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Portoviejo

Travel Guide South America Ecuador Portoviejo

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Introduction

Portoviejo is the capital of the Manabí Province in Ecuador. Also known as the city of the "Royal Tamarind Trees" for the beautiful trees found in the area. Portoviejo is the main political and economical centre of the Portoviejo River valley, which also includes the cantons of Santa Ana and Rocafuerte, where about 110 square kilometres are cultivated every year. The valley is rich in the production of tomatoes, onions, peppers, bananas, mangoes and other tropical fruits. The city, which was affected by economic crisis in the eighties and nineties, is now recovering but severe budget limitations and a huge unemployment rate present difficulties for local authorities. Portoviejo is a large commercial center for the province, where there are two shopping malls, one with a large hypermarket, 8 movie theaters, food court, and other stores. There is a large flea market in downtown. Locals are very friendly and very well educated. The city is home of the cancer treatment hospital "Dr Julio Villacreses Colmont" serving the provinces of Manabí and Esmeraldas. Portoviejo is the perfect place to enjoy traditional Manabí cuisine, of great fame in Ecuador, usually at countryside restaurants located on the side of the Portoviejo-Crucita roadway. The local airport is used for domestic flights.

This large city is the capital of Manabí Province and is important for coffee, cattle and fishing. Founded on March 12, 1535, it is one of the oldest cities in Ecuador and is the sixth largest.

Portoviejo has a thriving agricultural-processing industry and is an important commercial center, with good road connections to Quito and Guayaquil.

This city houses over 200,000 inhabitants and is the capital of Manabi province as well as the main center for commercial activity such as coffee production, fishing and cattle ranching. It is also famous for kapok mattresses and pillows made from the ceibo seed case and is a good place to buy hammocks. You can stroll around the city easily by foot and visit the Parque Eloy Alfaro which faces the local cathedral. An interesting nearby village to visit is Sosote just a few minutes from Portoviejo, it's worth visiting because of its tagua workshops. The main street has several stalls selling tagua figures.

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Weather

Portoviejo has a hot semi-arid climate with consistently very warm to hot conditions all year round. The advance and retreat of the cold Humboldt Current means there are two seasons: a length dry season from May to December and a short wet season from January to April. The wet season is quite erratic owing to the El Niño Southern Oscillation. In El Niño years rainfall may be several times the long-term mean.

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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!

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This is version 5. Last edited at 14:42 on Feb 16, 18 by Utrecht. 1 article links to this page.

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