Guayaquil, Ecuador

Guayaquil is the largest city in Ecuador. Located on the Guayas River leading to the ocean, it earned the nickname the “Pearl of the Pacific.” This travel guide highlights the majority of places to see in the Old and New Towns. Along the way you will learn its history, visit its landmarks and be entertained while strolling along its 1.5 mile boardwalk.

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1 Lighthouse on Santa Ana Hill in Guayaquil, Ecuador

This 61.5 foot lighthouse with the blue and white stripes at the 197 foot summit of Santa Ana Hill is the symbol of Guayaquil. The initial Spanish settlement was founded in the 1530s. After being destroyed twice by indigenous people, it relocated here at the base of Little Green Hill in 1547. Since then, Guayaquil has become Ecuador’s largest city with over two million residents. From the light’s observation deck, you can enjoy a panoramic view of many of the landmarks in the Old and New Towns plus the Guayas River.

Diego Noboa y Arteta, Escalon 444 Cerro Santa Ana, Guayaquil 090313, Ecuador
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2 Cultural Venues at Malecón 2000 in Guayaquil, Ecuador

At the base of Santa Ana Hill and the start of Malecón 2000 are several venues worth exploring. The Anthropological Museum of Contemporary Art has fascinating exhibits showcasing Ecuador’s history. The 50,000 artifacts date back to the aboriginal people (8000 BC to 1400 AD), the Pre-Columbian period including the Incas (1463-1532), the Spanish occupation (1532 through early 19th century) up until the present. The MAAC also has a collection of contemporary art. If you want to learn more history, then you will enjoy the Miniature Museum Guayaquil in History. As the name implies, the city’s history is portrayed in 15 dioramas. Nearby is the Cinema Malecón, an IMAX theatre.

Malecón Simón Bolivar 206, Guayaquil 090313, Ecuador
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3 Introduction to Malecón 2000 in Guayaquil, Ecuador

What began as the La Orilla Pier along the Guayas River in 1820 evolved into a 1.5 mile boardwalk by the mid-19th century. This esplanade defining Guayaquil’s eastern boundary has had three names since. First the Promenade of Foreign Countries and then Malecón Simón Bolivar. At the end of the century, the city committed to an impressive revitalization. This riverside collection of parks, statues, museums, entertainment, shopping, restaurants and attractions is called Malecón 2000. Begin your adventure aboard one of the 36 cabins of La Perla. At 187 feet, this has been South America’s largest Ferris Wheel since 2016.

Malecón Simón Bolivar & Dr Julian Coronel Oyarvide, Guayaquil 090313, Ecuador
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4 Family Rides at Malecón 2000 in Guayaquil, Ecuador

Malecón 2000 offers something entertaining for every family member. Children have fun at this small amusement park and the nearby merry-go-round. They are also thrilled to ride on the buccaneer ship seen in the background, especially when it features a pirate party. Parents equally enjoy this sightseeing cruise aboard the Henry Morgan ship while it floats along the Guayas River.

Malecón Simón Bolivar & Dr Julian Coronel Oyarvide, Guayaquil 090313, Ecuador
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5 Abel Romeo Castillo Statue at Malecón 2000 in Guayaquil, Ecuador

You will discover numerous sculptures along Malecón 2000. Most are tributes to Ecuadorian patriots, presidents plus Guayaquileans who were accomplished in the arts. This 6.5 foot statue sitting in a cement base is located in the Botanical Gardens. The 2017 bronze is a likeness of Abel Romeo Castillo. Born locally in 1904, Romeo Castillo distinguished himself as a journalist at El Telégrafo. He was also a historian and prolific writer of poems and songs. In addition, Castillo founded the House of Ecuadorian Culture and the School of Journalism.

Malecón Simón Bolivar & Calle 8, Guayaquil 090313, Ecuador
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6 Botanical Gardens at Malecón 2000 in Guayaquil, Ecuador

As is true with most large cities, Guayaquil is always bustling with activity. The perfect place for a fragrant respite is the Botanical Gardens at Malecón 2000. The easy walking paths within this 5.5 acre oasis provide full access to 350 species of blooming plants and sculpted trees. You will also enjoy the waterfowl swimming in the artificial lagoon and the platforms offering scenic overlooks. Come. Walk. Sit. Relax.

