Bucket List: Top 15 Best Things To do in Guayaquil, Ecuador

Guayaquil Bucket List: Amazing Places to Visit in Guayaquil, Ecuador

Guayaquil in Ecuador has a lot of tourist sites and experiences to offer. While this city is mostly a stopover for tourists going to other cities in Ecuador and Puerto Rico, there are plenty of things to do which occupy your time, such as visiting historical sites and roaming around towns. During your visit, wearing comfortable clothes is advisable, given that Guayaquil has tropical weather. Here are the things you can do during your visit:

Roam Around Malecón 2000

Seaside Malecon 2000 walkway with Santa Ana Hill, Ecuador via Depositphotos

Malecón 2000 is one of the busiest streets in Guayaquil. What was once a dilapidated riverfront has become a promenade that measures up to 2.5 kilometers, filled with shops, gardens, monuments, and restaurants.

Despite the street’s busy atmosphere, you can opt to enjoy the sight of the Guayas River. Going on quiet walks is recommended during weekdays while the opposite can be said for weekends.

Ride the Henry Morgan Pirate Ship

Henry Morgan Pirate Ship by Donovan Anthony Mckenzie via Facebook
Henry Morgan Pirate Ship by Donovan Anthony Mckenzie via Facebook

The Henry Morgan Pirate Ship is just around the corner as such can be found in Malecón 2000. In fact, this is an active and sailing ship as part of the Guayas River Tour.

This family-friendly pirate ship takes you to see other tourist sites such as Isla Santay and Las Peñas enclave. Going to this river trip during the afternoon is highly recommended so that you can enjoy a refreshing atmosphere while enjoying your drinks.

Ride La Perla – The Largest South American Ferris Wheel

La Perla Guayaquil by @michaelmullerc via Flickr CC
La Perla Guayaquil by @michaelmullerc via Flickr CC

During your walk in Malecón 2000, you can’t possibly miss out on seeing La Perla (The Pearl). La Perla measures up to 187 feet and gives you a 12-minute rotation.

This ride gives you a breathtaking view of the city, so be sure to bring photos to capture lasting memories. Also, the gondolas are air-conditioned, which adds to the relaxing experience of this ride.

Experience Isla Santay

Isla Santay by Cancilleria del Ecuador via Flickr CC
Isla Santay by Cancilleria del Ecuador via Flickr CC

Isla Santay offers a rare experience of having no cars. In fact, visitors can only walk or ride a bicycle while exploring this peaceful island.

Isla Santay is recognized for having great biodiversity, consisting of 85 bird species, 12 reptile species, 25 mammal species, and 65 types of plants. This island also has a simple fishing village filled with simple homes.

Explore Las Peñas

Las Penas Neighborhood by Freddy Eduardo via Wikipedia CC
Las Penas Neighborhood De Freddy Eduardo – Trabajo propio, CC BY-SA 3.0, CC

Las Peñas gives you a taste of Guayaquil’s history as the neighborhood is 400-years old. This town is known for 444 steps on the way to the peak of Santa Ana Hill.

There are plenty of things to see on your journey to the top, such as colorful colonial architectures, plazas, and water vendors, to help you keep climbing. The top of Santa Ana Hill has a lighthouse that can give you a full 360 -view.

Chill at Casa Pilsener

Casa Pilsener Guayaquil by Ainna Gritando via Facebook
Casa Pilsener Guayaquil by Ainna Gritando via Facebook

While the Ecuadorian Pilsener can be found nationwide, nothing can compare to drinking at Casa Pilsener, where such drink was born.

After climbing Las Peñas, Casa Pilsener provides patio seating where you can drink and rest. In fact, this is where the original Pilsener brewery was built.

Visit the Botanical Garden

Guayaquil Botanical Garden by Klaus Pumpenmeier via Wikipedia CC
Guayaquil Botanical Garden De Klaus Pumpenmeier – Trabajo propio, Dominio público, CC

The Guayaquil Botanical Garden is a must-visit place for wildlife lovers. Visiting this garden is a chance to explore Ecuadorian wildlife and plant species. This 5-hectare garden was built for ten years that has attracted many tourists around the world.

The garden approximately consists of 324 plant species and 73 types of birds, such as Amazonas and Harinosa Parrots.

Visit Bosque Protector Cerro Blanco (Cerro Blanco Protected Forest)

Cerro Blanco Protected Forest by Sacha Lodge Facebook
Cerro Blanco Protected Forest by Sacha Lodge Facebook

Bosque Protector Cerro Blanco is a place where you can witness a variety of Ecuadorian mammal species. This reserve tropical dry forest measures up to 6.078 hectares that are managed by the Pro Bosque Foundation.

