The 465 stairs leading up Cerro Santa Ana are clearly marked, so you can keep track of your progress. And while the climb is vigorous in spots, it shouldn't take more than 20 to 25 minutes from bottom to top. Avoid the midday heat and sun, and you'll find the views worth the effort. Along the entire length of the steps are restaurants, cafes, bars, art galleries, and shops, mixed in with residential housing. Many of the buildings are painted in bright and contrasting primary colors, creating a beautiful effect. At the top, you'll find the chapel of Santa Ana, along with a beautiful lighthouse. Both were built in 2002, atop the foundations of a 17th-century fort. Cerro Santa Ana is where the city of Guayaquil was first established in the mid-1500s.
If you aren't up for the climb, at least take a stroll along the cobblestone street of Las Peñas neighborhood, at the foot of the Cerro Santa Ana. Hugging the river's edge, this similarly restored old neighborhood is heavy on art galleries, interspersed with a few restaurants and residential buildings. At the north end of Las Peñas, you will hit the new Puerto Santa Ana, a riverside extension of the Malecón Simón Bolívar.
- © Frommer's 2013
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- Guayaquil, Ecuador
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