Best of Guayaquil

Top itineraries and travel advice in and around Guayaquil
Guayaquil is both the largest city in Ecuador and its economic engine, home to looming high-rises and a fast-growing population. A beautifully revitalized riverfront, excellent museums and historic hillside neighborhoods are the main attractions, while some spectacular coastline lies just outside the city. The tropical vibe, unique cuisine (heavily leaning towards seafood) and intriguing history make Guayaquil a fascinating counterpoint to the highland city of Quito

On a city tour, you can see the Malecón, the waterfront along the Río Guayas that’s much loved by locals. Here you’ll find open-air restaurants, leafy parks and gardens, historical monuments and a wide promenade stretching for 1.6 miles (2.5km) with views over the churning waterway. Just above the waterfront, the neighborhoods of Las Peñas and Cerro Santa Ana are full of brightly painted homes, galleries, cafes and staircase-like lanes where you can enjoy panoramic views across the city. Outside of Guayaquil, you can explore Churute Mangrove Reserve, home to the nation’s densest collection of red and black mangroves, and a hotspot for viewing aquatic birds and other wildlife.   
Plan your trip to Ecuador
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Spend a night in the beautiful coastal city of Guayaquil before flying to the Galapagos
Map of Guayaquil, Puerto Ayora, Isla San Cristóbal & Puerto Villamil: Best Itinerary Ideas
Guayaquil, Puerto Ayora, Isla San Cristóbal & Puerto Villamil: Best Itinerary Ideas

Most travelers will find that 11 to 14 days is perfect for a well-paced Ecuador trip with stops in Guayaquil, Puerto Ayora, Isla San Cristóbal, and Puerto Villamil. Travelers with less time can hit the route's highlights in nine or 10 days, which makes for a fast-paced journey. Travelers with more time can enjoy extra sights and activities at each stop or explore more of Ecuador's mainland. Get inspired with our trip ideas below.

Get to know the "Athens of the Andes" in southern Ecuador's colonial gem of Cuenca
Map of Luxury Southern Ecuador Exploration: Guayaquil to Cuenca - 7 Days
Luxury Southern Ecuador Exploration: Guayaquil to Cuenca - 7 Days

Journey from the Pacific to the Andes in luxury with this southern Ecuador trip that features 5-star hotels and grand haciendas. It starts on the coast in Guayaquil, where you'll visit historic parks, enjoy chocolate tours, and hike to waterfalls from your base at a sprawling countryside estate. Then, head inland to explore the prairies of Cajas National Park and the colonial charms of Cuenca, where you'll dive into local life with intimate cultural experiences and a visit to ancient Inca ruins.

Enjoy a day in Guayaquil before you set off on your Galápagos Island adventure
Map of Discover Peru & the Galápagos Islands - 15 Days
Discover Peru & the Galápagos Islands - 15 Days

See the best of Peru and the Galápagos Islands on this epic 15-day adventure. Spend the first week exploring Lima's coastline, the charming streets of Cusco, the famous Machu Picchu, and the Inca monuments of the Sacred Valley. Then fly to Ecuador, where you'll have a day in colorful Guayaquil before continuing to the Galápagos for a week of hiking, snorkeling, boating, and wildlife spotting.

Colorful houses in Guayaquil
Map of Outdoor Adventure & Culture From Quito to Guayaquil  - 9 Days
Outdoor Adventure & Culture From Quito to Guayaquil - 9 Days

Discover Ecuador's breathtaking landscapes and colorful cultural traditions on this thrilling nine-day trip. Start with a tour of Quito, step on the equator at Mitad del Mundo, and dip in the thermal waters of Papallacta before continuing to Otavalo to shop for handicrafts and spend a day at a traditional hacienda. Explore Cotopaxi National Park and the Avenue of Volcanoes, then finish the adventure in the coastal city of Guayaquil.

Meet local iguanas in Ecuador with the family!
Map of Ecuador's Pacific Coast for Families: Culture, Nature & Beaches - 14 Days
Ecuador's Pacific Coast for Families: Culture, Nature & Beaches - 14 Days

This family-friendly Ecuadorian adventure starts in historic Guayaquil, where you'll take a guided tour of the city's most notable landmarks before heading to the coasts of Manta. Visit howler monkeys at Pacoche Wildlife Refuge and kayak the Pacific coast, then continue to Puerto López for snorkeling with colorful fish (and maybe some curious sea turtles!) at the islands of Isla de la Plata and Isla Salango. Return to Guayaquil in time to canoe through the greenery of Churute Mangrove Reserve.

