Santa Ana Hill
is located on the northeast side of town, next to the Guayas River and the traditional neighborhood of Las Peñas.
Santa Ana Hill
The hill, formerly called Cerrito Verde is the place where the city was born when it was founded at its bottom in 1547. Legend has it than Nino de Lecumberri named the Santa Ana hill as a thank you to his patron when he prayed to her for his life as he was about to die. A cross with the words Santa Ana was placed on top of the mountain, and since then, it has kept the name.
Currently, the hill is a tourist spot. In 310 meters you have restaurants, coffee houses, art galleries, and craft shops. It has squares and parks and green areas for recreation and rest. And of course, a majestic view of Guayaquil.
From the top you can see, to the north, the intersection of the Babahoyo and Daule rivers (that form the Guayas river) to the south, the downtown area and Santay Island and Duran to the east. To the west, there’s Mount Carmen and the rest of the city.
Santa Ana hill is Guayaquil’s historic past, its charming present and promising future. There are 456 stairs of restaurants, people, services, history, and many more. Every step is in a secure environment and will put you right in the mood for the magic of the place.
Santa Ana Port
On the facilities of the old National Brewery, which land was donated by the Guayaquil City Hall, with an extension of approximately 10 acres, there will be built the new tourist attraction for the city and called Puerto Santa Ana (Santa Ana Port).
It´s going to be a magical and harmonic place, where it will be mix the formal and the informal; it will be a center for the entertainment, the recreation and the sport. It will also be built here, a recreational complex, civic plaza, convention center and a thematic museum related with the production of the beer.
Also, it will have some spaces dedicated to a museum of important people like the singer Julio Jaramillo, the radio talker Carlos Armando Romero Rodas, and the teams of the city Barcelona and Emelec.
The project will be located at the end of the street Numa Pompilio Llona, in the traditional Neiborhood Las Peñas on the hills of Carmen and Santa Ana, it complements with a hotel, offices, restaurants, small businesses and small boardwalks that will turn it, without a doubt, in the new gathering center for the citizens of this city, the country and the whole world.
Barrio Las Peñas
Las Peñas neighborhood is the city’s oldest neighborhood, and now its being restored to show it as once was. Currently it is the center of cultural activities and expositions. Located next to the river it lightens the city from its side. We continue next to highlight its beauties.
Historically, Las Peñas is the most important neighborhood in Guayaquil. Even if its houses are only 100 years old, its characteristics are alike those of the 18th and 19th centuries.
Every house has its own history. Illustrious characters of our town have lived here: politicians, musician Antonio Neumane, presidents Francisco Robles, José Luis Tamayo, Carlos Julio Arosemena Tola, Alfredo Baquerizo Moreno, Eloy Alfaro, writer Enrique Gil Gilbert, historian Rafael Pino Roca, painter Manuel Rendón Seminario, Alfredo Espinosa Tamayo, Juan Montalvo, educator Rita Lecumberry, and even Ernesto “Che” Guevara have all come through Las Peñas. It has also been the cradle of captains of industry, housewifes, fishermen and sailors and characters that have nurtured everyday life.
In the late seventies, Luis Hidalgo Baquerizo and Eloy Avilés Alfaro were the pioneers in having art expositions there. They showcased young painters, paintings from Quito school and Monard, Rembrandt or Renault replicas every July 24 at night. This is just an example of the cultural life this side of town has always had.
Up to 1650, old Guayaquil had only two streets, what is currently Malecón and the one in Las Peñas. On the second half of the century, there were five streets:
- The street by the river
- Real street that went from the Parish to the South of town and kept its name until the last century.
- Santa Catalina street
- Las Peñas street, that was much more crooked than today.
- The old street on Mount Santa Ana
The small city had five neighborhoods: Las Peñas, Atarazana, where the docks were located, further north (as it is today), Mount, Marina and Pozo.
In 1683, when the docks were translated, Las Peñas began to lose importance. For many reasons, among them, urban growth and sanitation, citizens decided to move the city in 1690, and relocated two kilometers to the south. Then, the city was divided in old and new.
There were many legal battles between those who stayed behind and those who relocated. Ones holding on to their neighborhood and their properties, the others in search of the comfort that was projected on the new area, where even City Hall and its main offices had requested a place.
The old city limits were bound from Santa Ana Hill and El Carmen to where Junin Street is today, behind of La Merced church, and from the river to what then was called the Bajo neighborhood, were currently we find Córdova and Escobedo streets.
