Manta Port is the gateway to the bustling and developing city of Manta in the Manaba Province of Ecuador. Manta ranks number five in Ecuador’s population and is considered the third most important city with its tuna fishing and processing industry in addition to tourism; the city attracts local and foreign tourists alike. Manta port of call is an attraction for cruise ships around the world because of the diverse South American culture, beautiful beaches, colonial architecture, and its cuisine.
For authentic locally made handicrafts, visitors can go to La Pila, a special area just outside Manta cruise port that has a variety of items such as unique pottery, Alpaca items, hand woven blankets with different patterns and colors, ponchos, tapestries, and intricately painted gourds. Travelers should also not miss checking out the famous Panama hats as well as the local Chocolate. Local Coca is as popular as teas; it has many uses such as a beverage, medicine, or as a chew similar to tobacco.
It is common to bargain with vendors; you can expect discounts up to 25%, however, only haggle if you intend to buy. It is considered rude to walk away if you haggle without buying.
A number of accommodations are available for visitors to Manta. The Hotel Vistalmar offers comfort in front of the beach while Hotel de Oro Verde offers luxury and broad views of the ocean.
Things to Do
The best thing to do while in Manta is to visit the many beaches the city has to offer. Being in South America, the beaches are fine examples of perfect combination of sun, sea, and sand. The beaches are considered noteworthy enough to host a major South America wind surfing event.
While in the beach, one can opt to just while the day away with a drink in hand, or to indulge in more physical activities like the increasingly popular sport of kite-surfing. For culture, travelers should visit the quaint small town of Montecristi. This town dates back to the 1600’s and offers the visitor an experience of colonial architecture. The well known straw hats that are erroneously called “Panama Hats” are made here.
To see pre-Columbian crafts and artifacts, one can visit Museo del Banco Central, Manta’s local museum.
Bars and Restaurants
Manta’s main beach, Murcielago, offers travelers and beach goers a variety of cuisine and regional mixed drinks in its boardwalk. Of the many food choices there, visitors must try Manta’s Ceviches and Viche de Pescado, both dishes use fresh seafood as main ingredients. For other gastronomic delights, Buffalo Grill is famous for its delicious lunch menus while Comedor Malibu is known for its steamed or fried fish served in a thatched hut setting. Lun Fun offers sophisticated dining and a fusion of Latin and Chinese cuisine. For dancing and an experience of Manta’s night life, one can visit three major dance clubs and bars that are one of the best in the region. The Madera Fina, Krug Pub, and Tantra, all on Avenido Flaviano Reyes Avenue are popular both with locals and foreigners. To relax after a night of dancing, the Basoca Bar serves cheap Ecuadorian food as well beer.