Guayaquil, Ecuador ~ City tour

Tuesday, October 25th ~ Guayaquil, Ecuador

Arboreal Iguana

Arboreal Iguana

Our Gate 1 tour officially begins today. For this portion there are just the four of us, Tim and I, Rica and her husband Fred. Our local guide, Fernando, picks us up at the hotel at 10:00 and we are off to see the city.

First stop is  Parque Centerario which Tim and I had walked through a couple of days ago on our way to the Malecon. In the center is the Monument of the Independence Heroes. We also got a small introduction to the local trees and birds. 

The Cathedral of Saint Peter at entrance to Iguana Park

The Cathedral of Saint Peter at entrance to Seminario Park

Continuing to Seminario Park, aka Parque Bolivar, aka Parque de las Iguanas due to the numerous arboreal Iguanas roaming freely throughout the park. The Iguanas vary in size, but we did see a few robust males. I am curious how they will compare in size to the marine Iguanas we will see in the Galapagos. 

Seminario Park, Parque Bolivar, Parque de las Iguanas

Seminario Park, Parque Bolivar, Parque de las Iguanas

Joanne with an arboreal Iguana

Joanne with an arboreal Iguana

This is also where the Catholic Cathedral is located which we took a few minutes to examine. Although this is Neo-Gothic style, it is relatively modern and not as gilded as many cathedrals are. It’s beauty was in its simplicity which I enjoyed.

Cathedral of Saint Peter

Cathedral of Saint Peter

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A drive along the waterfront took us past the shipyards which are still in use today. At one time this was a thriving port for ship building.

Ecuador is a major exporter of petroleum, cut flowers, shrimp, bananas, coffee, and chocolate. The wages are low here with the average wages of $478 USD/month in 2011 according to tradingeconomics.com. I found a more recent survey (Numbeo.com from October 2016) that shows $502.89 USD/month here in Guayaquil.

With a walk along the Guayas River at the Malecon, we spotted a Moorish clock tower and took the time to climb the steps to the top and enjoy the view.

Moorish Clock Tower

Moorish Clock Tower

The clock mechanism was built by the same person/company who built the workings of Big Ben in London.

Our guide, Fernando with Rica, Fred, Joanne, Tim

Our guide, Fernando with Rica, Fred, Joanne, Tim

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Behind the “Guayaquil” sign we had photographed on Monday is the La Rotonda Monument, which portrays Simon Bolivar and Jose San Martin shaking hands.

La Rotonda Monument

La Rotonda Monument

Departing from the banks of the river, our driver took us to the base of Santa Ana Hill, the area where the city Santiago de Guayaquil was founded in the 16th century. Our walk included a visit to a shop where we checked out hand-woven hats as well as an artists salon.

Old Town Guayaquil

Old Town Guayaquil

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And at the end of the Old Town area, is a bright modern walkway.

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Modern fountains

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Crooked building

The highlight of this area would be the light house on top of the hill. There are no roads for this section of town, so the only way to get there is to climb the 444 steps, one at a time. Our tour did not include the hike, but all four of us decided we were up to the challenge, so after Fernando and our driver departed, we backtracked and slowly forged ahead.

The bottom of the steps...

The bottom of the steps…

The neighborhood was charming, saturated in flowers including brilliant Bougainvillea, security personnel were readily visible, and the steps well maintained. Our weather, although overcast, was hot and humid so frequent rests in the shade were welcome.

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The views from the top of the hill were expansive. Out one direction was the river and waterfront, and out the other direction a hillside of terraced homes very similar to what we had seen in Guatemala City.

Light house with Juan on bench

Light house with the second statue of Juan Pueblo on bench

Taken from the top of the light house

Taken from the top of the light house

Making our way back down was a snap in comparison and by now we were starved. A small restaurant, Mami-T, situated right on the bank of the water had been recommended and we chose the typical plate to share which gave us a nice sampling of a few local favorites.

Typical plate

Typical plate

Another specialty meal from Ecuador is ceviche.

