Manta is a busy city in full growth, with a large fishing and cargo port. The fresh sea breeze makes it pleasant to walk on the seawall (El malecon), where you can also find good restaurants and bars. Playa Murcielago is the beach in Manta, with good surfing from December to April.

Manta has the largest fishing fleet in the country: it is in the harbor in the morning and at the end of the afternoon when the boats return a swarm of boats. The pelicans and frigate birds that swarm around it provide an amusing spectacle.

The city center, built on a hill, still has a few old wooden houses.

To the north of the city are many coastal villages, some half forgotten by mankind, the others with popular beaches. The largest bathing area is around Bahia de Caraquez.

A little further is the small coastal village of Canoa, which has some of the most beautiful beaches in Ecuador. Even more to the North, around Pedernales and Cojimies, the coast is less touristy. The interior is even more authentic, with small villages between the hills.

Located 11 kilometers southeast of Manta is Montechristi, a small town known as the center of the Panama hat. They are made here in different houses and you can buy very nice ones directly from the producer.

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