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Guayaquil, Ecuador - Best Thing To Do Is See Iguanas At Seminario Park

Ecuador travel blog by Mark Berman - June 2012   » View Photoset (92 Photos)

Mark Berman, South America backpacker for 10yrs!
I had passed through Guayaquil bus terminal a couple of times before, on my way to other places, on my third time I decided to actually visit the city. I am
Ecuador Photo - Replica of a pirates ship at the fort museum on Santa Ana hill, Guayaquil.
Replica of a pirates ship at the fort museum on Santa Ana hill, Guayaquil.
glad I did, it's a modern city with some nice sights. From Huaquillas on the border with Peru it took 4hrs 30mins in the middle of the night to get here. Firstly I went to the immigration office across the road from the bus terminal to sort out a problem with my passport, then took a taxi ($4USD) to a budgetish hotel in the center of town. I was located just 5 blocks from the main cathedral. I arranged to meet a friend for lunch and have them show me around a bit. It's an awesome cathedral and the park of iguanas is just across the road!

Seminario Park and Iguanas

A really fun thing to do in
Ecuador Photo - An old beacon at the fort museum on Santa Ana hill, Guayaquil.
An old beacon at the fort museum on Santa Ana hill, Guayaquil.
Guayaquil is visit the park across the road from the cathedral called Parque Seminario where there are dozens of large iguanas crawling all over the place. The iguanas are so friendly that they climb onto people while they are sitting down on the park benches eating lunch. It's a lot of fun and one of the highlights of Guayaquil - see my video!

Around the City

Walking towards the river is the Plaza de la Administracion where there are many interesting historical buildings and monuments including the amazing 'La Fragua de Vulcano' monument which features 14 different people depicted in bronze and the 8.5 metre high 'Sucre' monument. There are
Ecuador Photo - A fountain and a streetlamp on the staircase of Santa Ana hill, Guayaquil.
A fountain and a streetlamp on the staircase of Santa Ana hill, Guayaquil.
artists painting and various other activities going on in this area, it's nice. The riverfront is very attractive, big open spaces and walkways, cafes and restaurants, parks and trees, statues and monuments, it is called the Malecon. Some of the figures celebrated in statue include Venezuelan writer Vicente Lecuna (1870-1954) and 4 former presidents - Dr. Carlos Julio Arosemena Monroy (1919-2004), Dr. Otto Arosemena Gomez (1925-1984), Juan de Dios Martinez Mera (1875-1955) and Baquerizo Moreno (1859-1951). There are several lookout platforms along the Malecon, the views of the river and city are really great, you can see the Malecon clock tower from a long distance away.

Santa Ana Hill

The most noticeable landmark in Guayaquil has to be the hill with all the colored houses on it, this is
Ecuador Photo - Nearly at the top of Santa Ana hill in Guayaquil.
Nearly at the top of Santa Ana hill in Guayaquil.
Cerro Santa Ana. Early next morning I set off to get to the top. At the foot of Cerro Santa Ana is Plaza Colon with a big pink and white church and a bronze head of Guayaquil's founder Francisco de Orellana (1511-1546). From here it is just a short walk to the stairs to walk up to the top through a very interesting and colorful neighborhood - it is safe, there are security men on guard along the way. Up the numbered stairs (from 1 to 444), you will see artworks, streetlamps, side alleyways, gardens and palms, bright colored houses and balconies. At the top is the fort museum, church and lighthouse and fantastic panoramic views of the city. The fort museum has something for everyone - kids and adults, with a replica of a pirate ship, many cannons and various other pieces of things. Near the entrance are bronze heads of 4 naval officers - Rafael Moran Valverde (1904-1958), Rafael Andrade Lalama (1878-1952), Thomas Charles Wright Montgomery
Ecuador Photo - Park beside the river in Las Penas in Guayaquil.
Park beside the river in Las Penas in Guayaquil.
(1799-1868) and Juan Illingworth Hunt (1786-1853). The best thing about the fort museum is that it is outside.

Las Penas Neighborhood

After spending sometime at the top of Santa Ana hill and walking back down the 444 stairs to the bottom, I visited (at the foot of the hill) Barrio Las Penas - Guayaquils oldest neighborhood. Las Penas is very historic with houses dating back over a century, many famous people have lived there including writers, musicians and several presidents. Around Las Penas is the port, Plaza Pilsener with its 'Dalek' fountain and a few art shops. From here I walked back along the Malecon towards the city center. Along the way I saw the kids park beside the water, a bronze work of Captain Arturo Prat Chacon (1848-1879), parks with pond areas, gardens and plazas, games and exercise areas, fountains, bronze artworks and the impressive monument of Simon Bolivar and San Martin shaking hands. I enjoyed the day very much. I will return to Guayaquil in the future and get to know the city better, there are many more sights including museums, beaches and parks. I look forward to it. The website InGuayaquil has more information about the city. From Guayaquil I headed to Manta on the coast, 3hrs 30mins by bus.

