A Brief Description

With this Shore Excursion live the true story of the Toquilla Straw Hat, known globally as “Panama Hat”.

From the palm tree sources in the Pacoche Wildlife Refuge, passing by the community of Pile where the best weavers are based, and to finalize you will see the final stages of hat-making at Montecristi, where the hats are finished and sold.

You will get in touch with community of Pile where the finest hats you could find are woven. Get to meet Simón Espinal or just Don Simón as we like to call him. he’s recognized as the best weaver alive, as his hats are sold in the international market for 20-25K USD. He will tell us his story and reveal the process in making the admired hats. You’ll see all the stages from the beginning to end with hands-experience in hat-making.

End your day in the charming town of Montecristi where you will find ornaments to entice the traveler.

  • Duration

    9 AM – 4 PM

  • Location

    Pile – Montecristi

  • Difficulty

    Easy to Moderate

  • Price

    2 – 3 people: $175 p.p

    4-5 people: $125 p.p

    6-8 people: $100 p.p

    Please inquiry for larger group rates

    (Local currency USD.)

What´s Included

  • Lunch
  • Bottled water
  • 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 gratuities


Toquilla Palm Plantation

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

We would then go to Pacoche Wildlife Refuge, where we will visit a Toquilla Palm Plantation from where the weavers take the raw material to process the fine straws.

Straws of Life

From palm to the final straw, there’s quite a process. The “picado”, boiling, drying. By the hands of members of the community of Pile, you will be witness of this admirable process that is almost a ritual.

After this splendig visit, members of the community will cook lunch for you. Prepared and serve at the Weavers Formation Center that is run by the Ecuadorian Institute of Cultural Heritage.

The Best Weaver Standing

Then we will visit the last man in Ecuador to weave extra fine Panama hats, he will let us into his house, explain and show to us the process from straw to hat. And if that wasn’t enough he will teach us a small weaving lesson!

Montecristi the crafts town

As the last stop to finalize this splending excursion, we will go to a hat shop, where weavers bring their hats to be finished. You’ll see the final steps of hat-making.

Choose the quality of hat you want, pick a shape you like, go for the band color that you wish. The owner of the shop will customize it, finishing it in front of your eyes.

Just be aware that come out of the press like freshly baked bread! 

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
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 – Shorten Version
CUNARD – Queen Victoria8 Mar 202009:0018:00YES
CELEBRITY CRUISES – Eclipse21 Mar 202010:0018:00YES
HOLLAND AMERICA LINE – ms Zaandam29 Mar 202008:0017:00YES
PHOENIX – Artania14 Apr 202012:00 18:00YES – Shorten 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