Last Updated on March 14, 2023
Guayaquil is locally known as Santiago de Guayaquil. It’s the second-largest city in Ecuador and serves as the chief port of the country. As you stroll along the city, you will be intrigued by its diversity of culture and traditions.
If you are visiting for the first time, you should know that it has a hot climate in the first semester of the year and cooler for the rest of it.
You can find a good number of things to do all year round. Whether you want to relax at the beach or tour around the city, Guayaquil is worth your travel money and experience.
1. Go for a Walk at Malecón 2000
A modern and renewed urban park located at the west shore of Guayas River. It was named after the year it was built. Malecón means boardwalk or pier in English.
The area is a blend of historic and modern buildings. It expands from amusement parks until you reach Las Pena’s houses. You can sight several attractions like the panoramic view of the river, four structures representing four elements (earth, fire, wind, and water), and the big Ferris wheel where you can see the whole city at the top.
If you feel hungry, try some Ecuadorian snacks or eat at restaurants nearby. The spot is open day and night.
2. Be Active at Parque Semanes
An area where you can do recreational activities such as sports, walking, and sightseeing. It measures 12 hectares in total. This green land contains 50 sports courts for basketball, volleyball, tennis, handball, and soccer. It’s free and open 24hrs a day.
Aside from this, children can play at playgrounds. Elders can try using bio-healthy machines to perform aerobic and anaerobic exercises.
This park features a hundred fauna and flora species making the air fresh and clean as you actively do your thing.
Just around the corner, attend to some cultural activities like exhibitions, concerts, street theater, and more.
Parque Semanes deserves a spot in your list.
3. Have an Architectural Adventure at the Metropolitan Cathedral of Guayaquil
It was built in 1547 using woods but later rebuilt in concrete. The building displays a neo-gothic style and exhibits artistic nooks and crannies.
The cathedral functions as the mother church, and it is one of the most important religious figures in the country. At the back of the building, there are towers symbolizing faith and history.
Every tourist must see the center window stain glass and the gold and silver decorations of the high altar. Several small chapels are surrounding the church. Each has designated patrons. Devotees can pay respect and pray inside.
You can take pictures except during the mass. Every corner flaunts a touch of Spanish style.
4. Make Friends with Iguanas at Parque Seminario
A park dedicated to advocate Iguanas welfare. It was established in the 19th century and formerly known as Plaza Bolivar on behalf of Simon Bolivar Monument. The park was renamed after philanthropist Manuel Seminario donated big money to renovate the whole area.
As you walk along the park, you will meet dozens of Iguanas welcoming every tourist and locals. They are tamed and cordial.
Several vendors are offering lettuce for you to be able to feed the Iguanas. Price is reasonable for a first-time experience.
Other than Iguanas, many pigeons settling around as well as turtles and colorful fish at the closest lake.
A pleasant park just across the Guayaquil Cathedral.
5. Be Astounded at the View at Balcon Mirador Cerro Paraiso
The perfect place to have a relaxing moment with your family, friends, or sweetheart. You can go on foot or by car. At the top, you can appreciate the breathtaking view of the city. There are tables and park benches to settle in.
Tourists are advised to stay until the sky gets dark. The city lights illumination is worth seeing. The beaming lights are strikingly beautiful.
While waiting, you can eat at the food stalls and drink some cold beverages.
For couples visiting with their children, you can allow your kids to play around as there are safety barriers and security guards patrolling around the area.
6. Have an Adventure at Cerro Blanco Protected Forest
A tropical dry forest of the Ecuadorian coast. It is located southwest area, near the mountain ranges. It belongs to the Holcim Ecuador company. The whole area is reserved and well-conserved.
If you are looking for a taste of adventure, you can walk along Cerro Blanco Forrest. It offers a variety of species, including birds, mammals, reptiles, and amphibians.
There are available tourist guides that you can hire for a smooth and detailed trip. They are fluent in English and knowledgeable enough to answer your questions. You will learn a lot about faunas and floras, as well as the importance of ecosystem conservation.
You can spend a night at their camping area and cabins.
7. Appreciate Some Historical Items at Guayaquil Municipal Museum
The oldest museum in Ecuador founded in 1908. It is dedicated to showcase the history of the country as well as the Science and technology integration for the past years. It housed thousand collections of archeological and artistic pieces.
The museum has four rooms. Pre-hispanic room which exhibits mostly ceramic, metal, and stone made objects. Colonial room that displays about the city’s origins and colonial period. Religious art room which focuses on religious paintings, sacred arts and sculptures. Numismatic room which tells about the old trade system called Barter change.
It is important to mention that Guayaquil Municipal Museum is one of the best museums in the world.
8. Climb up at Santa Ana Hill
One of the most important viewpoints of the City. Santa Ana Hill stands 60 meters above sea level. You can reach the top by climbing up Diego Noboa staircases, which consist of 444 stairs. It sounds difficult, but the view is worth every step and sweat.
As you step up, you can stop by some museums, chapels, lighthouses, and art galleries. Also, if you crave for local Ecuadorian foods, there are several restaurants that you can try. The place has everything you need to create unforgettable memories.
The top is known as Fortin del Cerro, where you can find cannons symbolizing strength and power in the colonial days. They are still being used during special events.
9. Grab a Bite at Plaza Lagos
A place where you can find high-class restaurants and shopping boutiques. The plaza has an artificial lake that adds charm and elegance to the area. A fountain mounted nearby completes the total look.
You can taste extravagant Ecuadorian dishes, international cuisines, and refreshing beverages. It’s easily accessible. Many tourists and locals come by, especially at night.
If you come with a toddler, you can pay $5 at the playground, and there are available babysitters to watch over him while you enjoy your date.
The place has a mixture of urban and colonial architectural design. It is one of the pride of the town municipality as it was a successful project to advertise Guayaquil tourism.
10. Tour Around Museo Antropológico y de Arte Contemporáneo
It was open to the public on July 30, 2003, and serves as a part of Simon Bolivar Cultural Center. The main purpose of the establishment of the museum is to promote the cultural heritage of the city and exhibits aboriginal and modern objects.
The museum offers a variety of activities such as scenic art exhibitions, educational conferences, forums, and film projections showing a glimpse of Ecuadorian history.
Some of the best attractions are 50,000 Ecuadorian native archeological pieces preserved from 1,400 AD until 8,000 BC. It is combined with 3,400 modern artworks made by talented artists.
The museum is a massive showcase of arts and history.
11. Dive in at Salinas Beaches
Some of the best beaches in Ecuador are located in Salinas, Guayaquil. You can easily find a spot to do sunbathing and enjoy the magnificent view of the beach. There are spots where you can try water activities such as surfing and boat riding.
Five of the best beaches in Salinas are Playa de Chepipe, Playa las Salinas, Playa Anconcito, Playa de Mar Bravo, and Banos de San Vicente. All are open to the public and free to visit.
These beaches have hotels close by. You can choose from standard to first-rate suits. At night, you can go bar hopping and meet locals or other tourists partying around.
12. Cross over El Velero Bridge
The most beautiful and enticing bridge of the country. It was built in 1998 and was remodeled in 2005 by the Guayaquil Municipality. The aesthetics and architectural design of the bridge was the turning point of urbanization of the city.
You can cross at both sides of the bridge along the wooden walkways. It’s safe and firmly constructed. Here, you can stop by the center and appreciate the natural surrounding of Salado Estuary.
At night, the bridge lights up in blue as it has a fiber optic cable system stretching from end to end.