Are you looking for things to do in Guayaquil?
As tourism is on the rise you’ll find a mountain of things to do in Guayaquil if you do your proper research.
Guayaquil is a great solo travel destination, which is known for its hillsides, home to some of the most colorful favelas.
You’ll feel the hot and humid climate in this city. Also, Guayaquil is home to one of the main South American ports on the Pacific ocean.
Things to do in Guayaquil
Did you know Guayaquil is one of the largest and most populous cities in Ecuador, as well as the gateway to many of Ecuador’s beaches?
Guayaquil is a key location that makes a nice addition to any Ecuador itinerary or backpacking adventure that you may be planning.
Below I’ll show you what to do in Guayaquil as if it was your first time in the city and you wanted to skip straight to the best sights.
If you’re concerned about safety in Ecuador this article will save you time, so you know exactly which places to visit in the city.
Parque de las Iguanas
Are you a fan of reptiles? One of the great things to do in Guayaquil is to visit Iguana Park.
Here you’ll see Iguanas as you’ve never seen them before, wandering free and literally all over the place.
The good news is it’s free to enter, so it would be rude not to go and have a gander. Petting the Iguanas is also permitted but be careful; you don’t want an accident while traveling; it’s just not worth it.
Las Peñas – Cerro Santa Ana
Las Peñas gives a very interesting perspective of the city. It was the first place people started living in Guayaquil.
You’ll find some nice bars, typical housing, and right at the top, there’s a cute lighthouse known as El Faro and a little church.
Once you eventually reach the top after climbing the somewhat 400 steps, you’ll see an incredible view of the city town and the river.
The staircase starts at the end of El Malecón near the Museum of Anthropology and Contemporary Art.
💡Smart Travel Tip
Ensure you wear some comfortable shoes or footwear for this mini-hike as it can take its toll on your feet.
There are two ‘Malecons’ in Guayaquil, but the Malecon 2000, also known as Malecon Simon Bolivar, is the main one. Apart from the walk, you’ll see other attractions.
Without a doubt, the Malecon is a must-do in Guayaquil. You can take photos next to many statues or landmarks.
The Malecon is a safe place by day or by night, however, make sure you’re covered with decent travel insurance whenever traveling in Latin America with expensive camera gear.
💡Smart Travel Tip
There are places to eat at the Malecon, but they are more expensive than another close-by location.
With so many places to visit in Ecuador, you can’t miss this as it’s one of the main attractions in Guayaquil.
Found along the boardwalk of the Malecon 2000, if you like taking selfies, La Rotonda is a legendary monument that shows that you really were in Guayaquil.
The monument shows both South American independence heroes San Martín and Simon Bolivar, who both met in the city of Guayaquil.
On July 26, 1822, they held a famous conference to plan for the independence of Spanish South America.
Where to stay in Guayaquil
Guayaquil Ecuador is a must-see city if you are traveling through Ecuador. Plus you can quite easily get to other hot spots in Ecuador such as Puerto Lopez by public transport.
Apart from being the largest city in Ecuador, you’ll find it has a modern feel in places as there are many international companies residing there.
Whether you love iguanas or not, you’re bound to find something to like, even if it’s just an evening stroll to feel the mountain breeze.
Places to stay in Guayaquil
- Casa De Romero → Centrally located hostel
- Manso Boutique Guesthouse → Close to Malecon
- Hostel Nucapacha → Best for Couples
If traveling more in Ecuador and you want to know other places to stay, see my post on hostels in Ecuador, for more budget options.
Not only do you have a few ideas on things to do in Guayaquil, but you can also find some other travel recommendations below. That way, you can weigh up the options before you commit to anything.
Guayaquil Travel Tips
I like to add useful tips you can implement into your itinerary. Like some of the amazing tours you can do with a professional guide.
Throughout this blog, I will always note little tricks and tips for South America that I feel can enhance your experience, or save you money.
Dan’s Travel Tips For Guayaquil:
- US Dollars are the official currency in Ecuador but $50 and $100 banknotes are uncommon. So, keep small bills, even in boutiques or fancy places.
- Pack sunscreen and a UV sunhat – you’ll need them! Guayaquil is a hot city and the temperature can reach 30°C (80°F). Also, the humidity is high.
- The winter season is from January to May, but you’ll enjoy sunny days. The summer season is from June to December, warm and humid days.
- Safety is not an issue you should worry about. Just take universal precautions and prefer to walk in the city center and not late at night. If you plan to know other parts of the city choose a tour.
- When in Malecón 2000, visit El Mercado del Río to taste the best local and international food. Check out the two sections and enjoy the views.
- Go for a walk at Parque Histórico for free. Enjoy exploring the three sections: wildlife zone, colonial area, and traditional zone.
- This sounds obvious, but pack lightweight clothing and sunglasses. Those things are a must if traveling to Guayaquil.
- Be sure to visit the Museo Antropológico y de Arte Contemporáneo MAAC for a good time learning about the Ecuadorian culture and history. It’s located at the north end of the Malecon 2000.
- Rent a Bike for visiting the protected area Isla Santay (Santay Island). There is a long wooden boardwalk crossing the island and a beautiful village. The entrance is for free and you can also explore it by foot.
- Take a cruise at Barco Pirata Morgan (Morgan Pirate Ship) up and down Río Guayas. A great opportunity for taking photos and seeing the sunset.
- Go to Bosque Protector Cerro Blanco, a protected forest just 15 minutes from Guayaquil. It’s perfect for hiking and walking. It’s worth it!
- Take a ride on the La Perla Ferris wheel and enjoy the amazing view.
Travel Insurance for Ecuador
I always recommend backpackers and travelers (no matter who you are) use World Nomads Insurance for fully comprehensive cover.
If you are due to travel soon, you can get a Get A Free Quote by clicking the link or the image above and filling out your details – that way you’ll get instant cover from the exact date that you choose.
On many occasions World Nomads has provided me with reliable insurance cover for travel in Latin America and the rest of the world.
If backpacking in Ecuador, take a look at my backpacking resources list to help you decide what to carry with you.
Things to do in Guayaquil
If you’re backpacking Ecuador and looking for more ideas on where to go, leave no stone unturned.
Take a closer read of my guide, which looks at some of the best places to visit in Ecuador while you’re here.
I hope this short guide has given you insight as well as a better idea of what things to do in Guayaquil.
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