Guayaquil is the largest city of Ecuador and the country’s main port. The city is situated on the western bank of the Guayas River which flows into the Pacific Ocean. Unfortunately, Guayaquil is not usually explored by tourist since it’s the pit stop city to catch flights to the Galapagos.
I have read somewhere that Guayaquil has the reputation to be the most dangerous and violent city in the country, and should therefore be approached cautiously. Because of its economic growth, the city has enticed a large number of immigrants from surrounding countries, as well as locals who have flocked to Guayaquil in search of better opportunity. There were a number of visible police and security officials when we were there and honestly I felt fairly safe.
Malecón 2000 is a stretch of boardwalk overlooking the Guayas River. This is a fairly new urban renewal project of the city and some of the historical monuments can be seen along its length, as well as museums, gardens, restaurants, shopping mall and the first IMAX theater in South America.
At the end of this promenade, is Barrio Las Peñas. This restored historic district features brightly colored homes, cobblestone alleyways, and some art galleries.
It’s worth noting that eight former Presidents of Ecuador were from this neighborhood and Ernest Hemingway lived here also. Then again, we all know that Hemingway had been roaming around the globe.