Manta Ecuador Pros & Cons
Amelia and I had always dreamed of living in a high-rise condo on the beach with an ocean view, and that dream came true when we moved to Manta, Ecuador.
The breathtaking views from our balcony were something we cherished, spending many evenings sitting out there, sipping on mocktails, and watching the sunset.
We marveled at the flocks of pelicans soaring by, the sunsets over the ocean, and the occasional kitesurfer. Our front-row seat to the swimming portion of the Manta Ironman competition was the cherry on top.
Overall, we enjoyed the year that we lived in Manta, but no place is perfect so we ended up leaving.
In this article, we’ll share the pros and cons of Manta Ecuador to help you decide if it’s the right place for you.
About Manta Ecuador
Manta is one of the fastest-growing cities in Ecuador and a popular destination for expats.
With a population of about 250,000, it’s one of Ecuador’s largest port cities, welcoming cruise ships regularly.
The city has undergone significant redevelopment since the 2016 earthquake, especially in the popular tourist area of La Playa El Murciélago near Mall del Pacífico where most of the high rise condos are located.
Pros of Manta Ecuador
The beautiful weather in Manta sets it apart from other coastal towns, offering sunnier, drier, and less humid conditions.
The city offers modern conveniences and a variety of goods and services, thanks to its development. You’ll find beach condos, a new Malecón, the high-end Mall del Pacífico, Megamaxi, MegaKywi, and nice hotels like Hotel Oro Verde.
Renting or purchasing an oceanfront condo with panoramic views is possible, although the inventory is limited so you’ll pay more for housing than other parts of Ecuador.
Manta’s walkable city layout features wide sidewalks, pedestrian overpasses, and crosswalks, making it similar to Cuenca. Wheelchair accessibility is a priority in Manta, with sidewalk ramps, elevators, and wheelchair boardwalks to the beach.
An active lifestyle is encouraged, with cycling lanes, beach workout equipment, volleyball, soccer fields, and surfing is an option.
Comprehensive hospital services, including a new private hospital, IESS hospital, and free hospital, are available, as well as full veterinary services.
Manta is a clean city with less plastic pollution and is quieter and more tranquil than Guayaquil or Salinas.
Lastly, the airport offers direct flights to Quito, which provides international connections, as well as flights to Guayaquil, Cuenca and Loja.
Cons of Manta Ecuador
Despite its many advantages, Manta has a few drawbacks.
The smell from tuna factories on the northeast side of town and occasional sewer problems can be unpleasant. When people visit Manta for the first time, they usually comment on the smell.
Earthquakes are common due to its location on the Ring of Fire, and the city can be quite windy, which may be uncomfortable for some.
Limited real estate availability, especially for oceanfront properties, can result in more expensive housing.
Murciélago Beach, though popular, is not the best beach in Ecuador, with its rocky, small, and crowded nature. Surfing conditions are not ideal, and the lack of green spaces and parks might be disappointing to some.
There are fewer English speakers compared to other cities like Cuenca, so it may be a rougher adjustment if you’re not fluent in Spanish.
You won’t find many cultural activities like museums or symphonies. Cuenca and Quito are far better options if you’re looking for those types of activities.
Crime has increased considerably since the pandemic due to economic challenges and drug trafficking through the port.
Final Thoughts About Manta Ecuador
Manta, Ecuador, offers a beautiful coastal lifestyle with modern conveniences, making it an attractive destination for expats.
While there are some drawbacks, such as occasional smells and limited real estate options, the city’s growth and development promise a bright future.
Living in Manta allowed us to experience the joy of oceanfront living, and we encourage anyone considering a move to visit first, and weigh the pros and cons before making a decision.
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Hola todos! Welcome to my author bio page! Let's see. Where to begin... I grew up in the country on a lake outside a small Kansas farm town. As soon as I could, I got the hell outta there! Since then, I've lived and/or worked in Kansas City, Washington D.C., Denver, San Francisco, and Ecuador. I started and sold a dotcom, wrote a book about it, started a YouTube channel, and now I write a lot. Amelia and I have embraced the Unconventional Life and we want to help you do it, too!
Coming to Cuenca to paint and learn Spanish for a few months in July, any advice?
That’s too vague to answer. We have over a hundred videos about Cuenca and several blog posts. Might want to start there. Have fun!
I’m looking to visit/live in Ecuador this coming November-April. I’m definitely a beach/pool guy.
Where are short term rentals? Any recommendations?
We recommend AirBnB or Booking.com for short-term rentals.