Guayaquil Travel Guide

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Guayaquil will probably become your favourite place in Ecuador. The eyes of the world are watching this city more and more closely as of late, since it has been subjected to a major renovation. Guayaquil known as the Pacific Pearl had been going through a tremendous renewal process, this face lift that this city had done for the past 12 years has opened new tourist opportunities for the wide and  beautiful harbor along the Guayas river, unique in Latin America, this harbor was designed by the Oxford University of London and an investment of over USD/. 800 million dollars was taking place and now is on the TOP 10 hot spots to see and enjoy.

 The city is situated on the Guayas River, near the head of the Gulf of Guayaquil, in the country's low-lying Pacific litoral. It is Ecuador's largest city and its leading economic center; major industries include shrimp fishing, petroleum refining, food processing, and the manufacture of machinery and consumer goods. Most of the nation's large export trade in bananas and the great majority of its imports pass through the city's nearby deepwater outport.

Among its must-see locations, is its recently renowed Malecón 2000 promenade. A 3 km walking experience along Guayas river, where you can find the Palacio de Cristal an international exposition center, originally designed and built by Eiffel in 1907. At the Malecón you will also find the Hemiciclo de La Rotonda which is Guayaquil's most representative monument, which remembers Simón Bolivar, a General who liberated most countries of northern South America, and José de San Martín, who did the same for southern South America. The Malecón 2000 promenade has also numerous restaurants, parks, museums, and offers free public shows most nights, from June to December. (see local papers for details)  You can also access the beautiful  Botanical Gardens along the promenade.

At the end of Malecón 2000 you will encounter Las Peñas, and Cerro Santa Ana, which has a magnificent view of the city. You must climb 444 steps towards the Faro, but the walk is so fun, that you would not notice. The walk to the faro is surrounded by typical Cafés, Restaurants and Souvenir Shops.  The steps are numbered, and they are also used for directions...for instance...this restaurant may be off step number 69.

Back toward the city center, there is Parque Bolivar, which is also called Parque de las Iguanas, due to the large amount of iguanas living in the park.  A word of caution: be careful when walking below those trees...as the iguanas like to rest on the top branches.... an umbrella may be necessary to avoid surprises.  There are very fancy hotels around this park, as well as fine restaurants.

Guayaquil is the port of entrance to Ecuador's most beautiful beaches, which are located along the Ruta del Sol: Playas, Salinas, Punta Blanca are not far from the city (about 1.5 to 2.5 hours, respectively), and from them you can go to the most beautiful and unspoiled beaches from South America: Montañita, Ayampe, Ayangue, Olon, Puerto López just to name a few.

Contributors

July 28, 2006 change by worldtraveler19 (2 points)

December 22, 2004 change by cpalma

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