From Cuenca, we went west, over the Andes to the coastal city of Guayaquil, the largest city in Ecuador, with 3 million people. On our way up the mountains, we went through a beautiful National Park.
This road is usually up in the clouds, with limited visibility, but we really lucked out with a gorgeous day.
We stopped at the highest point, the Continental Divide, at 13,671' high. It's hard to believe we can be this high and yet be so close to the ocean.
The view of some of the many lakes around.
As we started down towards the ocean, we looked down on the clouds covering the water.
Before we got to Guayaquil, we stopped for lunch and a tour at a local cocoa plantation. This is how they dry the cocoa beans.
And this is how they are when they come out of the seed pod.
We learned how to make chocolate from the dried cocoa bean.
A snail kite looked on while he was hunting for snails.
After lunch, we continued on to Guayaquil, where we were welcomed by this giant monkey.
We went on a walking tour of downtown, where our first stop was Parque Bolivar, also known as Iguana Park, for obvious reasons. The park is full of dozens of iguanas. I don't know how they know to stay here.
They're very laid back, even allowing the pigeons to stand on them!
Right next to the park is the Cathedral.
It was built in 1936 after the original was destroyed by fire.
We then walked along the waterfront, where we saw the Moorish Clock Tower -
An interesting ship -
And the new ferris wheel that they are building. Wait! What's that up on the hill!
A lighthouse! I wish we were going up there...
This was a Saturday, and their Independence Day weekend to boot, so there were lots of people around.
Later, on the way to dinner, we got a drive-by look at the Dancing Lights.