Historically, the city of Manta has been considered the most important fishing port in Ecuador, due to the fact it has the biggest fisher fleet in the country. With more than 300 industrial ships and more than 3000 artisan fishing boats.

Located at the convergence of Tarqui and Los Esteros beach. We find one of the last shipyards, where carpenters build fishing boats out of wood.  The shipyard is directly related to the economic growth of the city, and it has been present since the city foundation.

Since 2008, these craftsmen have an association named « Carpinteros Navales de Manta » (Manta’s Naval Carpenters) dedicated to the manufacture of this specific type of ship. The association is formed by a considerable number of families,  with an ancestral knowledge in the design and construction of these wonderful tools for the city’s economic progress.

Sustainable, ecologic, ductile and durable, that’s how these ships are built by Manta’s Naval Carpenters.



  • If you are traveling by cruise ship, you can take a taxi from the cruise terminal to the “Astillero de Tarqui”. The taxi will charge you around 2 USD. and is 5 minutes ride.
  • If you are staying at a hotel you can take a taxi or drive to the same area, you will easily spot the place as the ships are right on the shoreline.


  • To build one of these ships it takes the labor of 24 carpenters for 4 months.
  • The cost goes from $150k to $300k USD. depending on the loading capacity.
  • Around 200 carpenters work on this business.
  • Carpenters are grateful for the “new” technologies, like the chainsaw but they still use unreplaceable tools that are almost 100 years old!.

For more interesting facts you can take a guided visit, included in our Taste of Ecuador shore excursion.

We’ll keep delivering more things to do in Manta soon!

See you next time and enjoy the city!