Montecristi the city of the famous Panama Hats, a place to visit it

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Montecristi is a canton of the province of Manabi in Ecuador, is located south east of the Manabi province.

Among its main attractions are the Isla de la Plata, famous for whale sightings.

The people are friendly and hospitable, you can visit the Casa de Alfaro, where the museum and handicraft sales stands are located, you can also admire the beauty of the Minor Basilica of the Virgin of Monserrat, which is the main attraction for the tourists, to where thousands of parishioners arrive every year.

In the parish of La Pila, located 10 minutes from Montecristi, dozens of stalls can be seen on the side of the road, selling figurines, figures and replicas of old objects made of clay.

Within the city, mainly on the Metropolitan Avenue Eloy Alfaro, are located the shops where they display and sell crafts made of straw shawl, piquigua, plastic, mocora.

A short distance away are Manantiales, Toalla, Los Bajos, El Arroyo and other communities, where agriculture, livestock and the weaving industry stand out as productive activities.

Montecristi City

Montecristi City

The Panama hats or straw-toquilla hat (or simply panama) is a traditional hat of Ecuador, which is made of the braided leaves of the straw-hat palm tree (Carludovica palmata). Despite the name, the hats are original and made in Ecuador; its name comes from the fact that they became relevant during the construction of the Panama Canal when thousands of hats were imported from Ecuador for the use of construction workers.

When Theodore Roosevelt visited the channel he wore said hat, which increased his popularity. The toquilla straw hat is native to the Ecuadorian coast, with deep ancestral roots. It is a product world-wide demanded by his exquisite handmade confection, being at the moment the representative product of the ecuatorian crafts.

Glorified during the 19th century, Panama has since been considered the prince of straw hats. The national hero and emblematic figure, Eloy Alfaro helped finance his liberal revolution in Ecuador through the export of “panamas”. The hat’s reputation was established by Napoleon III, Edward VII, Theodore Roosevelt and some other fans.

San Jose Beach:


It has an area of plus or minus 35 km2. It is a natural resource that provides a very pleasant environment, the road that leads to this beach can be done by two roads. The first is by the community of Bajos del Pechiche, with a distance of 45 minutes, we reach Rio Cana, Pile and more or less 2km away from this beach. The other is on the Costanera road with a distance of one hour. It has a population of approximately 2500 inhabitants, of which 30% are dedicated to making handicrafts in the manufacture of Toquilla straw hats.
On the beach we can observe scrub vegetation, in the area there is a stream that ends at the beach in the rainy season. We also find hectares of mangroves.

The Plata Island:

This island is located 23km west of the South Coast of Manabi, has an area of 12.5km2 is a small mountain of continental origin at 167msnm is part of our canton, found inventoried as a resource of Machalilla National Park, in this place we find boobies masked, red and blue footed boobies, frigates, albatrosses, pelicans and rabijuncos. It is 37 km away. From Puerto Lopez It acquired the name because of the silver color seen from a distance and originated by the abundant presence of guano. (Bird droppings) that covers the place, between June and September is the mating season of the humpback whales arriving from the south pole.

Marine Area: It is the ideal place to practice surface and deep diving, so we have cliffs, beaches, islets and other we can observe spectacular landscapes, we also have the participation of certain agencies that are specialized in diving and snorkleing.

Whale watching: In our Island of the Silver we have from the month of June to October the presence of humpback whales Megapteros novaeangliae. These marine mammals in danger of extension, come to our waters in groups to give birth, develop their offspring and mate again, these whales reach a size of 16m and weigh up to 40 tons while the calves at birth measure more or less 4mts, weighing close of 66kg.