Guayaquil may not have as many places as what to see in Quito. However, if you are lucky to have a few hours ... do not miss them! This city bathed by the Guayas River has a lot to offer (I hope to be up to Cruz)
Guayaquil airport, perfect for a stopover
If Quito has its International Airport more than 1 hour from the historic center, Guayaquil has a radically opposite location. Just 5 km from the center, theJosé Joaquín de Olmedo International Airport It allows you to consider a "small dive" by one of the best places to visit in this city.How to get from the airport to the center and vice versa ?:
Possibly the best option if you do not want to complicate life much is the Cab. Of course, keep in mind some safety recommendations and unfortunately, there have been cases of "express kidnappings." The safest way is to call a private taxi company, which when you request the service they confirm it by SMS to your mobile. They also do it at the airport. Do not take an unverified one. The price will be around 7.50 USD
An economic option is take the metrovia. The price is around 0.50 USD and, it is not the fastest option if you have just time but if it allows you to save a few durillos if you go more baggy (thanks for the update in the comments, Cruz)
Our flight from Quito where after sleeping in an accommodation near the airport we had no problem to get to the terminal and leave on time, placed us very early in the City of Guayaquil. Our transport was called Cruz and he was already waiting for us with a smile
Guayaquil, tourism for a few hours
I must admit that I had no high hopes for tourism in Guayaquil. I had an idea in my head ... that of an expendable city in Ecuador, without too much charm, just passing through many points of a fascinating country. I was very wrong!
Guayaquil is a city bathed by a swampy river called Guayas with bohemian neighborhoods, hills of beautiful houses and a renovated and pleasant boardwalk. I might not spend several days in it, but I would recommend everyone to meet her on a scale, several hours or a day. And I would also recommend a safe route (it is a city to keep a series of precautions, very different from Quito) similar to the following ...
And where to start if you come by taxi? The MAAC, a perfect starting point for a very grateful itinerary
The Anthropological and Contemporary Art Museum (MAAC), at the foot of Santa Ana (1)
Facing the Guayas River and with more than 10,000m2, distributed over three floors and 11,000 m2 of outdoor areas, the MAAC is part of the architectural complex called Malecon 2000 which also has security on all sides, so it becomes a possible hangout if you want to wait for someone.
Those who have more time can choose to know their collection of 50,000 Ecuadorian native archaeological pieces and more than 3,000 modern works of art. We may go in a bit more hurry and have decided to take a walk in the river area
The river Guayas mouth forms an estuary creating the call Gulf of Guayaquil in the Pacific Ocean as well as fertile land for agriculture. Perhaps it is also because of its sediment drag that generates those waters that are not very appealing for the bath, but for the transport of materials
We must recognize that throughout this area it is a pleasure to walk, cared for and quiet at this time of the morning
Las Peñas neighborhood, the "bohemian" area of Guayaquil (2)
Next to the boardwalk, entering the picturesque hill that rises above Guayaquil, is this neighborhood of colorful houses How well worth a walk.
As we go, we leave streets full of lanterns, intense colors, coffee shops and corners of the most bohemian atmosphere.
Cruz makes us a perfect guide and explains every detail of everything we see. It turns out that this emblematic neighborhood was the place where the city was born.
His colonial architectural style is unmistakable of the Spaniards settled there in the 16th century. Its name is precisely due to the amount of rocks that the hill possessed at that time.
Actually, although it looks like a neighborhood of wealthy people, at its birth it was home to fishermen and artisans. However, it was from the year 20 when the aristocrats gave it the current character.
But best of all is your Bohemian atmosphere, full of art galleries and venues where there is live music at night. What a shame we can't stay!
We continue to reach a completely regenerated area of what was once
Puerto Santa Ana, the viewpoint to the Guayas River
Although we could consider it a continuation of the previous one, its renewed urban planning would not do it justice.
We are in an area of office buildings, commercial premises and a new boardwalk, between squares and even some interesting museum.