Malecón Simón Bolivar & Calle 8, Guayaquil 090313, Ecuador
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7 Wagon Square at Malecón 2000 in Guayaquil, Ecuador

In 1861, Ecuador launched an ambitious project to create a rail system through the Andes from Quito to Guayaquil’s harbor. After it was finished in 1908, an extension was added from Quito to the coastline at the northernmost corner of the country. By 1957, the track measured 600 miles through some of the most rugged parts of Ecuador. Unfortunately, alternative means of transportation made the train service obsolete by the turn of the 21st century until it stopped running. An extensive revitalization reopened the Guayaquil to Quito leg for tourism in 2013. This red passenger car at Wagon Square along Malecón 2000 is a tribute to the historic impact made by the Ecuadorian Railways Company.

Malecón Simón Bolivar & Victor Manuel Rendón, Guayaquil 090313, Ecuador
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8 The Rotunda at Malecón 2000 in Guayaquil, Ecuador

Two prominent heroes of the South American War of Independence were Simón Bolívar and José de San Martín. Respectively, they were named The Liberator and The Protector. From 1808 until 1826, they were instrumental in defeating the Spanish Empire and securing freedom for all Latin American countries. Their only meeting took place in Guayaquil on July 26, 1822, shortly after Quito overcame the Spanish leading to Ecuador’s liberty. The Rotunda was erected to celebrate the accomplishments of these two military leaders. Above the columns of the hemicycle are the flags of the countries they liberated. The sculptures of the two emancipators were created in 1938 by José Antonio Homs.

Malecón Simón Bolivar & Av 9 de Octubre, Guayaquil 090313, Ecuador
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9 Four Elements Towers at Malecón 2000 in Guayaquil, Ecuador

Native Ecuadorians had a strong spiritual appreciation for fire, air, water and the earth. Out of respect for the aboriginal people’s beliefs, the city commissioned large structures along the waterfront called The Four Elements Towers. This lookout platform is the Earth Tower. At the base stands a sculpture by Daniel Palacio of Alfredo Baquerizo Moreno. From 1903 until 1932, he served as Ecuador’s vice president twice and president three times. Also in Civic Square are three other statues of former Ecuadorian presidents who were born in Guayaquil.

Malecón Simón Bolivar & Aguirre, Guayaquil 090313, Ecuador
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10 Gobernor’s Palace in Guayaquil, Ecuador

Government offices have been located at this site since 1779. The current Gobernor’s Palace was designed by architect Augusto Ridder and finished in 1924. Appealing features are the four crossing corridors through the center of the building. They have arched openings at each direction of the compass. The heritage building now houses the University of the Arts, a bachelor program established in 2013.

Malecón Simón Bolivar & Aguirre, Guayaquil 090313, Ecuador
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11 Forge of Vulcan at Administration Square in Guayaquil, Ecuador

At Administration Square is an exquisite statuary encased in marble created by Victor Ochoa in 2005. It depicts a clandestine meeting held at the home of José de Villamil. On October 1, 1820, a group of patriots – known as the Forge of Vulcan – plotted to seize a Spanish military post and capture the commander and governor. The successful rebellion led to the independence of Guayaquil on October 9. Standing with a key behind his back is José Joaquin de Olmedo. He became the first president of the Free Province of Guayaquil.

Plaza de la Administración, Pichincha 525, Guayaquil 090313, Ecuador
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12 Antonio José de Sucre Statue at Administration Square in Guayaquil, Ecuador

Antonio José de Sucre y Alcalá was a military leader and a close associate of Simón Bolívar. Together they fought for South America’s freedom from Spain during the 1810s and 1820s. In 1822, Sucre led the Battle of Pichincha resulting in the liberation of Quito, Ecuador. His similar victories freed Peru. This 28 foot memorial to Ecuador’s hero was sculpted by Augusto Faggioni Vannuncci. The tribute is a prominent feature at Administration Square. In the background is the Martin Aviles Building. This was the Crillon Hotel when it opened in 1930.