In order to unite both cities, a bridge was constructed going from south to north from Santo Domingo Park to the street of the Muralla, as Junín was known. The Section of the City of the bridge used to get flooded because the high tide and the rain during winter would cause damage on the streets that were little by little being paved.
Las Peñas was a middle class neighborhood in the 18th century. Some wealthy ladies moved there and lived with lower classes, such as craftsmen, fishermen, merchants and artists. Las Peñas was a compendium of all colonial ethnic groups in the 1650’s, according to historians.
It began to become a posh neighborhood in the 19th century, when some properties were acquired by noble families of that time, like Miss Clara Barron Ruiz y Barreiro, and the Tola and Arces families. During most of the 20th century it was know to embrace Guayaquil’s elite.
The great fire of 1896 destroyed the neighborhood, which was rebuilt in the 20th century with traces of its original architecture. In 1902 registered the last great fire that gravelly damaged the town, although this time the houses were not greatly affected and there was a fire department already in place.
Las Peñas: Tradition and Rescue.
Next to mount Santa Ana and the Guayas river is a little area known as “La Planchada” which begins in Numa Pampillo Llona street (named after renowned Guayaquilean poet from the late 19th to early 20th century) This narrow street that borders the mount is located in Las Peñas, our city’s first neighbourhood. It owes its name (peña means cliffs) to some cliffs and rocks that went from the mount to the river.
This narrow street went to what is currently known as “La Atarazana”. Some neighbor made their houses at the bottom of the mount and others on the river bank, leaving this street in between the both. It used to be called Fishermen Street, since; through it they took their fishes to the markets or to town.
The river bank in Las Peñas was always our swimming school. It is possible that over the cliffs and rocks that were there the initial constructions of a wall took place in colonial times (1682) and that is how we had the fort armed with cannons to defend the city from pirates that attacked the colonies.
Las Peñas is a neighborhood that has maintained, through time, on the side of architectonic evolution and urban transformation. That is why it is so beautiful and a national patrimony. Currently, it gathers what it takes to be considered a liaison between written history and wooden constructions and contemporary construction made out of iron, cement and glass.
Las Peñas is one of the few historic legacies that Guayaquil has, thanks to the fact that it survived nasty fires that destroyed Guayaquil on more than one occasion. It is currently being remodeled to maintain its heritage and its beauty and memories are kept intact. Also so it can tell Guayaquil’s story to future generations.
Their peculiar architectonic styles, its narrow street, the houses by the river that have two fronts make it an attractive destiny for tourists. Every July it becomes a window to the arts and culture of artists that live there and the cultural manifestations that take place year after year.
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To get to know the beginnings of Guayaquil and its people, we invite you to our museums. When you walk through their halls you will have an unforgettable experience.
Taking part of a very dynamic culture, most of our museums have concerts or expositions of modern art, which, in a way are of great contrast with the histories that are told within these buildings.
Art and Culture
Guayaquil is a city with a profound artistic and cultural sense. We can touch this seductive side, expressed in its many public manifestations. When we go through the museums, churches, exhibitions, street performances and art galleries.
Guayaquil is a very ornamented city. In such ordinary and everyday places as are bridges we can find important works of art.
Museo Anthropologic y de Arte Contemporaneo del Banco Central :
Address: Malecón 2000 y Loja
Phone: 230-9400 ext 308 y 100
Schedule: Tuesday-Saturday 10:00 - 17:30. Price: $1.50. Sundays 11:00-15:00 Price: FREE
Museo de la Casa de la Cultura Carlos Zevallos Menéndez
Address: 9 de Octubre 1200 y Pedro Moncayo
Phone: 230-0500 / 230-4998
Schedule: Tuesday -Friday 10:00-18:00, Saturday 9:00-15:00. Price: $0.50
English guides available.
Museo del Bombero Felix Luque Plata
Address: Antigua planta proveedora de agua en la Plaza Colón, cerca del Barrio de las Peñas
Schedule: Tuesday - Saturday 9:00 - 17:00 and Sunday 10:00
Museo El Fortín del Cerro Santa Ana
Address: Cerro Santa Ana, escalón 380
Phone: 248-9022 or 096176447
Schedule: Thursday -Sunday 14:00-01:00 and Friday and Saturday 14:00-03:00
Section of the City: Las Peñas
Museo Memorial Abdón Calderón
Address: Eloy Alfaro y Cañar
Schedule: Tuesday -Saturday 8:15 - 12:00 and 13:00-16:00
Address: Sucre, entre Pedro Sucre y Chile
Schedule: Tuesday - Saturday 9:00-17:00. Price: FREE.
