The small neighborhood of La Bahia, only about eight square blocks, lies along the Río Guayas and includes the southernmost section of the Malecón 2000 boardwalk. It’s only a block away from the river and near other beautiful areas that visitors can explore. Historic places such as the Iglesia San Jose, the Municipal Cathedral, the Crystal Palace, and Parque Seminario are all part of this little corner of historic Guayaquil.
The neighborhood of 9 de Octubre, the date of Guayaquil’s Day of Independence, borders a street of the same name. It is a slice of the city that runs from the Río Guayas to the old Malecón Salado. This area is a busy part of town and includes some of the city’s classic destinations such as the Parque Centenario, the San Francisco Church, Guayaquil Tennis Club, the Presley Norton Museum, the beautiful Hotel Oro Verde, the Supreme Court of Guayaquil, and the Casa de Cultura.
Las Peñas is the oldest neighborhood in the port city of Guayaquil. Many of the brightly painted homes are more than a century old, and many of them were abandoned at one point until the city embarked on a renovation project, which included building the new lighthouse. Today, most visitors walk up the 444 steps through the vibrantly colored neighborhood to stand on the hilltop of Cerro Santa Ana and photograph the iconic neighborhood from above.
La Puntilla, named after its shape, a triangular point at the tip of the peninsula in between the Daule and Babahoyo Rivers, is a small neighborhood in Samborondón. It is home to the wonderful Parque Histórico and the Teatro Sánchez Aguilar. The area features upscale shopping malls, restaurants, and bars. Many of the residential communities lie behind well-protected gates.
On the far side of the neighborhood of Las Peñas lies Cerro del Carmen. This district is home to the Cementario Patrimonial and the church Santo Domingo de Guzman. But maybe the biggest surprise is the collection of historic buildings on the grounds of the Hospital Luis Vernaza. From the top of the hill, near the Ecuavisa building, the views looking towards the Río Guayas are spectacular, particularly at sunset.
Barrio del Centenario, built in the 1920s, was promoted as the most elegant neighborhood in Guayaquil for approximately a decade. Today, in this area, there are 51 historic buildings, but most remain private residences hidden behind cement walls. This area is also home to the Navy Museum, the pedestrian bridge to the Isla Santay, and the park grounds at the Eloy Alfaro Civic Center and Theatre.
Plaza Lagos is a residential neighborhood and commercial center located in Samborondón. This location is modern and Mediterranean, with stark white buildings that stand out against the deep blue of the artificial lake. Palm trees line the walkways while perfectly ornamented restaurants, bars, and cafés invite you to come inside out of the heat. At night, the entire plaza lights up with a golden glow that reflects in the many fountains of spraying water.