Tour of Guayaquil
The busy, chaotic port town of Guayaquil may not be the capital but it is Ecuador’s largest and most populous city. It’s also the main gateway to the Galápagos Islands, so if you find yourself with a few hours to spare on your way to or from the Enchanted Isles, it’s well worth taking a quick tour to acquaint yourself with this up-and-coming metropolis.
The Malecón 2000 welcomes strollers along a wide, oceanfront boardwalk, while the Guayas waterfront is lined with some of Guayaquil’s most important historic buildings. This leads to Santa Ana Hill, where the Spanish founded the original settlement that was to become the modern-day city of Guayaquil. It’s a picturesque old neighbourhood of wooden houses painted in bright colours, and offers the best view of the city from its tumbledown slopes. There’s also a historical park where you can see a reconstruction of 19th century Guayaquil, with displays of typical clothing and local products.
Another attraction is the ‘Iguana Park’, home to crowds of giant iguanas that are not fazed in the slightest by human presence.