Guayaquil is a vibrant break from the remote parts of Ecuador. It is a commercial city that keeps progressing at a faster pace than the rest of the country. The spot that defines the identity of Guayaquil is its playground/ eatery/city square called the Rio Guayas Malecon. The entire city is anchored by the beautiful Las Penas barrio located on the river.
This is one place that deserves attention, as tourists are not giving the streets and colorful corners of the city the attention they deserve. The truth is that there are a lot of things to do in Guayaquil that most tourists easily evade. There are several tourist destinations around town as well that can help you pick the activity or avenue that you would most probably enjoy exploring for the day. When packing to visit this place, know that Guayaquil has a clean tropical climate, which is something that you will enjoy while touring the city, and indulging in all the things to do. In Ecuador you will find numerous restored historical structures, shopping centers, parks, gardens, and museums, which makes this one place anyone would want to live in, just by acquainting themselves with it after the first time. You will find a park dedicated to iguanas, a waterfront square brimming with culturally significance, and plenty of other historical monuments. If you are simply passing by the city on your way to a farther destination, let this be your chance to check out the place. Don’t let yourself be held up in the hotel room all day; go out there and be a part of all the things to do in Guayaquil.
Some of the most notable places to visit in Guayaquil include Malecón 2000, Guayaquil Metropolitan Cathedral, Museo Antropologico y de Arte Contemporaneo, Santay Island, and Las Penas. Visitors can avail private tour guides here. One of the most historical landmarks is its gothic cathedral named after the city. It is located at the West End of the park, formerly a complete wooden structure, but now transformed into a beautiful center of worship. The location for the cathedral is well suited, as it is right next to the Municipal Museum. So if you visit the museum, you might just be inspired to see the historical enlightenment tour through and check out the cathedral as well. Malecon is this great renewal project at the Bolivar boardwalk in the city. The work being done on this project is just proof of all the great places to visit in Guayaquil. You can also venture out to the largest plaza of the city called the White City, or take a stroll along Cerro Santa Ana which is a sloping street hill of colorful houses with a total of 444 steps along it. This is also the place that offers a proper 360 degrees view of the entire city of Guayaquil from the top.
Malecon 2000 is the biggest urban renewal project in all of South America. The area comprises of gardens, stunning river views, sculptures, playgrounds, and ponds. Malecon extends around two and a half kilometers of the entire bank of the wide Rio Guayas. The place is perfectly safe with a gated and policed public space that has a performance area, a museum, restaurants, a mall, and a movie theater too. It is clear that most will find tons of things to do in Malecón 2000.
What was once a plain waterfront area is now going to be a commercially strong hub that will attract crowds of both residents and visitors. But none of the work done here has destroyed the waterfront aesthetics of the city. The entire walkway is lined with sculptures, bridges, and fountains on one side and the water mass on the other, one that never fails to deliver that Caribbean vibe to the area. When it comes to things to do in Ecuador, checking out this one should definitely make the roster.
Do not forget to add this in your list of places to check out and things to do in Ecuador. This Metropolitan Cathedral was built as the second temple of Guayaquil. It was also referred to as the Mother Church during that era, which just goes to show how majestically glorified the place was. In 1962 the entire church was destroyed owing to a fire accident, on top of invasions in Guayaquil by pirates. Worn out or pristinely structured, the cathedral has seen it all and stood the test of time in the exact same place for 3 centuries now. This is not just a place of worship; for tourists and first time visitors there are many things to do in Guayaquil Metropolitan Cathedral.
The current gothic style designs that we see today were an addition made in the 20th century. Visitors witness the 3 naves that let in light through the stained glass windows. The pillars positioned atop the vault double as war heads. The Guayaquil Metropolitan Church is proof of the places to see and the many things to do in Ecuador.
The end of the iconic riverfront of the city of Guayaquil is the dwelling point of this structure. There are plenty of things to do in Museo Antropologico y de Arte Contemporaneo. The most interesting thing about the museum is probably the collection of pre Colombian videos and pieces it has that put on show to boast the great artistic technique of the young people here. There are several changing exhibitions here as well that put on a temporary exhibit for Ecuadorian artists. The genres that MAAC captures revolve around more than just sculptures and paintings. The museum has the space capacity to seat 350 people in its theatre, films, and concerts.
Even if you are venturing out here for the first time, you will easily find plenty of things to do. In Ecuador there may be some greatly preserved historical monuments, but nothing beats the glorious exhibitions put up in the galleries of Museo Antropologico y de Arte Contemporaneo.
The museum is open to the general public from 9 am to 4:30 pm between Tuesdays and Fridays. On the weekends the place opens up at 10 am.
Visitors get to access the island by river, foot, or by bicycle. The access point for pedestrians is through a bridge that is located in El Oro Street, right beside the river. Tourists get to take boats which are anchored down at the Guayaquil Yacht Club. Once you are there you can enjoy the endless array of things to do in Santay Island.
In the early 20th century this island was known for its cattle and rice production. During the mid 1990s, the environmental organizations of the city carried out projects to improve the area which led to a community center and school being made here. The conservation of the island has led to it being recognized internationally. Most of this owes to it winning the status of Ramsar place.
One of the most recent attractions in the place is the new Crocodile Station, which harbors 12 crocodiles. Santay Island can be visited by anyone, and admission is free of charge. Make sure that while you are here, you add a trip to this island in your list of things to do in Equador.
Las Penas is the city’s most iconic neighborhood. In 1982 the place was declared a Cultural Heritage, even though the houses then had only seen a hundred years. It is the architecture that will capture a typical visitor’s interest. The colonial style architecture is similar to that which was popular in the eighteenth century. There are plenty of things to do in Las Penas. It is also Ecuador’s few remaining intact points that talk of its historical legacy. The narrow streets and the riverside houses make it a very appealing place for people to go sightseeing at.
Las Penas is perfect if you are a tourist in the city and simply need a break from all the museum and landmark exploring of the area. You don’t have to lock yourself in the hotel room; you can take a breather by strolling around the waterfront banks that make up the neighborhood of Las Penas.
You will be surprised to see this place, knowing that once upon a time ago in its place stood a very dangerous slum. So if you are planning on crossing the city of Guayaquil, make sure that you add Las Penas on your list of places to see and things to do in Ecuador.