This is by far the most important port in Ecuador and its largest and most populous city. The tree lined waterfront complex called Malecon 2000 features gardens fountains, playgrounds, photo and art galleries as well as restaurants shops and a museum. Adjacent is the exclusive Club de la Union, the Moorish clock tower, the imposing Palacio Municipal and Government Palace. The old district of Las Penas is a picturesque reminder of the old colonial city with its brightly painted wooden houses, narrow cobbled streets and a 16th-century church. In Parque Centenario there is a monument commemorating the Guayaquil Conference of 1822 between the South American statesmen Jose de San Martín and Simón Bolívar.
Outside the city is the Cerro Blanco Forest Reserve and the Ecological Reserve of Manglares Churute where you can take canoes into the mangroves to see the wildlife. The Parque Historico recreates 19th century Guayaquil. From here you can also visit the capital, Quito and Cuenca.
The province of Guayas is named after the Puna Indian chief of the same name who fought bravely against first the Incas and then the Spanish. The capital of the province, Guayaquil, is named after the Chief, Guayas, and his wife, Quill, whom he is said to have killed before drowning himself, rather than allowing her to be captured by the Spanish conquistadors. The city was founded twice - in 1535 by Sebastian de Benalcazar and then in 1537 by Francisco de Orellana.
The following 18 cruises call at Guayaquil.
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