Museo Nahim Isaías
Address: Clemente Ballén y Pichincha (plaza de la administración)
Schedule: Tuesday-Saturday 9:00-17:00. Price: $1.50 Sunday 11:00-15:00 Price: FREE
Section of the City: Centro
Museo Presley Norton
Address: Av. 9 de Octubre y Carchi (near the Malecon Salados)
Tuesday-Saturday 9:00-17:00. Price FREE
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The City of Guayaquil’s General Cemetery is a National Cultural Patrimony according to an ordinance from the Ministry of Education and Culture in October, 2003. It is one of the most impressive architectural pieces in our town, and where Guayaquilean culture is cemented. Although it has a sad tone, since it keeps the lives of past Guayaquileans, it is in the center of town as an icon to our heritage, allowing to reconstruct regional history of important local and national characters. In this Holy Camp, lies former Presidents, revolution heroes and other important citizens.
The Cemetery opened its doors January 1st, 1843 and it is one of the best cemeteries in America. In it we find every architectural style, from Greco-roman, neo classical, baroque, Italian, Spanish, Arabic and Jewish.
Also known as the White City, it is divided in five sections, being the most admirable the one with the mausoleums, which date from the beginnings of the city. There are varied mausoleums, some shaped as chapels with iron doors.
The central part of the cemetery is the oldest one. In it, you can see the most beautiful statues and mausoleums from Italy and France. It has funerary monuments that are shaped like chapels or temples. Made in Carrara ivory, they have the busts of the most notable characters. Among the European architects and sculpture makers that worked on the Cemetery we find: Luigi Milani, Enrico Pacciani, Emilio Soro, Carlos Bartola, Pedro Durini, Carlos Boyarda, Mario Gerardo, Pablo Reusso, Francesco Macaferri, Augusto Faggioni, Humberto Feltrin, Giuseppi del Vecchio, Pietro Capurro, Benedice, Funciones, and Raúl Pereira. Among the Ecuadorian ones we find: Alfredo Palacio, Celso Moya, Luis Gómez, Evelio Tandazo and Cayo Loor
More of a cultural legacy, the Cemetery also possesses a rich source of statues and relieves made by skillful craftsmen both local and foreign that, regrettably, did not sign their work but contributed to the beauty of the cemetery.
As a whole, the Cemetery is like a town in itself; with avenues, streets, roads, stairways that communicate with each other with a big wall that faces the city.
In many sections, there are personalities that rest there. We will find the Cemetery of the Immortal, know the area where are generations of literary families, artists, men of science, journalists that honored with their work both the town and the country is commonly known. It is the zone that City Hall named “Cemetery of Illustrious Men and Women” since 1940. Since then, many monuments have been created for this zone.
In the back, there is the Cemetery for Foreigners, which was originally called “Protestant Cemetery” since Protestants were buried there. It was cautioned that 200 meters were left between the two yards so the souls won’t mix.
A few meters behind is the Jewish Cemetery, distinguished by its ground burials and the Star of David in the tombstones that are scripted in Hebrew. It is common to find a small rock as an offering placed there by visitors. On the back is a monument with phrases inherent to the Holocaust.
We invite you to come visit this beautiful space of contemporary art that keeps priceless work by notable sculpture makers. Keep in mind as you go through the General Cemetery that it is recognized as one of the most beautiful ones in Ecuador and America.
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Parks and squares
Located exactly where 300 years ago was the heart of Colonial Guayaquil, it maintains that classical atmosphere that makes it so special. It is currently known as the Park of the iguanas, because of the lizards that live in it. We invite you to learn more about this park and the many names it has been given.
It was born as Arms Square in 1695 and it was in front of the main church until the latter becomes the Cathedral in 1838, year when some changes were made.
By the mid 19th century, the square held a big eight point star, and it was known for many years as the “Park of the Star”, the main point for civic concentrations, particularly on independence day.
By 1889 and after the actions that started in 1872 by a committee a monument to Simón Bolívar rose in it, and it became Bolívar Square.
.It would be mostly a square until 1895, when, thanks to the donation made by Manuel Suárez Seminario, it had benches and fences. And that is how it got the look of a typical park of the 19th century. Inside, time seems to stand still. At noon, the lizards descend from its ancient trees to eat and get some sunlight.
