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Las Peñas is the oldest and most pleasant part of Guayaquil, the largest city in Ecuador. A popular neighbourhood packed with traditional colourful houses, restaurants, shops and cafés. It lies at the end of the famous Malecón 2000 boulevard, on the bank of the Río Guayas. Charming family-run restaurants fill the narrow paved streets. Home to many artists, the neighbourhood is a magnet for art lovers.
Las Peñas was founded centuries ago, but has burned down several times. That is why the oldest houses date back to only 100 years ago. The architecture looks much older as many constructions were rebuilt in the style of the 18th- and 19th-century houses. The neighbourhood has been home to many illustrious residents, including Ernesto ‘Che’ Guevara and President Francisco Robles.
For a long time, the houses in Las Peñas were poorly maintained, adding to the further deterioration of the area. But now most houses have been restored and the area looks attractive and charming. The dead-end street Numa Pompilio Llona with its many galleries and traditional houses is a must-see. This is also the street where you can take the stairway with 444 steps to the top of the Cerro Santa Ana hill. Each step is numbered. It is quite a climb, but it is the best way to reach the literal and figurative highlight of the neighbourhood: the lighthouse. From here you can enjoy fabulous views over the river, the new harbour and the city. The colonial chapel near the lighthouse also offers spectacular vistas.
“Choose from a variety of musical styles, great cocktails and trendy bands.”
Las Peñas is a safe neighbourhood, and on weekends in particular it is a popular destination for a night on the town. Choose from a variety of musical styles, great cocktails, fun restaurants and trendy bands. Las Peñas attracts both the young and the old, tourists and locals; everybody is welcome to have a great time. One of the most popular bars is La Paleta. The interior looks like a modern cave. Lounge around on the comfortable sofas where bohemian guests sip cocktails. If you are in the mood for dancing you won’t have to go far: there are lots of swinging live performances around the neighbourhood.
Mansion Del Rio
Numa Pompilio Llona