Visiting Manabí, a hidden gem in South America

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Only 8% of the travelers who visit Ecuador come to Manabí.

If what you are looking for when you are traveling is delicious food, beautiful beaches, also kind and energetic people and culture, The Manabí province in Ecuador is the place you should visit on your next trip.

The first stop of your trip to Manabí should be Manta, not for nothing Manta is the place where the big cruises make their stops also is home of the Ironman competition, this city on the Pacific coast has a lot to offer to start with the many beaches where you can enjoy the local cuisine, aquatic activities and relax with the sound of the Pacific Ocean.

Manta has to offer many kinds of beaches if you want to relax or windsurf go to Santa Marianita if what you are looking for Is a place to have some food and drinks with your feet touching the sand go to “Playa Murcielago” if what you want is a calm beach where you can swim and your kids will be safe, go to “San Mateo” or “La Tiñosa”.

In all these places you will be able to enjoy for most of the people the best cuisine in Ecuador the “Manaba food”. The most famous dishes are, Corviche, Empanadas de Verde, Viche, Tonga, Bolones de Verde, and much more. Also, one of the most famous drinks in Ecuador is made in Manabi it’s called “Caña Manabita”, also more informal but still good you have the “currincho”. So, if you consider yourself a foodie or you just enjoy eating and drinking Manabí is the place to go!

Your next stop should be Puerto Lopez. If you are lucky and you came here between July and September you will be able to take the whale watching tour, here you will navigate into the Pacific Ocean until you find the whales that are doing their annual migration from north to south where they look for more food and better climate conditions.

Also, if you are into water sports, diving in this area of the Pacific Ocean is something great, here you can experience your first dive or if you have your PADI license you can look for better spots to find out. Another water sport you can enjoy here is sport fishing, here you will learn a lot about sea life and also you will be able to enjoy a fresh meal directly from the ocean to your plate.

Another great experience you can do starting in Puerto Lopez is the visit to Isla de la Plata. This Island is incredible, most people know it as “Little Galapagos”, this is because the biodiversity of the island it’s similar to some places in the Galapagos Islands. For example, you can find the blue-footed boobies one of the most popular birds of the Galapagos. If you are into snorkeling or diving this place is perfect for you, also for birdwatchers, people that enjoy a good adventure this Island is great for them.

During your stay in Puerto Lopez, you can choose from a variety of day tours and activities you can do. One of the bests tours from Puerto Lopez is the visit to “Los Frailes Beach”. This beach is part of Machalilla National Park and is very well-conservated.  This Beach for most people is the best one on Ecuador’s Mainland, it’s sand is soft, the water is calm, everything is super clean and also they offer bathrooms for public use at the entrance. One of the highlights of this day trip is a short trek that takes you to a sightseeing spot where you can observe all the beauty that “Los Frailes” offers.

Also, the recommended food for these days is ceviche. This plate, you can find in several parts of America, but everywhere is different. The Manaba Ceviche is unique, here they mix it with ground peanuts and “Chifles” which makes this ceviche different from others. Even inside Ecuador, you can find different kinds of ceviche, personally, my favorite is the one from Manabí.

Another place taken out of fantasy books is Ayampe, here you will escape from the noise and crowds. Normally this place is almost empty so here you will enjoy yourself, the ocean, and the nature that lives in this paradise. If you are into water sports you need to rent a surfboard and enjoy the waves from Ayampe, here is one of the best places in Ecuador to practice this sport. After that, the recommended activity is enjoying some cocktails on the beach, such as Flavored Micheladas with fruits from the zone, like passion fruit, Papaya, or Mango. Also, you will find lots of coconuts waiting for you to open and refresh yourself with them. Talking about food, the highlight for sure is seafood, fish, crabs, and more will be your best choice when visiting Ayampe.

As most places that the human being hasn’t intervened much, this place is a natural paradise, here you won’t find many luxuries but it’s a sure thing that you will reconnect with mother earth, and peace will take over your mind and body, so prepare to have some relaxing days in the beach. This place is great for friends and families and it’s a must on your visit to the Manabí region of Ecuador.

Other places of interest in Manabí are, the Caña Manabita factory in Portoviejo, Portoviejo is the capital of Manabi and it has a lot to offer too. Another incredible place is Salango here you need to visit the morning fish market where you will find the best quality when it comes to seafood. Also, Salango is well known as a great spot for snorkeling, the clarity and temperature of the water make this place great to practice snorkeling. Salango offers a trip to Salango Island, so taking a boat tour here is a must, if you already liked Salango beach, Salango Island will take your breath away!

After reading this, two things are clear, I made you pretty hungry and now you feel you need to go to Manabi. Lucky for you we have the solution. Right here you will find a couple of designed trips so you and your family or friends can visit this region of Ecuador guided by the bests! Don’t miss this opportunity to have an amazing vacation in Beautiful and biodiverse Ecuador.

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