Water is life, they say. In Manta, life is water. You must be wondering, what do I mean? Water locked, Manta has several beaches along its coastline. The mid-sized city is one of the most populous in the country and a hub of recreational activities. Located in Manabi province, the city hosts a myriad of activities. These include tourism, sports, entertainment, education, and economic activities.
In the activities as mentioned earlier, one thing stands out: fun and recreation. Manta is the perfect destination for water-related adventurers and explorers.
Discover best things to do in Manta
1. Climb the Cliff Top at San Lorenzo beach
The view from the top of the cliff is simply amazing. No wonder it is a must-do when you visit Manta. Climbing to the top of the lighthouse will take you close to half an hour of hard climbing. That is why you need comfortable shoes for a swift clamber. A camera would be an excellent companion to capture the stunning view from the top.
Climbing may be an issue for you. Well, there is something else for you. At the end of San Lorenzo beach, there are rocks where the waves crash. This offers a fantastic site to view. You may also walk around the beach. From there you may proceed to Grass Shack restaurant and eat delicious local foods.
San Lorenzo is also famous for marine birds, caves and unique rock formations. Other activities you may engage in include surfing, sunbathing, and whale-watching.
2. Eat Camotillo fish and Sopa de Mariscos at El Rincon de Tere
Manta is a fishing city. That is why you can’t leave without tasting fish prepared in Manta. El Rincon de Tere offers a nice ambiance, and their prices are reasonable. You may choose to eat from inside or opt to have your finger-licking fish meal and soup from outside.
The restaurant offers seafood and delicious soup you will like. Make sure you visit this place! In the end, you may have juice and cookies for your dessert.
3. Go fishing at San Mateo
It is one of the growing fishing villages in Manta. Located west of Manta, the place is a great place to learn one or two things about fishing. The natives are warm, making it easy to fit in. Apart from fishing, you may engage in surfing competitions.
Its location on a cliff also makes it an excellent place to have a view of the surrounding area. The experience is out of this word. You can’t miss this.
See Also: 15 Best Things to Do in Salinas, Ecuador
4. Visit Tarqui
A lot of boat construction takes place here. That is why foreigners have nicknamed the place “Noah’s Ark Beach.” But, watching carpenters make boats is not the reason you are visiting this beach. There are aquatic sports you cannot miss out on. Sailing, bodyboarding, surfing, diving, and fishing are popular recreational activities in Tarqui.
If you are a soccer lover, there is beach soccer for you. Or you may play beach volleyball.
5. El Murciélago
It is the most popular beach in Manta. On your things to do in Manta list, this beautiful beach should be among the first ones. Why? Because of the diversity offered here. The beach is home to many restaurants serving local dishes and of course, seafood. Also present is a bar for those who get thrilled by the nightlife.
A beach is also the right place just to relax and watch as life goes on. You may just come here and watch as the locals move around going on with their lives. Be sure to learn a thing or two about these natives that are unique to them.
This beach also hosts sporting activities including surfing, fishing, bodyboarding, sailing, and diving. If you are a fan of sports, be sure you’ll leave this place with loads of memories. The locals and visiting sports enthusiasts like you make it fun and memorable.
This beach’s vicinity to hotels, ATMs, banks, and stores like supermarkets make it a perfect destination. You don’t have to worry about where to sleep or running out of cash, even where to eat.
6. Tour around
Have you ever gotten into a taxi, without a specific destination in mind, and just moved around? I have, not once or twice. I find it fun going around a new place, exploring and just seeing what building stands where. Manta is an excellent place to go around.
It is essential when you visit Manta to know which roads lead to where and which buildings stand where. By the time you leave, you’d have created enough desire and be moved to plan for a return visit. The taxis are cheap, and the drivers friendly. Instead of a taxi, you may opt to travel with the natives by bus.
At the end of the day, you’ll be tired of fun. The experience is memorable, and I promise you the memories will stay around for quite some time. Therefore, make sure touring around is marked as a must-do in your list of things to do in Manta.
7. Participate in Events
Being a reasonably cultural city, Manta also plays home to significant events. One event you are not supposed to miss is the annual International Theatre Festival. It happens every September.
The event is major with great performances from both locals, guest, and entertainers. You never know, perhaps this will allow you to meet with that celebrity you only see on TV or YouTube.
January to April is another busy season. There is a hive of sporting activities between these months. You may schedule your trip to Manta to be in harmony with these months.
Manta has several local clubs that organize events regularly with local artists, emcees, and DJs. The good thing about these events is that they are regular and might find you around. If you see, hear or find one, participate!
