MundoAndino Home : Ecuador Guide at mundoandino


Guayaquil , officially Santiago de Guayaquil, is the largest and the most populous city in Ecuador,with a metro area population exceeding 3.3 million at the end of 2009, as well as that nation's main port. The city is the capital of the Ecuadorian province of Guayas and the seat of the namesake canton.

Guayaquil is located on the western bank of the Guayas River, which flows into the Pacific Ocean at the Gulf of Guayaquil. Because of its location, the city is the center of Ecuador's fishing and manufacturing industries.


Guayaquil was founded on July 25, 1538 with the name Muy Noble y Muy Leal Ciudad de Santiago de Guayaquil (Most Noble and Most Loyal City of St. James of Guayaquil) by Spanish Conquistador Francisco de Orellana. Even before it was founded by the Spanish, it already existed as a native village.

In 1600 Guayaquil had a population of about 2,000 people; by 1700 the city had a population of over 10,000.

In 1687, Guayaquil was attacked and looted by English and French pirates under the command of George d'Hout (English) and Picard and Groniet (Frenchmen). Of the more than 260 pirates, 35 died and 46 were wounded; 75 defenders of the city died and more than 100 were wounded. The pirates took local women as concubines. Quito paid the ransom demanded by the pirates with the condition they release the hostages and not burn Guayaquil.

In 1709, the English captains Woodes Rogers, Etienne Courtney, and William Dampier along with 110 other pirates, looted Guayaquil and demanded ransom; however, they suddenly departed without collecting the ransom after an epidemic of yellow fever broke out.

In October 9, 1820, almost without bloodshed, a group of civilians supported by soldiers from the "Granaderos de Reserva", a battalion quartered in Guayaquil, overwhelmed the resistance of the Royalist guards and arrested the Spanish authorities. Guayaquil declared independence from Spain, becoming Provincia Libre de Guayaquil, and Jose Joaquin de Olmedo was named Jefe Civil (Civil Chief) of Guayaquil. This would prove to be a key victory for the Ecuadorian War of Independence.

On July 26, 1822, Jose de San Martin and Simon Bolivar held a famous conference in Guayaquil to plan for the independence of Spanish South America.

In 1829, the city was invaded by the Peruvian Army, which occupied it for seven months.

In 1860, the city was the site of the Battle of Guayaquil, the last of a series of military conflicts between the forces of the Provisional Government, led by Gabriel Garcia Moreno and General Juan Jose Flores, and the forces of the Supreme Chief of Guayas, General Guillermo Franco, whose government was recognized as possessing sovereignty over the Ecuadorian territory by Peruvian president Ramon Castilla.

Large portions of the city were destroyed by a major fire in 1896.

Guayaquil at present

Present-day Guayaquil continues its tradition of trade, although the city is expanding its tourism base, by beautifying the city and an improvement in the citizens' self-esteem . This process has taken years, comprising the last two municipal administrations. Despite having few historic buildings, renovations and expansions of levees, squares, parks, and some districts have turned Guayaquil into a national and international tourist destination. It is now a headquarters for fairs and international events.


''Guayaquilenos' main sources of income are: formal and informal trade, business, agriculture and aquaculture. Most commerce consists of small and medium businesses, adding an important informal economy occupation that gives thousands of guayaquilenos employment. Guayaquil y como el mercado siempre aparece: El retorno de los informales'', Diario Expreso Despite this, Guayaquil is the city with the highest rate of underemployment (about 40% of the economically active population) and unemployment (about 11% of the economically active population) of Ecuador.

Guayaquil maintains an infrastructure for import and export of products with international standards. Among its major trading points are the Seaport, the largest in Ecuador and one of the biggest influx of shipping on the shores of the Pacific and Jose Joaquin de Olmedo International Airport. Additionally, it has an infrastructure of roads to other cities and provinces, which are considered the best in the country.