Cerro Santa Ana, the best photos of Guayaquil
Cerrito Verde, Cerrito de la Culata or even Loninchao in the most aboriginal times, were the names of one of the most emblematic points of Guayaquil, which has at its access point a memorial statue to the founder Francisco de Orellana
From there they are this hill become one of the natural viewpoints of the city requiresclimb 456 steps to enjoy everything it offers
I must admit that it is a picturesque climb and that they have had great taste in every detail, from the numbering of the stairs to the wooden signs that point to each location, while we are ascending and intuiting the views that await us
And the name? They say that legend says that Nino de Lecumberri, a treasure hunter, placed a cross on the top of the hill in thanks to Santa Ana saving his life when he invoked her when he was in danger. What part will it really have? Of course, the views are a marvel, both the hill of colorful houses and the modern Guayaquil parallel to the river with the renovated boardwalk
Cerro Santa Ana is one of the most important tourist attractions in the city and we have no doubt that it would be the first recommendation that we would make to anyone just for their views
Do not forget to buy water to get here (1 USD), because it is hard, or enter a small but nice church what's on top
By the way, the best panoramic is from a 18 meter high lighthouse which in turn acts as a museum with cannons and other artifacts of the most pirate times
We came back? We return on our steps, but now with the agility that gives the downhill
Guayaquil Malecon, 2.5 km from the best promenade (4)
We are in one of the most ambitious projects not only in Guayaquil, but throughout Ecuador. A walk of gardens, restaurants, monuments and great atmosphere parallel to the Guayas river and that we have been seeing throughout the day
As we placidly walk through it we are observing its attractive monuments, such as the Crystal Palace, a memorial or La Rotonda, an icon of the city
Wood and platelet are combined leaving room for some modernist bridge or park designed for children, with space also for history in the Morisca Tower or Clock Tower dating from 1930
It is a place of recreation and atmosphere for the people of Guayaquil and, of course, one of the main tourist centers of the city.
More things to see and do in Guayaquil if you have more time
Although the previous route could be ideal for a short trip of 3 or 4 hours, those lucky ones who have more time can follow the route as we did, now through the galleries near the main squares and the Governorate of Guayas and City Hall From Guayaquil,
Seminar or iguana park (5)
Although Cruz tells us that we enter the Quick Seminary Park, he explains that we are entering a unique place in the world, with the Cathedral as a backdrop.
We are in a place that offers a unique attraction of the planet, a square where iguanas roam freely through urban areas, and even for someone who comes from Galapagos like us (where we have seen all kinds of them) it is very curious
Some of them have a considerable size that could compete with that Santa Fe endemic iguana that we saw days before, but equally harmless.
In this place there is also the monument to Simón Bolívar but the scene of similar animals walking between people and pigeons, even using the furniture, demands all our attention
Finally, it is worth a visit to the Gothic style church that accompanies the square and that makes Cathedral from the city.
More places to see in Guayaquil?
With a pleasant meal with Cruz (10 USD), we finish our route of a city that has really surprised us pleasantly with some other attraction.
Other places to see in Guayaquil:
- Museums: Anthropological and Contemporary Art Museum, El Fortín Museum of Santa Ana Hill, Nahim Isaías Museum and Municipal Museum
- Handicraft Market of Guayaquil: The local market
- Guayaquil Historical Park: It includes a small zoo and recreates the city in the 19th century and the customs of that time
- Botanical Garden: To the north, farther from the center unlike the other options
- Nightlife areas: If you stay to sleep on your scale, La Rosa Zone points out, the formerly named Las Peñas neighborhood and the exclusive Samborondón sector.
Thank you so much Cruz !! It has been a real pleasure to travel the beautiful Guayaquil with you
Flight from Guayaquil to Spain, the end of the adventure
What can we tell you about the end of the adventure?LAN Airlines is again responsible for returning us home. He has done it on all trips, always punctual, with new, large space and comfortable airplanes, of which we have no complaints. Many hours await us on the Atlantic Ocean, that many times traveled and that reminds us again that the adventure is over, although we take the opportunity to collect photos and videos before falling
The stopover in Madrid says goodbye to my friend Sele, that one traveler with whom I achieve that perfect connection when I travel without Paula. What will be next? But in A Coruña a person awaits me who would have loved this trip, animal lover like no other. I promised you in person, but we leave it written here. We will return to Ecuador and Galapagos and you will be the one to decide the itinerary! See you soon, great little country. !Home Sweet Home!
Isaac, already with Paula, from A Coruña (Spain)
EXPENSES OF THE DAY: 11 USD (approx 9.09 EUR)