8. Visit Museo Municipal Etnografico Cancebi
Small as it is, it stores Manta’s rich history and culture. So, why is it essential to have it in your things to do in Manta list? First, the museum has an exciting art exhibition. The antiques on display carry with them a fantastic history of the great Manta. To make things better, the workers there are amicable. They will interpret and explain to you what every item represents. Some of them speak English, thus enhanced communication.
About timing, the museum is operational from Monday to Friday and is open between 8 am and 2:30 pm. The entrance is free. As long as you have your passport, no one will ask you any question.
The Museo Municipal Etnografico Cancebi museum displays artifacts reflecting Manta’s archaic daily life. Though some antiques are recent, be sure to find water urn made from cement, vinyl records, scrap, and parallels of fishing equipment. Fishing as the locals’ livelihood is also represented.
9. Parque de la Madre Fuente
This is a great place to spend with kids, spouse, or family on a Sunday afternoon. The big trees offer extensive shade that makes Parque de la Madre Fuente so cool. It is a great place to rest as you watch kids play, or life go on.
It is believed iguanas live here. But, those that have been here before claim they have never seen one. That should be more reason why visiting this place should not miss out on your list of things to do in Manta. Why? The idea is you might be the one to see the iguanas and sloth first. The water fountains are also a great view and place for photography.
Therefore, as you create your list of things to do in Manta, make sure you mark this one as a priority for your Sunday afternoon.
10. Go for a photo session at Panama Hat Girl
The Panama Hat Girl is a remarkable landmark that must be recalled. And, there is no best way to remember other than good photos. The monument symbolizes the locals’ livery of making handwoven hats.
The statue is located on a roundabout entering Montecristi. The good thing about this is you don’t have to spend a lot of time here. Just a few minutes and you should be done. In fact, you can plan to go elsewhere but spare just a few minutes for a photo session at this place.
11. Spend your nights at Balandra Hotel
Finding the right hotel in a new territory might be hectic. No need to worry anymore. Balandra hotel is the place to spend your nights. This should be your number one in the list of things to do in Manta. Check-in first, drop your luggage, and from there, you may decide where to go next.
Balandra is arguably the best hotel in Manta. The hotel’s location, cleanliness, value, and services have all been rated excellent. The hotel scooped the Traveller’s Choice 2019 award, GreenLeaders Bronze Level award, and a Certificate of Excellence.
Some of the services that make this place excellent include free breakfast, free high-speed internet, gym, pool, karaoke, children’s activities, laundry, and ironing, among other countless services. On top of that, there is air conditioning, suites, open view, refrigerator, room service, and a private balcony. The prices are also considerable. Well, by now you must be convinced Balandra hotel should be first on your things to do in Manta list.
12. Go for an excursion through the Manabí Diversity Route
Manta’s culture, nature, and history are all here. You will have a chance to get to the home of the famous Panama Hat weaver “Don Simon.” He is arguably the best in the field. You will also have a chance to see how he does his craft and learn a thing or two. Perhaps you might be the next, “Don Simon.”
The drive from Cruise Terminal to the town of Pile has amazing scenes whose view you’ll enjoy.
13. Take a Walk at Pacoche Humid Forest
Surveying the Pacoche Humid Forest, you will see howler monkeys. In addition, you will learn about famous Ecuador’s Montecristi hat, which is located in the haberdashery stores at Ciudad Alfaro. Be sure to learn about the fishermen of Manta and the fishing culture of the city.
14. Visit Malecon Escenico
Malecon Escenico is located just next to Playa Murcielago. This is another excellent destination you don’t want to miss. There are amazing attractions here you must see. A good example is the tuna monument. There are also many tuna boats you will view. This is where most of the world’s tuna fish come from. Go fishing too, and you will enjoy it. The people here are friendly and welcoming. Engage them and get to learn a thing about fishing.
The restaurants offer delicious local cuisines and seafood. Try out different foods. Also present are bars. You may choose to try out local beers and drinks. Be sure not to miss happy hours on offer.
15. Centro Cívico Ciudad Alfaro
Before leaving Manta, check-in here. The place has a considerable number of trees that bring about coolness and a beautiful shade for afternoons. The best thing about this place is that it is cheap to get to this point. It may cost you just a dollar or so. On a good day, you will find a random guy playing karaoke. The place hosts freelance entertainers so be sure to have a thrilling experience.
Manta is a great place to be. There are a lot of places to visit, but others are a must. Depending on how much time you have, you will have to decide which things to will come first. But, the first thing to do when you get to Manta is looking for hotel Balandra. Once you are settled, you may now start doing the other activities in the list above.
As you complete each activity ensure you tick done on your list of things to do in Manta. Enjoy your trip to and stay in Manta.