Uncovering authentic local finds and having experiences that make you feel like you’ve really connected with a place are important elements in ensuring an extraordinary vacation. We’re taking advantage of our partnership with Travel + Leisure to get their editors’ recommendations and insider tips on the places you will want to visit. Here are their picks for just one of the 150 destinations they covered.
Fine Panama Hats & More
You might think Panama hats hailed from, well, Panama, but they were originally produced in Ecuador. On this excursion, you’ll see artisans weaving them with paja toquilla, a fine and flexible straw harvested from palm trees. You’ll find other examples of such painstaking craftsmanship in the village of El Chorillo, where locals still make sisal rugs and bags by hand.
Manta & Montecristi
This tour kicks off at Manta’s Archaeological Museum, known for its pre-Columbian artifacts. Next up: a visit to a tagua factory, where ivory-colored nuts are crafted into buttons and jewelry, and a workshop to see artisans weaving hats and mats from silky straw.
Pacoche Cloud Forest
Walk through the dense jungle and spot orchids and bromeliads, howler monkeys, and a few of the 150-plus bird species that nest in the canopy of trees. Travelers will also learn how to press juice from sugarcane—the first step in making rum—and taste a fresh sip.
Be sure to visit our Shore Excursions page or speak with our onboard Destination Concierge for arrangements to any of these must-sees.
To learn more about this exciting port, please refer to our Port Explorer guide.