Plaza de la Administración, Pichincha 525, Guayaquil 090313, Ecuador
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13 Virtues of Guayaquil Sculptures at Administration Square in Guayaquil, Ecuador

Plaza de la Administración was graced with six elegant sculptures in 2017. The ensemble are allegories for the Virtues of Guayaquil: Leadership, Generosity, Courage, Freedom, Solidarity and Fortitude. This is Liderazgo meaning Leadership. The 7.2 foot bronze statues were created by Édgar Cevallos.

Plaza de la Administración, Pichincha 525, Guayaquil 090313, Ecuador
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14 Municipal Palace in Guayaquil, Ecuador

During most of the 19th century, this was the site of Consistorial House (town hall). It is also where the Declaration of Independence was signed in 1820. The historic building was replaced in 1929 by the Municipal Palace. The façade features marvelous architectural nuances designed by Francisco Maccaferri. They include stark white balusters, a mix of Corinthian and Ionic capitals, two lions holding a shield plus condors on the roof. The bas-reliefs of angels carrying laurel wreaths are the Roman symbol for victory. Even more impressive are the statues flanking the ceiling of Arosemena Passage. This is a glass and iron dome walkway through the center of Palacio Municipal de Guayaquil.

Pichincha 605, Guayaquil 090313, Ecuador
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15 Moorish Tower at Malecón 2000 in Guayaquil, Ecuador

From a design perspective, the 75 foot, octagonal Moorish Tower seems out of place in Guayaquil. Yet it has been a welcome landmark along the waterfront since it was erected in 1931. Look closely at the clock. It was manufactured in London by E. J. Dent, the same company who produced the clockworks for Big Ben in 1854. After decades of not running, the clock and bell were restored in 2013.

Malecón Simón Bolivar & Diez de Agosto, Guayaquil 090313, Ecuador
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16 León Febres Cordero Bust at Malecón 2000 in Guayaquil, Ecuador

In the center of an artificial pond along Malecón 2000 is this bust by Victor Ochoa of León Febres Cordero. He served as one-time president of Ecuador (1984 – 1988) and then two terms as Guayaquil’s mayor (1992 – 2000). During those eight years, his administration is credited with making significant contributions to the city’s economic growth. Ask the children rolling around and laughing inside of the inflated Water Balls if they care.

Malecón Simón Bolívar & Calle 7 SE, Guayaquil 090307, Ecuador
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17 Olmedo Square at Malecón 2000 in Guayaquil, Ecuador

José Joaquín de Olmedo was a key figure in the 19th century history of Guayaquil and Ecuador. He was one of the patriots in a clandestine meeting on October 1, 1820. The mission of the “Forge of Vulcan” was to overthrow the Spanish and secure freedom for the city. After their success on October 9, Olmedo was appointed as president of the Free Province of Guayaquil. During the balance of his political career, he was mayor of Guayaquil twice plus the Vice President and later president of Ecuador. This monument at Olmedo Square was created in 1892 to celebrate his accomplishments. The sculpture of Olmedo was the work of Jean Alexander Falguiere.

Malecón Simón Bolivar & Av. Olmedo, Guayaquil 090313, Ecuador
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18 Union Club at Malecón 2000 in Guayaquil, Ecuador

The Club of the Union was established in 1869 to foster a common interest in sports among a group of young people. That singular focus involved into the main social club for Guayaquil. Among its members have been titans of industry, political leaders including Ecuadorian presidents, social elite and major philanthropists. The Union Club also sponsors initiatives dedicated to improving the lives of the city’s residents.

Malecón Simón Bolivar & Av. Olmedo, Guayaquil 090313, Ecuador
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19 Elevated Boardwalk at Malecón 2000 in Guayaquil, Ecuador

At the southern end of the 1.5 mile Malecón 2000 is this elevated boardwalk connecting Olmedo Square with the Crystal Palace. This section of the city’s famous promenade is the least visited by tourists. This provides the tranquility to enjoy the view of Isla Santay across the Guayas River. The sparsely populated, 5.4 acre island has been a National Protected Area since 2010. The recreational area is only reachable by boat or a half-mile footbridge located nearby. The park has groomed trails to view the native birds and animals including a dozen crocodiles. Admission is free.

