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Guayaquil City Guide

Lizzie Williams

Posted: 17th June 2015 08:19

Lizzie Williams

Ecuador’s most populous city is a sprawling economic powerhouse that has come a long way from its humble routes in 1583.  It has enough high rises to deserve its big city reputation, and enough shanty towns, creeping up the outer city hillsides, to show potential for even more growth.  All flights to the Galápagos Islands either stop at, or originate from, Guayaquil, which was for years the city’s main attraction to tourists, but the city is ramping up its efforts to become a tourist attraction in its own right.

The Guayas Riverfront or Malecón Simón Bolivar has been the focal point of the city’s recent regeneration.  Dotted along the glitzy river promenade are a plethora of boutiques, museums and gardens which end at the Malecón 2000, the ideal location for getting a breath of fresh air while admiring the sunset.  Here, amongst the revitalised streets, squares and parks the city boasts a rapidly expanding theatre and arts scene largely supported by students from the nearby universities.  Together with lively bars and fresh seafood restaurants, they make downtown Guayaquil the place to be, with an atmosphere that is buzzing with life.

Las Peñas

The Las Peñas neighbourhood is the lynchpin between the old and new areas of Guayaquil.  From Malecón 2000 climb the 444 winding steps to the brightly painted houses of the city’s bohemian birthplace.  Views from here are stunning as you look down on the city from its oldest section.  Those willing to push a little further (another 50 or so steps) are rewarded with even more spectacular views from the top of the old lighthouse.

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