In the trees, on the benches, on the statues, and pretty much everywhere in this cool little park in Guayaquil, Ecuador. I couldn’t believe my eyes! I was so excited. I love iguanas and always wanted to see them in person and here I was surrounded. It was AWESOME!
Of course, not everyone is as geeky about lizards as I am. But I have to say for those of you who are just not that into iguanas (like my husband) it’s still pretty cool and a fantastic photo opportunity. And for those of you who are lizard-averse, you could literally stand outside the park and still get a good view without having to worry about getting too close. But for people like me who want a super up-close and personal interaction, it’s pretty darn amazing.
When we first planned our trip to the Galapagos, the dive company recommended spending some time in Guayaquil, which is a pretty big city. And since I’m not really a city person…more of an adventure/animal/outdoor person, I wanted to do some research to see if there was anything that would be interesting for both me and my husband. When I found the Parque de las Iguanas (Iguana Park also called Parque Seminario) on the internet, I was excited and talked Bob into going. So we made sure we planned it before we had to take the flight to the island.
The park was a short pleasant walk from our hotel, The Marriott Guayaquil, even in the heat and humidity. We weren’t the only ones enjoying the park. There were lots of locals and tourists alike hanging out with tons of iguanas and pigeons. It’s a very well maintained, enclosed park in the downtown area on Chile Street and 10 de Agosto, a few blocks from Rio Guayas (Guayas River) and about 3 or so blocks from Malecon 2000 (which is a very popular location to enjoy museums, gardens, fountains, shopping centers, restaurants, bars, and an enormous food court).
Bob went into the Catedral of Guayaquil across the street from the park while I continued to visit with the iguanas. Since Bob’s a history geek, he found the architecture, art, and history of the cathedral to be magnificent and well worth the visit. Note that there was a sign requesting that no photos be taken as it is a place of spiritual reflection and worship. However, he did collect some post cards and pamphlets.
Bob and I spent way too long in the park and cathedral, and ended up just missing the Malecon 2000, but I would recommend giving yourself enough time to revel in the iguanas and visit the river-front Malecon 2000 since it has so much to offer and showcases the area’s history and local flare. I hope you enjoy the photos and they give you the sense of what the park is really like.
We recommend enjoying the iguanas without feeding them. There were many people feeding them, even though there were signs not to feed. They are not domesticated, and feeding wild animals always becomes problematic eventually and I would hate to have the park closes to future visitors due to aggressive iguana behavior.
We did not bring our dog on this trip (unfortunately). However, I don’t think I would recommend it, even for a very well trained service animal, the overwhelming amount of iguana activity would be hard to resist. But that’s your call, you know your dog. Mine would have wanted to greet each and every iguana and like its face.
Please use the information below when planning your trip. Guayaquil is a very busy, crowded city and there are some excellent recommendations about which taxis to take and what kind of weather to expect that will help you plan a more comfortable trip.
More about Iguana Park: https://gringosabroad.com/iguana-park-guayaquil-ecuador/
More on Guayaquil weather: https://gringosabroad.com/guayaquil-weather/?doing_wp_cron=1524421767.4499471187591552734375
More on taxi safety: https://gringosabroad.com/guayaquil-taxis-safety-and-rates/
More on Malecon 2000: http://www.guayaquilesmidestino.com/es/malecones/malecones-urbanos/malecon-simon-bolivar
Happy Iguana Visit!
Lynn, Bob & Niele http://wegotupandwent.com