The brightly-painted Chiva Bus used to be the most important means of transportation used by the local populace. They crisscrossed the country, offering reasonably-priced transportation between the towns along the coast and interior sections of Ecuador.
The excursion will begin with an orientation tour of Manta, and we will pass by the marina and its wonderful sights; the local shipyard and the local fish market.
A local band will ride atop the bus as we set off in a convoy for Montecristi, home of the famous Panama hat. This beautiful little town is indeed the highlight of the tour, and still retains the atmosphere and faded elegance of its Spanish heritage.
We'll stop by a picturesque wooden building that once served as the first girls' school in Ecuador. With its old walls and wonderful well-worn wooden floors, this rustic building now holds a cornucopia of artisan stalls selling straw baskets, jewelry, colorful handicrafts and Panama hats. Montecristi's central square and many narrow streets provide additional local charm