Spend your days exploring and evenings relaxing in the luxurious grounds of your hacienda (photo courtesy of Hacienda Zuleta)
Map of Luxury Hacienda Hopping in Ecuador - 14 Days
Luxury Hacienda Hopping in Ecuador - 14 Days

Ranch-style living doesn't mean roughing it, as you'll see on this two-week Ecuador itinerary that combines scenic natural wonders and luxurious haciendas. You'll stroll the historic streets of Quito, learn to make flaky empanadas, and ride horse-drawn carriages in the highlands. More thrilling adventures are in store as you head toward the coast for horseback riding on the slopes of towering volcanoes and birding in Ecuador's cloud forests

Enjoy boat trips and snorkeling excursions along Ecuador's beautiful coast
Map of Ecuador's Pacific Coast for Families: Culture, Nature & Beaches - 10 Days
Ecuador's Pacific Coast for Families: Culture, Nature & Beaches - 10 Days

This family tour of Ecuador showcases the country's wild Pacific coast with an itinerary full of nature, beaches, and kid-friendly adventure. Start in the colorful port of Guayaquil to see historic landmarks and basking land iguanas, and head north to Manta for snorkeling, whale watching, and a trip to the Pacoche Wildlife Reserve. Take to the high seas in Puerto López with sailing and fishing day trips, then learn about Indigenous Ecuadorian culture with a visit to the local Agua Blanca community.

Explore Ecuador's natural wonders by day and return to your luxury hacienda in the evening (photo courtesy of Luna Volcán)
Map of Luxury Hacienda Hop Around Ecuador's Mountains & Coast - 10 Days
Luxury Hacienda Hop Around Ecuador's Mountains & Coast - 10 Days

Venture into the wilds of Ecuador on a journey that will take you from highland volcanoes to the Pacific coast, stopping at historic cities and ancient ruins in between. Stay in first-class haciendas as you visit the museums of Quito, followed by horseback rides near Cotopaxi volcano. Then stroll the cobbled streets of historic Cuenca and hike around the pre-Inca ruins of Ingapirca before lapping up ranch-style luxury living in Guayaquil.

Feel the freedom of the open road as you navigate through Ecuador
Map of Ecuador Road Trip From North to South: Quito, Cotopaxi & Baños - 12 Days
Ecuador Road Trip From North to South: Quito, Cotopaxi & Baños - 12 Days

Get ready for adventure as you drive through Ecuador from north to south, making your way from high-altitude Quito to coastal Guayaquil. With the freedom to go at your own pace, start where the world divides in Quito and explore the base of an active 19,347-foot (5,897 m) volcano at Cotopaxi National Park. Swing over the "End of the World" in Baños de Agua Santa, and walk through a city with four rivers in Cuenca, ending your trip in Guayaquil as you return to sea level.

Ocean scenery in the Galápagos Islands, Ecuador
Map of Grand Ecuadorian Adventure: Quito to the Galápagos Islands - 13 Days
Grand Ecuadorian Adventure: Quito to the Galápagos Islands - 13 Days

See the highlights of Ecuador on this 13-day whirlwind tour. Start at Quito, the colonial capital, which will give you a glimpse of the local culture. Spend the next few days driving south, passing iconic destinations like Cotopaxi, Baños, and Cuenca while enjoying food and nature. Then, go to Guayaquil and take a flight to the Galápagos Islands, where you'll hike and snorkel to see fascinating endemic species.

The Chimborazo Volcano
Map of Volcanoes of Ecuador: Quito, Otavalo, Cotopaxi, Guayaquil - 7 Days
Volcanoes of Ecuador: Quito, Otavalo, Cotopaxi, Guayaquil - 7 Days

This weeklong itinerary is perfect for travelers who are interested in seeing the astoundingly beautiful landscapes of Ecuador. Travel along the Andean highlands to see ancient volcanoes, sacred waterfalls, and lagoons before ending your trip in the lush coastal lowlands. At the end of each adventurous day, you will be able to relax at beautifully restored haciendas that will allow you to step back in time.

