What started out as a small port town has impressively developed into a vibrant, bustling city; the largest in Ecuador in fact. Today Guayaquil is the country’s economic hub where its convenient location, found not to far from the coast and with good international flight connections, makes this a popular and convenient stop for most trips to Ecuador. The city is also recognised for serving as one of the main springboards for those heading over to the Galapagos, yet wishing to experience an introduction to authentic Ecuadorian life.

In the city centre you will find large selections of restaurants and cultural establishments, while venturing out only slightly you will find brilliant haciendas giving you insight into traditional Ecuadorian country living, such as the famous Hacienda la Danesa, found in the Midwestern Lowlands.

While here, a sight not to be missed is the Malecón 2000, a boardwalk overlooking the Guayas River. At 1.5 miles long, several of Guayaquil’s greatest historical monuments can be sighted as you walk its length, along with many museums, gardens, fountains, restaurants and bars. Another sight not to be missed is the Historical Park, a project made by the Central Bank of Ecuador with the aim of recapturing Ecuadorian culture for the next generation while showing visitors the traditions and way of life of Ecuador’s coast.

Additionally, if you have a few days to spare while visiting the city, another great option for making the most of your time are the several cocoa tours on offer which take you on a discovery of the chocolate production in the area, for example at Hacienda El Castillo, a traditional cacao farm.