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Manta, Ecuador and Caldera, Costa Rica DIY?

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We jumped onto a S American cruise last minute and are trying to see what ports are DIY and what we actually need some sort of excursion for. 


We understand that sometimes when you DIY you run the risk of missing some things and we are ok with that. We actually enjoy strolling through markets and streets over a crowded bus....again, the bus is necessary at times and everyone vacations differently.


Are Manta, Ecuador and/or Caldera, Costa Rica DIY ports? Are there cabs? Are there HOHO busses? Is it safe to DIY? Suggestions? Recommendations?


Thanks in advance 

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I've been to both recently, MANTA has a newer pier, but nothing one can walk to. You will be shuttled downtown, I call it a working Port city, other people may love it's 'local colour' fish market and boat builders, but nothing I saw for miles and miles of any import.. Puerto Caldera , CostaRica is unique because it has 2 piers.., Puerto Caldera and Puntaarenas town, that are many miles apart.  Occasionally, because of low tide, cruiseships have to relocate, making for confusion for all. Unfortunately, it's a 3/hr drive 1-way to see a nice Volcano. To stay closer to the ship maybe go as far into the jungle on a ship's tour as you can so as to get a smidgen of what it's like? Perhaps watch a crocodile feeding thing? Otherwise it's T-shirts and beer along a nice Promenade.

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I appreciate the info. We were able to get a private tour in Manta. It's always nice to know what you're walking into. Sometimes you can find a nice little bar mixed in with those tshirts for a quiet afternoon of people watching.


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Are you on the eclipse?  If yes, attend the port lectures.  I am the destination expert on board and will give lectures on all the ports ahead of time and should assist with ideas on what to do.  Also i am available on board for answering questions. 


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