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Machala

Country
Ecuador
State
El Oro Province
City
Machala
Type of Location
Multiple
About Location

Machala is a city in south-west Ecuador.It is the capital of the El Oro Province and located near the Gulf of Guayaquil on fertile lowlands.Machala has a population of 426,901 (2008 estimate), making it the fourth biggest city of the country, and has been referred to as the Banana Capital of the World.

Machala is a commercial center for the surrounding agriculture industries.There is a large trade in bananas, coffee and cocoa.The banana industry is especially oriented for exportation, and plays a huge role in the city's economy.Bananas are shipped out from nearby Puerto Bolivar mainly to North America.Machala's geographical position near Guayaquil also makes it an important transportation center.Many travelers heading south to Peru or north to Guayaquil funnel through the city.It is not known as a tourist destination among Ecuadorians or international tourists though its proximity to the Pacific Ocean positions it close to beaches.Machala has a growing economy that was marked in 2007 by the inauguration its first mall, with a movie theater,on the outskirts of the city.

The center of Machala is dominated by a large Catholic church and a central plaza.The plaza was built in the early 2000s to include a large fountain.There are many hotels situated in the center of the city. Las Brisas, located nearly a mile from the central plaza, is another popular place in Machala.It is a wealthier neighborhood which used to serve as a popular hang out for local teenagers.But the remodeling of La Zona Rosa, as well as the decreased safety of the area have led to less popularity.

Machala has two universities, the Universidad Técnica de Machala and the "UTSAM," Universidad Tecnologica San Antonio de Machala.There are many private schools in Machala and one public high school- Colegio 9 De Octubre.The city serves as a stopping-off point on the way to nearby Puerto Bolivar and the Jambeli Islands, which can only be reached by ferry.Machala has a small airport which currently has no commercial flights (IATA location identifier: MCH).In the past there have been flights to Guayaquil and Quito with Ecuadorian airline TAME.



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How to Reach

By Air

Machala has a small airport which currently has no commercial flights (IATA location identifier: MCH).In the past there have been flights to Guayaquil and Quito with Ecuadorian airline TAME.

By Ferries

The city serves as a stopping-off point on the way to nearby Puerto Bolivar and the Jambeli Islands, which can only be reached by ferry.

Key places to visit
Museo Arqueologico, Agricultural Festival, Juan Montalvo Park, Jambeli Beach


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Places to Visit

Museo Arqueologico

The Museo Arqueologico exhibits artifacts from the Valdivia, Jambeli, Machalilla, Guangala, and Quevedo cultures.The Museo Marino displays the exotic flora and fauna of the Orense region.The Pinacoteca features free exhibitions of the work of Ecuadorian and international artists and the Museo Paleontologico exhibits the scientific findings of the Patrimonio Cultural de Ecuador.

Agricultural Festival

This festival is held during the third week of September and features huge fruit markets, commercial celebrations, and the culminating election of the Reina del Banano, the Banana Queen.This esteemed matriarch is elected from a pool of contestants from all over Latin America.This is a huge celebration, with Ecuadorians and foreign travelers alike meeting to rejoice in Machala’s agricultural livelihood.Make sure to book hotels well in advance should you decide to come partake in the festivities.

Juan Montalvo Park

It is a great place to take a walk or sit on a bench and watch the city’s pulse throb.At the head of Juan Montalvo Park is the Paseo de la Merced and the Cathedral.Also downtown is the Paseo Cultural Diego Minuche Garrido.This street was renovated and rejuvenated by the Ecuadorian government and now features pedestrian only walkways with fountains, art, and street performers.

Jambeli Beach

The Jambeli Beaches are frequented by Ecuadorians on vacation and offer a great way to take in the sun, surf, and local culture. Motor boats leave from Puerto Bolivar on a scenic trip around the mangroves or through to the Jambeli Beaches at 9:00, 12:00, 15:00, 17:00.They return one hour later.These rides usually cost between one and three dollars per person but group rates are also available.The Jambeli Beaches also have basic restaurants and hotels should you decide to extend your visit.

Right Time to Visit

December - May
June - September

Temperature

Information not available


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