Guayaquil (pronounced [waʝaˈkil]), officially Santiago de Guayaquil, is the largest and the most populous city in Ecuador, as well as that nation's main port. Guayaquil is on the west margin of the Guayas River, which flows into the Pacific Ocean at the Gulf of Guayaquil. The climate is hot and generally humid. Though during El Niño years rainfall is very heavy between January and April and flooding usually occurs, from May to December and outside El Niños, there is almost no rain as the city is influenced by the Humboldt Current. Fog is a normal occurrence during the dry months, so that sunshine hours are actually a little higher during the "wet" season.
Guayaquil is the capital of the Ecuadorian province of Guayas and the seat of the namesake canton. (In Ecuador, a cantón (canton) is a second-order subnational entity below a first-order province.)
The city is the center of Ecuador's fishing and manufacturing industries.
The city's new airport, José Joaquín de Olmedo International Airport (IATA airport code: GYE), 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.
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.
The Malecón 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 Palacio Municipal
is located in front of the Malecón 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.
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.
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.
(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 Simón Bolívar is located in the centre of the park.
is a popular marketplace for toys, clothing, electronic goods, DVDs, and CDs
The heart of Manabí province, Manta is one of the most important cities for business and tourism on the Pacific Coast of Ecuador. The history of Manta as a commercial center goes back to before the Inca conquest, when it served as a trading site for the Manta and Inca indigenous groups. Today, Manta is Ecuador's second largest port - second only to Guayaquil. Its relatively industrial landscape of cranes and skyscrapers diminishes its appeal for some visitors, especially compared to sleepier, less developed beach towns to the north. Still, for those who appreciate fine restaurants and bars, large hotels and luxury vacation homes, parts of Manta are quite picturesque and appealing. Manta features a range of beaches, other sites of interest, and hotels. It is also home to a United States Military air base, although Ecuadorian President Rafael Correa has ordered the United States to vacate the base when their lease ends in 2009.
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