Montecristi and Highlights of Manta
Duration: 5 hours
Tour Code: MNT-001
Explore the delightful sites, culture and people of Manta during this visit to picturesque Montecristi.
Depart the pier for an introductory tour of Manta. Begin with a 30-minute visit to the Archaeological Museum of Banco Central, which highlights the local culture and ethnic origins of the area. Next, you'll drive along the scenic seaside promenade and through the suburbs to Montecristo's central square where you will find many artisan stalls selling straw baskets, jewelry, colorful handicrafts and Panama hats.
Before returning to the ship, you'll visit a Tagua factory. Tagua phytephas equatorialis is the nut of a 15-18 foot tall palm tree found in the tropical rain forests on the coast and Amazon lowlands of Ecuador. Tagua nuts were originally used as buttons because they have a color and consistency very similar to ivory, and could be dyed. Although button manufacturing is still the main source of income for the factory, this unusual natural material is now fashioned by skilled craftsmen into a variety of small, reasonably-priced sculptures that provide a distinctive and unusual souvenir of your day. At the conclusion of this excursion, you'll return by the same route to the Port of Manta.