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Parque Historico (Historic Park)
The Historic Park was set up by the Central Bank of Ecuador in 1997 on the banks of the Guayas River. The park is divided into 3 zones-the Endangered Wildlife, the Urban Architecture, and the Traditions Zone. Within the park are birds (parrots, a harpy eagle, Toucan of the coast, and the Maria and Masked ducks), mammals (sloths, ocelots, deer, spider monkeys, tapirs and collared sainos), and reptiles (crocodile and spectacled caimans). Here visitors can get a taste of the geopolitical context of the old days. The park recreates different habitats in which the people of the old province of Guayaquil used to develop their activities, such as the woods, the countryside and the city, which is closely related to the so called “Golden Age” of the main port of Ecuador, whose principal activity was the commercialization of cocoa.
Marking the end of riverfront is the modern MAAC, a museum of anthropology and archaeology that hosts a superb permanent collection of pre-Colombian pieces and videos showing artistic techniques of early peoples. Changing exhibitions showcase works by contemporary Ecuadorian artists. MAAC also has a modern 350-seat theater for plays, concerts and films.
Museo Municipal (Museum)
A block south of Parque Bolivar is the museum and the municipal library. The archaeology room on the ground floor has mainly Inca and pre-Inca ceramics, and several figurines from the oldest culture in Ecuador, the Valdivia (c 3200 BC). Also on the ground floor is a colonial room with mainly religious paintings and a few period household items. Upstairs, there’s a jumble of modern art and ethnography rooms.
Jardin Botanico de Guayaquil
About a half-hour drive north of town near Cerro Colorado, this botanical garden has more than 80 orchid varieties and nearly 700 plant species. Paths and trails lead you past the plant exhibits and tropical birds flutter overhead. There is a gift shop, a café, a butterfly garden and an auditorium. Insect repellent is recommended in the rainy months. With a few days’ advance notice, a guided tour can be arranged.