Guayaquil, The Pearl of the Pacific
Guayaquil, the largest city in Ecuador is the capital of the province of Guayas and offers a wide range of tourist sites. Its shopping centers, parks, museums and boardwalks are the most visited by travelers who are delighted by the magic offered by the so-called "Pearl of the Pacific."
A city of art, music, gastronomy, friendly people and sunsets that light the skies of the city, make Guayaquil a destination that must be visited, the city invites its own visitors to discover its tourist treasures, customs and traditions very characteristic of the Port; It is also a land that highlighted Ecuadorian literature with the "Group of Guayaquil", also the birthplace of pasillo singer Julio Jaramillo the "Nightingale of America"
A magical destination that catches the tourist
This port city is a place full of a unique charm that has conquered national and foreign visitors. Throughout its streets you can find a mixture of traditions, customs and cultures. This metropolis also bets on tourism, becoming a national and international tourist destination. International fairs and events that motivate the visit of foreigners are also developed in this town.
The Cathedral, the Seminary Park, the Palace of the Interior, the Santa Ana Hill, the Las Peñas Neighborhood, the Simón Bolívar Boardwalk, the Samanes Park, the Guayaquil Historical Park, among others, are the destinations of tourist interest that day to Day are visited by thousands of people who arrive to this cheerful and warm city.
Another alternative is tourism in the Gulf, a new river alternative that articulates the main tourist sites around Guayaquil: Santay Island, Durán Train Station, Simón Bolívar Pier and Samborondón Historical Park. In this area you can develop nature tourism (wildlife observation), active tourism, (hiking, cycling), cultural and experiential activities, among others.
This product allows you to enjoy the city of Guayaquil and its surroundings from another point of view, under the hop on - hop off mode where tourists can get on and off, with the same ticket and on the same day, as many times as they want. It includes guided tours, departing from the Naval Yacht Club Pier on the Simón Bolívar Boardwalk.
You can also enjoy spaces that are surrounded by a lot of nature, such as Santay Island and Lake Park, ideal places for extreme sports and outdoor activities. Without a doubt, rewarding options to enjoy with family or friends.
Tourists who wish to spend the night in the main port can do so in the different lodging options offered by the city.
Foundation of Guayaquil Festivities: There is a whole conglomerate of activities to celebrate the festivities of the city among them we have: music concerts, dance, parades and gastronomic fairs where traditional seafood based on the coast is the main protagonist.
October celebrations: They are celebrated in commemoration of the independence of Guayaquil, military and air parades are held, here the intonation of the traditional theme:
“Guayaquileño Madera de Guerrero” cannot be missed. Marathons, and concerts in different parts of the city are part of the agenda as well as craft fairs that promote the city's commerce.
The sun of Guayaquil is so characteristic throughout the Ecuadorian coast, if you plan to walk along the boardwalk or go to the Las Peñas neighborhood, do not forget to use sunscreen, repellent if you go to one of the zoos and sunglasses if you go to the nearby spas.
Even in winter the heat is strong but there are places in the city that run the risk of light flooding. Most of the year the sunsets of Guayaquil burn the sky with the red of the sun that is projected in the clouds. A show that will make you wait for the next day.
Flag of Guayaquil
The emblematic flag of Guayaquil was established following the independence of Guayaquil on October 9, 1820, a national symbol that was the insignia of the Republic of Guayaquil, which was made up of the provinces of the coast as we know them today. The idea of Dr. José Joaquín de Olmedo in choosing the colors blue and white, and also made the design of the shield of the city. The flag is divided into 5 horizontal stripes, three of them are light blue and two white, in central celestial strip there are three white stars.
Tourist Places of Guayaquil
The main tourist places in Guayaquil are:
- Historical Park of Guayaquil: One of the most representative and extensive parks that shows a bygone era of that mythical Guayaquil and also exhibits the characteristic flora and fauna of the region that is no longer seen in a way.
- Puerto Hondo: It is managed by the Natura and Pro-Bosque Foundation and offers tourists a spa near the city with a natural landscape surrounded by mangroves.
- 2000 Pier: Iconic work that serves as the main attraction of the city, offers boat trips, a Muscovite wheel that allows you to appreciate the entire city from the height and several events in its annual agenda. All this next to the Guayas river.
- National Park Lake Recreation Area: Ideal place for a weekend picnic or to share with friends, it is also possible to do ecotourism, ride a bike or also observe the more than 160 species of birds that live in this area.
- Pantanal Zoo: it is very close to the city and allows tourists to enjoy the proximity with the wildlife characteristic of the area and thus learn and raise awareness about wildlife and its fragility by not contributing to the care of their habitats.
- Santa Ana Hill: A beautiful tourist place and meeting point for the enjoyment of a night in the city. It has viewpoints from where you can see several parts of Guayaquil and its colorful houses invite you to enjoy a colorful and unique visual work.
