PARKS AND TRIBES

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TOP 12 THINGS TO DO IN GUAYAQUIL [WHAT, WHERE, WHEN]

  1. River front boulevard "Malecon";
  2. 10 gorgeous churches;
  3. Light House Hill;
  4. Peñas artists quarter;
  5. Seminario Park  Malecon 2000;
  6. 12 great museums;
  7. Historical Park;
  8. Botanical Garden;
  9. Iguanas Park;
  10. Dozens of great restaurants;
  11. Climate;
  12. Guayaquil Airport.

No, Guayaquil does not have colonial monuments, as the great fire of October 10, 1896, destroyed most of old town Guayaquil. But since then, all monumental buildings from the early 1900s (built after the fire) have been beautifully renovated.  And yes, unlike Quito, Guayaquil is sweaty hot. I had not been back in Guayaquil since 1975 and had this memory of a grey dirty noisy ugly city. It still is noisy and sweaty. But it is an incredibly lively city with a fantastic 1,5km waterfront "Malecon" with parks, restaurants and lots of things to do for young and old, while land "old town Guayaquil" starts at the inland side of the boulevard.

 

Guayaquil's current mayor is Jaime Nebot. He began a campaign of construction projects for the city in the early 2000s to attract tourism, that included the "urban regeneration" plan which reconstructed the city's main tourist streets' sidewalks and upgraded the city's chaotic transit system with multiple infrastructure projects (speedways, overhead passages, tunnels, etc.

 

Particularly the Malecon and the Seminario Park  Malecon 2000 have been totally rejuvenated to fantastic pedestrian areas where the inhabitants of Guayaquil come to enjoy their weekends. So, when back in 2016, I was flabbergasted by the upgrading of the city and came to the conclusion that Guayaquil is grossly undervalued in the travel guides and the general reputation. If you have to stop over on you way to or back from Galapagos, Go Out and enjoy the marvels that the city has to offer. Most things are at walking distance from each other! So even when its hot, work out a bit of a sweat and get to know this totally fun city.

River front boulevard "Malecon"

The malecon, which means water front boulevard in Spanish, has been totally redesigned into a several kilometers long pedestrian paradise, with green areas, old shading trees where they existed and modern shade sails where absent. Plenty of little restaurants, food stands, and old clock tower and even a full blown mall. Take a ride on the old Henry Morgan tour boat if you have time. But most of all, get under the people and enjoy this great place with the "Guayaquilleños" as the people of Guayaquil are called.

 

Top 12 things to do in Guayaquil, Ecuador: Malecon, Rotonda Monument.Top 12 things to do in Guayaquil, Ecuador: Malecon boulevard.Top 12 things to do in Guayaquil, Ecuador: Reloj Tower at the Malecon.Top 12 things to do in Guayaquil, Ecuador: Fountain at the Malecon.

10 gorgeous churches

Guayaquil has no colonial buildings. After the great fire, a new churches were built in the early 1900, all of them in the neoclassical style. The Cathedral of Guayaquil, a twin tower, semi-gothic church, which is also part of this rich structural heritage, is worth a visit. So while lacking the historic architecture that of the colonial period, all these churches are very impressive and beautifully restored. As most of them are around the Malecon, take a look at them and at least walk into the San Francisco  and Santa Domingo Churches.

 

Top 12 things to do in Guayaquil, Ecuador: Catedral Guayaquil.Top 12 things to do in Guayaquil, Ecuador: Iglesia Santo Domingo Guzman ChurchTop 12 things to do in Guayaquil, Ecuador: Iglesia San Francisco Church.Top 12 things to do in Guayaquil, Ecuador: Iglesia La Merrced Church

Light House Hill

444 stairs up the Guayaquil Lighthouse hill gives you a fantastic view over the Guayas River and the Malecon. This part too has been beautifully restored, is full of flowers and mini-gardens and little restaurants and taverns that love to sell you a drink or a bite to eat on your way up or down. You can climb the lighthouse to complete 500 stairs and have an even better view over the city and the Santa Ana square. Built in 2001, the lighthouse is painted white and blue, the colors of Guayaquil.