Vicuñas in front of Mount Chimborazo
Map of Best of Ecuador: Quito, Quilotoa, Baños, Cuenca & Guayaquil - 8 Days
Best of Ecuador: Quito, Quilotoa, Baños, Cuenca & Guayaquil - 8 Days

Experience the incredible Andes mountain range on this eight-day tour of Ecuador. Ride the Devil's Nose vertiginous train track, hike up volcanoes, kayak on a crater lake, and see Inca ruins. You'll also explore several high-altitude cities, including the capital, Quito, and colonial Cuenca. With plentiful guided activities, private transfers, and four to five-star hotels with breakfasts, this trip is the perfect mix of adventure and comfort.

Drive past a sheep farm near Chimborazo volcano
Map of Road Trip Through Ecuador - 13 Days
Road Trip Through Ecuador - 13 Days

Hit the road for this exciting self-drive adventure through Ecuador. The 13-day itinerary begins when you pick up your rental car at Quito's airport. Take side trips to Mitad del Mundo and Papallacta before continuing to the famous Otavalo Market to shop for handicrafts. Drive to Cotopaxi National Park and Baños for hikes and outdoor activities, then finish with sightseeing in Cuenca and coastal Guayaquil.

Spot irridescent hummingbirds among the diverse birdlife of Mindo
Map of Wonders of Ecuador & Peru: Quito, Baños, Guayaquil, Lima & Cusco - 11 Days
Wonders of Ecuador & Peru: Quito, Baños, Guayaquil, Lima & Cusco - 11 Days

Enjoy the highlights of Ecuador and Peru as you revel in their natural wonders and ancient civilizations. Starting in Quito, venture into the cloud forests of Mindo to discover diverse flora and fauna, and meet friendly alpacas as you hike along Quilotoa Lagoon. Get your adrenaline pumping with waterfalls and canyoning near Baños, then hop over to Peru to cap off the trip with tours of Lima and Cusco—ending with a visit to the mighty Macchu Picchu and a trek up the colorful Rainbow Mountain.

Get up close to the vertiginous waterfalls in Baños
Map of Quito, Baños, Cuenca, Guayaquil, Cotopaxi & Guamote: Best Itinerary Ideas
Quito, Baños, Cuenca, Guayaquil, Cotopaxi & Guamote: Best Itinerary Ideas

Most people visiting Quito, Baños, Cuenca, Guayaquil, Cotopaxi, and Guamote spend about 15 days in Ecuador, which usually includes time for more stops as well. For travelers wanting to visit Quito, Baños, Cuenca, Guayaquil, Cotopaxi, and Guamote exclusively, plan eight to 10 days for a well-paced trip. Read on for the best itineraries.

Take a stroll along Guayaquil's kid-friendly Malecón 2000 promenade
Map of Ecuador's Pacific Coast for Families  - 7 Days
Ecuador's Pacific Coast for Families - 7 Days

Explore the wonders of Ecuador's undiscovered Pacific coast on this relaxed weeklong itinerary for families. Hopping between the coastal cities of Guayaquil, Puerto López, and Salinas, you'll embark on an itinerary of scenic hikes, wildlife spotting, and plenty of quiet family beach time. Highlights include sailing to the real "Treasure Island" of Isla de la Plata, paddling through the mangroves of the Manglares Churute Reserve, and meeting the basking land iguanas along Guayaquil's waterfront promenade.

Take in pristine landscapes in the Gálapagos
Map of Grand Ecuadorian Adventure: Quito to the Galápagos Islands - 15 Days
Grand Ecuadorian Adventure: Quito to the Galápagos Islands - 15 Days

This exciting 15-day itinerary introduces you to the highlights of mainland Ecuador, then whisks you off to the Galápagos Islands for an unforgettable adventure. Start with sightseeing in Quito, then ride a horse in Cotopaxi National Park and hike to waterfalls near Baños. Get to know Guayaquil before catching a flight to the Galápagos to explore several islands, see giant tortoises, and snorkel with sea turtles.