Mixed seafood ceviche

Mixed seafood ceviche

Tomorrow we fly to the Galapagos Islands and will board our boat for the next 5 days. We probably will have little or very limited Internet until we return to Quito. I am hoping to be able to post a little from there, but it just may have to wait.

GRATITUDE MOMENT: Today I am grateful for the opportunity to get to know Rica and Fred. We found out that they had celebrated their 25th wedding anniversary the evening before and have a son just a little younger than ours. I anticipate that we will have a wonderful time together the next five days on board the ship.

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About Tim and Joanne Joseph

Hi and welcome! We are Tim and Joanne Joseph and we have just embarked on our "next chapter". At a stage in life where traveling the world, taking pictures, and sharing our adventures with friends and family will be our dream come true.
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31 Responses to Guayaquil, Ecuador ~ City tour

  1. Thank you for the wonderful pictures – especially the food! This foodie loves to see what people eat when they travel. 🙂

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  2. paperpopups says:

    While I did not think I had time to read your post, I was drawn in – as usual – by your wonderful writings and photos.
    Thank you for taking the time to share and include the details.
    Happy thoughts,
    Petrina

    Like

  3. Great photos! 🙂 Thanks for sharing.

    Liked by 1 person

  4. I think I could watch iguanas for hours, Joanne, they are such marvelous creatures, like they are right out of a fantasy novel. In terms of modernity, that crooked building caught my fancy. Interesting, as always. Thanks. –Curt

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  5. Very excited to see your Galapagos photos. We had a trip planned for around this time this year but needed to postpone it for a while. So I will live vicariously through you this time! 😉 Have a fun and safe trip.

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    • This will go down as one of our favorite trips. I need to wait for better Internet connection though to do my next post. It is painfully slow here on board, but having a brief moment where we are close enough to town to get a signal. Stay tuned!

      Liked by 1 person

  6. mpardi2013 says:

    Joanne, PLEASE remember to wash your hands very carefully after touching iguanas. They are notorious carriers of salmonella. Regarding the pay levels, I was stunned in the early ’90’s to learn my Ecuadorean physician counter-parts in public health made on average $500.00 a month. I’m guessing this has improved, but probably not by much. Marco

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    • Marco, thank you for the heads up regarding touching the iguanas. Here in the islands we can not touch them, but we did (as shown in the picture) “pet” them in Guayaquil. I’ll remember your warning when/if we run across more of them on the mainland. I don’t know what the current pay scale is for physicians here, but I remember being shocked in Cuba that some of the doctors chose to drive a taxi instead of practicing medicine because they made more money getting tips from tourists than what they made in a hospital or office setting.

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  7. corkscot says:

    Th iguanas are scary. The rest of the scenery is beyond beautiful. I would probably starve to death with your meal. Thanks for taking me on your vacation. I’m looking forward to the rest of it.

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  8. Terry says:

    Have fun on the island.

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  9. GeorgieMoon says:

    I loved reading this, what an amazing place to visit. Your photos are fantastic! I love iguanas and can’t wait to see more….

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  10. Pingback: This is a share from my favorite traveling friends, enjoy! Guayaquil, Ecuador ~ City tour — A Note From Abroad | The Love Chronicles

  11. munchkinontheroad says:

    Reblogged this on On the Road Cooking and commented:
    Wonderful pictoral tour through Quayaquill, Ecuador! Thank You!!

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  12. usfman says:

    Looking forward to hearing about your journey to the Galápagos Islands.

    Liked by 1 person

  13. Thanks for the photos and your impressions. I was in Guayaquil over thirty years ago, and can now only really remember the heat and humidity 🙂 Best wishes for the rest of the journey. Susan

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  14. Vikas Singh says:

    Just quickly browsed through your blogs and the photos. And one thing is for sure that after quite long I am going to spend my Sunday tomorrow reading to blogs (of yours).
    just loved the pictures you captured.

    Like

  15. Trish Hatcher says:

    Quick question….what was that website about comparative size of countries, how
    $ they live on a day, etc. My oldest just accepted a position with the Peace Corps in Moldova! Yikes!! 27 months!

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