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Northern Coast
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> Main Cities
Tourist Attractions

Main cities

Also called the City of the Sun, within the green province of the same name. The Museum of the Central Bank with archeological pieces from the Tolita Culture is one of the main attractions. To speak of Esmeraldas is to speak of the magical beauty of its beaches, its soft sand and the warm sea that bathes them. Located on the coast are the beaches where tourists converge, the most well known are: Atacames, Súa, Tonsupa, Playa Ancha, Tonchigüe, Camarones, and Same.

The majority of the population of the green city is afro-Ecuadorian. This population is very rich culturally. Very well known and renowned writers have come out of this region among whom we can mention Antonio Preciado who has reflected the values of his people in his work. Esmeraldas is also very famous for its music filled with rhythm whose primordial instrument is the marimba constructed by the players themselves.

Atacames is a beach that offers fun for any tourist that wants to have an active vacation. Up and down the boardwalk you can find many open bars that offer different types of tropical drinks. Each bar has its own kind of music and for those who want to, dancing is open from morning to night. There is also a large handicraft market with crafts from all over the country, especially textiles. Lodging and first class restaurants are available for national and foreign visitors alike, it is one of the most frequently visited beaches in the country.

The head of the canton is known as the city of the Royal Tamarinds, because there was a time when they had planted these fruit trees and the lushest trees grew. Touristically there are many attractions: beaches, monuments, tourist centers and shows.

Manta is the second most important city on the Coast. It is the largest tourist, maritime and fishing port in Ecuador and is situated on a spectacular bay. In early times, Manta was called "Jocay" which means house of the fish and was the administrative and religious center of the Manteña Culture. The city of Manta is connected to the rest of the country by air, land and sea. Its international airport, Eloy Alfaro, facilitates the constant flow of tourists and visitors.

Bahía de Caráquez
This is a small city that houses few local people, but during peak seasons, the luxurious condominiums fill up with visitors. Bahía is a city that is holding on strong in spite of fin de siecle natural disasters that severely damaged its infrastructure. Bahía has re-grown thanks to ecological development with new ways to confront the destruction of the mangroves and the deforestation that produced the landslides and floods during the El Niño phenomenon. Very close to Bahía are beautiful beaches like Canoa that is only 30 minutes by car. In Bahía, there are hotels and food for any size budget.

This town is known internationally for being the principal site for making the straw hats erroneously known as Panama Hats. Located at the foot of the Montecristi hill, the town has other attractions like the house of Eloy Alfaro (ex-president of the country), the museum of the Hermanas Largacha and the Sanctuary of Monserrate, where thousands of Ecuadorian and foreign pilgrims congregate, especially on weekends. Another site is La Pila, where artisans carve sculptures with different themes and pre-Colombian ceramic replicas. The artisan centers, in addition to the hats, display other objects made form iron, straw and tagua.

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