• 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

    6-9 people: $100 p.p

    10 people: $95 p.p

    Please inquiry for larger group rates

    (Local currency USD.)

What to expect

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 the 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 of making the admired hats. You’ll see all the stages from 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.

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

Cancellation policy

  • 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, political matters, or covid-19 related reasons, there is no cancellation fee

The itinerary

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! 

Book Here

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

See related excursion:

Cdla. Barbasquillo 130802
Manta – Ecuador
Phone: +593 995 376 249

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