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The Most Complete Guide of Ecuador

Manta: Beaches, sports and seafood!

The city of Manta is one of the most popular tourist destinations in Ecuador! Its extensive beaches and sports contests have opened the doors to many tourists worldwide. 

Manta also has the largest port in Ecuador making it one of the most important trading areas in the country.  The city’s main industry is fishing, so during your visit don’t forget to savor its fabulous seafood!

Location and Geography

Manta belongs to the Manabí Province in the central east coast of Ecuador and it is the second largest city after Portoviejo. 

From Guayaquil to Manta you can do 3h 15 min by car. Quito is further away, making the trip to Manta a half an hour flight or 6h 45 min journey by car.

Located 6m above sea level, Manta (also known as San Pablo de Manta) enjoys a dry tropical climate and big waves coming from the Pacific Ocean. The big waves have attracted many active members of the community to engage in aquatic sports!

Beaches and Activities

Manta has 12 beaches, ideal for nautical sports such as surfing, sailing, surfing and sports fishing. These beaches are great destinations for both local and international tourists to relish in the ocean and warm sand! 

San Lorenzo beach, calm and beautiful, is the number one spot for tourists who are looking for a getaway. Besides the always enjoyable beach, throughout the months of June to October you can go whale-watching! Humpback whales arrive to the warm waters of the Pacific during these months for mating. These natural occurrences and natural beauty make San Lorenzo a must for nature lovers. 

Another acclaimed beach is Los Esteros urban beach. From here, you can observe the entry and exit of boats to the port. On top of it, its wide sandy beach makes Los Esteros a relaxing destination for those who like a little privacy and want an escape with less people around. 

A beach for every occasion

If what you’re looking for is a great view, then Barbasquillo is the place! Located 4 min from the center of Manta, this beach is known for its impressive cliffs and a landscape decorated with luxurious hotels and great views.

And for surfers? San Mateo is the beach with perfect waves! Surfing is one of the biggest pastimes for locals, and they are glad to have hosted many surf and bodyboarding events! But that is not all… Kitesurfing and sports fishing are also practiced in San Mateo!

Without a doubt Manta is the perfect site for aquatic sports and they know it- all around you will find tourism agencies that offer complete services such as classes, equipment, lodges by the beach, etc. 

Along with its sports and spectacular beaches Manta also has cultural attractions that we love! Some of the most important events include the International Film Festival (that takes place on January) and the International Theater Festival (that takes place on September).

Curious Fact: The famous “Panama Hat” or straw hat originates in Montecristi, a small city close to Manta. Few know about the Ecuadorian origins of the hat and this is why a visit to Montecristi is something we encourage during your Manta trip! Here you will learn about the hat, its fabrication process, the skill of the workers who weave it by hand, the craft, and the culture for which the hat is a central identity. 

Manta’s Gastronomy

The popular saying “toque manabita” refers to that “special touch” of Manabitas (from the Manabi Province) when it comes to delicious seafood. Their advantages: the proximity to the ocean, the excellence and freshness of their products, and  the expert hands that prepare the meals. 

When you visit the Scenic Broadwalk (Malecón Escénico) you will encounter and infrastructure of more than 20 local gastronomy restaurants that can foster approx 15 thousand tourists a day! Here, you can not only have a tasty meal for a really good price, but you can enjoy lively artistic performances. 

Nightlife

Nightlife in Manta is another culinary festival! Several restaurants in the city offer gourmet menus and specialties. Don’t miss out on some of our favorite local dishes: peanut ceviche, fish viche, corviches, green plantain patacones or bolones, green plantain empanadas, garlic shrimp, etc. 

We recommend:

If you want to visit Manta, you should do so during the months of January to April! It is the best time of the year for warmer climates, ideal for the beaches. Make sure to take your beach bags and don’t forget to take in every bit of the charm that Manta has to offer!

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