- Las Peñas Neighborhood: One of the traditional and emblematic neighborhoods of the city that will transport you to another era in time, over the years it has preserved the oldest buildings and houses and thanks to the remodeling that has taken care of them, today it is possible move to an old Guayaquil as in the books of his literary artists.
What to do and see in Guayaquil?
To visit the city of Guayaquil is to experience the culture, gastronomy and tourism, by seeing its vivid neighborhoods locals and visitors will know a little more about this city.
Part of the history of Guayaquil is to know its streets and neighborhoods. The first streets were born on the Santa Ana hill, one of the first roads was La Real, currently known as Rocafuerte street. Other avenues are the Nueva street, now called Simón Bolívar Pier and Av. 9 de Octubre, which in the 18th century was known as San Francisco because of the church of the same name.
Guayaquil is made up of new buildings, citadels throughout the city and traditional neighborhoods, which gave rise to the many streets that are part of the current Guayaquil. Among the best known neighborhoods we have the Centenario, the Cuba neighborhood, La Peñas, Puerto Santa, among others.
Getting to know this is to explore the traditional places and enjoy the wide tourist offer that it has for national and foreign tourists, seeking to please the strictest tastes.
Visiting this city is meeting gastronomic delights. First of all the crab restaurants, located in Sauces and Australian lobsters, in the Alborada. For nightlife bars and discos, in the Las Peñas neighborhood. And for those who like cultural and artistic, museums in Puerto Santa Ana.
The epicenter of crab restaurants
If you are looking for a place to enjoy a variety of crabs among friends or family, Av. Benjamín Carrión, in the Sauces VI neighborhood, north of Guayaquil, will allow you to taste different dishes with irresistible promotions. More than a dozen stores along this avenue will delight you with the best recipes made with crab.
Ochipinti, Marthita and Tu Cangrejo, are some of the places that offer this gastronomic dish that is accompanied with Creole sauce, ripe and sometimes for a cocolón (toasted rice), ingredients and flavors that will please your palate.
Anabel Robalino, from Guayaquil, commented “this is a different dish that you can't stop eating”. Robalino stressed the importance of finding a good flavor and preparation. “They must be well seasoned, with the precise amount of salt, everything has to be in place. Above all, the meat does not have to be attached to the carapace,” she summarized.
The locals in this area offer a variety of dining options with seafood such as shrimp, fish and other seafood, not forgetting the best bet crabs.
Crawfish Time, gastronomic alternative
If we talk about seafood, Crawfish Time has a new gastronomic proposal: delicious mini lobsters, cooked in the Cajun style (a spicy touch). The place is located in the Alborada VI neighborhood, Mz. 665, villa 7-8.
For Abel Mejía, local manager, this product resembles crab culture. "Crab, family, friends and a beer" is the perfect combination to enjoy these exquisite fresh water lobsters.
Risotto, fetuccini, sandwiches and even hamburgers, are other products that are also prepared with this product of the sea, which has captivated the most demanding palates. One of the “star products,” according to Mejía, is its green empanadas with peanuts and lobster. This business is part of the gastronomy of Guayaquil.
Amusement centers in Las Peñas
Although it is said that the Guayaquil has good food, not the whole agenda is occupied by the gastronomic theme. The inhabitants of the Main Port of Ecuador also like places to share a night with friends and enjoy a good evening with live music. The favorable neighborhood for these activities is Las Peñas.
Las Peñas, emblematic neighborhood of Guayaquil, has a colonial architectural style. Several tourist, cultural and nightlife attractions are presented in this space that welcomes domestic and foreign tourists.
Gilby de la Paz, manager of the local La Paleta, refers to this neighborhood as a place that "has a particular and special magic" where you can make friends and enjoy a unique moment.
Rayuela Bar, located on Numa Pompilio Llona Street, is a space that brings together gastronomy, bohemian nights and live music. Javier Kayser, local administrator, comments that in July, painters, artists and numerous events take to the streets to celebrate Guayaquil.
Las Peñas, the first neighborhood of Guayaquil, was declared 30 years ago as Cultural Heritage Site, acquires its name for the amount of crags and rocks, which the hill had in the beginning.
Santa Ana, a new tourist destination
Puerto Santa is located on the slopes of the Santa Ana hill. In this sector you can find shops, plazas and museums that are visited daily by young children and adults.
A modern building was built there, where it was a brewery. In addition, several artistic events take place in this space for the enjoyment of visitors.
Likewise, two museums offer travelers a tour of the Guayaquilean history.
The Julio Jaramillo Lurido Popular Music Museum is located in the Shipyard Building, shows tourists a variety of photographs, album covers, rockolas, cassettes, and musical instruments.
In addition, the Shipyard Equipment Museum (Barcelona and Emelec). These two spaces offer interaction, cinema and others that pay homage to the most popular sports clubs and soccer teams in Guayaquil.
All these spaces make Guayaquil a tourist destination. Visitors will be able to carry out various activities, tour the places safely, enjoy gastronomy, but above all reactivate the economic of these emblematic sites that, due to their kindness, are made by Living Neighborhoods.
