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Though mountainous Quito is the capital, Ecuador’s pride lies somewhere else. Book cheap flights to Guayaquil, the city of rivers, museums and.. iguanas! Guayaquil is the most important city of Ecuador in many aspects; economic, commercial and geographic. But as a travel destination, Guayaquil wins first place. With Río Guayas as a trademark, Guayaquil welcomes visitors and guides them through to amazing places and experiences, from the dreamy coastal road of Malecón to the picturesque Las Peñas and the immense nature that surrounds the city. You can’t wait for more? Guayaquil is the last stop on the way to the Galápagos Islands! Book your flights and accommodation in Guayaquil and enjoy a holiday in the Equator!
Guayaquil is the second largest city of Ecuador, but comes first in terms of population, economic growth and tourism.
Guayaquil was allegedly named after Guyas and Quill, the first Puna Indian leader and his wife. After courageously withstanding the attacks of the Incas and, later, the Spanish, when he finally lost the battle, he decided to take his own and his wife’s lives, instead of living defeated.
Guayaquil was founded in 1537 and gained independence from the Spanish in 1820. The city later briefly became part of Simón Bolívar’s Gran Colombia, before being annexed by the newly-formed state of Ecuador, in 1830.
Despite having been founded by Spanish colonists, you will find hardly any trace of colonial architecture in the city. The great fire of 1896 burnt down almost everything; the buildings that were not entirely destroyed, were rendered useless and had to be brought down.
Guayaquil is the beating heart of Ecuador, honouring its past and looking straight ahead into a bright future. A destination that meets every taste and interest, Guayaquil is the ultimate must in South America!
The airport of Guayaquil (Aeropuerto Internacional José Joaquín de Olmedo) is located 5 kilometres north of the city centre and can be reached by bus and taxi.
Getting around Guayaquil
You can get around Guayaquil using the city’s extensive bus network. Fares start from 0.20 USD and a typical taxi ride shouldn’t cost more than 3.00 USD.
Guayaquil is the only place in the world, outside the Galápagos Islands, where you can find terrestrial iguanas! Don’t miss out on this rare opportunity to see these impressive creatures, while you’re taking a pleasant walk at the Parque Bolívar – also known as “Parque Seminario” and, of course, “Parque de Las Iguanas”!
- At the western side of the park, the Gothic Cathedral of Guayaquil dominates the skyline. Originally built in 1547, the present Cathedral is the result of a major restoration that took place in 1948, since the first wooden cathedral was burnt down in 1896.
- South of the park, the Municipal Museum of Guayaquil (Museo Municipal) is an excellent way of exploring the history of Guayaquil, from the pre-Columbian times and the subsequent colonial era, to modern history.
The most popular street of the city is the Malecón 2000, the coastal road that begins at the Mercado Sur, crosses 2.5 kilometres and reaches the district of Las Peñas, including restaurants, hotels, shops, theatres and a large collection of historic monuments.
Highlight of the sights across Malecón 2000 is the Museum of Anthropology and Contemporary Art. This excellent museum features exquisite collections of anthropology and archaeology, as well as an interesting collection of contemporary artwork by notable Ecuadorian artists.
At the end of Malecón, you will reach the district of Las Peñas, Guayaquil’s most idyllic neighbourhood. This is the historic part of Guayaquil, lined with colourful restored houses and some of the city’s most significant galleries.
Climb up the 465 stairs to get to the hilltop of Cerro Santa Ana and you’ll be rewarded with a marvellous panoramic view of the city; this is the point where the first fortress of the newly-founded city of Guayaquil was built, back in 1500!
The official language of Guayaquil is Spanish, but Quicha, Shuar and ten more native languages are widely spoken in Ecuador.
To enter Ecuador, you need to have a valid passport, with validity until at least 6 months after your travel dates. Greek citizens do not need a Visa, for a maximum stay of 90 days.
When to Go
Guayaquil is located in the equator, thus enjoys a marine subtropical climate with temperatures not exceeding 21º C and not falling below 8º C all year round.
Guayaquil has two distinctive seasons, the dry (June-September) and the wet one (October-May) and, while you can visit Guayaquil during both of them, the best time to travel to Guayaquil and be able to enjoy the city at its best is the dry period, from June to September.