Spot whales and search for buried treasure off Ecuador's Pacific coast
Map of Ultimate Ecuador Family Trip: From the Andes to the Pacific Coast - 14 Days
Ultimate Ecuador Family Trip: From the Andes to the Pacific Coast - 14 Days

If your family is having trouble deciding between a mountain or a beach-focused vacation, this two-week tour of Ecuador ticks both boxes. Starting in the high-altitude capital Quito, you'll embark on a kid-friendly adventure through the Andean highlands, skirting the edge of the Amazon rainforest in Baños before ending up on the Pacific coast for some beach time and wildlife-watching fun.

Llamas in El Cajas National Park
Map of Uncover Ecuador: From the Andes Mountains to the Pacific Coast - 15 Days
Uncover Ecuador: From the Andes Mountains to the Pacific Coast - 15 Days

Enjoy all that Ecuador offers on this epic 15-day journey from mountains to sea. Start by visiting Quito's key sites, then explore Cotopaxi National Park by bike before enjoying the waterfalls of Baños. Discover the quaint Andean villages of Cuenca, Gualaceo, and Chordeleg, and hike through Podocarpus and Carjas National Parks to witness unspoiled natural beauty and wildlife. Finish on the coast near Machalilla National Park, where you'll snorkel with marine life and catch sea breezes.

Explore the Ecuadorian Amazon by canoe
Map of Ecuador's Pacific Coast to the Andes & Amazon - 15 Days
Ecuador's Pacific Coast to the Andes & Amazon - 15 Days

Ecuador boasts a wide variety of geographical regions, each with its own distinct landscapes and ecosystems. Spend 15 days exploring the country from the shores of the Isla de la Plata to the verdant rainforests of the Cuyabeno Wildlife Reserve. Along the way, you'll hike past volcanoes, crater lakes, and Inca ruins in the highlands and visit some of Ecuador's largest cities, like Guayaquil and Quito.

Spot wild horses in Cotopaxi National Park
Map of Explore Ecuador's Highlands & the Galápagos - 13 Days
Explore Ecuador's Highlands & the Galápagos - 13 Days

See the many faces of Ecuador on this 13-day journey from the Andean highlands to the Galápagos Islands. Starting in vibrant Quito, strike out through Cotopaxi National Park to reach the cities of Baños, Cuenca, and Guayaquil—taking in the sights of waterfalls, volcanoes, forests, and pre-Inca ruins along the way. Then it's time to leave the mainland behind as you hop over to the Galápagos for swimming, hiking, and wildlife spotting on the islands of San Cristóbal and Santa Cruz.

The colorful neighborhoods of Guayaquil
Map of Culture, Nature & Wildlife in Ecuador: From the Pacific to the Highlands & Into the Amazon - 16 Days
Culture, Nature & Wildlife in Ecuador: From the Pacific to the Highlands & Into the Amazon - 16 Days

Ecuador delivers massive doses of natural beauty and rich culture. Dive deep into both on this 16-day journey, starting on the coast, from the tree-lined waterfront in Guayaquil to the mangroves of ecological reserves. After exploring the coast, travel inland to see ruins, colonial landmarks, and national parks around Cuenca, then venture into the Amazon to visit native villages and enjoy rainforest adventures before winding up in Quito to browse the historic Otavalo Market.

Climb the colorful Santa Anna Hill in Guayaquil
Map of Adventure Through the Andes, Southern Ecuador & the Coast - 16 Days
Adventure Through the Andes, Southern Ecuador & the Coast - 16 Days

Some of the deepest history in the Americas can be found in the Andes mountains—particularly in Ecuador. Experience this country's rich heritage and natural beauty over 16 days of adventures, starting on the cobbled streets of historic Quito with cultural excursions and cooking classes. After soaking in Ecuador's famous hot springs, you'll hit the highlands to hike extinct volcanoes and tour pre-Inca ruins before snorkeling and surfing the coast's prime spots.

Cordillera Occidental Andes Central Ecuador
Map of Ecuador: Amazon, Andes, and the Coast - 16 Days
Ecuador: Amazon, Andes, and the Coast - 16 Days

Explore the best of Ecuador in this 16-day tour through the Amazon, Andes, and Coastal regions. You'll visit beautiful colonial towns, indigenous communities, and experience ways of life both ancient and modern in this diverse country.

