Guayaquil - Gateway to Galapagos Islands Cruises

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    La Rotonda

    Guayaquil, Ecuador - La Rotonda
    Guayaquil (c) Linda Garrison

    City on the South Coast of Ecuador

    Guayaquil is Ecuador's largest city and is on the South Coast of the country. Large cruise ships sailing along the western coast of South America often include Guayaquil as a port of call. Cruise lines with stopovers scheduled in Guayaquil include Crystal, Oceania, Ponant, Princess, and Regent Seven Seas.

    Guayaquil is best known as the gateway to the Galapagos Islands since most flights to the Galapagos either originate in Guayaquil or have a stopover in the city. Visitors to the Galapagos often include a day or more in the city as a part of their cruise tour. Here's a few photos I took in Guayaquil when I spent about 30 hours in the city on the way home from a Galapagos cruise on the Quasar Expeditions' M/V Evolution.

    La Rotonda is one of Guayaquil's most famous monuments. It celebrates the 1822 meeting in Guayaquil of Simon Bolivar who liberated Ecuador and Jose de San Martin who liberated Peru and Chile.

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    Clocktower

    Guayaquil, Ecuador - Clocktower
    Guayaquil (c) Linda Garrison

    The Guayaquil Clock Tower is located on the city's famous Malecon 2000, a 1.5-mile boardwalk that stretches along the Guayas River.

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    Cathedral on Parque Bolivar

    Guayaquil, Ecuador - Cathedral on Parque Bolivar
    Guayaquil (c) Linda Garrison
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    Parque Bolivar and the Cathedral

    Guayaquil, Ecuador - Parque Bolivar and the Cathedral
    Guayaquil (c) Linda Garrison
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    Land Iguana in Parque Bolivar

    Guayaquil, Ecuador - Land Iguana in Parque Bolivar
    Guayaquil (c) Linda Garrison

    The downtown Parque Bolivar is famous for the Cathedral on one side and all of the land iguanas inside the park. These are a different species than the land iguanas we saw in the Galapagos.

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    Downtown Colonial Building

    Guayaquil, Ecuador - Downtown
    Guayaquil (c) Linda Garrison
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    Historical Park

    Guayaquil, Ecuador - Historical Park
    Guayaquil (c) Linda Garrison

    The Guayaquil Historical Park has musical skits with stories dating back to the early 1900's. The dialogue is in Spanish, but it's a terrific people watching locale.

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    Hospice of the Sacred Heart of Jesus in the Guayaquil Historical Park

    Hospice of the Sacred Heart of Jesus in the Guayaquil Historical Park
    Guayaquil (c) Linda Garrison

    The Hospice of the Sacred Heart of Jesus is a traditional 19th century wooden building in the Guayaquil Historical Park. It has a lovely chapel and huge pillars that look marble, but are made of wood.

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    Collared Peccary in the Wildlife Zone of the Guayaquil Historical Park

    Collared Peccary in the Wildlife Zone of the Guayaquil Historical Park
    Guayaquil (c) Linda Garrison
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    Tapir in the Wildlife Zone of the Guayaquil Historical Park

    Tapir in the Wildlife Zone of the Guayaquil Historical Park
    Guayaquil (c) Linda Garrison
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    Monkey in the Wildlife Zone of the Guayaquil Historical Park

    Monkey in the Wildlife Zone of the Guayaquil Historical Park
    Guayaquil (c) Linda Garrison
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    Historical Park Flowers

    Guayaquil, Ecuador - Historical Park Flowers
    Guayaquil (c) Linda Garrison
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    Hampton Inn by Hilton Guayaquil - Downtown

    Hampton Inn by Hilton Guayaquil - Downtown
    Guayaquil (c) Linda Garrison

    The Hampton Inn of Guayaquil is in a great location--downtown and just a few blocks from the Malecon 2000, the Parque Bolivar, and the Metropolitan Cathedral.

    I stayed overnight at this very nice Hampton Inn in Guayaquil on the way home from a week-long Galapagos Islands' cruise on the Quasar Evolutions' M/V Evolution.

    The hotel is centrally located in downtown Guayaquil, with large rooms and bathrooms. The facility was very clean and the air conditioning worked well, which is very important in a tropical city like Guayaquil.

    Having been "unconnected" from the world for about a week while in the Galapagos, the free WiFi was greatly appreciated, as was the large flat-screen television with cable. I've stayed at many Hampton Inns in the USA, but this one had a much more substantial free breakfast than I have seen in the states. In addition to the standard cereals, juices, and waffles, this Hampton Inn had a egg and omelet station and nice selection of fruits.

    As is common in the travel industry, the writer was provided with complimentary hotel accommodation for the purpose of review. While it has not influenced this review, About.com believes in full disclosure of all potential conflicts of interest. For more information, see our Ethics Policy.