Manta is a mid-sized city in Manabí Province, Ecuador. It is the second most populous city in the province, the fifth most populous in the country and, economically, the third most important city of Ecuador. Manta has existed since Pre-Columbian times. It was a trading post for the Mantas. According to the 2001 census, the city had 192,322 inhabitants. Its main economic activity is tuna fishing. Other economic activities include tourism and a chemical industry with products from cleaning supplies to oils and margarine.
Manta possesses the largest seaport in Ecuador. The port was used by Charles Marie de La Condamine upon his arrival in Ecuador when leading the French mission to measure the location of the equator in 1735. From Manta, Condamine started his trip inland towards Quito.
Manta has an international cargo airport, Eloy Alfaro International Airport and an important military base (known as Manta Air Base or Eloy Alfaro Air Base). Between 1999-2009 Manta Air Base was used by U.S. air forces to support anti-narcotics military operations and surveillance flights against Colombian drug trafficking cartels. The lease was not renewed by the Ecuadorean government.
Manta is recognized thanks to its international film festival featuring groups from different places in the world. The Ecuadorian actor Carlos Valencia, once invited to Cannes Film Festival for his performance in Ratas Ratones y Rateros (1999) directed by Sebastián Cordero, who was born in the capital city of Quito.
Source: Wikipedia, http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Manta