Adventures in Manta
When we searched for Couchsurfing hosts along Ecuador’s central coast, we only found people in one place–Manta! “So, let’s go there!” we decided. Manta is the largest city along the coast, with a huge port and prosperous fishing industry. The highlight of our time in Manta was definitely having fun with our CS host. As soon as we arrived, we headed out for a fun night! It was also very interesting, as our first stop was a gay karaoke bar! Although homosexuality is not anywhere near as accepted as it is becoming in the U.S., of course these places still exist. So we had a great time listening to drunks sing Spanish karaoke and we even saw an Ecuadorian drag queen! The next day we hit the beach! Although not as beautiful or pristine as Montañita’s beach, Manta’s was still pretty nice for such a big city. We enjoyed some ceviche in a beach-front restaurant, then swam, walked, and watched many kitesurfers do crazy tricks!
In general, the impression that I got from Manta was that of a upscale, wealthier Ecuadorian city where everyone likes to have a good time! Definitely not a bad place to stop for a couple days!