Official language: Spanish
Time zone: UTC -5
Currency: United States dollar (USD)
Life of pedestrians in Guayaquil is one of the easiest in the whole Latin America. Streets there are wide, drivers obey to traffic lights and have habit of giving way to pedestrians.
According to a legend, the name of the city Guayaquil originates from fusion of names of an Indian chief, Guayas, and his wife, Quill. The full city’s name is Santiago de Guayaquil.
Export of cacao in the 19th century allowed Ecuador to blossom. While in Guayaquil, make sure to try chocolate made of seeds of local cacao trees. It tastes completely different!
By the Guayaquil gulf, in a place, where the river Guayas flows into the sea, in the first half of the 16th century a city Guayaquil was founded. In the 19th century in that spot one of the most important export ports of Ecuador was located, which caused Guayaquil’s fast development. Nowadays, Guayaquil is one of the biggest cities in the country. Due to heavy traffic and fast rhythm of life, it is compared to New York.
Districts are full of colourful and colonial buildings. But you need to pay a little attention to notice them – often on each sides there are attached more practical, modern houses. The showcase of Guayaquil are parks. Take a look at Parque de las Iguanas, where on every corner you will find iguanas warming up in the sun. They are very eagerly posing for pictures, but hiding out from kids. You can feed them with salad or leaves.
For Indian effigies, folk skirts, shawls and hats, jewellery and other souvenirs of Guayaquil, go to a local market. We especially recommend Mercado Artesanal by Montavalo street, close to the technical university, at the foot of Cerro del Carmen hill.
In the evenings, go for a walk to malecon. From this seaside boardwalk, that is 5 kilometres long, you can admire a beautiful view for the Guayaquil gulf. Don’t hurry, sit down for a moment in one of the nearby cafes and take a look on citizens’ life. If you travel with kids, you can’t miss the museum of firefighters. You can not only have a seat in huge firefighters’ vehicles, but also in their effigies and try to put out fire on your own.
A visit in Ecuador can’t be completed without a meeting by a coffee. Produced there arabica and robust are very popular in the entire world. The best ones you can get in El Café de Tere at Hermano Manuel.
Do you want to know Ecuadorian cuisine? The biggest local titbit is cuy, which is fried guinea pig. You can try it in for e.g. La Canoa, the restaurant located at the corner of streets Chile and 10 de Agosto. A little less controversial dish, that is worth to try while in Guayaquil, is encebollado – soup of tuna and tomatoes. Excellent one is served in Caracol Azul at Avenida Nueve de Octubre.