The Pearl of the Pacific: Top 3 Activities to do in Downtown Guayaquil

Top 3 Activities to do in Downtown Guayaquil

When visiting Ecuador and before heading to the Galapagos Islands, all visitors – also those flying from Quito—will stop at Guayaquil. Some may have to spend a night there due to flight schedules. Others will want to take advantage of their trip to this South American country, to get a glimpse of some of its biggest cities. Whether on purpose or not, this vibrant city has a lot to offer and we present you with a list of the top 3 activities to do in downtown Guayaquil. Even though the list could go on for a while, this is a good way to get a glimpse of what this city has to offer.

Guayaquil's cathedral seen from above

Guayaquil’s cathedral seen from above

A vibrant City

Guayaquil is Ecuador’s most populated city and is located on its coastal region, on Guayas province. Its hectic everyday life contrasts with the calmness of the Guayas River, which flows inadvertedly. Yet, there is more to this river than meets the eye. The currents below its peaceful surface are treacherous, and have deceived many swimmers who think they can cross the river. May be without being aware of it, Guayaquil follows this same dynamic. Seen from above, when flying into this beautiful city also called “the pearl of the Pacific”—because of its once renown splendour— the green plains colliding with the urban structures look quiet. Once the airplane doors opens and a wave of warm humidity greets you, you know this city will surprise you.

Parque de las Iguanas

Start your day visiting a most rare spot, the Parque de las Iguanas (Park of the iguanas). Even though its original name is Parque Seminario, it is also called Parque Bolívar, and most commonly Parque de las Iguanas. As its name suggests, this picturesque plaza located right in the middle of Guayaquil’s chaotic downtown, is the home of a very special inhabitant: the land iguana. With Guayaquil’s cathedral overlooking the Plaza, the iguanas give it a rather pre historic look that you will not want to miss. The contrast is absolutely photo-worthy!

Parque de las Iguanas. Photo credit: Victor Asencio, from andes.info.ec

Parque de las Iguanas. Photo credit: Victor Asencio, from andes.info.ec

MAAC

Not far from the Parque de las Iguanas, and easily reachable by foot, you will be able to find the Museum of Anthropology and Contemporary Art (MAAC, its acronym in Spanish). You will be able to realize that even though this part of town is perfectly walkable, the warmth and humidity will make it seem harder than it is. Taking a taxi is also an option, but be prepared for some traffic.

The MAAC is located right at the beginning of Malecon 2000. Guayaquil’s beautiful riverfront promenade. It exhibits a beautiful prehispanic collection worthy to be seen. Exquisitely curated and temporary art exhibits by modern and contemporary artists are constantly shown. Ask your hotel for the MAAC’s offer for that month.

Malecon 2000

Once done with your visit to the MAAC, take a relaxing walk through Guayaquil’s beloved promenade. Enjoy the relaxing view if the river, while walking under the exuberant trees decorating its gardens. You will feel like a true Guayaquileño.

One of the top 3 activities to do in downtown Guayaquil. Visit the Malecon 2000

One of the top 3 activities to do in downtown Guayaquil. Visit the Malecon 2000

If you still have some time and energy left, remember at the equator the sun always sets around 7pm.  Wait for our next recommendation on top activities in Guayaquil. Your visit to this energetic city is far from over!

If you are on your way to the Galapagos Islands to our Galapagos Cruise, this will be an intense and amazing start point on Ecuadorian life. If you are on your way back from your fantastic trip to the archipelago, immerse yourself in the frenzy. You won’t regret it!

 

Nathalie Moeller is of Ecuadorian and German descent. As a child she spent her summers in the Galapagos Islands, where her mother grew up, and from a very young age learned to love the beauty and uniqueness of the archipelago. She studied Journalism and Humanities in Barcelona, after living in Madrid and Germany for a couple of years. This gave her a culturally broader view of the world, which is reflected in everything she does. Blogging gives her the opportunity to combine her passion for travelling and writing.