Culture and Traditions of Guayaquil
Guayaquil of my love
Among the highlights of the culture and traditions of the province of Guayas we can mention:
- Amorfinos: In the festivities the amorfinos are sung or recited, that is verses dedicated to beautiful women. They are accompanied by a guitar.
- Serenades: The music and songs with love lyrics, you play at the foot of balconies or windows of the beloved woman (the girlfriends, wives, pretended) that little by little has been lost. Today this traditional custom has disappeared.
- Rodeos: They are a custom that takes place in various towns on the coast. The rodeo is attended by people of all ages and conditions. Men participate in the dressage of foals, bullfighting and other games that demand a lot of capacity and courage.
We can also mention the great faith of the people of the province of Guayas, where Easter is its maximum expression and a large number of faithful people are noted through their different customs at the time of proclaiming their faith in God the Supreme Being either with the visit to the seven churches, processions, viacrucis in different ways either entering the temple on your knees, let's not forget the famous pout that is made with all kinds of grains, peanuts, salted fish and other ingredients depending on different tastes and other customs that are part of their culture.
Gastronomy of Guayaquil
The typical food of Guayaquil is represented by rice with stew and roasted meat or its variants with cutlet, fish, chicken or sausages; charcoal cooked meats and accompanied by patacones (fried green plantain pieces). It also highlights the onions of albacore or tuna with cassava cooked and seasoned with a type of salad composed of onion, tomato, coriander and lemon; the fish cebiches (pickled), shrimp or shell (cooked), or the red crab (cooked). Crabs are one of the characteristic delights of Guayaquil.
The main sectors of international restaurants are located in the north and center of the city. There are pizzerias, barbecues or barbecues, restaurants of Mexican, Peruvian and Chinese food, as well as international fast food chains.
Typical dishes of Guayaquil
- Rice with stew with meat, chicken or chop: In Guayaquil, rice with stew is a dish that is served at the tables and enjoyed with family, there are also many places that offer exquisite flavors and preparations that fulfill the most demanding palates.
- Encebollado: A well-known old Guayaquil saying is "One who has not eaten a good encebollado, is like he never came to Guayaquil." So remember to eat one when you visit the city.
- Sausage broth: It is the famous hose broth based on viscera and pork blood and various spices that with a special preparation captivate the palates of the diners. This dish was made traditional by 1950. It is said that housewives used to bring this dish to firefighters for lunch during the independence holidays.
Typical drinks of Guayaquil
- Quaker: is the commercial name of one of the best known cereal brands in all of Ecuador. The brand has become the oatmeal drink that has several possibilities of preparation with either naranjilla, passion fruit or milk. It is one of the most consumed drinks in the city and you can drink it cold or warm with the stew or breakfast.
Typical desserts of Guayaquil
- Fruit salad: It is based on pure orange juice with pieces of several sweet tropical fruits. This mixture can be eaten in the form of ice cream or only as a salad.
- Other typical meals: There are so many delicacies that can be left out of this list but those that can not be missed and are always the order of the day in several parts of the city are: green bolon, ceviches, humitas, guatita, crabs.
Other typical foods: we cannot fail to mention other important delicacies such as: green bolon, humitas, ceviches, guatita, specialties with crab, additionally the custom of a cup of a delicious coffee or chocolate (Ecuadorian cocoa) accompanied with delicious empanadas. There are flavors that have crossed the regional borders and there are places where you can taste the delicious horchata or the legendary chicha de jora.
Since the 1540s, Diego de Urbina organized the first settlement in the green hill of the city that developed on the right hand side of the Guayas river, there the ancient Huancavilca territory, grew with a splendid architecture which was the result of the hard work of the carpenters of the riverside. They used precious and incorruptible woods that gave thei balconies and portals of Guayaquil a unique feature in The Americas.
Its unique characteristic as a port, in one of the most peaceful estuaries on the western coast of the South Pacific, was an ideal condition that made it the largest Spanish shipyard in the South Sea.
Guayaquil was the cradle of freedom, which crystallized in the so-called “Glorious Aurora” of October 9, 1820. For the first time, in what is now Ecuador, there was an explicit and formal Declaration of Independence. From Guayaquil, the armies that liberated Quito left on May 24, 1822, and from this same city a large contingent left that sealed the freedom of South America, in the battles of Junín and Ayacucho.
Parishes of Guayaquil
- Urban parishes
- Ayacucho Parish
- Bolivar Parish (Tabernacle)
- Carbo Parish (Concepción)
- Chongón Parish
- Febres Cordero Parish
- García Moreno Parish
- Letamendi Parish
- October Nine Parish
- Olmedo Parish (San Alejo)
- Easter Parish
- Roca Parish
- Rocafuerte Parish
- Sucre Parish
- Tarqui Parish
- Urdaneta Parish
- Ximena Parish
- Rural parishes
- Juan Gómez Rendón Parish (Progreso)
- Puná Parish
- Tenguel Parish
- Posorja Parish
- El Morro Parish