Guayaquil, the capital of the Guayas province, is the largest and most populated city in Ecuador. Located on the Pacific coast, it has a tropical climate, and is known as the "Pacific Pearl". It is the main port of Ecuador, thus, it is of great economic importance to the country. The city was named after an indigenous chief, "Guayas", and his wife, "Quil". Both of them chose to die before surrendering themselves to the Spaniards. Francisco de Orellana founded Guayaquil on the skirts of the Santa Ana Hill on July 25th, 1534. On the top of this hill you can observe cannons that were used to defend the city from pirate attacks. A few houses preserve their original architecture, with defense walls facing the river. Many of these houses were built at different levels on the hill, very common for the Spaniards and Portuguese. The surroundings of the city offer archeological sites of the pre-Hispanic cultures of Valdivia, Machalilla, Chorrera, Guangala and Mante a. The Gulf of Guayaquil, the river, the monuments, museums, parks, and its exhilarating nightlife are part of the attractions of this city. to the north. Your walk up the Malecón Simón Bolívar will take you through three sections: Northern This section has space for sports, entertainment, science, history and art. Children's games, space for aerobics and skating, are all surrounded by the historical Plaza de Orellana, Plaza de la Pileta (water fountain) and Plaza del Vagon, with a wagon of an antique Ecuadorian train. In this section you will also find gardens that showcase diverse plant species of the Ecuadorian coast, and the Centro Cultural Simón Bolívar.
MALECÓN SIMÓN BOLÍVAR
On this 1 1/2 mile waterfront walk you'll find entertainment, culture and nature! Malecón Simón Bolívar includes monuments, museums, gardens, fountains, shopping malls, restaurants, bars, an IMAX theater, as well as docks and viewpoints. Malecón Simón Bolívar is the largest architectural development in the last century of Guayaquil's history (total surface is 4,942 acres). It runs from Cuenca Street to the south of the city, all the way to "Barrio Las Perlas" Central With the Civic Plaza (10 de Agosto and Pichincha) containing a gallery dedicated to the most outstanding personalities in Guayaquil's history, this section is mostly historic. You can also admire other monuments
This historical monument is a spectacular semicircle commemorating the meeting of two Latin American liberators, Simón Bolívar and San Martin, when it was decided that Guayaquil be annexed to the Gran Colombia. The monument was designed and constructed by the Spanish sculptor Jose Antonio Holms and placed in 1937. From this historical site you can see the Rafael Mendoza Avil s bridge (the largest in Ecuador).
MOORISH CIOCK TOWER
The clock was bought in England thanks to a loan given by Don Manuel Antonio Liz rraga, a rich Spanish merchant, one of the illustrious figures of the Independence. The clock was inaugurated in October of 1842 just after the terrible yellow fever epidemic in Guayaquil, the worst in its history. In 1903, the clock was moved, tower and all, from City Hall that was demolished to the Town Hall. However, from this location, the tolls that announced the hour could not be heard throughout the city, so two stories were built on to the tower. In 1920, an Italian engineer built a tower of three prismatic parts entirely made of carved wood. Finally, due to structural flaws, this tower had to be demolished. At this time, the foreign colony residing in Guayaquil together with the City Council constructed a new tower in a pure Mozarabic Style.
Also in this section you can visit the four sculptures that represent the elements of nature, as well as the Guayaquil Yacht Club and the Naval Yacht Club. From the pier, the Pirate Morgan Tavern Ship has daily departures for a cruise around the Guayas River. Services include a covered parking lot, security area, rest rooms and a first aid center. during the XIX century, is found. To conclude your visit through this section, visit the modern architecture of the new Bah a Malecon Mall, with its terrace of restaurants that offers a spectacular view of the Guayas River.
SANTA ANA HILL
This unique hill with its charming and colorful houses is located in the northern part of the city. After climbing 444 stairs you will have the opportunity to visit many restaurants, shops and art galleries. There is also a small church to visit as well as a lighthouse that overlooks the entire city. "LAS PERLAS" NEIGHBORHOOD Adjacent to the stairway is "Las Pe as", the first residential neighborhood of Guayaquil. Its wooden houses hold treasured memories from writers and poets that inhabited this area. Although it existed since colonial times, "Las Pe as" was completely destroyed due to a fire in 1896 ("El Incendio Grande"). It was rebuilt in a neoclassic style. Enjoy a stroll along the charming cobble stoned street "Numa Pompillo Llona", full of small art galleries. Here you can also witness the influence of the Pacific Naval Yards from the Spanish colonial times. Southern The old market is found in this section. It was inaugurated in 1907, and its authorship is attributed to the famous French engineer Eiffel. In this section you will find the "Club de la Uni n", the most traditional social center in Guayaquil. As you continue you will come to the Olmedo Plaza, where a monument of Jos Joaqu n de Olmedo, a famous poet from Guayaquil and President of Ecuador
Guayaquil is famous for its great sport facilities, including one of the 20 largest soccer stadiums in the world, "Isidro Romero" (seats 85,000 people). This stadium is located at Del Bombero Av. The city also hosts a modern horse track with races every weekend- the Hip dromo Buijo (Samborondón). There are also tracks for go-kart, bicycle, motorcycle and car races; as well as basketball, golf and polo courts and great water sport facilities.
