Visitors to the port city of Manta, Ecuador, have several car rental options to choose from at the airport. Skyscanner can help travellers find the most affordable car rental rates.
Arrival in Manta
There are three car rental companies at the Eloy Alfaro Airport: Sixt, Right Cars, Enterprise. The selection of vehicles varies, but as a rule, the better the car, the more expensive it is. Tourists and other temporary visitors will need a valid driver's licence and a passport showing the date of entry stamp. Travellers staying more than 30 days will need to obtain an Ecuadorian driver's licence if they wish to drive there.
Driving in Manta
Road conditions are generally good. Tourists should know that the law in Ecuador is based on the Napoleonic Code, which means that parties can be held by the police until guilt or innocence is determined. Native drivers tend to ignore traffic laws and drive aggressively, so tourists should drive defensively. It's safer to park in well-lit, well-travelled areas, with the doors locked. In the case of breakdowns, travellers should lift the hood, turn on the flashers, and lock the doors. If someone stops to help, drivers should roll down the window slightly and ask the passerby to call the police or a tow service.
Things to See and Do in Manta
Manta is known for its fishing industry, especially tuna. Fresh-caught fish are sold at the fish market at Tarqui Beach. Another beach worth visiting is Murciélago Beach, Spanish for "Bat Beach," so named because it looks like the sillhouette of a bat. Murciélago Beach, at the city's northwestern tip, is an especially popular destination during Carnaval. Murciélago Beach is also an excellent place to buy an authentic Panama hat (despite the name, they're made in Ecuador).
The Central Bank Museum, previously the Central Bank of Ecuador but now the Ministry of Culture of Ecuador, displays Native Ecuadorian artifacts dating to pre-Columbian times. On the upper floor is a collection of modern art. The museum also has exhibits on the Conquest, the Colonial Period, the Republican Period, and the present. Fresh-ground coffee is available at the end of the tour.
Thrill-seekers will want to visit the Ecuador Kitesurf School on Saint Marianita Beach, which also has hotels, restaurants, and bars. Prices are reasonable, and most of the instructors speak English. The school also offers surfing lessons. This is also an excellent place for whale watching.
The nearby rainforest is home to howler monkeys, one of the largest New World monkeys and one of the few nest-building monkeys. The rainforest is also home to 1,600 species of birds, 800 species of fish, 350 species of reptiles, more than 300 species of mammals, and many thousands of plants and insects. There are anacondas, iguanas, jaguars, and three kinds of piranhas in the Ecuadorian Amazon, especially in the Yasuni Biosphere Reserve.
Rental Car Return
There is a gas station at the airport, so returning the car with a full tank of gas is easy. Gas is very modestly priced in Ecuador.
Be sure to book a rental car beforehand to make seeing the sights in Manta even easier. Let Skyscanner do the work on comparing the best prices.