Guayaquil, Ecuador


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

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.


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An ocelot in the forest of Ecuador

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.

Suggested Holiday Idea

Banana Plantation, Ecuador

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.

Guayaquil, Ecuador

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.

Guayaquil waterfront, Ecuador

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.

Suggested Holiday Idea

Where to stay

Some of the wonderful places to stay that we frequently recommended.

Hacienda La Danesa £££££

  • Ecuador
  • Farmstead and Ranches

Set far off the beaten track on 500 sugarcane-filled acres, accessible by a time worn 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.

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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.

Rachael Tallents

Adventure, discovery and my curiosity for people and the natural world is what drives my love of travelling.  I am grateful for my parents’ desire to explore, and from an early age my eyes were open to diverse landscapes, cultures, and underwater worlds.

For the last 16 years, I have worked for a leading luxury tour operator designing incredible journeys for discerning clients and travelled to some magical places. I am excited to have joined Steppes Travel, and to be working for a company with such strong ethical and sustainable values.

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  • 1 800 571 2985

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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  • 1 800 571 2985

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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  • 1 800 571 2985

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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