and Europe. This is problematic for Ecuador as a country, with corruption on political level and fights between criminal organizations. Since the beginning of 2024, the government has been taking stronger actions against these practices, which is showing good results. 

I also want to mention that those things don’t influence daily life in Santa Marianita, and even less life as a tourist. The village is safe, and tight as a big mama community safety net. You can come to Punta la Barca with peace of mind. Even touristic travel all around Ecuador hasn’t been affected negatively, as we hear from other travelers who all are feeling safe where they have been, only avoiding the (most problematic) city of Guayaquil.  We’ll keep you updated of any changes in the general safety around.

Punta la Barca is a community, an experiment of another way of living, not a business. Your contribution goes entirely to ❤🔥: 

 

1/ Sustainable organization of the Punta la Barca coliving community. This includes running costs like maintenance of the place, help & coordination, basic services, food..

 

2/ Supporting our local community. We do that in an organic way, with requests originating from the locals, and support based on equity, trust, love, and connection (basically as an extension of the existing informal community support). Doing that since 2015, it feels good, right, natural. We’ve had the honor to help babies get born, build houses, get college kids digital learning materials, support health care in all kinds of degrees, basic commodities like a water pump, get out of debts, manage unfair flaws of the justice system.. I’m not kidding when I say that Punta la Barca’s support has saved lives.

 

Supporting the local community goes also further in more subtle ways: being a valued part of the local community, we’re able to look together for ways towards regeneration. Kids understand us when we explain what will happen with that plastic paper thrown on the soil. We can guide towards building sustainable-friendly, talk into letting go of deserting the area and planting trees, and raise consciousness about damaging promo-talks. We can echo the valuable qualities of the local culture, ranging from communal living, a precious ability for acceptance, to lots of knowledge about the natural resources around. Count with this all the small initiatives from the skills and motivation of travelers at Punta la Barca..

Ask any question or get in touch with us?