As a token of gratitude the park was recognized as Seminario Park. At the entrance it reads: “This Park was built in 1895 thanks to the legacy of Miguel S. Seminario. The park, on of the few that has not changed”.
Also, here is the monument to the wild hog, which was placed after the inauguration of the Bolívar Statue in 1889. It was a donation of the Chinese Community.
Address: Chile y 10 de Agosto.
It divides in two 9 de Octubre Avenue. It is in the heart of the city and thousands of people go through it every day. It is specially visited on weekends, where you can find many shops, pizzerias, soda shops and restaurants.
In its center lies the monument of our forefathers. It pays homage to the heroes and idealists of the revolution. In a column is a transcript of the Declaration of Independence of October 9th, 1820.
We recommend to visit the park and then walk all along 9 de Octubre. It is a Guayaquilean tradition.
Address:Nueve de Octubre y Lorenzo de Garaicoa.
Located on the last arms Square that the Old City had, Columbus Square has the name it was given in 1892 when they pretended to raise a monument to the man who discovered America.
Behind it there is the statue of Francisco de Orellana, in honor of who founded the town thanks to a report made by historians on September 1929. From there, you can get to the entrance of the Santa Ana tunnels.
Finally, and in front of it is Guayaquil’s oldest church: Santo Domingo, also known as San Vicente, that hails from the 16th century and it was reconstructed in 1674. In front of the church and on the old “La Toma” building, we find the Firemen Museum, created and managed by its founder, Hugo Avellaneda Marín. This is an ideal visit to learn about the most critical moments in Guayaquil history and to see some fire trucks from the past.
Address: Rocafuerte y Morán de Buitrón.
San Francisco Square
Located on 9 de Octubre and Pedro Carbo streets. And on its center, the statue of Guayaquil’s most important citizen, Vicente Rocafuerte.
Currently, the square is a place for expositions, and theatre, as well as popular activities and political meetings. It is a preferred spot for tourists because of its peculiar style and the many pigeons there. Walking a little further, you can find crafts and if you want to try you luck, there are lotto shops. The oldest blueprint known of Guayaquil (1741) has this park in it.
A legend known as “The pigeons of Friar Simpleton” tells that, when Bartolomé Cucalón y Villamayor was governor, and not liking the priest who was parish in San Francisco, threatened to destroy the church if the priest would not reconstruct the tower of the church that was damaged within a week. It is said that Friar Simpleton loved the pigeons that lived in the tower so much he asked God for a miracle with only 24 hours to go on its deadline. That night, an intense noise was heard, like millions of pigeons flying on the air. The following morning the church was alright and the legend says the pigeons fixed their home.
Address: 9 de octubre y Pedro Carbo.
Located on the northeast side of town, the site of this park held the famous American Park, that belonged to the Baquerizo Moreno family and that was built on the Salado Pond beach, which entertained Guayaquil in the mid 19th century.
You can appreciate a fresh and youthful vibe going through this park. It is a park for young people, since it is frequented by college students of the University of Guayaquil as well as schoolgirls.
Address: 9 de Octubre and Estero Salado (next to the Tennis Club).
Here lies the statue of former president Clemente Yerovi, whose lucid action during his six months in office allowed Guayaquil to have the National Union Bridge.
A much concurred space of nature in the middle of town, it has a jogging track and exercise areas, as well as children recreation areas.
Address: Av. Del Periodista.
Forestal Park or Civic Center
Located on the old Municipal Park, it is the biggest park on the south of town. It has a functional structure for conventions, and exhibitions, a concert hall, theatre, etc.
It is decorated with a monument by Ecuadorian painter and sculptor Oswaldo Guayasamín.
Address: Av. Quito and El Oro.
Saint Augustine Park
Small as a fist, its name is taken from the church of the same name that is in front of it. This park belongs to Guayaquilean poet Medardo Ángel Silva, since a statue is there in its memory.
Address: Luis Urdaneta y Pedro Moncayo.
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Duplicating old Guayaquil, the historical park is a must see spot for those who visit Guayaquil. It is a place where you can go through a forest and walk through a wooden path that goes through it.
Located in Entre Ríos, on the Guayaquil-Samborondón road, it looks to recreate the way of life of yesteryear with three zones: wildlife, urban – architectural and traditions and expositions.
This area of 8 hectares is surrounded by all sorts of trees, like the “platanillo” that grows naturally from the Daule River.