Quilotoa Lagoon is a highlight of the trip
Map of Explore Mainland Ecuador: Quito to Guayaquil - 9 Days
Explore Mainland Ecuador: Quito to Guayaquil - 9 Days

Experience the best of Ecuador's mainland on this exciting nine-day itinerary. You'll kick off the trip in Quito with a city tour and a cooking class, then go horseback riding in Cotopaxi National Park. Base yourself in beautiful Baños, day-tripping to lagoons and waterfalls, before continuing to Chimborazo volcano and Cajas National Park. Finish the adventure with a guided exploration of coastal Guayaquil.

Spend a day hiking around the base of Ecuador's highest volcano: Chimborazo
Map of Ecuador's Avenue of the Volcanoes: Quito to Guayaquil - 9 Days
Ecuador's Avenue of the Volcanoes: Quito to Guayaquil - 9 Days

This active adventure covers some of Ecuador's most famous peaks and staggering volcanoes, rising to 20,702 feet (6,310 m). Starting in Quito, one of the world's highest cities, you'll drive south along the Avenue of the Volcanoes to hike in national parks, visit archaeology ruins, and explore charming towns and cities dating to the 16th century. Head west to the Pacific Ocean and take a sunset stroll along Guayaquil's boardwalk to finish the adventure.

Cuicocha Lagoon
Map of Ecuador Mountains to Coast: Andes, Quito, Cotopaxi, & More - 10 Days
Ecuador Mountains to Coast: Andes, Quito, Cotopaxi, & More - 10 Days

From Quito's colonial center to the volcanoes of Cotopaxi National Park, explore the best of Ecuador's mainland on this packed 10-day itinerary. Hike along the rim of volcanic lagoons, barter for Ecuadorian handicrafts at markets, and visit small mountain villages. You'll see cascading waterfalls, lush orchid farms, high altitude plateaus, and much more as you traverse the countryside.

El Cajas National Park
Map of Highlights of Southern Ecuador - 11 Days
Highlights of Southern Ecuador - 11 Days

Get off the beaten path on this 11-day adventure around southern Ecuador. Begin the trip in Guayaquil, then base yourself in Cuenca as you explore El Cajas National Park and the Yunguilla Valley. Move onto the coffee-producing capital of Loja, side-tripping to Podocarpus National Park, and ride horses in Vilcabamba. Visit an Indigenous community and learn about native customs to finish the itinerary.

See dramatic waterfalls in Baños
Map of Ecuadorian Andes & the Galápagos Islands - 15 Days
Ecuadorian Andes & the Galápagos Islands - 15 Days

With such a wide range of landscapes, wildlife, and metropolitan areas, it's nearly impossible to see all of Ecuador in one trip, but this 15-day itinerary comes close. Start off in Quito, the nation's capital, before exploring volcanoes, crater lakes, waterfalls, and Cañari and Inca ruins across the highlands. Then, fly offshore to the Galápagos Islands, where you'll spend several days sailing, snorkeling, and hiking among some of the most stunning natural places in the world.

Sunset on the beach in Ayampe
Map of Exploring Ecuador: Andes, Rainforest & Pacific Coast - 12 Days
Exploring Ecuador: Andes, Rainforest & Pacific Coast - 12 Days

This 12-day itinerary is a thrilling introduction to Ecuador's magnificent landscapes. Begin with sightseeing and a cooking class in Quito, then continue to the natural wonders of Baños and Cotopaxi National Park. Base yourself in Archidona, exploring waterfalls in the rainforest, before heading to the Pacific coast. Tour Guayaquil, learn to catch a wave in Ayampe, and visit a cocoa plantation to finish the adventure.

Quito's Plaza Grande
Coffee & Chocolate: A Taste of Ecuador - 13 Days

This 13-day tour of Ecuador will tap all of your senses, from seeing historical sights to tasting local chocolate and smelling fresh coffee. Start in Quito, the capital of Ecuador, to see the Cathedral and Plaza de San Francisco and participate in a chocolate tour. Outside of the city, learn about the process of how coffee is made at a local farm. Take the Nariz del Diablo (Devil’s Nose) train ride to see the scenic countryside, and stay in the colonial-era city of Cuenca known for its nightlife and dining.

