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419km (260 miles) W of Quito; 196km (122 miles) NW of Guayaquil

Manta is a city of many faces, but at its core it's an industrial port -- the second largest port in Ecuador, after Guayaquil. Inhabited for centuries, Manta was a major trading port for the pre-Columbian ManteƱa people who gave the town its name. The conquering Incas also used Manta as a port. Today the city has a population of some 200,000 and is home to a large university, as well as a controversial U.S. airbase. It also makes a respectable stab at being a beach town, with a couple of good beaches located right near the center of the city. But Manta's appeal as a beach getaway is much more geared toward Ecuadoreans looking for a quick, easy weekend or holiday spot than to foreign tourists in search of holiday bliss. The latter group generally uses the city's airport as a convenient gateway to beaches north and south of Manta.

Note: This information was accurate when it was published, but can change without notice. Please be sure to confirm all rates and details directly with the companies in question before planning your trip.