If you’re ever in Guayaquil and have a few days to tour around… we definitely recommend these Top 15 attractions. However, if you have a single day, we highly suggest the historic park and a walk along the Malecon 3000 pier.
Guayaquil Historic Park is located in …. The park combines, in a single environment, three different concepts: architectonic history, the traditions zone and the wildlife area.
Upon arrival we approached the information desk to figure out how it worked. It was pretty simple, no entrance fee, just a designated route to follow, on your own rhythm. We decided to start our visit by walking through the wildlife area. Elevated wooden paths took us across a mangrove forest where we encountered animals in captivity (these animals had been taken here to heal) such as toucans, macaws, eagles, tapir, flamingos, wild dogs, and parakeet. We were fascinated by the tour because its main purpose was promoting conservation and it was very informative, and the information provided by the park was thorough and inclusive: on the side of every poster there was the same message encrypted in Braille.
After seeing all the fabulous animals, some we had never even seen before, we continued our tour through the traditions zone. We particularly liked this part of the visit because we encountered traditions that were different than what we had in mind. Instead of a history lesson, a trail took us trough small harvests where information posts explained the importance of subsistence agriculture, composting and the benefits of consuming locally grown, organic products. We walked by small gardens where mint, spices and vegetables had been planted, enjoying the fresh smell of the plants and the rich soils. We appreciated the simplicity of food grown in the backyard and the importance it has for reducing our wastes and our footprint.
After leaving the gardens, we had one last area to check out: the architectonic complexes. We walked through cobble stoned streets surrounded by beautiful colonial buildings, adorned with terraces and balconies that overlooked the trees and the busy streets. It felt as if we had stepped into another era. On our way we stopped to take pictures in an old bus that remains parked in the street, resembling the ones that transit through the city of San Francisco. Then, we made our way to one of the most famous stops within the park: the old hotel. Inside the hotel beautiful internal patios decorated with plants, delicate wooden fans, and beautifully set tables, greeted us.. We sat down for a lovely cup of tea, and completely let ourselves believe that we had traveled back in time.
With a great mix, a symphony composed out of architecture, and community, and nature, conservation and history, the historic park is a definite top 10 spot to visit if you have a single day.
After leaving the park, we had some more hours before having to head to the airport. We decided to walk around the pier. Malecon 3000 is a great project that incorporates entertainment, culture and history in displays along the riverside. We decided to visit LA PERLA, a huge Ferris wheel from where you can see the whole city of Guayaquil. The view was certainly impressive from above. Afterwards we walked through the mini rollercoasters and shops in the pier until we got to the famous streets of Las Penas neighborhood. Colorful little houses were aligned on both sides of a narrow street. We were charmed by this picturesque boardwalk full of people, and ice-cream, and life!
Unfortunately time had gone by and we had to make our way back to the airport. But we were happy and fulfilled because it was a beautiful day and we felt as if we had chosen the right activity for it. We learned, we enjoyed and we walked, and hours went by without realizing, with joy.