 

Top 12 things to do in Guayaquil, Ecuador: Faro Peñas Lighthouse.Top 12 things to do in Guayaquil, Ecuador: Peñas Light house.Top 12 things to do in Guayaquil, Ecuador: Light house overlook.Top 12 things to do in Guayaquil, Ecuador: Capilla Santa Ana chapel.

Peñas artists quarter

This traditional, waterfront neighborhood sits at the base of Santa Ana or Lighthouse Hill. Like all historic buildings, the houses date back to the beginning of last century. Many artist have established themselves here and offer their modern artwork. The Peñas street is lovely with beautiful flowers pots hanging from the houses. After a few hundred yards you will stumble upon the old Santa Ana harbor, the site of the former shipyard.

 

Top 12 things to do in Guayaquil, Ecuador: Las Peñas artists street.Top 12 things to do in Guayaquil, Ecuador: Barrio Las Peñas Neighbourhood.Top 12 things to do in Guayaquil, Ecuador: Santa Ana Hill.Top 12 things to do in Guayaquil, Ecuador: Barrio Santa Ana neighborhood.

Seminario Park  Malecon 2000

Filled with plazas and parks, great restaurants and hotels, the Seminario Park Malecon 2000, is the historic center of Guayaquil bordering the boulevard. In this about 5 blocks deep beautifully restored old town Guayaquil  you will find the cities greatest architectural monuments; many of the on the pedestrian street one block west of the boulevar, where you will find the City Hall, the Government Palace, the Telégrafo Newspaper offices a museum and the gallery of the Arts University.

 

Top 12 things to do in Guayaquil, Ecuador: Provincial Gobernación Building.Top 12 things to do in Guayaquil, Ecuador: Municipal Palace City Hall.Top 12 things to do in Guayaquil, Ecuador: Liberation Monument.Top 12 things to do in Guayaquil, Ecuador: Art University Gallery.

20 great museums

The choice of museums in Guayaquil varies from very impressive, like the Municipal and the Anthropological Museums, to museums of purely local interests like the Beer Museum, Julio Jaramillo Music Museum and a museum dedicated to Guayaquil's two soccer teams at the bottom of Santa Ana Hill. Further away, at the Naval base, are the historical naval ship Calderon, as well as 3 classical houses serving as naval and marine museums. 

 

Top 12 things to do in Guayaquil, Ecuador: Museo Municipal Museum.Top 12 things to do in Guayaquil, Ecuador: Museo Antropológico Arte Contemporáneo Museum.Top 12 things to do in Guayaquil, Ecuador: Calderon Naval Battle Ship.Top 12 things to do in Guayaquil, Ecuador: Presley Norton Museum.

Historical Park

The Historic Park highlights three themes:

  • Wildlife,

  • Urban architecture, and

  • Traditions)

The park pays homage to the old Province of Guayaquil of 1762, which encompassed the modern day provinces of Guayas, El Oro, Los Rios, and part of Manabí. While the park is still being developed, it is an oasis of tranquility in this busy city and if you are interested in wildlife, the zoo is established in the setting of the natural mangrove and features the more conspicuous and larger animals of Ecuador in general and the coast in particular.

 

Top 12 things to do in Guayaquil, Ecuador: Parque Historico Historical park.Top 12 things to do in Guayaquil, Ecuador: Native Zoo Historic Park.Top 12 things to do in Guayaquil, Ecuador: Sea Front Historic Park.Top 12 things to do in Guayaquil, Ecuador: Parque Histórico Tram Historical Park.