Malecón Simón Bolivar & Av. Olmedo, Guayaquil 090313, Ecuador
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20 Crystal Palace at Malecón 2000 in Guayaquil, Ecuador

You are now standing near the former Barrio del Astillero or Shipyard Neighborhood. The Old South Market was pre-manufactured in Brussels and then assembled here in 1908. This was the main marketplace for fruit, vegetables, meat and fish for local merchants, dock workers, fishermen and shippers. After nearly a century, it lost its value as a place of commerce. Fortunately, the beauty of its glass and iron design was salvaged. After an extensive renovation, the heritage site was transformed into the Crystal Palace. Now this transparent structure is an exhibition and convention hall plus available for special events.

Malecón Simón Bolivar & Av Jose Joaquin de Olmedo, Guayaquil 090314, Ecuador
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21 San José Church at Malecón 2000 in Guayaquil, Ecuador

Next to the Crystal Palace is San José Church. It was commissioned by the Jesuits, designed by Francesco Maccaferri and opened in 1926. Inside the main red dome crowned with a cupula are three bells cast in France. Within the nave are several marble statues of Christ by Italian sculptor Enrico Pacciani. He was in high demand in Guayaquil during the early 20th century. Additional samples of his artistry are found at the University of Guayaquil and La Merced Church.

Malecón Simón Bolivar & Av Jose Joaquin de Olmedo, Guayaquil 090314, Ecuador
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22 Contemporary Naval Museum at Naval Base in Guayaquil, Ecuador

Although the Ecuadorian Navy (Armada Ecuatoriana) was formed in 1832, it did not achieve official status by congress until 1941. This museum adjacent to the Naval Command Post shares the history, contributions and heroic stories of the Navy. Weapons, photographs and navigation equipment are displayed on three floors. In the basement are submarine exhibits.

Fray Enrique Vacas Galindo 203, Guayaquil 090101, Ecuador
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23 B.A.E. Calderon Gunboat at Naval Base in Guayaquil, Ecuador

The B.A.E. Calderon was used by the Ecuador Navy during the Ecuadorian–Peruvian War. Under the command of Captain Rafael Morán Valverde, it engaged in fierce combat with the Peruvian destroyer Almirante Villar on July 25, 1941. The Battle of Jambelí was a classic David and Goliath story. The modest Ecuadorian gunboat successfully repelled the larger Peruvian ship, preventing them from blocking the channel and controlling Guayaquil’s harbor. The B.A.E. Calderon is on display at Guayaquil’s Naval Base.

Primera Zona Naval Ecuador, Av. 11, Guayaquil 090101, Ecuador
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24 Old El Telégrafo Building in Guayaquil, Ecuador

El Telégrafo was founded in 1884 by Juan Murillo Miró, making it Ecuador’s oldest newspaper. Its loud political voice appealed to revolutionists and infuriated the state, resulting in the newspaperman being exiled two years later. Publishing of The Telegraph was resumed in 1896 by journalist José Abel Castillo. While editor, he built this former headquarters building in 1923. The newspaper passed among other owners until seized by Ecuador in 2007. Now owned by the state, El Telégrafo remains one of the most widely read newspapers in the country.

Diez de Agosto 601, Guayaquil 090312, Ecuador
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25 Simón Bolívar Monument at Seminario Park in Guayaquil, Ecuador

This statue of Simón Bolívar at Seminario Park celebrates one of the major heroes of Latin America. From 1808 until 1833, The Liberator secured the independence of six South American countries from the Spanish Empire. The 14 foot equestrian sculpture by Giovanny Anderlini is the centerpiece of Seminario Park. This location was the Arms Square of New Town beginning in the late 17th century. It was later called Plaza de la Estrella and then Bolivar Square when this monument was erected in 1889. After a significant contribution by benefactor Manuel Seminario, the square was renamed in his honor.

Parque Seminario, Chimborazo & Clemente Ballen y Millán, Guayaquil 090313, Ecuador
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26 Metropolitan Cathedral Entrance at Seminario Park in Guayaquil, Ecuador

Guayaquil’s first cathedral was in the Las Peñas neighborhood. The wooden structure was built in the mid-16th century, burned in 1692 and reconstructed with concrete in the 20th century. Plans to replace it at Seminario Park began with the hiring of architect Paolo Russo in 1924. The Metropolitan Cathedral of Saint Peter was not finished until 1956. Above the tympanum of the Roman Catholic church is a rose window filled with intricate pieces of stained glass. Not shown are two impressive bell towers crowning this architectural gem of Guayaquil.

