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Santiago de Guayaquil, or just Guayaquil is the largest city in Ecuador, as well as that nation's principle sea port. Guayaquil is located around the mouth of the River Guayas where it flows into the Gulf of Guayaquil, a sheltered natural port on the Pacific Ocean. Guayaquil is at 2.21°S 79.90°W, about 250 km from the Ecuadorian capital of Quito. In 2003 the population was 2,196,800 people, and as high as 3 million in the greater Guayaquil metropolitan area.

Guayaquil is capital of the Ecuadorian province of Guayas.

Guayaquil is home to Guayas University, the Catholic University of Santiago de Guayaquil, Vicente Rocafuerte Lay University, and the Ecuador Polytechnic Institute. The city is the center of Ecuador's fishing and manufacturing industries.

The city is served by Simon Bolivar International Airport.

Guayaquil Waterfront, about 1920


Guayaquil was founded on July 25, 1531 with the name Muy Noble y Muy Leal Ciudad de Santiago de Guayaquil by Conquistador Francisco de Orellana.

In 1600 Guayaquil had a population of about 2,000 people; by 1700 the city had a population of over 10,000. In 1708 British pirates seized the city, and accepted a ransom of 25,500 pieces of eight for not burning the city.

On October 9, 1820 Guayaquil declared independence from Ecuador.

In 1822 José de San Martín and Simón Bolívar held a famous conference in Guayaquil to plan for the independence of Spanish South America.

The city suffered from a major fire in 1896 which destroyed large portions of the city.

Starting in the late 1990s a major program was begun to restore and beautify the city to help make it an important tourism destination.