A Brief Description

This Manta Shore Excursion will show you the richness of this Ecuadorian Region.

Learn about the story behind the Toquilla Straw Hats “Panama Hats.” Walking through Pacoche Wildlife Refuge you’ll get to see the palm from where the weavers get the straws and also the wildlife that inhabits there like the howler monkeys.

The weaver Don Simon is considered the best Toquilla Straw Hat weaver in the World, he will let us get into his house tell us his story, explain and show us the process from straw to the final product.

At the end of the tour, we will visit Montecristi, the town where all the weavers take their hats to sell. We will go to a shop where the hats are being finished. You’ll see the last steps of the process, and you will have the privilege of getting your customized hat. In Montecristi, we also will get a short museum visit and have some time to splurge in the main street stores.

  • Duration

    9 AM – 4 PM

  • Location

    Pile – Pacoche – Montecristi

  • Difficulty

    Strenuous – If taking the entire walk at the forest

    Easy to Moderate – If taking half of the walk

  • Price

    2 – 3 people: $150 p.p

    4-5 people: $95 p.p

    6-8 people: $80 p.p

    Please inquiry for larger group rates

    (Local currency USD.)

What´s Included

  • Bottled water and local snack
  • All entrance and activities fees
  • Cruise Terminal / Hotel pick up and drop off (You would have to take the free shuttle bus to Cruise Terminal)
  • Professional Local Guide (Spanish, English, German or French).
  • *Does not include lunch ($5-$10) and tips


The Weaver

We would first go along the Ruta del Spondylus, a scenic drive along the coast, all the way to a small village called Pile.

Where the last man in Ecuador to weave extra-fine Toquilla Straw Hats will let us into his house and tell us his story and show us how he works. His hats are unfortunately not for sale as he custom-makes them and takes several months to make one.

Be the witness of this intangible cultural heritage declared by UNESCO in 2012.

Walk Through The Forest

We would then go to the Pacoche Wildlife Refuge. Where you can take a 1h30 walk through the forest with a nature guide, who will teach you about the plants and during which you should be able to observe howler monkeys in their natural environment, as well as birds and other small animal species.

*The second half of the trail is strenuous and is not recommended for people with walking or heart problems

Ecuadorian Lunch

After the walk, we will head to San Lorenzo fishing village to have a typical seafood lunch with ocean views.

Toquilla Straw Hats Shop

Once in Montecristi, our first stop will in a Toquilla Straw Hat Shop. Here you will see the final touches of the process to have this piece of art finished.

Choose the quality of hat you want, the owner of the shop will trim the extra straws from it, press it with the shape you choose and sew your favorite color of the band.

Careful, the hats come out of the press hot, just like freshly baked bread!

Museum and Handicrafts Shops

Find about Ecuadorian Revolution in Cuidad Alfaro Museum and Mausoleum (optional)

After visiting the museum, we will go to the town of Montecristi where you can immerse yourself in the local stores and shop all kind of Souvenirs and the famous Panama Hats

Availability for Cruise Ship Travellers

PRINCESS CRUISES – Sea Princess03 Aug 201909:0019:00YES
HOLLAND AMERICA LINE – ms Amsterdam10 Oct 201905:00 19:00YES
HOLLAND AMERICA LINE – ms Zaandam24 Oct 2019 05:00 19:00YES
REGENT – Seven Seas Mariner11 Nov 201908:0019:00YES
SEABOURN – Seabourn Quest13 Nov 201908:00to be determined
CELEBRITY CRUISES – Eclipse29 Nov 201909:0016:00YES – Shorter Version
VIKING OCEANS – Viking Sun20 Dec 2019to be determined to be determined
OCEANIA CRUISES – Marina11 Jan 202008:0018:00YES
HOLLAND AMERICA – Ms Volendam13 Jan 202005:0020:00YES
PRINCESS CRUISES – Island Princess18 Jan 202005:0019:00YES
HAPAG LLOYD – Europa 2 21 Jan 202005:0022:00YES
COSTA – Costa Deliziosa27 Jan 202008:0018:00YES
PHOENIX – Amera28 Jan 202009:0019:00YES
OCEANIA CRUISES – Insignia09 Feb 202008:0018:00YES
PHOENIX – Amadea14 Feb 202012:0020:00YES – Shorter Version
CUNARD – Queen Victoria8 Mar 202009:0018:00YES
CELEBRITY CRUISES – Eclipse21 Mar 202010:0018:00YES – Shorter Version
HOLLAND AMERICA LINE – ms Zaandam29 Mar 202008:0017:00YES
PHOENIX – Artania14 Apr 202012:00 18:00YES – Shorter Version
REGENT – Seven Seas Navigator29 Apr 202008:0018:00YES

Book Here

Do you want to book or need more information? please contact us!


  • If you cancel at least 7 calendar days in advance, there is no cancellation fee
  • If you cancel between 3 and 6 calendar days in advance, you will be charged a 50% cancellation fee
  • If you cancel within 2 calendar days in advance, you will be charged a 100% cancellation fee
  • For cruise ship travelers: If the ship doesn´t dock due to inclement weather conditions there is no cancellation fee