Manta is the perfect base to drive along Ecuador’s coast on the new and well maintained Ruta del Sol (Path of the Sun). This coastal highway provides magnificent views plus easy access to the most extraordinary beaches both north and south of Manta
Without a doubt, Manta and its surrounding area are a hidden treasure for foreign tourists. A true paradise of endless adventure activities, Manta’s beaches are continually becoming a better known and attractive site for any type of water sport.
Although Manta’s traditional business is centered in tuna fishing and processing, during recent years the city’s growth and its tourism facilities have developed a new type of business: water sports and other outdoor activities that attract both locals and visitors. Manta is the perfect base to drive along Ecuador’s coast on the new and well maintained Ruta del Sol (Path of the Sun). This coastal highway provides magnificent views plus easy access to the most extraordinary beaches both north and south of Manta.
DISTANCE BY CAR
- Quito: 393.2km / 244m (6 hours 34 min)
- Guayaquil: 188.4km / 117m (3 hours 4 min)
The nearby beaches are good examples of the growing availability of sports activities. La Tiñosa, Santa Marianita and Puerto López, all around one hour from Manta, are veritable paradises for surfers, divers and windsurfers. Thousands of enthusiasts from all over the world gather here to seek big waves, good wind and underwater thrills.
- Quito: 30 minutes
- Guayaquil: 20 minutes
For those who love surfing and windsurfing the best season is between January and May, when there is good wind and more hours of high tide with great waves. For divers, the best time is from July to November, not only because the water temperature is cooler, but also because it’s the season to watch blue whales and giant manta rays, only a short distance from the shore. These spectacular sea creatures can also be appreciated in guided boat trips. Puerto López has multiple outfits that teach diving, surfing and windsurfing. Most are internationally accredited schools with certified instructors and guides, so learning a new sport can be both safe and fun.
Walking along Santa Marianita’s sea shore it’s not unusual to observe international windsurf pros training, occasionally grandstanding or just relaxing between waves. On land, groups of American or European tourists can be seen enjoying some outstanding local treats like “batido de coco” (coconut shake) or “bolón de verde” (cooked and crushed plantain balls filled with cheese or sausage).
- Jan – April: 30 °C – 22 °C / 86 °F – 71 °F
- May – Dic: 25 °C – 17 °C / 77 °F – 62 °F
This year Manta will be on the international sports guide because it shall host an Ironman event on August 9th, famous worldwide for its grueling swimming, biking and running stages. Hotels and restaurants are ready to greet the competitors and their entourages who have already begun to book reservations. Broad beaches, perfect waves and enthusiastic spectators are waiting to welcome these special visitors.
The city itself offers a wide menu of activities for people who live at a different pace. Restaurants with all kinds of cuisine, bars and discos await visitors to surprise them with great dishes, particularly seafood, tropical beats and lots of fun. Entertainment is plentiful in the commercial area, in the Astillero (shipyard) area and also in the port area. A bicycle path runs along the seashore. In the Murciélago (bat) area there are large public spaces for pedestrians and cyclists. Naturally, many people take advantage of these facilities from dawn to dusk.
- El Muercielago
- Tarqui y los esteros
- Santa Marianita
- San Mateo
- La Tiñosa
Manta is warm-hearted and friendly. Locals are characteristically in a good mood and always interested in meeting newcomers. Pleasant conversations and helpful attitudes are common. Tourists are appreciated and their business is very welcome. Delicious tropical weather, warm but dry, and magnificent sun sets enchant any visitor. So, it’s truly a worthwhile trip to come and discover Manta’s charms.