Queer Adventures in Manta, Ecuador
2019 March — I almost forgot to write about Manta. I’m not saying it was forgettable, but it’s definitely hard to follow up Montañita. Manta is a city and beach town combined. What did we do in the few days we were there? We ate out for every meal, we spent hours in the mall window shopping and eating, and we spent hours at the beach. That’s really it. We also decided to leave during our last night to take the overnight bus back to Quito.
The club scene is very present and could be heard from our Airbnb. I’m not sure how packed they were. We never actually went inside any of the clubsm but the bass was reverberating all throughout the streets from multiple places.
There were also so many great food places up and down every street. We went to Zona Burger one night for a late night dinner. It was delicious. On our last night we got shawarma at a place called Shawarma Factory. Apparently the shawarma places open once the club scene is about to get started in the evening. We had been passing by shawarma spots all over Ecuador that were never open during the other hours of the day. We didn’t get a chance to eat here, but we had every intention of eating at Cafetería Verde y Café. It looked cute and small and they had a decent selection based on what we saw on the menu.
Despite being walking distance from 3 different supermarkets, we didn’t cook any meals because our Airbnb wasn’t great for cooking. It was our least favorite housing situation thusfar. We also had a really hard time with the keys and locks although the entire time we have been in Ecuador, we’ve had interesting learning experiences when it comes to keys and the different kinds of locks, gates, and doors that are used.
The mall we frequented was massive. It’s called Mall del Pacifico, Manta and it overlooks Playa Merciélago. We spent a lot of time eating in the food court. We did a lot of wandering around window shopping. We watched a movie in the theatre on the top floor. I think we just wanted a place to sit and chill for a bit while we ate more food. Honestly, all the happy brownies from Montañita were still hitting us hard. Air conditioning, leisurely walking, movies, and food were all we could manage!
The beach was a super short distance away. It was nice being able to continue going to the beach regularly and lounging under the sun. Early in the morning, there are people working out, going for runs, and getting their exercise in before going to work. This was very different from the every day all day beach life in Montañita. What I loved about this beach was the food. There is this dish with fish inside a plantain. You also add condiments like spicy salsa and mayo. It was only $0.50. A great snack for the beach. Especially for someone like me who has a tiny stomach and struggles to finish things. It was the perfect portion. There are a lot of places to eat a long the boardwalk as well. There is definitely no shortage of food in Manta.
Towards the end of our stay, we decided to treat ourselves to a nice midday meal at one of the nice restaurants in the mall overlooking the beach. It felt really good. Never forget to treat yourself every once in a while. You deserve it!
All in all, Manta seemed like a place where busy people are working, but they are all chill and still enjoy beach time and shopping. There was the beach, clubs, shopping, big ships and ports. It’s also very cloudy all the time. I think that Manta has a lot of potential, but we have learned having a kitchen is very important to us in our housing accomodations.