The ecosystem is mostly known for its 54 mammal species, such as a Jaguar known as Panthera Onca and 21 bat species. This environment is complemented by 221 bird species and 700 types of vascular plants.

Learn about history in Parque Historico (Historical Park)

Parque HIstorico Guayaquil by Jose A Vilches via Flickr CC
Parque HIstorico Guayaquil by Jose A Vilches via Flickr CC

Parque Historico exhibits the lifestyle of Guayaquil’s citizens during the 19th and 20th centuries. This park is divided into the following: Wildlife Area, Urban Architectonic Area, and Traditional Area.

The Wildlife Area consists of natural habitats and multiple forms of wildlife such as birds, spider monkeys, and crocodiles.

The Urban Architectonic Area displays the lavish lifestyle of Guayaquil through architecture and exhibitions. The Traditional Area highlights the old livelihood of Guayaquil through houses and vegetations.

Go Museum-Hopping

Museo Municipal de Guayaquil
Museo Municipal de Guayaquil

Guayaquil is home to some of the country’s best museums. Some of the museums you can visit are Museo Municipal, The Museum of Modern Anthropology and Architecture, and Museo del Bombero Ecuatoriano. Museo Municipal covers Ecuador and pre-Columbian history through the artifacts.

The Museum of Modern Anthropology and Architecture displays historical Ecuadorian pottery and tribal paintings. Museo del Bombero Ecuatoriano is dedicated to firemen by exhibiting fire fighting equipment from around the world.

Take a look at Iguanas in Parque de las Iguanas (Iguana Park)

Parque de las Iguanas by Subversion Visual via Flickr CC
Parque de las Iguanas by Subversion Visual via Flickr CC

One of Guayaquil’s highlights is the rare Iguanas. Iguanas have actually been in this city since colonial times, given how it is nearby the river.

The park consists of ornate gardens where iguanas live that add to the historic atmosphere. Visitors are allowed to pet the iguanas by feeding them vegetables and flowers.

Roam Around Downtown Guayaquil

Shutterstock Historic Hilltop Church in Guayaquil via Depositphotos
Shutterstock Historic Hilltop Church in Guayaquil via Depositphotos

Guayaquil’s downtown city is an architectural paradise for tourists. The architectures are displayed through churches and malls.

Some of the churches you can visit are the Metropolitan Cathedral and Iglesia San Francisco. There is also a mall known as Avenida 9 de Octubre, which is filled with department stores.

Walk Along Malecón El Salado

Malecon del Salado, Guayaquil by Chancho Panza via Wikipedia CC
Malecon del Salado, Guayaquil De Chancho Panza -, CC BY-SA 2.0, CC

Malecón El Salado offers a more natural and refreshing atmosphere compared to Malecón 2000. The three parts of this boardwalk are the Writers Walkway, Health Square, and Seafood Square.

Writers Walkway has dedicated monuments to Guayaquil’s famous writers. Health Square is where cultural events are held. Seafood Square is filled with restaurants that offer Ecuadorian sea cuisine. Make sure to taste one of the city’s signature dishes, which is creole crab.

Ride a boat around Estero Salado

Estero Salado by Antoine 49 via Flickr CC
Estero Salado by Antoine 49 via Flickr CC

Another activity you can do in Estero Salado is row-boating. When choosing a rowboat, you can opt to rent a paddle or paddle on your own.

This 30-minute boat trip includes seeing the mangroves and some fishermen as well.

Go to the Monumental Fountains of Dancing Waters

While you’re in Estero Salado, you shouldn’t miss out on going to the Monumental Fountains of Dancing Waters.

The fountain has a geyser that shoots water up to approximately 40 meters, while 64 pumps shoot the water up to about 20 meters. The waters are complemented with music, colors, and images.

Guayaquil Travel and Tour Packages

To help you plan out your visit to Guayaquil, we listed places to visit and other amazing Guayaquil, Ecuador. We also listed some of the best travel deals and tour packages and excellent flight deals and accommodation.

Searching for the best hotels, resorts, and affordable flights in the nearby Cities? Check out our list of affordable Guayaquil hotels and resorts via Agoda, Booking, or you may also see available Airbnb properties in the city.

Want more updates about new package tours and tourist spots in Guayaquil, Ecuador? Follow #TeamOutofTown, on Facebook, TwitterInstagram, Bloglovin, and Pinterest for more travel ideas.

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