Botanical Garden

The botanical garden sits

Atop of a large hill, the Botanical Garden sports great views over the flat city and the Guayas River. Started in 1979 the Botanical Garden opened to the public in 1989 and emphasis over 325 plants and trees of Ecuador's tropical coastal zone. Easy to follow paths wind through sections of ornamental plants, orchids, bromeliads, medicinal plants, fruit, and lumber trees. More than 73 wild bird species and 60 butterfly species have been recorded.

 

Top 12 things to do in Guayaquil, Ecuador: Botanical Garden Jardín BotánicoTop 12 things to do in Guayaquil, Ecuador: Green Iguana Botanical Garden.

Iguanas Park

The Iguanas park is the park in front of the cathedral where iguanas are left in peace so that they are incredibly tame. You can just walk up to them without scaring them away.

 

Top 12 things to do in Guayaquil, Ecuador: Parque Iguana Park CatedralTop 12 things to do in Guayaquil, Ecuador: Parque Iguana Park. Parque

Dozens of great restaurants

You will find restaurants for all different tastes and budgets in Guayaquil. While the Malecon is more the place to find fast food joints and snack, in the streets leading up to the waterfront, you will find hotels with fancy restaurants inside them. If you want an inexpensive meal, just walk into one of the countless little places in the Seminario Park  Malecon 2000 area.

Climate

Guayaquil is always hot and sweaty. The rainy season is from January to April with heavy rainfall; even more so during El Niño years when rainfall is increases to extremes causing flooding all along the coast. The dry season is from May through December due to the cooling influence of the Humboldt Current, however skies are often overcast, even though not producing rain. Read more about the Climate of the Pacific Coast.

 

 

Climate data for Guayaquil

Month

Jan

Feb

Mar

Apr

May

Jun

Jul

Aug

Sep

Oct

Nov

Dec

Year

Record high °C (°F)

37.2
99

35.4
95.7

37.3
99.1

35.8
96.4

35.2
95.4

35.0
95

34.1
93.4

34.7
94.5

34.4
93.9

35.1
95.2

35.4
95.7

36.7
98.1

37.3
99.1

Average high °C (°F)

31.2
88.2

31.2
88.2

32.2
90

32.0
89.6

31.2
88.2

29.8
85.6

29.1
84.4

29.7
85.5

30.5
86.9

30.2
86.4

31.1
88

31.8
89.2

30.8
87.4

Daily mean °C (°F)

27.1
80.8

27.3
81.1

28.0
82.4

27.8
82

26.9
80.4

25.7
78.3

25.0
77

25.2
77.4

25.5
77.9

25.6
78.1

26.2
79.2

27.1
80.8

26.5
79.7

Average low °C (°F)

23.0
73.4

23.4
74.1

23.7
74.7

23.5
74.3

22.6
72.7

21.5
70.7

20.8
69.4

20.7
69.3

20.5
68.9

20.9
69.6

21.3
70.3

22.4
72.3

22.0
71.6

Record low °C (°F)

20.0
68

15.8
60.4

19.9
67.8

19.4
66.9

18.5
65.3

17.6
63.7

17.0
62.6

17.2
63

17.2
63

17.8
64

17.0
62.6

18.0
64.4

15.8
60.4

Rainfall mm ('')

201
8

332
13

316
12.4

208
8.2

63
2.5

34
1.3

16
0.6

1
0.0

2
0.1

6
0.2

29
1.1

68
2.7

1,263
49.7

Rain days

12

14

15

10

4

1

0

0

0

1

0

2

59

Guayaquil Airport

While not an attraction, Guayaquil airport - located within the city - is debatably the best located airport in South America as it takes only 15 minutes to get to from old-town Guayaquil. Its entrance has been landscaped with a lovely tropical garden.

 

Top 12 things to do in Guayaquil, Ecuador: Internal Airport Guayaquil.Top 12 things to do in Guayaquil, Ecuador: Airport Guayaquil Entrance.

 

PARKS & TRIBES and the COFAN LODGE have their sales office in:

Calle Mariano Cardenal N74-153 &

Calle Joaquín Mancheno Carcelen,

Alto Quito

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