We had an early morning flight from Cuzco, Peru to Guayaquil, Ecuador by way of Lima. This flight was just about a week after the big earthquake in Ecuador centered near the coast about 300 miles from Guayaquil. Needless to say, we wondered what damage we would see. Luckily, Guayaquil suffered small physical damage compared to other cities but it did suffer lives lost which is always sobering. We had to bypass the overpass which collapsed and noticed damage in our hotel such as marble panels that had fell and were being replaced. But our guide assured us that Ecuador needed and wanted visitors as tourism is a huge part of their economy. Our first night, we had a 6.5 aftershock which was quite a ride. No one seemed concerned and we didn’t have any more shaking.
Guayaquil is the largest city in Ecuador and a major finance center. For us, it was massive and we did just a short taxi tour to hit the tourist highlights. Two major rivers meet here, Rio Daule and Rio Babahoyo which form the Rio Guayas. It is so large it appears as though you are at the coast and not a river. See map below.
Our hotel helped us to hire a taxi to see the sights. First stop was to see the Cathedral in the main square. Then on to Seminary Park to see all of the iguanas that hang out there looking for handouts. We drove along the Malecon de Simon Bolivar area which is a large, gated park along the river. The taxi driver worked his way through the traffic to allow us to visit the Cerro Santa Ana area which is the nicest residential area in the city. Then up to Cemetery Hill for a view of the city and river.
We stayed at a beautiful hotel, the most highly rated of our trip. It was nice and the service was excellent. Below is contact information about our hotel.
Guayaquil, Ecuador Hotel
Hotel Oro Verde Guayaquil
Avenida 9 de Octubre y Garcia Moreno, Guayaquil, Ecuador
011 593 4-232-7999
Even though we didn’t need as much time here, we did use the day to relax and rest for the main event – The Galapagos Islands!
Next: The Galapagos Islands