Parque Seminario, Chimborazo & Clemente Ballen y Millán, Guayaquil 090313, Ecuador
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27 Metropolitan Cathedral Nave at Seminario Park in Guayaquil, Ecuador

The nave of the Metropolitan Cathedral of Saint Peter is equally impressive. Flooding the lancet arches and columns is a rainbow of colors from the stained-glass windows created by Guillermo Larrazabal. In the center is a high dome which cascades additional light on the parishioners. On either side of the main altar are splendid chapels named Perpetuo Socorro and Blessed Sacrament.

Parque Seminario, Chimborazo & Clemente Ballen y Millán, Guayaquil 090313, Ecuador
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28 Iguanas at Seminario Park in Guayaquil, Ecuador

Seminario Park has had several official names since the late 17th century. The locals love calling it Parque de las Iguanas or Iguana Park because of this resident. When you first step into the park, you see the cathedral, statues and flocks of pigeons. Then you notice one of these prehistoric-looking creatures staring at you from the grass or suspended in a tree. Soon they seem to be everywhere. These are green iguanas (Iguana Verde), one of five species living in Ecuador. They can measure up to five feet long and reach 13 pounds. Their nickname is the Iguanas of Guayaquil. The cold-blooded reptiles seem suspended while warming in the sun. But offer them some lettuce or bread and they will become your new best friend.

Parque Seminario, Chimborazo & Clemente Ballen y Millán, Guayaquil 090313, Ecuador
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29 Ana Villamil Icaza Sculpture near Seminario Park in Guayaquil, Ecuador

José Joaquín de Olmedo was one of the liberators of Guayaquil on October 9, 1820. In addition to being a patriot, he was also a poet. In 1821, he wrote the lyrics to “Song of the October Ninth.” The music was composed by music teacher Ana Villamil Icaza. In 1895, the song was recognized as the Guayaquil Anthem (Himno a Guayaquil). This sculpture of Ana Villamil Icaza at the piano was erected adjacent to Seminario Park in 1966. Nearby is the house where she lived.

Parque Seminario, Chimborazo & Clemente Ballen y Millán, Guayaquil 090313, Ecuador
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30 Church of San Francisco Altar in Guayaquil, Ecuador

Franciscan missionaries arrived in Quito, Ecuador in 1534, the year it was founded by the Spanish Empire. At that time, the city was called the Province of San Francisco of Quito. The friars then expanded across Ecuador with the purpose of converting indigenous people to Christianity. The Franciscans were located in the Old City of Guayaquil and had a church there from 1582 until 1789. Then they moved to the New City and built the San Francisco Church. It was destroyed several times. The current one at Plaza San Francisco was finished in the mid-20th century. The gilded altarpiece is magnificent. It forms the focal point of the three intersecting naves. An alternative name for this Roman Catholic Church is Our Lady of the Angels.

Iglesia San Francisco, Chile & Blvd. 9 de Octubre, Guayaquil 090313, Ecuador
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31 Former El Universo Building in Guayaquil, Ecuador

This Neoclassical building with two sides of fluted Corinthian columns was a Masonic temple when it opened in 1924. Six years later, it was purchased by newspaperman Pérez Pazmiño, the founder of El Universo. Although the newspaper moved out of their headquarters in 1996, their globe logo remains in the pediment. El Universo continues publishing as one of Ecuador’s largest daily newspapers and is operated by Pazmiño’s descendants.

Blvd. 9 de Octubre 550, Guayaquil 090313, Ecuador
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32 Aurigas Sculptures at Centenary Square in Guayaquil, Ecuador

This is one of two equestrian sculptures at the eastern gate of Centenary Square collectively named Aurigas. They were designed by sculptor Juan Rovira and cast at Giuseppe Beneduce, an Italian foundry. The bronzes are an allegory for the determination of the human spirit. Auriga is a constellation. In Greek mythology, this cluster of stars was considered to be Erichthonius of Athens. After this fierce warrior rode his four-horse chariot (quadriga) into victory for the king of Athens, Zeus elevated him into the heavens for his bravery.

