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Guayaquil, Ecuador

Guayaquil

Guayaquil is Ecuador’s largest city and home to the country’s chief seaport with major industries focused on petroleum refining, shrimp fishing, and food processing.

Although founded in 1535, Guayaquil has few ancient monuments remaining, having been ravaged relentlessly by pirates during its early history then falling to a devastating fire in 1896. The city is, however, in the midst of a major urban renewal project and is the most forward thinking and modern rival to Quito.

Exterior, Wyndham Guayaquil Hotel, Guayaquil, Ecuador
Wyndham Guayaquil, Ecuador

A little more about Guayaquil

Because the majority of Guayaquil’s principle attractions are closely grouped, it is possible to gain a good insight into this sophisticated city during a whistle-stop tour en route to the Galapagos Islands. The Malecon 2000 which runs alongside the western banks of Rio Guayas is dotted with cafes, artisan shops and an IMAX theatre making it a good base for a leisurely afternoon stroll. Follow the steep cobblestone steps at the northern tail of the promenade to explore the colonial district of Las Peñas.

Street Houses, Guayaquil, Ecuador
Ecuador

Explore the museums and gardens

The ensemble of brightly coloured houses and art galleries skirt the city’s original foundations and being set high on the Cerro Santa Ana hillside, they present impressive vistas across the city. Explore the ornamental gardens of Parque Seminario, also commonly referred to as Parque Iguana for its thriving population of tame land iguanas who appear oblivious to the attention they receive unless a scrap of food is thrown their way. Guayaquil is also home to a number of museums most notably the Museo Municipal which hosts an interesting exhibition of pre-Inca artefacts, figurines from Valdivia and mysterious shrunken Shuar heads.

Experiences

Tell us what you love doing and we’ll curate a journey that’s perfect for you.

Head to the Forest

Journey to the Cerro Blanco Forest for a half-day self-guided adventure in a protected area that is inhabited by jaguars and ocelots.

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Travel to a Plantation

Head out of the city to visit a sugar cane, banana, rice or pineapple plantation, watching or participating in the harvesting and sampling the produce.

Discover Las Peñas

Take a trip to the colourful neighbourhood of Las Peñas to photograph its streets during the golden hour, staying to absorb the vibrant social atmosphere in the evening.

Stroll the Malecón 2000

Join the locals that flock to the waterfront boardwalk that overlooks the Guayas River to admire the view while sipping on a cold beverage.

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Accommodation

Below is some of the wonderful accommodation to include on your journey.

Hacienda La Danesa £££££

  • Ecuador
  • Farmstead and Ranches

Set far off the beaten track on 500 sugarcane-filled acres, accessible by a timeworn train and an antiquated station, Hacienda La Danesa is the hidden treasure. The quaint, six-bedroom farmhouse invites eco-conscious and sustainability-driven travellers to revel in its little piece of Ecuadorian landscape, experience the traditional life of rural farming and gain authentic insights to life in this coastal region. Its carefully designed accommodations are set within the gardens of the property, offering a retreat-style atmosphere, timber beams and a collection of historic and classically Ecuadorean furnishings and textiles.

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Hotel del Parque £££££

  • Ecuador
  • City

Originally built in 1891 as a hospice, Hotel del Parque was saved from demolition in the 1980s and moved piece-by-piece to its current location in a tropical oasis within Guayaquil. Carefully and tastefully restored into a boutique hotel, the property is comprised of 44 spacious guestrooms that are decorated in a contemporary style with Ecuadorian touches. It is situated within a sprawling park and houses a renovated chapel, spa and two relaxing inner patios.

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Meet our experts

A passion for travel runs right through every one of our experts - meaning they're always ready with first-hand insight about their specialist countries.

Paul Bird

From quaint Andean villages and colourful markets to staggering volcanic landscapes and the Amazon Rainforest, Paul has explored the length and breadth of Ecuador.

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  • 01285 601 784

James Armitage

This small country encapsulates the continent of South America, and James has been privileged to visit the Amazon, the Andes, the coastal regions and the enchanting Galapagos Islands.

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  • 01285 601 784

John Faithfull

John rode the railways of Ecuador on the carriage roof before it was outlawed, but still recommends a jaunt along the Devil’s Nose – an engineering marvel that can still be enjoyed from inside a carriage.

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  • 01285 601 784

Roxy Dukes

I love to squeeze as much out of my day as possible. An outdoors fanatic, I love to delve into harsh environments having summited numerous mountains and trail running into the unknown whenever I get the chance – whether at home or overseas. Funnily enough, it didn’t start like that. It took a few years for the burning fire of adventure to truly take light with my eyes opened by the adventures travel could afford.

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  • 01285 601 784

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As usual all aspects of this trip went like clockwork, even thought we were in South America where timings can be different to other parts of the world! This we put down to the work done by Paul and his knowledge of the country.

Destination: Ecuador
Travel Expert: Paul

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