     

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Distances & times (if available) from Guayaquil (Ecuador) to:


Map location: Guayaquil, Ecuador. Guayaquil is a modern city and has a nice waterfront to walk around, take a walk up the 444 stairs to the top of Santa Ana hill for great views of the city and the fort museum!
 A : Guaranda - Ecuador 138 kms 138 kms straight distance | 3hrs 58mins 3hrs 58mins by car (201 kms) | 4hrs 45mins 4hrs 45mins by bus (201 kms) (201 kms)
 B : Puerto Lopez - Ecuador 102 kms 102 kms straight distance | 3hrs 5mins 3hrs 5mins by car (203 kms) | 3hrs 42mins 3hrs 42mins by bus (203 kms) (203 kms)
 C : Portoviejo - Ecuador 131 kms 131 kms straight distance | 3hrs 38mins 3hrs 38mins by car (206 kms) | 4hrs 21mins 4hrs 21mins by bus (206 kms) (206 kms)
 D : Machala - Ecuador 123 kms 123 kms straight distance | 3hrs 44mins 3hrs 44mins by car (220 kms) | 4hrs 28mins 4hrs 28mins by bus (220 kms) (220 kms)
 E : Manta - Tarqui Beach - Ecuador 148 kms 148 kms straight distance | 3hrs 45mins 3hrs 45mins by car (222 kms) | 4hrs 30mins 4hrs 30mins by bus (222 kms) (222 kms)
 F : Cuenca - Ecuador 146 kms 146 kms straight distance | 3hrs 57mins 3hrs 57mins by car (226 kms) | 4hrs 44mins 4hrs 44mins by bus (226 kms) (226 kms)
 G : Alausi - Ecuador 140 kms 140 kms straight distance | 4hrs 8mins 4hrs 8mins by car (231 kms) | 4hrs 57mins 4hrs 57mins by bus (231 kms) (231 kms)
 H : Riobamba & Colta Lagoon - Ecuador 167 kms 167 kms straight distance | 4hrs 38mins 4hrs 38mins by car (259 kms) | 5hrs 33mins 5hrs 33mins by bus (259 kms) (259 kms)
 I : Huaquillas - Ecuador 148 kms 148 kms straight distance | 4hrs 29mins 4hrs 29mins by car (276 kms) | 5hrs 22mins 5hrs 22mins by bus (276 kms) (276 kms)
 J : Ambato - Ecuador 190 kms 190 kms straight distance | 5hrs 47mins 5hrs 47mins by car (300 kms) | 6hrs 56mins 6hrs 56mins by bus (300 kms) (300 kms)
 K : Quilotoa Lagoon - Ecuador 194 kms 194 kms straight distance | 5hrs 49mins 5hrs 49mins by car (330 kms) | 6hrs 58mins 6hrs 58mins by bus (330 kms) (330 kms)
 L : Banos - Ecuador 205 kms 205 kms straight distance | 6hrs 2mins 6hrs 2mins by car (333 kms) | 7hrs 14mins 7hrs 14mins by bus (333 kms) (333 kms)
 M : Pujili - Ecuador 205 kms 205 kms straight distance | 6hrs 17mins 6hrs 17mins by car (367 kms) | 7hrs 32mins 7hrs 32mins by bus (367 kms) (367 kms)
 N : Saquisili - Ecuador 215 kms 215 kms straight distance | 6hrs 35mins 6hrs 35mins by car (380 kms) | 7hrs 54mins 7hrs 54mins by bus (380 kms) (380 kms)
Driving times are accurate but approximate and are listed in the order of driving distance! Drive times are always affected by weather conditions, the terrain, time of day, altitude, dinner and bathroom stops, animals on the road, protests, a fast or slow bus driver, police checkpoints, border and river crossings, dropping off and picking up passengers etc. These drive times are obtained from Google Maps and are meant as a guide. Note however, times quoted in the main text of this page are exactly as the author experienced it.


My Hostel & Hotel Reviews for Guayaquil, Ecuador:

Hotel Atlantic, Guayaquil, Ecuador - Large Photo
Hotel Atlantic, Guayaquil, Ecuador (June 2012 - 1 night) - This was a nice hotel, cheap for the city center. The room had internet, tv and bathroom. Located just 5 blocks from the cathedral. Recommended.

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