Montecristi, Ecuador is a small town internationally renowned for the high quality of the “Panama Hats” they produce (yes, you read correctly, Panama Hats are and always have been from Ecuador and not from Panama). Lying at the foot of a large hill called Montecristi, the small town of the same name has many attractions such as Eloy Alfaro’s (an ex-Ecuadorian President) house, the Hermanas Largacha Museum, and the Monserrate Sanctuary, where thousands of Ecuadorian and foreign pilgrims traditionally flock, especially on the weekends. Another place of interest is La Pila, whose artisans make a variety of sculptures and replicas of Pre-Colombian ceramics. In addition to hats, these artisan centers display other handmade crafts made of different types of straw and iron. As of the 2001 census Montecristi, Ecuador had 14,636 inhabitants. There actually is not much information about Montecristi in English which I find surprising as this is an important town for the local economy and the commerce of these famous hats. For more information I have provided a link for you to read if you like.