The trail is easy to find… just look for the stair marked #1 in the neighborhood of Las Peñas. And then follow the stairs by number. If you lose the stairway, you may have taken a wrong turn… though there are few places to do so. We found lots of people willing to point the way.
Las Peñas is one of the most colorful neighborhoods in Guayaquil. The pedestrian-only path travels past bars, restaurants, tourist shops, and art galleries. Of course, if you walk in the morning, most of these are closed. But if you walk in the afternoon, the heat is just too much for some folks. And, if you walk at night, be warned that the neighborhood is known for the occasional robbery. The view may be spectacular but the risks are high.
In the comments left on this article on our Facebook page, reader Leah Grace O’Brien told us that she walked up Cerro Santa Ana with a friend during the evening. They felt completely safe and only partly because of the large police presence. She highly recommends an evening walk to escape the heat of the day! And I would remind you of some basic safety precautions, written about Quito but applicable for Guayaquil as well!
Surprisingly, this walk took us only 20 minutes thought at times it felt much longer. We were definitely glad we carried water and I could see why walking when the bars are open could be a temptation. Every 100 steps you could stop and have a beer. That would give you four rest stops… the last one just 44 steps just shy of the top.
Once we arrived to our final destination, Escalón #444 de la Escalinata Diego Noboa y Arteta, I was surprised to find not only a lighthouse but a church, the Iglesia del Cerro Santa Ana. It was a small but welcoming chapel with wide open doors inviting us inside. It made for a cool and quiet place to sit and rest after the long walk.
Then we went to explore. The lighthouse itself is a tall tower of sky blue and white, the colors of the flag of Guayaquil. The lighthouse was built in 2001 as a symbol to honor New Guayaquil. This was a time when the leadership of the city invested money in the Malecon 2000 and the city as a whole underwent renovations to attract not only tourists but their own citizens back to the port city.
From the top of the lighthouse, it is possible to see a full 360 degrees around the city of Guayaquil. Even on an overcast day, the view was impressive. Take the time to walk up, enjoy the trip, and take lots of photos from the top!
The First Step, Las Peñas
The neighborhood, Las Peñas! Look for the first step at the intersection of Numa Pompilio Llona and the 1ra Peatanal 12 NE.
Cerro Santa Ana
Information For Your Trip
Wear comfortable shoes, carry water, and bring your situational awareness with you!