Guayaquil, Ecuador is a beautiful port city and cheaper alternative to Quito for travel on to the Galapagos Islands. We loved Guayaquil from the moment we arrived. The bus terminal was amazing! It was basically an enormous mall and bus station all in one building. We immediately noticed the American influence in Ecuador. The US dollar is the official currency and US corporations were everywhere. We hadn’t seen too much American influenece in the trip so far. The Galapagos Islands bring in a lot of American tourists and it was nice to talk with some people from the US again.
After we got our barrings in the new city we headed for the biggest attraction “Malecon 2000.” It is a 1.5 mile boardwalk on the Guayas River. The boardwalk was magnificent, clean, and full of people. As we walked down the boardwalk we had beautiful green parks and monuments on one side, and a river on the other. You couldn’t ask for a better place to talk a stroll. There were band stages set up on the boardwalk so we were spoiled with energy-ridden latin music as we walked beside the river.
At the end of the boardwalk is the neighborhood of Cerro Santa Ana. The neighborhood went through some amazing restoration. The neighborhood used to look like many of the poor shanty towns you see in South America, and now looks very colorful, clean, and inviting. 444 steps bring you to a church and lighthouse with magnificent views of the city.
We finished the day with a walk to Iguana Park or “Parque Seminario.” Dozens of iguanas roomed the park. They were friendly and fearless. We got a couple of good pictures with the friendly critters.
We decided to postpone a Galapagos Islands trip so we could go with my family later on. The trip looked amazing, but its always good to have places to look forward to visiting.
We only stayed a couple days in Guayaquil, but our time there was enjoyed.