School of Fish in the Galapagos
Map of Best of Ecuador: Quito, Amazon, Cotopaxi, & Galapagos  - 14 Days
Best of Ecuador: Quito, Amazon, Cotopaxi, & Galapagos - 14 Days

Experience the best of Ecuador while getting to know its three main ecological regions: the Amazon rainforest, volcano highlands, and Galapagos Islands on this 14-day itinerary. Start the trip in Quito to see the UNESCO designated colonial city center, then head to the rainforest for three days at an ecolodge. Hike near volcanic lagoons and browse mountain markets, then catch a flight to Santa Cruz for three days of exploring uninhabited islands and spotting endemic wildlife.

Family adventures await in Ecuador
Map of Active Family Fun in Ecuador: Quito, Baños, Cuenca & Guayaquil - 14 Days
Active Family Fun in Ecuador: Quito, Baños, Cuenca & Guayaquil - 14 Days

This two-week family adventure starts in Quito, Ecuador's capital city. Explore local cuisine in a family cooking class, climb volcanic slopes via cable car, then depart for Baños, where you'll hike and bike to the Pailón del Diablo waterfall and relax in the town's healing hot springs. Continue to Cuenca for traditional pottery-making classes and hikes along the alpine lakes of El Cajas National Park, ending your tour in the vibrant city of Guayaquil with its stunning architecture, culture, and family parks.

A greeting committee awaits at your historic lodgings in Cotopaxi (photo courtesy of Hacienda San Agustín de Callo)
Map of Luxury Getaway to Ecuador's Peaks, Plains & Rainforests - 14 Days
Luxury Getaway to Ecuador's Peaks, Plains & Rainforests - 14 Days

Spend two weeks in Ecuador walking amid history, hiking national parks, exploring the Amazon, taking cooking classes, and more. Explore Quito's colonial landmarks and snack on decadent Ecuadorian chocolate, followed by a trip to the famous Indigenous market in Otavalo and hikes around the snowcapped cone of Cotopaxi volcano. After the highlands, fly to the Amazon for a few days of rainforest adventures, then conclude with stops in Spanish colonial Cuenca and farm tours near the coast.

El Cajas National Park
Map of The Ecuadorian Andes to the Amazon - 15 Days
The Ecuadorian Andes to the Amazon - 15 Days

See Ecuador off the beaten path on this 15-day trip that takes you from the towering Andes to the edge of the Amazon. Visit the major sites of Quito as you discover its local cuisine, then hike and horseback ride through Cotopaxi National Park. Explore waterfalls near Baños before reaching Tena, where you'll float along the river through the Amazon rainforests. Discover the Andean hill towns of Cuenca, Gualaceo, and Chordeleg, and witness the ruins of Ingapirca and El Cajas National Park

Cuenca is full of colonial delights, including it's blue-domed Cathedral
Map of Ecuador's Cities, Highlands & Cloud Forests - 16 Days
Ecuador's Cities, Highlands & Cloud Forests - 16 Days

Waterfalls, beaches, exotic animals, and ancient ruins—these are just a few of the highlights you'll experience on this 16-day journey through Ecuador. Walk the cobbled streets of Quito's UNESCO-listed historic center, taking cooking classes and visiting nearby monuments and colorful textile markets. Then, venture into the wild highlands for cloud-forest expeditions, horseback riding around volcanoes, waterfall hikes, and touring ancient ruins before winding up on the sunny shores of the Pacific coast.

Pink River Dolphin in the Amazon
Map of Wildlife & Nature in Ecuador - Quito, Amazon, & Galapagos - 10 Days
Wildlife & Nature in Ecuador - Quito, Amazon, & Galapagos - 10 Days

Ecuador is one of the world's hotspots for ecological diversity, so it makes sense to spend this 10-day trip exploring nature as much as possible. Start in Quito to see the UNESCO heritage city center, then head to the rainforest for three days at an ecolodge where you'll spot macaws, pink river dolphins, and howler monkeys. Round out your trip with a flight to the Galapagos, where giant tortoises, white-sand beaches, and uninhabited islands await.

Other popular travel destinations in Ecuador
Quito · Baños · Cotopaxi · Otavalo · Cuenca · The Amazon · Riobamba · Yasuni National Park · Papallacta · Tena · Quilotoa · Mindo · Archidona · Cuyabeno Wildlife Reserve · Isinliví · Cacha · Lago Agrio