Come daylight, little boats of Manteño fishing crews haul in their lines and Tarqui beach churns to life with prattling housewives and restaurant owners haggling for the best of the catch. This is the daily ritual of an old seafaring society which has transformed into a frenetic, major port. While Manta depends on fishing, the artisan fisherman battles daily against the massive industrialized fishing industry. A large US military base whose mission is Plan Colombia fills the backdrop.
With the economy somewhat depressed, a large portion of the population openly daydreams of slipping away to New York or Spain. Still, the city’s friendly populous, wide beaches and happening nightlife make it a popular destination for national tourists. While not the place for empty, paradisiacal surf and sun, Manta has an interesting atmosphere to soak up.