Guayaquil, despite not being the capital, is the largest city of Ecuador. It’s also another place from where you can fly out to the Galapagos Islands. For us it was never a destination to visit but rather a means to travel further. Nonetheless we spent an evening here. And although we didn’t see much, we saw Las Peñas.
The Malecón, which is anywhere in the world the quayside, ends in Las Peñas with a light house on top. For our last evening on the mainland a visit of said light house came highly recommended.
How great then that our hotel was almost right at the foot of the main staircase which leads up to the light house. The Mansion del Rio looked like a more than luxurious town house from the last century. The whole place had a shabby chic feeling to it and that was exactly how the service was as well. But never mind, the place had air-condition and that was more than welcome in this sweltering heat.
We spent only little time in the hotel though. The plan was to walk up to the light house and go for dinner in this area. Not really something I can recommend. Walking up yes, because the view is amazing, especially at night. But don’t count on finding something to eat there. Go somewhere else for dinner. Really! We ended up having dinner in the amusement area of the Malecón.
Las Peñas itself is great to look at. It was the first neighbourhood of Guayaquil. One can still see that in the buildings. The houses in the colonial style have been recently renovated and all looks very inviting. But please don’t step off the main staircase. The moment you do that a security guy with a rather large automatic weapon will call you back.
After 400 steps and a short stop in between to re-charge our batteries (with a beer) we finally made it to the top.
Besides the light house there is also a small chapel for worship. Again with the obligatory security guys in front. Maybe this is not the right place to discuss it, but do you personally feel safer when you see guys with guns? Because I feel a lot more threatened. Doesn’t matter if they are supposedly the good guys or not. Let me know what you think. Yours, Pollybert