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GUAYAQUIL - ECUADOR

GUAYAS


This is a province of Ecuador, and its capital, Guayaquil, is one of the most important cities in the country, with a population of around 2,600,000 inhabitants, while the province has 3,309,034 and a surface area of 20,902 km2. It is located in the central area of the coast, in a region washed by the river Guayas basin and the Pacific Ocean, and is crossed by the Chongon-Colonche mountain system. Its borders to the north are with Manabi and part of Los Rios, to the south with El Oro and the Gulf of Guayaquil, to the east with Los Rios, Chimborazo, Cañar and Azuay, and to the west with the Pacific Ocean. In general the soils are rich and its mountains are little more than a thousand meters in height.

The province has a long and ancient history, beginning with the Valdivia Culture, about 5,000 years ago, a period that produced the first pottery in the American continent. Its name is in homage to the cacique Guayas, a great leader of the Huancavilcas tribe which inhabited this region in Inca times.

The Province of Guayas was created on July 31st, 1824. Its capital, Guayaquil, is undeniably its economic, industrial and commercial center, which has meant that many people from other provinces have been attracted to it, hoping to find better jobs and quality of life, so that it has become the most populated province in the country.

Another very important aspect of the province is its beaches, which are considered the best in Ecuador. There is no discussion about this, and we can also claim that they compete with the best in the world. There are various circuits for visiting them which we detail below. The climate is predominantly hot tropical or wet tropical, and the average temperature is 25°Celsius. There are two well-defined seasons: winter (January to May), which is particularly the beach season; and summer (June to December).

One of the characteristics of this province is the skill of its inhabitants for creating festive events, which fit in spectacularly and provide an important stimulus that increases the flow of both national and international tourists. Among the events are the crowning of beauty queens, regattas, fishing, sailing, business conventions, the Duran International Festival and the typical Montubio Rodeo, to mention only some of the festivities that take place throughout the year in Guayas.

Its past was equally amazing. Recent archeological excavations have found traces of important pre-Columbian communities that had their political center on the Island of Puna, one of thirteen islands found in the Gulf of Guayaquil. Guayas nowadays shelters aborigine societies with their own customs, ways of life, history, culture and archeology, thus giving a true view of our civilization and its not so distant past.

As regards its physical features, the coastal cordillera begins in the hills of Duran. In Guayaquil appear the hills of Las Cabras, Las Peñas, Santa Ana, El Carmen and Manicomio. Then it rises towards the northwest, bearing the name of Cordillera Colonche and high Manglar and running to the provinces of Manabi and Esmeraldas. It is 400 kilometers in length.

Guayas province has various destinations and points for different kinds of tourism. With the following selection of programmed itineraries, you can make up your own tour and try out what is happening in each one.

Walk through the Center of Guayaquil

This will cover a sector in the city center with its history and culture that can be walked in about 2 hours, through parks, churches, and many colonial streets.

Sculpture, Fabric and Museum Circuit
On this walk, tourists can share in the making of craftworks, seeing how hats and a great variety of handicrafts are made.

Country Circuit
Here rodeos can be found, together with cockfights, and skills with horses and hats; this route will enable you to enjoy the lovely countryside offered by the province, and especially its incomparable cockfighting pits.

Beach Circuit
This itinerary leads us through the most impressive beaches, particularly Bahia de Santa Elena, Punta Brava, Punta Gruesa, Salinas, La Libertad, Anconcito, Punta Chanduy, Punta de Piedras and Punta Chapolla, to end at the picturesque General Villamil, a pretty beach-town that invites us to stay.

Salt Tideland Circuit
This route leads us to the meeting point of the waters of the river Guayas and the sea, along beautiful beaches. It begins in the town of Posorja, another picturesque spot that is hard to leave as we continue our trip, which will take us through the whole area.

Churute Mangrove Swamps Ecological Reserve Circuit
This itinerary goes through the area of the mangrove swamps, where we find surroundings full of vegetation and tropical life. In this area the vegetation grows and develops in a transition zone between sea, fresh water and land. The mangrove grows and develops in salt water, with plants of various sizes and abundant foliage. It is characterized by stilt-like roots and seeds that germinate within the tree. These species are perfectly adapted to environments that flood.

Other circuits
There are a great variety of circuits in the province that simply invite us to visit them, such as that of Eloy Alfaro city, facing Guayaquil, across the river Guayas bed; we can also mention, towards the east, the cities of Milagro, Naranjito and El Triunfo; towards the north, cities like Daule, Salitre, Santa Lucia, Palestina, Balzar and Velasco Ibarra.
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