Montecristi Travel Guide

  • Guide explaining Panama hats to Bob
    Guide explaining Panama hats to Bob
    by grandmaR
  • Frank explaining the process- hat maker behind him
    Frank explaining the process- hat maker...
    by grandmaR
  • Bob looking at the hats
    Bob looking at the hats
    by grandmaR

Montecristi Things to Do

  • See how Panama Hats are made

    One of the primary, albeit touristy, things to do is to see how Panama hats are made - they are only made in Ecuador. The less expensive ones are made in factories, but they still make the handmade hats at family factory compounds. The guide will explain the process to you - from the harvesting and boiling of the plants to the dying of the fibers...

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  • Downtown

    We did not get a chance to see anything of Montecristi - we just viewed from the bus. Other folks on the cruise who went there gave it a good recommendation and said there was some kind of festival going on.

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Montecristi Transportation

  • grandmaR's Profile Photo

    by grandmaR Written Jan 2, 2009

    3.5 out of 5 starsHelpfulness

    Most people who come from the cruise ship to Montecristi take either an excursion bus from the pier or they hire a cab. But I saw this local bus, so it seems that there is also a local bus network.

    The roads appear to be in reasonable shape.

    Local bus
    Related to:
    • Cruise
    • Seniors
    • Road Trip

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Montecristi Shopping

  • Hat Factory

    This was a small family factory compound which was on the ship's excursion. I suspect that not all of the products displayed were made here. But they gave demonstrations of how the hats were made and they had many for sale. Although you can get some small souvenirs, the main thing to buy here is hats. The hats are more expensive the farther they...

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  • Buying a Panama Hat

    This is a small "factory" where they make the hats. You can see the ladies who do the work and watch them make the hats. Panama Hats which strangely are not made in Panama but in Ecuador Anywhere from $20.00 to $200.00 dependent upon the quality (the tightness of the straw)

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  • The Panama hat, of course ! Le Panama,...

    Any shop you might find in Montecristi (except bakeries, maybe...) sells Panama hats !Dans n'importe quelle boutique (sauf les boulangeries, peut-etre), vous pourrez trouver des Panamas en vente. The Panama Hat !Un Panama ! About 100 USD for a regular one, but bargain for a better price !En gros 100 USD pour un panama moyen, mais vous pouvez...

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Montecristi Local Customs

  • Closer to Heaven

    I don't know if it is true or not (because there are other reasons that it could be - like high water table or difficulty in digging), but the guide explained to us that the tombs were built above ground because the local people believed that would put the dead person closer to heaven - so that they would get there faster.

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  • Panama Hats in Ecuador

    Panama hats are really made in Ecuador. They originated in Montecristi. Spaniards are reported to have thought they were made of vampire skin. Gold seekers heading for the California gold rush picked up the Panama straw hats on their way out west. Fifty years later, workers on the Panama Canal found them as ideal protection against the tropical...

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Montecristi Off The Beaten Path

  • Maillekeul's Profile Photo

    by Maillekeul Written Sep 25, 2003

    1.5 out of 5 starsHelpfulness

    This is a great book you must read before coming to Montecristi, the city of panamas...

    C'est un super petit bouquin que vous devez lire avant de venir a Montecristi, la ville des panamas... Il existe une traduction en francais (difficile a trouver) : la route du panama (ou un truc dans le genre).

    Related to:
    • Backpacking

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Montecristi Favorites

  • Photos from the bus

    When we visited Montecristi, I tried to take photos from the bus of the town and surroundings. Some of them came out fairly clear. Some of them were blurred because I didn't give the camera time to focus or because the bus was moving too fast. They have the look of an impressionist painting. Some of them though were spoiled by reflections in the...

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  • Local Trees and Plants

    It was spring when we were there, and the leaves and blossoms were all coming out. I tried to take photos of them. We were also shown the plant from which they make the hats

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  • Life on the Family Farm

    The plant which is used to make panama hats grows in this area, so the people live in compounds and make the hats.

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