Skip Navigation

Travel Guide South America Ecuador Manta

edit

Introduction

Manta is a mid-sized city in Manabí Province, Ecuador. It is the second most populous city in the province, the fifth most populous in the country. Manta has existed since Pre-Columbian times. It was a trading post for the Mantas. Its main economic activity is tuna fishing. Other economic activities include tourism and a chemical industry with products from cleaning supplies to oils and margarine.

Manta possesses the largest seaport in Ecuador. The port was used by Charles Marie de La Condamine upon his arrival in Ecuador when leading the French mission to measure the location of the equator in 1735. From Manta, Condamine started his trip inland towards Quito.

Manta has an international airport, Eloy Alfaro International Airport with passenger airline service, and an important military base (known as Manta Air Base or Eloy Alfaro Air Base). Between 1999-2009 Manta Air Base was used by U.S. air forces to support anti-narcotics military operations and surveillance flights against Colombian drug trafficking cartels. The lease was not renewed by the Ecuadorean government.

Manta is recognized thanks to its international film festival featuring groups from different places in the world. The Ecuadorian actor Carlos Valencia, once invited to Cannes Film Festival for his performance in Ratas Ratones y Rateros (1999) directed by Sebastián Cordero, who was born in the capital city of Quito.

Top

edit

Sights and Activities

  • Banco Central Museum, Avenida 8 and Calle 7 (located behind the Bus terminal). Displays ceramics from the pre-Columbian Huancavilca-Manteño era culture.

Top

edit

Events and Festivals

Manta hosts an International Theater Festival every year in September. There are sporting events from January through April.

Top

edit

Weather

Despite its location near the equator, the Humboldt Current serves to give Manta an arid climate. The city is cloudy and hot most of the year, and rainfall is erratic and largely confined to the months between January and April. At these times, it occurs mainly during El Niño events when the Humboldt Current weakens.

Top

edit

Getting There

By Plane

Eloy Alfaro International Airport (MEC IATA) is locted on the outskirts of the city. There are daily flights serving Quito and Guayaquil. Airlines include AeroGal, and Tame, . Round trip airfare to Quito will run 75-100 U.S. Dollars.

By Bus

Bus service is readily available to most cities and towns. Long distance fares are generally around $1 per hour of the trip.
Frequent bus service to Guayaquil which is about a four and a half hour trip, ticket cost about $5. Service to Quito which is about a ten hour trip ticket cost about $7, to Portoviejo, 1 hour, ticket cost about $1, to Jipijapa, 1 hour, ticket cost about $1, to Bahía de Caráquez, about 3½ hours, ticket cost about $2, to Esmeraldas, 8½ hours, ticket cost about $7.20, to Santo Domingo, 5 hours, ticket cost about $6.20.

Top

edit

Getting Around

Taxi service is inexpensive and you can get to most places from one to three dollars. You can also take buses throughout the city, but with an abundance of inexpensive taxis, that is the best option for a tourist. Negotiating the cost of your taxi as soon as you step in is common practice. Carry small denominations of money and have exact change for your taxi fare if possible. If you do not have exact change, taxi drivers conveniently will not be able to make change for you and will try to convince you to leave the change as a tip instead.

Top

edit

Eat

Manta has an amazing selection of fresh seafood. You can find fish, shrimp, octopus, calamari, clams, mussels, prawns, lobsters, crabs and scallops that are especially fresh and cheap. Ceviche and viche de pescado are traditional tropical dishes in Manta. Fresh coconut juice is always available on the beach, and other delicious fresh fruit juices and smoothies are available on the malecon.

Top

edit

Drink

The city water supply is contaminated with mercury and other contaminants. Drink bottled water only and do not use ice in drinks either.

Iced coconut water (agua'e coco) is very popular due to the hot temperatures. Freshly extracted from the coconuts in front of you, and it tastes really good.

Top

edit

Sleep

  • Cabañas Balandra, Av. 8 and Calle 20, Barrio Córdova, ☎ +593 5-620316, fax: +593 5-620545.
  • Hotel Oro Verde, Malecón y Calle 23, ☎ +593 5-2629200, fax: +593 5-2629210, e-mail: ov_mta@oroverdehotels.com.
  • Howard Johnson Plaza Hotel Manta Ecuador, Km 1.5 Via Barbasquillo, ☎ +593 5262-9999, fax: +593 5262-9989, e-mail: generalmanager14971@wynhg.com. 100 rooms starting at $85.
  • Hosteria Manta Beach Inn, Calle 127 y Via Aeropuerto, ☎ +593 5-292-3792. Bed and Breakfast for only $25.
  • Manta Imperial, near Playa Murciélago (on the Malecón), ☎ +593 5-621955, fax: +593 5-623016.
  • Mantaraya Lodge, El Telégrafo E10 - 63 y Juan Alcántara, ☎ +593 5-623860. 15 rooms.

View our map of accommodation in Manta or use the form below to search for availability (Travellerspoint receives a commission for bookings made through the form)

Booking.com

Top

edit

Learn

  • Surpacifico Spanish Language School, 24 Ave. and 15 St. (Barre Building 3rd. Floor), ☎ +593 5261-0838. This school has various Spanish programs such as Spanish and surfing. 20 hours individual instruction, $160.
  • Montañita Spanish School.

Top

edit

Keep Connected

Internet

Internet cafes can be found nearly everywhere in the major cities and in many of the smaller ones. Cost is from $1 to $2 per hour in the large cities, and the better places have high-speed access. In some cafes, restaurants, and hotels you can find free wifi access, most of them protected by passwords; in most cases, you just have to ask for the password.

Phone

See also International Telephone Calls

The international telephone code for Ecuador is 593. The general emergency number is 911, but there are special ones of police (101) and fire (102).

The centre of most towns, cities and villages have telephone 'shops', advertised in the street as 'cabinas'. Go in, ask for a free phone booth and call. There is usually a digital display giving the cost (per second) of your call, whether local, national or international. You can call the United States for about $0.10 per minute and Europe for a bit more. Avoid making a phone call through an operator; the cost for an international call can be $3 or more per minute. For calls within Ecuador, it is possible to use a telephone cabin.

Some mobile phone SIM cards of various networks have problems working in Ecuador - you can purchase a local network SIM (for an unlocked phone) for a few dollars in local mobile phone shops. The costs of calling are higher though at around $0.45 an hour.

Post

Correos del Ecuador is the national postal service of Ecuador. It's fairly reliable to send postcards and letters to other countries, though count on at least 5 days up to weeks for it to arrive. In general, postal services to North America are much faster than to other western countries. Prices start at around $1 (up to 20 grams), but rise steeply after that. You can get stamps at post offices or small shops/kiosks. Post offices generally are open from 8:00am to 6:00pm Monday to Friday and 8:00am to noon on Saturdays, although there are slight variations throughout the country. If you are going to send heavier post or post which has more value, it might be better to contact private courier companies like DHL, TNT, UPS or FedEx, which are generally about the same price and much faster!

Top

Accommodation in Manta

We have a comprehensive list of accommodation in Manta searchable right here on Travellerspoint. You can use our map to quickly compare budget, mid-range or top of the range accommodation in Manta and areas nearby.

Manta Travel Helpers

We don't currently have any Travel Helpers for Manta

This is version 10. Last edited at 13:19 on Feb 16, 18 by Utrecht. 1 article links to this page.

Creative Commons License
Except where otherwise noted, content of this article is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution-ShareAlike 3.0 License