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Stretched out on Ecuador’s humid coastal lowlands, Guayaquil’s focal point is its waterfront (known as the Malecón 2000). This park-bordered boardwalk makes a pleasant location for an evening stroll, but, in truth, there’s little to see here. Guayaquil has a heavily commercial heart filled with modern hotels, while its outskirts give way to ramshackle, cheerfully painted favelas. It’s better to think of this city — the largest in Ecuador — as a place to regroup for a night before catching your onward flight to the Galapagos Islands or Quito. It’s also the terminus of the Tren Crucero, one of South America’s greatest railway journeys.

Guayaquil Cathedral, EcuadorFrom the Malecón 2000 (which also has several restaurants and a Ferris wheel), you can walk to Las Peñas, a district huddled around a small hill. Old brass lamps line the streets, and buildings in every shade of the paintbox trickle down the slopes. If you climb the 600 steps to the top, you’re rewarded with views over the city and the port.

Apart from walking the Malecón 2000 to Las Peñas, you’re best simply holing up in a hotel (they’re very comfortable and many have pools) before boarding your outbound flight.

Best time to visit Guayaquil

Since visits to Guayaquil are usually determined by visits to the Galapagos Islands, your stay will necessarily have to coincide with your preferred time to visit this archipelago.

Guayaquil itself is warm year-round, though it can be a little wetter between the months of January and April, which is when many people choose to go to the Galapagos Islands. However, in our experience, this rainfall doesn’t overly impact on your experience, and you should still be able to spend an afternoon relaxing by your pool or strolling around the waterfront.

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Suggested itineraries featuring Guayaquil

Our itineraries will give you suggestions for what is possible when you travel in Guayaquil, and they showcase routes we know work particularly well. Treat them as inspiration, because your trip will be created uniquely by one of our specialists.

Map of Guayaquil

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    Places near Guayaquil

    Accommodation choices for Guayaquil

    We've selected a range of accommodation options for when you visit Guayaquil. Our choices usually come recommended for their character, facilities and service or location. Our specialists always aim to suggest properties that match your preferences.