Located along the central part of Ecuador’s Pacific Coast, Manabí is known for its beautiful beaches, quaint fishing villages, and commercial centers such as Manta, the country’s second-largest port, and Machalilla National Park, with its rich vegetation and varied species of fauna. It also produces many handicrafts and is known worldwide for its pottery and Panama hats. The Province’s climate is dry- humid-subtropical, with an average temperature of 25 degrees centigrade. There is a domestic airport and an international cargo airport located in Manta.
Sandy beaches – Take your pick.
San Vicente, San Jacinto, San Clemente, Puerto Cayo, Puerto Rico, Puerto Lopez, Crucita, Canoa, Cojimíes, Pedernales, and Jaramijó are all lovely beaches backed by fishing villages. These beaches stretch over 300km along the coast of Manabí. Manabí’s resorts offer peace and quiet as well as delicious, uniquely coastal cuisine. The surrounding vegetation is made up of mangroves, thickets, and woods. Villages such as Puerto López and Pedernales have become resorts with good hotel infrastructure and act as departure points for trips to places like Machalilla National Park. More isolated hotels and ecolodges made of cane and other locally produced materials are also popular tourist destinations.
Towns – History, Customs, and Handicrafts
Manta, the country’s second-largest port, with its extensive hotel facilities, is Manab’s major city. Its main beach, Murcielago, has a modern boardwalk with various restaurants offering local culinary specialties and the region’s most delicious drinks. It has become a popular stop for international cruise liners sailing from the Caribbean to Latin America in recent years. The city has several bars and discotheques frequented by tourists, especially on the weekends. In October, Manta welcomes dozens of performers who come to the Chusig Theater for the International Theater Festival.
Bahia de Caraquez also has some first-class hotels and CoCo Bongo Hostel, which is one of the most popular boutique hotels and has murals that have been painted by artists all over the world. Many people chose to take a short boat ride across the Chone River to enjoy a day in neighboring San Vicente. Alternatively, you can enjoy the beaches in Bahia,.stroll along the boardwalk, or perhaps head off to a secluded beach such as Boca Briceno or El Metal. Other places of interest include the R?o Chone estuary, with its islands Corazon del Sol and Fragatas, the Central Bank’s Museums, and the House of Culture.
Among the many attractions of Portoviejo, the province’s capital, also known as the city of the “Royal Tamarind Trees”, are the Metropolitan Cathedral and the San Pedro Seminary. Around the town, there are several natural thermal baths and spas such as El Zapallo, La Peia, La Papayita, San Antonio, and Cerro de Hojas.
Montecristi – History Among Hats
This village is internationally renowned for the high quality of the “Panama Hats” they produce (yes, you read correctly, Panama Hats are and always have been from Ecuador and not from Panama). Lying at the foot of a large hill called Montecristi, the small town of the same name has many attractions such as Eloy Alfaro’s (an ex-Ecuadorian President) house, the Hermanas Largacha Museum, and the Monserrate Sanctuary, where thousands of Ecuadorian and foreign pilgrims traditionally flock, especially on the weekends. Another place of interest is La Pila, whose artisans make a variety of sculptures and replicas of Pre-Colombian ceramics. In addition to hats, these artisan centers display other handmade crafts made of different types of straw and iron.
Machalilla National Park – Archaeology and Virgin Beaches
With its unspoiled, white beaches; its leafy, endemic vegetation; and La Isla de la Plata, where some of the Galapagos species thrive in abundance, Machalilla National Park is visited all year round by both local and foreign tourists. The primary season is from June to October when the whales come from the Antarctic to breed in the region. Situated 80 km south of the town of Portoviejo, the Park is also home to sites of archaeological interest such as Agua Blanca, with its remains of the Machalilla culture. Salango Island, where endangered species such as the anteater have found shelter.
Made of fish, shrimp, or shellfish, Ceviche is one of Manabí’s most mouth delectable specialties. In general, all types of seafood are very popular. But what you can find on the table on a daily, both for locals and tourists, are fish viche, made with peanuts, and sancocho, a local delicacy made with plantains and fish.