A vibrant, sprawling city, Guayaquil is the largest and most important place for international companies to do business in Ecuador. With its neoclassical architecture, world-renowned museums, colorful favelas, and electric nightlife, this bustling port are alive with culture. Embark on a journey through historical and cultural neighborhoods in Guayaquil, including those of Che Guevara, Enrique Gil Gilbert, and Rafael Pino Roca. The colorfully painted homes of Las Penas date back to the mid-17th century and are a popular tourist attraction. Early in the morning or at sunset are great times to take some great photos.
Several highlights that are listed below make this port city an excellent choice for travelers owing to its many attractions.
A love story myth about an indigenous chief and his wife named "Guayas" is the origin of the name "Guayaquil." Spanish Conquistador Francisco de Orellana founded Santiago de Guayaquil on July 25, 1538. A native village of the "Huancavilca" tribe existed before the Spanish founded it. In time, the city became known as one of the greatest shipyards in the new continent because of its renowned shipyards (Astilleros). Ecuador's main port, financial center, and trading center remain in Guayaquil.
Traditional seafood dishes, white meat dishes, and red meat dishes abound. They include encebollado, Seco de Pollo, ceviche, and broth of sausage. This country offers outstanding soups and stews. Guayaquil does not seem to serve much vegetarian food. However, the Manso guesthouse in the Centro serves quioa, lentil hamburgers, and other dishes combining Ecuadorian ingredients into the format of fast food. The city also has many international fast food chains.
You can satisfy your chocolate cravings in Guayaquil. As the world's first cacao port in the 18th century, Guayaquil was called Ciudad de cacao, or chocolate city. At some famous cafés and restaurants, you can sip a steaming cup of hot chocolate or eat dishes prepared with Ecuador-reared cacao beans.
The majority of international companies in Ecuador do business in Guayaquil, not only because it's the largest city in the country. Despite its modernity, it has quaint stories about old-time smugglers trying to survive in the big city. Additionally, the town boasts neoclassical buildings from the turn of the century, green spaces with iguanas that love the heat, and plazas where locals enjoy the evening calm.
As you climb Santa Ana Hill, you'll realize you're climbing Las Penas. Plaza de Honores and a lighthouse can be found at the top. Some locals refer to it as "Loninchao," which is what the first inhabitants initially called the hill. There are 444 steps to climb through these colorful houses to reach the lighthouse, so prepare for some exercise. The number on the steps encourages people to climb them. 360-degree views of Guayaquil can be seen from the top. When you are at the top, you cannot get a better view than that.
An international and local attraction, ParqueSeminario is a small green space in downtown Guayaquil. Many land iguanas live here. Tree branches hang over the path, and tiles border the pond or benches in the park. They congregate on these things. It is the only chance you will ever have to get close-up photos of an iguana.
This urban park is located west of the Guayas River. In honor of the year in which it was built, it was named after that year. Boardwalks or piers are what Malecón means in English. Modern and historic buildings coexist in the area. Las Pena's houses can be found along the way from amusement parks. From the top of the Ferris wheel in the big city, you can see the entire city and the river, as well as the four structures representing the four elements (earth, fire, wind, and water). Eating at restaurants nearby or trying Ecuadorian snacks if you're hungry will satisfy your hunger. They are open 24 hours a day, seven days a week.
Be prepared for nature and wildlife adventures with your day bag and identification, water, sunscreen, and bug repellant. The bridge can be crossed by bike rented in the city. The trails will be filled with gorgeous blue morpho butterflies flitting between colorful flowers, tropical trees, and birds of every kind and color. Caiman (alligator) feedings are perhaps the highlight of the Caiman sanctuary.
Two hundred thirty-five people are living in 56 families on Santay Island, with modest homes built on stilts, in a small fishing village accessed by winding trails. In addition to two bedrooms, a bathroom, potable water, and solar power, each home features an open plan living space, a dining room, a kitchen, and two bathrooms. A small museum is also housed within the eco-village to teach visitors about the island's natural features and the people who live there. Crocodiles can also be viewed from a short boardwalk.
Originally built with wood, this structure was later rebuilt in concrete in 1547. Some nooks and crannies exhibit a neo-gothic style. Cathedrals serve as the mother churches in the country and are important religious figures. Towers symbolizing faith and history are located at the back of the building. Gold and silver decorations on the high altar and stained glass in the center window are must-sees for every tourist. Several small chapels surround the church. Every patron has a different design. Devotees are welcome to pray and worship at the temple. It is okay to take pictures during mass, except when the priest is preaching. The Spanish style is evident in every corner.
Between May and December, during the dry season, is the best time to visit Guayaquil. You can expect cloudy and rainy weather between January and April because those are rainy months.