Ongoing projects seek urban regeneration as a principal objective to the growth of the city's commercial districts, as the increase of capital produces income. These projects in the city driven by the recent mayors have achieved this goal after investing large sums of money. The current municipal administration aims to convert Guayaquil into a place for first-class international tourism and business multinationals.


Guayaquil features a tropical savanna climate. The climate is hot and generally humid throughout the year with little variation in average temperatures. During El Nino years rainfall is very heavy between January and April and flooding usually occurs. Typically however, rainfall is minimal due to the influence of the Humboldt Current.


Guayaquil's current mayor is Jaime Nebot , a well-known member of the political party Partido Social Cristiano. Jaime Nebot began a campaign of construction projects for the city in the late 1990s to attract tourism, that included the "urban regeneration", which reconstructed the city in all levels including sidewalks, parks, sewer system, it took the power and telephone lines underground, it saw a lot of reconstruction of the city's chaotic transit system with the construction of multiple infrastructures .

In August 2006, the city's first bus rapid transit system, Metrovia, opened to provide a quicker, high-capacity service. One of the main projects was called Malecon 2000 , the renovation of the promenade (malecon) along the Guayas River with the addition of a boardwalk in 2000. Another project was the creation of theNuevo Parque Historico, a park in a housing development area that is called Entre Rios because it lies between the Daule and Babahoyo rivers (which confluence to form the Guayas river), in a mangrove wetland area. The park cost the city about 7 million dollars. It is a refuge for fauna and a zone of historical-architecture preservation, and has a traditions-and-history exhibition centre. The idea of the creation of this park came from Ecuador's central bank in 1982, as part of their "Rescate Arquitectonico" ("Architectural Rescue") programme. .


According to the most recent census (2001), its population was 1.985.379.


Typical Guayaquil cuisine includes encebollado (one of many typical seafood soups), ceviche, arroz con menestra y carne (rice and beans with grilled or fried beef) [*], patacones (twice-fried plantain slices) and pan de yuca (bread made from cassava). Bolon de Verde ( fried plantain with cheese smashed and given a rounded shape)

Notable people


Ecuador is known for its artists and its place in art history. Many of them were born in Guayaquil, such as:

Felix Arauz

Xavier Blum Pinto

Theo Constante

Araceli Gilbert

Julio Jaramillo

Vilma Jaramillo de Aguilar

Luis Lara

William Vaca b.1964

Luis Miranda

Luis Molinari

Enrique Tabara

Jorge Velarde

Rony Vera

Juan Villafuerte

Montserrat Serra


Other notable people from Guayaquil include:

animator Mike Judge

poets Jose Joaquin de Olmedo and Adalberto Ortiz

Hugo Savinovich former professional wrestler and currently one half of the WWE Spanish announce team

Frederick Ashton, dancer and choreographer

pioneer of theater/radio/film and famous actor and director Paco Villar

scholar Benjamin Urrutia

former world's oldest person Maria Capovilla

violinist Jorge Saade

former actor Albert Paulsen

operatic soprano Beatriz Parra Durango,

rapper Gerardo Mejia, made famous during the early 90s for his song "Rico Suave"

tennis player Pancho Segura who in 1950 and 1952 was the world's Co-No. 1 player

Andres Gomez, who won the ATP Championship of Roland Garros in Paris, France in 1990

Another notable figure was JORGE DELGADO 4 in the olympic games of munich 72 multiplisouth american cahampion (19) panamerican champion and other championships.

Felipe Caicedo, Sporting Lisbon Striker

Religious buildings

Guayaquil has a cathedral and many other Roman Catholic churches. There is a Temple and many chapels of the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints. Many other faiths and religions are represented throughout the city.


Biblioteca Municipal de Guayaquil (Municipal Library of Guayaquil) serves as the public library of Guayaquil." Inicio." Biblioteca Municipal de Guayaquil. Retrieved on April 7, 2009.


