We didn’t have much reason to visit Guayaquil other than our flight landed there, but we thought we should make the most of it! We arrived late evening and took a stroll down the new Malecon 2000, a 2km boardwalk on the sea front with bars, restaurants, monuments and even an IMAX cinema! We were also told that this was one of the only safe places past about 8 o clock which made us feel a bit on edge! We got some Chinese food from an odd food court and headed back to our room for a rum and coke a bottle of Colombian rum we’d bought at the airport for a bargain price! Walking home the streets were almost deserted, it was quite strange but we felt safe enough as we power walked home.
The next morning was a completely different sight as the streets were packed and there were market stalls everywhere. We tried our first Humita, a tasty stodgy maize snack which is steamed within a corn leaf and has a small cheesy centre – it was delicious! We then went to investigate what had been advertised as ‘iguana park’. Not having very high hopes we arrived to what looked like an ordinary park, but with about 20 iguanas roaming around freely! They looked like dinosaurs! We were both fascinated as we sat on a bench and watched them be fed for the majority of the morning. After pulling Tom away we continued our adventure to Las Peñas, a collection of colourful houses and quaint streets on the side of a large hill with a lighthouse at the top. The streets were cobbled and houses pastel coloured in a preconceived stereotypical South American fashion. Whilst the streets were beautiful the large amount of police patrolling made us wonder whether we had been lulled into a false sense of security, or whether the police presence was meant to reassure us that the area was safe. Either way, we enjoyed our stroll and then walked around the commercial area, more beautiful parks and visited an embarrassing number of bakeries before heading back to our room – whilst there wasn’t too much to see Guayaquil had exceeded our expectations and was a decent place to spend a day, especially as you can spend the day with dinosaurs!