While the Port of Guayaquil has not traditionally been a popular tourist destination, the city has been working hard to change that. With few historic sites, the City of Guayaquil (Spanish) has undertaken extensive restoration and improvement projects. The downtown area contains most of the sites visitors will not want to miss.
The Palacio Municipal, is the government building, and it is architecturally one of Ecuador's most important buildings. Malecon 2000 is a restoration of the city's historic Simon Bolivar Pier containing a mix of modern shops and green areas. From the Malecon, you can walk up 400 steps to the top of the hills to find a lighthouse, museum, and chapel and to get breathtaking views of the city.
The Parque Seminario (also called Iguana Park) is home to thousands of iguanas, some up to five feet long, that people enjoy feeding slices of mango. The Parque Centenario is the city's biggest park offering shady trees, walkways, and lawns to sun-weary pedestrians.
The Mercado Artesanal, in a building that occupies an entire city block, houses local artisans selling paintings, jewelry, and indigenous crafts. The Las Penas neighborhood is the Port of Guayaquil's center for the arts where visitors will find art galleries in restored 400-year-old houses.
The Port of Guayaquil's main beach, Salinas, is a great spot for surfing, swimming, and fishing. It is accompanied by many great hotels and restaurants serving wonderful seafood. From June to September, you can join the whale watching at Salinas beach.
The US Department of State advises American citizens to use caution in these Port of Guayaquil's areas: downtown at night, La Bahia market, Christ Statue on Cerro del Carmen, airport, and the southern part of the city. The Malecon area is well-patrolled, but caution is advised there at night. The State Department reports an increase in kidnappings for ransom, noting that tourists have not been targeted. American citizens should check with the consulate in the Galapagos Islands and the departments travel website before visiting the Port of Guayaquil.