The capital of Manabí is one of the most popular resorts in Ecuador. It’s known for having the freshest seafood in the country – to try it, head to Playa Tarqui, specifically the Playita Mía sector, where you’ll find Parque del Marisco, home to several restaurants. Located 30 minutes south of Manta, Santa Marianita is one of the best beaches to kitesurf in South America. There are lessons for all levels and kiosks that rent out the necessary equipment.
Over 5,000 hectares of coastal forest are part of the Pacoche Reserve, the favorite spot of bird-watchers. Some 30 miles [50 km] from Manta, Pile is a village of roughly 1,000 inhabitants where they grow toquilla palm and make the world’s most famous straw hats.