The tour begins in Manta with a visit to the Cancebí Museum. Your guide will enlighten you about the ethnographic history of Manabí, home to many different cultures and traditions of the Manabita people, including the cholo (fisherman), montubio (countryside worker), and agricultor (farmer). In addition, view a room of antiques and a room dedicated to cultural art exhibitions.
You'll continue driving along Manta’s coastline to Montecristi, home of the Panama hat. Genuine Panama hats, despite their name, hail from Ecuador. During the Spanish-American War, in 1898, the US government bought some 50,000 of these hats for the troops from merchants in Panama. These hats were also popular with the crew that constructed the Panama Canal in the early 20th century. No wonder no one knows them as 'Ecuador hats'!
Upon arrival in Montecristi, a colonial town founded in 1628, you'll have the opportunity to visit the town’s main square, home to an impressive statue of a former Ecuadorian president born here. This beautiful little town is the highlight of the tour, and still retains the atmosphere and faded elegance of its Spanish heritage.
You'll also stop by a picturesque wooden building that once served as the first girls' school in Ecuador. With its old walls and wonderful, well-worn wooden floors, this rustic building now holds a cornucopia of artisan stalls selling straw baskets, jewelry, colorful handicrafts, and Panama hats. Montecristi's central square and many narrow streets provide additional charm and local shopping opportunities.
After your visit to Montecristi you'll reboard the coach and return to the ship.
- Language: English
- Walking information: More than 20 stairs to climb at the Cancebí Museum
- Duration: 3 hours