Bahía de Caráquez, known today as Bahía, formerly called Bahía de los Caras during the period of the Spanish conquest, is a coastal capital city belonging to the Sucre county, in the Ecuadorian province of Manabí. The city is located on a sandy peninsula on the country’s western coast at the mouth of the Río Chone. It has an extensive tourism infrastructure that positions it as the leading regional town. It has seen significant development during the last 15 to 20 years, mainly because it has become a vacation destination for people from Quito and Guayaquil. The city is located one hour north of the fastest growing city in Ecuador, Manta, which has an international airport. Bahía became an Ecocity on February 23, 1999.
The city also boasts a well-known archeological museum, displaying artifacts found in Manabi from very different periods. The collection includes statues from the Valdivia culture as well as several other lesser-known historical communities.
The longest bridge in Ecuador was completed in November 2010 and connected Bahia to the city on the other side of Rio(River) Chone called San Vicente. Locals cross the river by bridge or boat. Bahia differs greatly from the neighboring San Vicente.