Manta, with a population of approximately 140,000, is Ecuador’s major port along the central coast. Colorful fishing villages, unspoiled beaches and unusual tropical dry forest make Manta an attractive tourist destination and the starting point for exciting day trips. Nearby, Montecristi was founded in the early 1600s with its colonial architecture. This small town is best known for its woven wickerwork, and as the birth place of the “Panama hat” which although historically produced in Ecuador, were first widely distributed from Panama.
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