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Barrio Las Peñas (1-3 hrs)

Guayaquil Las Penas
Las Peñas is a neighbourhood in the northeast corner of the city centre. It is located on a hill and with its colourful houses it’s one of the landmarks of Guayaquil.

Many of the area's 400-year-old houses have been converted into art galleries and several notable artists have studios in the area. Besides that there are quite a few small bars and cafeterias.

Just follow the stairs (444 steps) and at the top you will find a lighthouse and a small church. From there you get great views on the city and the harbour.

Puerto Lopez – Isla de la Plata (2-3 days)

Guayaquil Puerto Lopez
A great escape from Guayaquil for a few days is Puerto Lopez. Take a taxi to bus terminal Terestre. From there you can take a local bus to Puerto Lopez. There are eight departures a day, the ride takes four hours and costs only $4. At the bus station go to the ticket booth to Jipijapa. If you don't speak Spanish, there are some guys outside the station who can help you for a few dollars.
The town is just small but there are several accommodations around Malecon (the waterfront). Don't expect luxury rooms, but what do you need.

From Puerto Lopez you can make a daytrip to Isla de la Plata (Silver Island). This island, sometimes called mini-Galapagos, is part of Parque Nacional Machalilla and here you can see many seabirds like frigate birds, pelicans, albatross and the blue-footed boobies.

Guayaquil Isla de la Plata
There are several tour operators for tours to Isla de la Plata. After a one-hour boat ride you will make a two or three hour walk around the island. After lunch you’ll get the opportunity to do some snorkelling. If you’re lucky you get to see dolphins, Turtles and sea lions as well. A daytrip costs approximately $30. Departure is at 9:30 am and you’ll be back in the village around 5 pm.

From mid-June to early October you can make a combination of a trip to Isla de la Plata and whale watching.

If you want to use the bus service, you’ll have to stay for two nights. At night you have to enjoy the restaurants and bars at the beach of course.

Surfers paradise: Montanita (2-3 days)

Guayaquil Montanita
A great laidback village is Montanita. This old fishing village nowadays is best known for surfing. The beach break is rideable most of the year but beginners should keep in mind that waves can get big and riptides are common.

It is one of the best places in Ecuador for wave surfing. You can also learn surfing or just enjoy the beach and laidback partying. Dress code in this village is shorts and flip-flops or even better: bare feet.

From Guayaquil you can take a taxi to Montanita. This will bring you in approximately 2½ hours along the Ruta del Sol, a beautiful coastal highway to this small village and will cost around $80, depending on your bargaining skills. You can also take a bus to Montanita from bus terminal Terestre, but you’ll have to change busses at Santa Elena.

In Montanita you can walk around and find yourself a place to stay overnight.

Beach 1: Playas (1 day)

Guayaquil Playas
One of the nearest beaches from Guayaquil is Playas. This village is 1½-hour drive from Guayaquil by taxi. This will cost you approximately $100 for a return including waiting time for the driver.

At the beach you will see the fishermen bringing in their catch of the day. At one of the colourful beach bars you can order your beers, cocktails and… the catch of the day on a plate of course. Playas is very relaxed, nearby and not too crowded.

Beach 2: Salinas (1 day)

Guayaquil Salinas
Salinas is a coastal city and important tourist centre. It has some nice beaches and two yacht clubs. It is nice to enjoy the beach just for a day. It’s a bit further away from Guayaquil than Playas, and it’s a bit more developed, with a lot of highrise buildings.

Best way to go to Salinas from Guayaquil is by renting a car or a taxi. Distance to Guayaquil is 124 kilometres. Best thing to do in Salinas is enjoy the beach. But if you don’t like the sea, you should go to the water park Aqua Adventure.

Museo Presley Norton (1 hr)

Guayaquil Presley Norton
A small but beautiful museum in downtown Guayaquil is Museo Presley Norton. This museum houses a small but excellent collection of archeological relics. The most interesting artifacts come from the Chorrera Period (1000-300 B.C.).

Keep an eye out for the double-chambered whistling bottle and the descriptive figurines from this period. Give yourself about 45 minutes to an hour here.

The museum is open every day from 9 am to 5 pm except Monday. On Saturday and Sunday it is open from 10 am to 5 pm. The entrance is More information about the expositions can be found at their website.

Catedral Metropolitana (1 hr)

Guayaquil Catedral Metropolitana
As in many other cities from Ecuador, Guayaquil inherited the catholic organization from the colonial Spanish times. That’s why there is a beautiful Cathedral as well, Catedral Catolica Metropolitana.

If you like to visit a nice church in downtown Guayaquil you’ll have to visit this one. The entrance is free daily from 9 am to 6 pm. It is located at the corner of Avenida 10 de Agosto and Clemente Ballén.

Centro Cultural Libertador Simon Bolivar (2-3 hrs)

Guayaquil Simon Bolivar
A real landmark and nice museum in Guayaquil is Centro Cultural Libertador Simon Bolivar (formerly known as Museo Antropologico y de Arte Contemporaneo, MAAC) It is a state-of-the-art museum in Guayaquil, Ecuador displaying Ecuadorian, Latin American and Pre-Columbian art and culture.

MAAC is a welcome addition to Malecón 2000, the renovated riverwalk in Guayaquil. It is located at the foot of Las Penas at the Malecon. More information about the expositions can be found at their website. The opening hours are from Monday to Saturday from 9 am to 5 pm and on Sunday from 11 am to 2:30 pm. The entrance is free.

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Language of the world

Of course you like to speak a few words of the local language onboard the plane or at your destination. Here you find some simple basics of the main language spoken in Guayaquil.