Pedro Moncayo & Avenida 9 de Octubre, Guayaquil 090312, Ecuador
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33 Column to National Heroes at Centenary Square in Guayaquil, Ecuador

During the Ecuadorian War of Independence, Guayaquil defeated the Spanish and declared itself to be the Free Province of Guayaquil on October 9, 1820. One hundred years to the day, Centenary Square was inaugurated. In the center is the 88.5 foot Column to National Heroes designed by Agustín Quero. On top of the white marble capital is a statue holding a liberty flame. Engraved below is the Declaration of Independence. Surrounding the rose marble base are sculptures of four leaders who fought for independence plus bas-reliefs depicting key moments toward freedom.

Pedro Moncayo & Avenida 9 de Octubre, Guayaquil 090312, Ecuador
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34 Cronos Statue at Centenary Square in Guayaquil, Ecuador

One of several sculptures around the 2.2 acre Centenary Square is this depiction of Cronos by Juan Rovira. In Greek mythology, Cronos was the leader of the Titans during the Golden Age. He is typically shown holding a sickle, a weapon he used to kill his father Uranus, the leader of the universe. The deity evolved into the modern version of Father Time. Notice here he is clutching a serpent. This is a reference to his defeat of Ophion and securing the world’s freedom. This is an obvious allegory to achieving Guayaquil’s freedom from the Spanish.

Pedro Moncayo & Avenida 9 de Octubre, Guayaquil 090312, Ecuador
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35 Aphrodite Statue at Centenary Square in Guayaquil, Ecuador

Another one of the four sculptures from mythology at Centenary Square is Aphrodite. She is the Greek goddess of love, beauty and procreation. She also reigned over the sea, seafarers and war. The overflowing urn and bushel of fruit are symbolic of the future success and prosperity of Guayaquil.

Pedro Moncayo & Avenida 9 de Octubre, Guayaquil 090312, Ecuador
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36 Carving on Old State Attorney General’s Office in Guayaquil, Ecuador

The early history of Guayaquil is portrayed on this massive wood carving on two sides of the old State Attorney General’s Office. Archeologists believe the first hunter and gathers may have inhabited this area as far back as 4200 BC. Subsequent cultures were Guangala (500 BC – 500 AD) and Guancavilcas (500 AD – 1530), also called Huancavilcas. During the late 15th and early 16th centuries, these indigenous people frequently defended themselves against the encroaching Inca Empire. Unlike the fate of Quito, however, the pre-Colombian tribe of southern Ecuador never capitulated. After the Spaniards arrived in Ecuador in 1531, they began conquering the Incas and surviving tribes. Sebastián de Belalcázar founded the city of Guayaquil in 1533. After years of repeated attacks by the Huancavilcas, the native rebellion was suppressed and the Spanish settlement began to grow.

Av. José de Antepara & Blvd. 9 de Octubre, Guayaquil 090311, Ecuador
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37 Santa Ana Hill Stairs in Guayaquil, Ecuador

Your walking tour of Guayaquil returns to the base of Santa Ana Hill. When Spaniard Diego de Urbina relocated his settlement here in the 1540s, this hill was Cerrito Verde. You are standing at the origin of the city. A popular activity is walking up the 444 steps called Diego Noboa y Arteta. The stairs are named after an Ecuadorian president from the mid-19th century. Along the way, you will encounter the Fort of Santa Ana naval museum. At the 197 foot summit is the Santa Ana Hill Lighthouse. If there is still energy in your legs, you can climb to the observation balcony for a splendid vista of the city. Nearby are the Santa Ana Chapel plus naval cannons in Honor Square.

Escalón 10 Diego Noboa, Guayaquil 090313, Ecuador
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38 Numa Pompilio Llona Street in Las Peñas Neighborhood in Guayaquil, Ecuador

Las Peñas is Guayaquil’s oldest neighborhood. During the 16th century, a makeshift fishing village evolved into a Spanish settlement. It was located at the base of Santa Ana Hill and parallel to the Guayas River. During the following century, two rows of connected wooden houses were built flanking Calle de la Orilla (Shore Street). Those heritage homes were destroyed several times by fire. They were lovingly reconstructed during the early 20th century. Now called Numa Pompilio Llona Street, a stroll on these winding cobblestones immerses you into colonial Guayaquil.