There are two major soccer clubs; the Barcelona Sporting Club and the Club Sport Emelec. Both clubs have their own stadiums; the Estadio Monumental Banco del Pichincha is the home of the "Barcelonistas" while the Estadio George Capwell is the home of the "Emeleccistas". These two teams have a long history of rivalry in Guayaquil and when these two teams play against each other the game is called "El Clasico del Astillero". (Emelec is short for "Empresa Electrica del Ecuador" - the team was sponsored by the electric power company when founded.)

The city is also the home of Nicolas Lapentti, an active tennis player that is top 100 at the Current ATP Race.

The "Abierto de Tenis Ciudad de Guayaquil" is a tennis tournament organised in Guayaquil every year by Andres Gomez and Luis Morejon in November of every year.

Another major event in the city is the Guayaquil Marathon, organised by DM3, which is held every year on the first weekend of October since 2005. These race is certified by the (AIMS) Association of International Marathons and Distance Races.


Some of Guayaquil's main universities are:

Escuela Superior Politecnica del Litoral

Universidad de Especialidades Espiritu Santo UEES

Universidad de Guayaquil

Universidad Catolica de Santiago de Guayaquil

Universidad Laica Vicente Rocafuerte

Universidad Casa Grande

Universidad Santa Maria

Blue Hill College

Brookdale Community College

Universidad Del Pacifico UPACIFICO

IGACD-Institute of Graphics Arts and Digital Science

Notable places

The Malecon 2000 is a restoration project of the historic Simon Bolivar Pier. It will be a symbolic centre of the city, a mix of green areas and shopping. The tall ship Guayas has its home base here.

The Palacio Municipal is located in front of the Malecon and holds the political offices of city and provincial officials. Built in a neoclassical style, it is considered one of the most important architectural works in the country.

Las Penas is a neighbourhood in the northeast corner of the city centre; is the artistic centre of the city. Many of the area's 400-year-old houses have been converted into art galleries and several notable artists have studios in the area.

The Mercado Artesanal is the largest artisan market in the city. The market is housed in a 240-shop building that takes up the entire block of Baquerizo Avenue, between Loja and Juan Montalvo streets. Its many vendors sell indigenous crafts, jewellery, and paintings.

Parque Centenario is located on 9 de Octubre street, between Lorenzo de Garaycoa and Quito. This is the largest park in the town centre, occupying four city blocks. It offers shady refuge from the equatorial sun, with large trees arching over the walkways and lawns. A large Statue of Liberty dominates the central area of the park.

Parque Seminario (also known as Parque de Las Iguanas or Iguana Park) located on 10 de Agosto Avenue and Chile Avenue, is home to many iguanas, some of which approach 5 feet in length. Tourists and locals alike often feed the iguanas mango slices from park vendors. There is also a pond filled with colourful Japanese Tilapia. An equestrian statue of Simon Bolivar is located in the centre of the park.

Urdesa is a traditional neighborhood, for restaurants, stores.

Bahia is a popular marketplace for toys, clothing, electronic goods, DVDs, and CDs.

The city's new airport, Jose Joaquin de Olmedo International Airport , though using the same runways, had its passenger terminal completely rebuilt in 2006 and was renamed. The old passenger terminal is now a convention centre.

Sister cities

Guayaquil has city partnerships with the following cities and/or regions:

Since 2001: Shanghai, People's Republic of China

Santiago, Chile

Concepcion, Chile

Houston, Texas, USA (1987)

Genoa, Italy

Barcelona, Spain

Bogota, Colombia

See also

List of urban parishes in Guayaquil

Jose Joaquin de Olmedo International Airport

External links

Guayaquil Travel Guide

Municipalidad de Guayaquil

Ecuador Special Events and Holiday Calendar

Guayaquil at Google Maps

The Tramways of Guayaquil

Barrio De Paz - A documentary about gang culture in Guayaquil on OneWorldTV

Didn't find what you were looking for.
Need more information for your travel research or homework?
Ask your questions at the forum about Coastal cities in Ecuador or help others to find answers.

This article is licensed under the GNU Free Documentation License. It uses material from the Wikipedia article Guayaquil

Disclaimer - Privacy Policy - 2009