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Guayaquil is Ecuador's largest and fast-paced city, principal seaport, industrial, commercial centre, situated at the mouth of the Guayas River.
Named after the legendary Indian prince and princess Guayas and Quil.
It is about 65 kilometres from the Pacific Ocean on the Guayas River only 4 meters above sea level and is surrounded by marshes and salt flats.
Ocean-going ships reach Guayaquil's deep-water port by way of the Gulf of Guayaquil and the Estero Salado ship channel, which is 58 kilometres long.
The city was founded by the Spaniard, Francisco de Orellana in 1537, one of the first explorer of the Amazon.
Guayaquil always have been an important port and was looted by pirates several times.
Today's major industries include trading in fruit, especially bananas, oil refining, manufacturing plastics, textiles, pharmaceuticals, food products, vehicles, and electrical equipment.
The city also has breweries, a cement factory, flour mills, ironworks, sawmills, small shipyards, and textile mills.
Guayaquil experienced very rapid growth since the 1950s, especially due to the growth of the banana industry.
Due to rapid growth and 'urban shift' the city is very crowded.
Over crowding and poverty is imminent in the squatters settlements called "suburbios", on the land-filled marshes, that flood often and stretches the city's ability to provide better housing, water, and garbage collection.
The city's close proximity to the equator makes the climate humid and very hot just about all year around.
The rainy season is from January to April, and the dry season May to December, may be overcast but agreeably cool.
Guayaquil not a very well known tourist destiny, mainly used as a jumping point to get to the Galapagos Islands or the famous Alausi train.
The city's attractions include the Municipal Museum (With it's famous shrunken heads), the Archaeological Museum of the Banco Central, the Archaeological Museum of the Banco del Pacifico, the Casa de Cultura (With it's collection of gold), the Iglesias de San Francisco and de Santo Domingo churches, the "Las Penas" colonial district, the Malecon Simon Bolivar (The Strand), the Parque del Centenario, and the La Bahia market near the waterfront.
A monument marks the meeting in 1822 of the liberators Simon Bolivar and Jose de San Martin in the Parque del Centenario.
Due to the large population (More than 2 million) the city suffers from air and water pollution, chaotic, congested traffic, and an unstable water supply.
Quito, the capital and Guayaquil always had an fierce political rivalry.
It is said that if Quito is the head of Ecuador, Guayaquil is its heart.

For more information about Guayaquil see Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia

We grabbed a bus on our arrival to get to our hotel.
The only trouble was that we used the wrong page or town in our guide book and in Ecuador it appears that hotel and street names are much the same in most towns, although the same hotel might not be on the same street in the other town.
Our first choice of hotel was too expensive (In Guayaquil), so we looked for the address for another hotel.
Now the fun started because according to the Guaquilians, our hotel was to the east, but the street, where the hotel should have been was to the west.
Our hotel was on a corner of 'x' and 'y' streets.
In Guayaquil, they had both streets, but miles apart and never cornering each other.
After about 30 minutes of conflicting directions and advice, but still did not knowing the cause of our confusion, we decided to walk towards the most commonly received direction.
We could not waste a taxi fare in such a confusion.
During our walk, we kept to our direction, although we asked many times for directions on our way which only added to our confusion.
But the fact that large towns have many hotels came to our help.
After about thirty minutes walk from the Parque del Centenario to near the end of Olmedo, which was in utter chaos at the time, as the road and services beneath the road being rebuilt, as well as being in the middle of a very busy market.
We came upon about six hotels in one block and one across the road.
We were rather tired, but we did not like any of the six hotels, so I left Hui Chin with our luggage and ventured across the road to check the hotel out.
It appeared suitable and affordable to us, so we showered and changed quickly to refresh and explore the market all around us.
We found many cheap and good eating and drinking places not far from our hotel on the Malecon Simon Bolivar, to which we returned a few times.
The following day we explored, the city, the Cathedral, the Malecon, market and Downtown on foot to get to know the place thoroughly.
Guayaquil came out all right on our experiences.

For more information about Guayaquil see Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia

You can click on these photos for an enlargement.

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Guayaquil Guayaquil Guayaquil Guayaquil
Guayaquil Guayaquil Guayaquil Guayaquil

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