Montecristi

Manta and Montecristi Highlights

Visit the archeological museum of Manta, which contains the best-preserved collection of the pre-Hispanic Manteño-Huancavila culture. Discover Montecristi town, home of the Panama Hat.

Included in your cruise
  • Discover the rich culture of Manta and Montecristi.
  • Observe the collection of ceramics of the pre-historic Manteno-Huancavila culture.
  • Visit traditional artisan workshops.
  • Take the opportunity to buy a genuine Panama Hat.
  • Difficulty level

    Level 2: Easy

  • Duration

    3h30

  • Max. passengers

    500

  • Booking Code

    INCL-MEC1

  • Notices

    We recommend lightweight clothing, including long pants and a long-sleeved shirt, sunblock, hat, insect repellent (VERY IMPORTANT), comfortable walking shoes, and a camera.

Explore the rich history, culture, and people of Manta and Montecristi during this scenic, half-day sightseeing excursion.

We leave the pier for a short drive around Manta, passing the seaside promenade and fish market. At the archeological museum, see a small (but excellent) collection of ceramics from the Manteño-Huancavilca culture that flourished here between 800 and 1550 A.D. Other local art expositions can also be found on display.

The tour continues to Montecristi, home of the Panama Hat. Genuine Panama hats, despite their name, hail from Ecuador. During the Spanish-American War in 1898, the U.S. government bought some 50,000 of these hats for the troops from merchants in Panama. The hat was also very popular with the crews that constructed the Panama Canal in the early 20th century, making it no surprise that the name ‘Panama’ stuck, despite their true Ecuadorian origins.

Upon arrival in Montecristi, a colonial town founded in 1628, we can visit the town’s main square, home to an impressive statue of a former Ecuadorian president born here. This beautiful little town is a highlight of the tour and retains the atmosphere and faded elegance of its Spanish heritage. We will stop by a picturesque wooden building that once served as the first girls' school in Ecuador. The old walls and worn wooden floors of this rustic building hold a cornucopia of artisan stalls selling straw baskets, jewelry, colorful handicrafts, and Panama Hats. Montecristi’s central square and narrow streets provide additional shopping opportunities.

Return to the quay

Practical information

  • Language: English.

  • Remarks/requirements: We recommend lightweight clothing, including long pants and a long-sleeved shirt, sunblock, hat, insect repellent (VERY IMPORTANT), comfortable walking shoes, and a camera.

  • Walking distance: 0.34 miles, mostly even terrain

  • Wheelchair accessible: No.