OTHER ATTRACTIONS IN GUAYAQUIL CENTENARIO PARK
The park is located at the heart of the city and is also one of the largest in Guayaquil. There are bronze monuments, which represent heroism, justice, patriotism, and freedom. One monument representing the man who fought for independence was designed by a Spanish Sculptor, Agustin Querol, and built by Jos Monserrat in 1818. You can admire the statue of the liberator Simon Bol var. This park is exceptional for its wildlife. You will see fish, a variety of birds, and numerous iguanas. The iguanas of the park have always been one of its main attractions. These animals chose this place to feed on its vegetation, as the town of Guayaquil used to end at this park, the rest being savannah.
This modern center has an information office for tourists, exposition halls, convention halls, and other large areas for musical events, concerts, theaters, and other cultural events. On the upper floor of the civic center one can admire outstanding sculptures of Oswaldo Guayasamin. This center has an artificial lake surrounded by exuberant vegetation. Address: Quito St, between El Oro y Venezuela.
Also known as the Bolívar Park or Iguanas Park, it is located on Chile Street between 10 de Agosto and Clemente Ball n Avenues. The park was inaugurated on July 24, 1880.
Although few cemeteries can be considered a tourist attraction, this one is worth admiring. It has outstanding sculptures made of white marble. The style has a strong Italian
This Neo-Gothic Cathedral was built in 1948. The main altar is made of marble from Cuenca and its stained glass windows are beautiful works of art. It is located on the corner of Chimborazo and Clemente Ball n Avenues. Visiting hours: 9h0012h00, and14h00-17h00 everyday.
SANTA ANA HILL SANTO DOMINGO
This church is the oldest in Guayaquil, built in the 16 Century. It was later restored in 1938. It is decorated with the famous paintings of Salas. It is located on Rocafuerte and Coronel Ave. Visiting hours: 8h00 to 18h00.
It has a gothic style and a gold covered altar. It is located on Rend n and Pedro Carbo Ave. Open Monday thru Friday 7h-12h00 and 18h19h30. Saturdays 7h-10h00 and 18h-20h00. Free admission. Malecon 2000, next to the Imax theater). Admission fee: WednesdaySaturday $1.50, Sundays free children, senior citizens and students. Phone: 2300500 / 2304998.
GUAYAQUIL IN HISTORY CASA DE LA CULTURA
This museum holds the most valuable pre-historic gold work collection in Ecuador. Most pieces were made by the indigenous inhabitants of our coast. You will see ceremonial pots, snake-shaped bracelets, nose rings, gold pieces that were used on the lips and cheeks, elaborate pins used to fasten clothing, chest shields, ceremonial masks and earrings. The abundance of gold provoked the greed of the Spanish conquerors, who hoarded and sent vast quantities of this precious metal back to Spain. Thus, gold workmanship disappeared due to the Indigenous belief that gold was evil, being the main cause of having Spaniards come to their lands. Archeological objects such as the "Ocarinas" (clay whistles), stone headrests, molds for gold masks and clay seals, apparently have Egyptian influence. There are many colonial paintings from anonymous authors and from well-known artists of this period (such as Goribar and Rodriguez). Address: 9 de Octubre 1200 & Pedro Moncayo. Open Tuesday thru Friday from 10h-18h00, Saturdays 9h-15h00. Admission fee: $1 adults, $0.50 Located at Malecon 2000 under the IMAX Theater, this didactic museum holds a miniature exhibit of the most remarkable scenes of Guayaquil's history. It is an auto-guided museum (in Spanish) with entertaining explanations and lively music. Open Mondays thru Sundays from 9h00 - 13h30 and 16h00 -20h00. Admission fee: $1,50 adults, $1 children. Phone: 2563078.
CENTRO CULTURAL SIMÓN BOLÍVAR
The Centro Cultural Simón Bolívar of the Ecuadorian Central Bank guards a collection of 50.000 archeological pieces and a modern art collection of 3.000 works. It also houses a library of 20.000 publications specializing in art, archeology and anthropology. Additionally, the museum has six exhibit halls, a multipurpose room for conferences and workshops, a document center, a bookstore and a handcraft shop, as well as a cinema with a capacity for 380 people. Free outdoor movie projections are presented periodically. Open Tuesday thru Saturday from 10h00 to 17h00, Sundays and holidays from 11h00 to 15h00. Address: Malecon Simon Bolivar and Loja (at the Northern part of the
THE MUNICIPAL MUSEUM
This museum has four divisions: Archeology, History, Colonial Art and Modern Art. You will have the chance to see original "tzanzas" (shrunken heads.) The Shuar culture of the southeast used to shrink their enemy's head to keep the bad spirits away from them. These miniature heads would not lose their original features when reduced. The mystery of this process has not yet been discovered. Even though the Shuar culture is still alive, the shrunken head tradition is not. Located at the corner of Sucre Street and Pedro Carbo.