There are 28 species of animals living at the Parque Historical in a friendly zoo like environment. Among the animals are: the white tail deer, raccoons, “lavador” bears, and crocodiles. There are 90 kinds of birds, like the parakeet and the “arpía” eagle.
At the park, you can also appreciate structures that represent the
traditions of the coast and it recreates two blocks from early 20th century Guayaquil that represent the old town and have been declared of cultural patrimony.
Tourist information: other points of interest, maps, brochures, city transports and others.
Open: Monday - Sunday 9:00 - 16:30
Phones:238-2958 / 283-3807
Located: Km 1.5 Via Samborondon y Av. Esmeraldas
Transportation: Taxi or take the Green and White bus #81 from the Terminal Terreste.
This project has been pushed by Guayaquileans since 1979 and after 10 years of work it was opened to the public and since then, it has been visited by millions of people.
Flora and Fauna:
The botanical gardens, has approximately 324 identified species among them, trees such as oak, guaiacum, fruit trees, and ornamental plants, exotic tropical plants that can be seen in their environment such as orchids, cactus, and Heliconias.
It is an ideal place to observe over 73 species of birds and more than 60 species of butterflies. Besides, there are other animals like armadillos, lizards, rabbits and geese.
The garden is separated in three sections, which divides the types of nature that live there.
First Section: has ornamental plants, wooden and fruit trees and hundreds of orchids and bromeliads (in their natural state).
It also has aborigines ornaments on the walking paths. In an acclimatized cascade there are koi fishes, which are commonly believed to be Japanese, but are actually Persian.
This section ends in an auditorium for 200 people where butterflies are kept in a mural.
Second Section: Has plants from the Coast such as maize, banana, cocoa, coffee, sugar cane and fruit bread.
At the end of this section there is a bonsai trees exhibition that is next to the snack bar.
Third Section: We find trees such as the pine that contrast with the palms that follow. Coconut palms, African, real and other types of palms.
There is a pond with colorful lotto flowers.
The most important part of this section is the butterflies that live in a small house (as a lab) where the evolution process is observed before they are taken to the second section. Here, the butterflies roam free and can be observed by the visitors.
Located in Cerro Colorado in Guayaquil city limits.
Admission: adults US $ 3.00
Children and seniors US $ 1.50
Opens: Mondays to Sundays from 10:00 to 16:00.
Phones:289-9689 / 0998076029 / 0992208534256-0519 / 266-0498
Cerro Blancon is a tropical dry forest forming part of the Chogon-Colonche Mountain range west of Guayaquil. There are 3 hiking trails in the park, animal rescue center, and a self-sufficient farm. Cerro Blanco is also one the biggest birdwatching sites in Ecuador. There are 53 species of mammals and 219 species of birds living in this preserve.
Cerro Blanco is located about 25 minutes from Dreamkapture Hostel on the 16 km mark on the highway from Guayaquil to Playas or Salinas.
Hours: It is best to arrange your visit in advance
Admission: Adults $6, Children $3.00, Senior $3.00
Phone: (593)-4 228-7494 / 287-1900/ 0994104973
Cerro Blanco has great website for more information: bosquecerroblanco.org/es/
Location: 16 KM Vía Costa on the way to the beaches from Guayaquil
Zoo "El Pantanal"
“El Pantanal” Zoo its located at 15 minutes from downtown. A very interesting visit for those who love nature, its flora and fauna. It’s a 31 hectares hour and a half walk, that students and visitors can take with a guide. There are more than a 100 species of flora and fauna.
The main function of this Zoo is the reproduction of wild animals, that are endangered, once this is accomplished their set free to their natural habitat.
The variety of animals that are in El Pantanal Zoo started in 1962, with injured bird and animals from other zoos. It became a wildlife rescue centre and then it became a need to feed and take care of this animals. With that in mind, Nelson Chiriboga and his family opened El Pantanal Zoo in 2002, to save the animals and give Guayaquil a ecologic centre where the beauty of Ecuador’s flora and fauna can be found.
Location: 23 KM Vía Daule, next to Lagos de Capeira.
Hours: 9:00 - 17:00
Admission: Adults $6, Children $3.00, Senior $3.00
Phone: 226-7047 / 0994104973
Transportation: Buses: 54/ 120B/ C.T.P.# 4 / 68-2 Buses Intercantonales: Señor de los Milagros, FIFA, Santa Lucía, Balzareña, Pedro Carbo, Reina del Camino.
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