Ride the Waves at Manta
There is a small treasure that lies hidden in the province of Manabi - the small city of Manta. This flourishing city has seen rapid expansion in the last fifty years. As a result, it currently has a population of well over 250,000 and it is said to be the fifth most populated province in the country. Manta in Ecuador is the third most important city in Ecuador. It has a thriving industry that revolves around fishing, tuna canning and chemicals. As a result it enjoys a very strong local economy.
Tourism also has a role to play in the city's favorable economy. The majority of the city's tourism is generated by Manta's flawless Ecuadorian beaches. These include the famous ‘San Lorenzo’, which is sought after by surfers for its domineering high waves, ‘Barbasquillo’ and ‘El Murcielago’.
In 2004, Manta hosted the world cup for body boarding as well as the sixth windsurfing championship in South America. Because of this it now enjoys a number of well-publicized water sporting events. It also caters to other water-orientated activities, such as scuba diving, surfing, water skiing, kite boarding, kite surfing, diving and sport fishing.
Despite the fact that water sports are so popular in Manta, the top spectator sport in the city is still soccer. The two top teams are Delfin S.C. and Manta F.C. However Barcelona S.C. is probably the most well supported team. Tennis is also an international favorite with numerous ATP Challenger Series having been played in the city.
Manta has also enjoyed a long and rich history. In fact, the town has been in existence since Pre-Columbian times. At one time it was a primary trading post for both the Incas and the Mantas. It also played a role in history as being the first Ecuadorian port of call for Charles Marie de la Condamine, a Frenchman who was sent to evaluate the exact location of the equator.
Manta's main airport is the Eloy Alfaro International Airport. Manta has also been the base for the U.S military air force in union with the public air port since 1999. The military portion of the structure is called the Eloy Alfaro Air Base. This combination of military and public air support is the result of an anti-narcotics and warfare program, called Plan Colombia, which targets the Colombian drug trafficking cartel.