NAVAL MUSEUM "ALMIRANTE ILLINGWORTH"
Malecon & Clemente Ballen (Building of the Provincial Government of Guayas). Open Monday thru Friday from 8h00 to 12h30 and 14h00 to 16h00. Free admission. Phone: 2324274.
THE FIREFIGHTERS MUSEUM "FELIX LUQUE PLATA"
Located at the old water distributor in Plaza Colon, close to "Las Perlas" neighborhood. Open Tuesday thru Saturday from 10h00 to 17h00. Admission fee: $0.75 adults, $0.25 children. Phone: 230 8565. hours: Tuesday thru Saturday 9h00 to 17h00. Free admission. Identification document is required. Phone: 2599100.
NAHIM ISAIAS MUSEUM
Located at the Plaza de la Administracion and part of the process of urban regeneration, the Nahim Isaias Museum's vision is to promote colonial art through its cultural funds. The complete collection of the Museum includes 2.179 works of art. The second floor holds a permanent exhibition of colonial art. The exhibit is called "Cosmognias", and is a didactical sample that integrates the most representative works of colonial culture. This exhibit consists of 100 pieces: sculptures, paintings, clothes and accessories of the colonial period. The exhibit is divided into four categories: Fire, Earth, Water and Air. Open Tuesday thru Saturday from 9h00 to 16h30. Sundays and holidays from 10h00 to 15h00. Free admission. Address: Pichincha y Clemente Ballen Phone: 2324182, 2324283 www.museonahimisaias.com
SURROUNDINGS BOTANICAL GARDEN
This garden holds approximately 700 plant species that have been cultivated to resemble their natural habitat. Among these are trees used for wood, fruit trees, ornamental and exotic plants. More than 80 species of orchids, both native and introduced from other tropical countries, can be observed. An exhibit of native medicinal plants of the Coast is also found. Approximately 75 bird species of the dry tropical forest fly freely in the garden. Jardin Botanico also houses a butterfly-breeding center, with approximately 27 species. Representations of the Valdivia, Mante a and Jama-Coaque cultures are exhibited along the internal roads.
PRESLEY NORTON MUSEUM "Villa Herlinda"
A two floor manor dating back to 1942, houses the delightful exhibition of "Life and Customs of the Settlers of Ancient Ecuador". The charming setting and approachably small size of the exhibit, combined with the friendly didactic resources of touch screens and a video, make a visit to this unique museum a most pleasant experience. The museum holds a sample of 129 selected archeological pieces from a collection of over 8,000 artifacts that belonged to Presley Norton, a passionate Located at "Cerro Colorado" in northern Guayaquil, Ciudadela Las Orquideas, Av. Francisco de Orellana. Open every day from 8h00 to 16h00. Entrance fee: $3.00 adults, $1.50 students, children and senior citizens. Guide service is $5.00 for groups up to 20 people. Phone: 2899 689. Workshops and conferences on plant cultivation are offered.
CERRO BLANCO PROTECTED FOREST
Protected by governmental decree and run by the Pro-Forest Foundation, Cerro Blanco protects one of the few remaining areas of dry tropical forest in Ecuador with a rich biodiversity, including jaguar, puma, howler, and capuchin monkeys, white-tailed deer, collared peccary, coatimundi and crab-eating raccoon. Cerro Blanco is a bird watcher's paradise, with 211 species including 22 species of birds of prey and a small population of the threatened Great Green Macaw, the symbol of this Protected Forest. Cerro Blanco's facilities include an outdoor amphitheater museum, 4 nature trails, picnic and camping area, and the Great Green Macaw Captive Breeding Center. From January to May, the view is completely green and abundant water allows bird nesting. From June to December is the dry season: the leaves' colors change to brownish red, and trees flower. Don't miss visiting one of the last remains of this unique ecosystem! Located at km 16 on the way from Guayaquil to Salinas, in front of Roosevelt Academy School, it can be easily reached by buses of Chongon Company buses or buses that run from the land terminal to the coast, as well as by taxi. Open every day from 8h00 to 16h30. Previous reservation is required for visits during week days. Phone: 287 4946 / 7 09 4135 730 Entrance fee: $4 adults, $3 children. Guide service is $10 for groups of up to 8 people. E-mail:email@example.com www.bosquecerroblanco.com