The soccer capital of Ecuador, Guayaquil underwent extensive urban renewal beginning in 1992 and has been reborn for tourism. The highlight of a visit is Malecón 2000, a large promenade along the shore of the Guayas River – the city's main river – which shares its name with the province in which the city is located.
Before urban renewal, this area, which is 200 years old, was abandoned, dirty and full of street vendors. Now various bars, cafés, monuments and stores make it an exciting place to be. Every month around 1 million people walk along the renovated Malecón 2000, which was officially re-inaugurated in 1999.
What's there to do on the Malecón 2000?
It's busiest on weekends, when local artists put on shows and other cultural events. At night there are horses and carriages for tourists. Be sure not to miss the old Mercado Sur and the stores with local handicrafts between Febres Cordero and Sargento Vargas streets.
Something else you'll want to see is the Las Peñas neighborhood – famous for its stairs with 432 steps – and Plaza Seminario, which is across from the city's Cathedral and is famous for being inhabited by monkeys and iguanas.
How do you get to Guayaquil?
You can reach Guayaquil by car on highways E35, E487 and E40 from Quito. Rent your car at Localiza Rent a Car locations and see a lot more on your trip.