It is the last day of the year, so that means the last post of the year! We have been for a month in Ecuador now, and still have 2 to go. We are happy to be here and to end the year in such a beautiful country.
But today we are going to tell you about Manta. It is located in Manabí province, about 3 hours north from Guayaquil.
How did we end up in Manta?
December 25th, Christmas, we where having an early dinner with the family. My aunts and my cousins came home. One of my cousins works and lives in Manta, but he travels a lot for work, so he doesn’t spend that much time there.
So we where talking and he asked us what we had been up to so far. All of the sudden he offered that if we wanted to go to Manta sometime that he had the apartment there, and that we could go anytime.
So during dinner he said that he was going back the next day to manta and that we could have a ride with him. That sounded perfect to us, because we had no plans for the week. We immediately accepted the invite.
We had to leave Guayaquil at 5 am. so that he would be in time for work in Manta. So barely having finished dinner we had 5 minutes to pack our bags and head to his place to leave to Manta the next morning. Good thing we are spontaneous!
So Manta is not known for being a beautiful city, but it is by the beach. So that was definitely a plus. Oli had seen some pictures and wanted to go, so it was the perfect chance.
We got there and the first thing we did was getting some breakfast. We were starving. And with our love for jamón serrano we ended up in “El Español”, a food chain that serves Spanish-like sandwiches.
With our belly full we went to take a walk along the beach. First we went to “Playa Murciélago” which is in the city. This beach has a Malecón (boardwalk) with a lot of restaurants. It is very nice and safe to walk.
We had some Coco Helado, or cold coconut water, which is the best thing ever. Everyday that we were there we would drink one of those.
Since we took a surfing lesson in Montañita, which was so much fun, we have been wanting to keep learning the sport. So being in Manta, we wanted to keep practicing.
Surfing in Manta
While having breakfast we checked if there were some surfing schools around and there were. So we went to the beach to see what we could find.
In la playa del Murciélago we found one surf school but it was closed in the morning. When we went back in the afternoon it was opened and we asked for lessons and surf board rentals.
Rene, the owner from the shop was really nice. He told us the prices for the lessons and for the surf board rentals. When the best hours to surf were…
So he told us that he could rent out the boards the next morning, that the best time was at 7 am. It was pretty early, but 7 am we were at the beach. He was waiting there for us with two boards.
We thought he would just leave us with the boards to practice, but we got a 30 min lesson from him. Afterwards we stayed there practicing with the boards while he went to work. He told us to leave the boards when we were done by the guard just behind his shop and that he would pick them up later.
So we surfed for about 2 hours. Trying to stand up, getting the feeling for when the waves come… It was a lot of fun. The only thing was that there were not that many waves and they were pretty small.
In the afternoon after we had rest, we went back to his shop to see if he had gotten the boards ok, and to pay him. He was so nice that he said that we could come back the next day and would lend us the boards, with no charge.
The next “surfing” days
So the first surfing lesson was really cool, and the waves even though they were not big, they were good for us to practice.
They told us that the next days they were going to be the same or a bit bigger. We were confident that we would be able to practice the next days too.
Sadly, this wasn’t the case. The next morning we woke up to go surfing at 6:30 in the morning. Thank God Rene, our surf teacher, wrote us a WhatsApp and told us that there were no waves. So we kept sleeping.
We went to the beach later, and definitely, no waves at all. We were really sad, because we really wanted to practice, we really want to learn the sport. And that was the situation for the rest of our stay in Manta.
Playa de San Mateo
So after being sad because there were no waves, we decided to go to another beach to check it out. So we went to San Mateo.
San Mateo is just 15 minutes outside of Manta. This little town has a pretty nice small beach. It is not that full, with cool bars, and a lot of restaurants.
It’s a really good place to go and spend the day. You can go for a swim, practice kite surf, paddle board, kayak and have a beautiful time while drinking coconut water or having an ice cream. Usually it is also a good place to surf.
In Manta we walked pretty much everywhere. Where my cousin lives it’s really nice, in Playa Barbasquillo. Right by the beach, you could go for a walk or a swim. There are also bars and restaurants around.
From there we could walk also to the Muerciélago beach, and back. The way was nice and safe to walk. In Playa del Muriciélago there is also a really big mall, in case you want or need to do some shopping.
We had a great time, and we do recommend Manta for a beach trip. We didn’t go to the city center, but because even people from Manta told us that it was not worth it. But the beaches are really nice and Av. Flavio Reyes is full of hostels and bars.
If you want more tips on what to do in Ecuador make sure to check out our Top places to visit in Ecuador.