Numa Pompilio Llona 206, Guayaquil 090313, Ecuador
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39 Staircase in Las Peñas Neighborhood in Guayaquil, Ecuador

You will find this staircase about three-quarters of the way through your exploration of the Las Peñas Neighborhood on Numa Pompilio Llona Street. These stairs are the route less traveled by tourists to the top of Santa Ana Hill. The stone steps are typically used by locals to reach the different levels of colorful homes clinging to the side of hill.

Numa Pompilio Llona 50, Guayaquil 090313, Ecuador
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40 Introduction to Santa Ana Port in Guayaquil, Ecuador

At the end of historic Numa Pompilio Llona Street is a bronze plaque announcing the start of Puerto Santa Ana. Even without this boundary marker, you immediately recognize the transition from a very old neighborhood to a very new one. You will be delighted to discover a series of groomed terraces featuring water fountains. There is also a long, scenic promenade hugging the bank of the Guayas River. This is Santa Ana Port. The extensive urban redevelopment project started in 2005 with stunning results. Within ten acres are a harmonious blend of high-rise apartments and office buildings plus hotels, shops and restaurants.

Edificio 1er Piso, Numa Pompilio Llona 3, Guayaquil 090313, Ecuador
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41 Museums at Santa Ana Port in Guayaquil, Ecuador

There are three museums at Santa Ana Port worthy of a visit. The Museum of Popular Music is named Julio Jaramillo Laurido. During his short career in the mid-20th century, native-born son Jaramillo recorded over 4,000 songs and became famous across Latin America. If you love soccer, then do not miss the Museums of the Shipyard Teams. These two attractions – the Museum of Barcelona and the Museum of Emelec – trace the sporting history of successful soccer clubs founded in Ecuador in 1928 and 1929. Last but most popular is the Beer Museum. The fascinating displays tell the history of beer in Guayaquil and Ecuador. It is located in the National Brewery Company building. The brewhouse was established in 1887.

Puerto Santa Ana, Edificio Sotavento, Guayaquil 090313, Ecuador
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42 The Point at Santa Ana Port in Guayaquil, Ecuador

The visual punctuation mark at Santa Ana Port is The Point. The 450 foot office building created a distinctive skyline when it opened in 2014. According to Christian Wiese Architects, the skyscraper’s corkscrew design is meant to emulate the churning eddies at the nearby confluence of the Babahayo and Daule Rivers. Together, they form the Guayas River flowing parallel to Guayaquil.

1er Callejon 11 N-E, Guayaquil 090514, Ecuador
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43 Carmen Hill Lighthouse from Santa Ana Port in Guayaquil, Ecuador

At the end of Santa Ana Port is a clear view of the lighthouse on top of Carmen Hill. If you saw this crest and the adjacent Santa Ana Hill from the sky, you would notice they resemble a horse saddle. This geological similarity was not lost on the colonists. They nicknamed their growing settlement The Saddle City.

Numa Pompilio LLona 123, Guayaquil 090313, Ecuador
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44 Monkey Machín Sculpture in Guayaquil, Ecuador

At the Del Carmen Hill Tunnel is this 39 foot, suspended monkey. He appears to be reaching toward passing cars like a playful King Kong. The Monkey Machín sculpture consists of over 110,000 ceramic tiles. The statue is based on the monkey in the children’s story, “Owl Juan and the Monkey Machín Play in the Centenario Park.” The author is Fátima Quiroz de Kuri, better known as Aunt Popy. She has created a series of books and a book club to teach children about their city while encouraging them to read. People born in Guayaquil are often called monos by outsiders. This translates to monkeys.

Juan Javier Marcos & Paso Elevado Para Retorno, Guayaquil 090150, Ecuador
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45 Stair Mural at Cerro del Carmen in Guayaquil, Ecuador

The most famous staircase in Guayaquil is the 444 steps leading up to Lighthouse of Cerro Santa Ana. Yet the most beautiful stairs are adorned by this mural at Cerro del Carmen (Carmen Hill). The 2017 painting by master watercolorist Gonzalo Amancha features endemic flora and fauna. The artwork was the first initiative commissioned by the city under Project Guayarte. The goal is to attract and reward talented artists to transform aging neighborhoods into inviting communities for Ecuadorians and tourists.

Sgto Buitrón & Pedro Carbo, Guayaquil 090313, Ecuador
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