The Coast

On this tour you will learn about the product that could be considered the "most Ecuadorian" of all: the Toquilla straw hat - more commonly known as the "Panama Hat".

Along the way you will see the entire process producing a hat, from the plant (toquilla palm) until the final product.

Most importantly, it will be explained why the hat acquired the name of "Panama" despite having always been made in Ecuador.

Day 1 - GUAYAQUIL-VALDIVIA
You leave from the main port and travel towards the coast, with its extensive banana, asparagusand tropical fruit plantations. In the Santa Elena Península you will find and learn about the history of the toquilla straw hats or “Panama Hat” in two small artisan towns: Barcelona and Sinchal.

There, you will be able to see the process of the hat making; including the preparation of the leaves and the cooking, drying and sorting of the fibers to be used in the making of these fine hats. At the end of the day you will visit and stay in Montañita.

Day 2 - MONTAÑITA-PUERTO LÓPEZ
After a short visit to Montañita, you will continue up to Puerto López. You will go through some small fishing villages and you experience the constant change of scenery.

There is a visit to the community of Agua Blanca, where you will find a small on-site museum where you can learn about both the pre-Hispanic cultures and the local dry forests.

Day 3 - PUERTO LÓPEZ-BALLENAS/ISLA DE LA PLATA
You will leave by boat, from the waterfrontin Puerto Lópezto visit Isla de la Plata. On this trip (from July to September), it is possible to observe humpback whales, the largest mammals of the Pacific.

Once on the island, there is a walk around it to learn about the flora and fauna that exists there (frigate birds, sea lions, blue footed boobie birds, and albatross, among others).

At the end of this tour you will have a snack on board the boat and the opportunity to do some snorkeling. Then you will return to Puerto López.

Day 4 - PUERTO LÓPEZ -MANTA
From Puerto López you will continue to Manta, the main port for tuna export in Ecuador. Manta offers many restaurants, serving an extensive range of dishes prepared with fresh seafood.

In addition, Manta’s beach is ideal for playing sports, or simply just relaxing and sunbathing.

Day 5 - MANTA-GUAYAQUIL
After enjoying the sun and the sea, the journey continues through Montecristi, the world capital of the Toquilla Straw Hat. In this small village, you can see the final process of the production of hats and a genuine "Montecristi Fino" can be purchased here; a hat that is known around the world for its quality. Return trip back to Guayaquil.

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Reconocidos por

Dumont
Petit Frute
Lonely Planet
Michael Muller Verlag
Reise Know How
Rough Guide

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