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Overview

Guayaquil is Ecuador's biggest city and business center, but it's always had difficulty competing with Quito in the tourism stakes. It has far fewer colonial buildings than Quito but boasts a beautiful city center, particularly the cathedral, the grand government buildings and several parks. But the highlight of Guayaquil is relatively new: its 1.5-mile-long riverside walkway Malecon. With monuments, botanical gardens, museums, a children's play area and restaurants, it's a great place to spend a few hours. Follow Malecon north to the colorful artistic district of Las Peñas and climb to the lighthouse at the top for wonderful views of the ...

Guayaquil is Ecuador's biggest city and business center, but it's always had difficulty competing with Quito in the tourism stakes. It has far fewer colonial buildings than Quito but boasts a beautiful city center, particularly the cathedral, the grand government buildings and several parks. But the highlight of Guayaquil is relatively new: its 1.5-mile-long riverside walkway Malecon. With monuments, botanical gardens, museums, a children's play area and restaurants, it's a great place to spend a few hours. Follow Malecon north to the colorful artistic district of Las Peñas and climb to the lighthouse at the top for wonderful views of the city and estuary.

At night, Guayaquil really comes into its own with the best bars and clubs in the country. Whether you want traditional folk music, electronic, rock or salsa, there are dozens of great venues in the Zona Rosa, Urdesa and Las Peñas. Outside the city, the Historic Park is another highlight with an excellent open-air zoo and cultural events at weekends. Guayaquil is within reach of the Pacific beaches so it's easy to escape the city's heat.

Ben Westwood
About the Expert

Ben Westwood is a former Daily Telegraph (London) travel journalist and author of several guidebooks including Moon Ecuador & the Galapagos Islands and Moon Cusco & Machu Picchu. He is also coauthor of the Rough Guide to South America.

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Ben Westwood for Triporati

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Facts at a Glance

  • Location: A large sea port city in Ecuador, set along the chocolate-brown Guayas River on the flat coastal plains. The climate is hot, and the city has a 'Caribbean' soul, where foreigners are usually well received, tropical music rules and one must eat seafood.
  • Language: Spanish
  • Currency: Ecuador Sucre
  • Research: Wikipedia | Wikitravel

Climate

  • Best Time to Visit:

    Guayaquil is hot year-round. June to November is cooler, whereas January to April is very hot, humid and wet.