Guayaquil is Ecuador's largest city and seaport on the country's Pacific coast. Previously considered an unattractive, smelly city and excluded from most tourist itineraries, Guayaquil has received an impressive face-lift from recent municipal administrations.

In addition to a series of public works, the Malecon 2000 is a safe, pleasant 2.5-mi/4-km promenade along the banks of the Guayas River offering a variety of gardens, restaurants, recreational areas, monuments, shops, museums and an IMAX cinema. Live concerts and theatrical events are offered frequently at Malecon 2000 May-October.

Although Guayaquil is the economic capital of Ecuador, there is glaring poverty in many sections of the city, in contrast to the modern buildings and luxurious neighborhoods. Nevertheless, with its Caribbean flavor, Guayaquil is upbeat and intent on developing its potential as a major tourist attraction.

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