Guayaquil , a maritime city of Ecuador, capital of the republic, and of the province of Guayas, 150 m. S. W. of Quito; pop. about 26,000. It is built on the W. bank of the bay of Guayaquil, on which it has a front of 1 1/2 m., and is traversed by four creeks, crossed by three wooden bridges, two of which separate the old town from the new or more modern portion. Many of the streets are tortuous, but a few are regular, cutting each other at right angles, and all are lighted with gas; most of the houses are of wood, roofed with tiles, and rarely of more than two stories. Portals or covered arcades surround every block or square of houses. The principal public buildings are the cathedral and six other churches, the governor's palace, city hall, prison, two hospitals, and barracks. There are two colleges, a naval and a number of common schools, and a new school for females commenced in 1872. An association for mutual instruction was organized in the same year. The town has an orphan asylum and several other benevolent institutions. The port, formed by the river and its estuary, is very commodious, presents good anchorage for vessels of any draught, and is monthly visited by an average of 17 steamers.
In 1870, 125 vessels of all kinds and flags were entered, the aggregate tonnage being 55,310. A large number of ships were formerly built here. There are several factories employing steam power, including one for artificial ice and a foundery. Provisions are brought each morning in canoes, which literally throng the river, and give it the appearance of another town. The heat is excessive; epidemics are of frequent occurrence; and during the rainy season, from December to May, noxious insects and reptiles infest the city and surrounding country. Many and important improvements were commenced in 1872, mostly of a hygienic nature. Two lighthouses were built in 1873, one on the island of Santa Clara and the other on the island of Puna. Three forts defend the town. Guayaquil is the chief commercial centre of Ecuador; the principal articles of export are cacao, cotton, coffee, tobacco, nuts, fruits, jipijapa (or Panama) hats, sarsaparilla, India rubber, and pearl shells. In 1872 there were shipped 181,973 quintals of cacao (the total crop of which was 187,238 quintals), 75,000 of India rubber, 58,451 of pearl shell, 22,531 of vegetable ivory, 6,600 of coffee, and 39,728 lbs. of sarsaparilla.
The value of the exports to Great Britain in 1868 was $510,505; in 1809, $1,320,000; in 1870, $692,055; in 1871 $1,388,-830; in 1872, $1,219,200; total in five years, $5,130,590. The imports from Great Britain during the same period amounted to $1,422,-045. A new road from Guayaquil to Quito is in rapid progress (1874), and a railway has been commenced over a part of the same route. A quicksilver mine and coal mines have been discovered near the city. - Guayaquil was conquered by Sebastian Belacazar in 1535. Of the numerous fires which have occurred since 1624, that of 1704 was the most destructive, the place having been almost entirely abandoned for a time. In 1770 a royal order was issued for its restoration.
Cathedral of Guayaquil.
Guayaquil , a river of Ecuador, flowing wholly within the province of Guayas, and giving its name to the preceding city. It is formed by the union of a great number of small streams which rise among the Andes; enters the Pacific through the gulf of Guayaquil in lat. 2° 27' S.; is navigable about 110 m. to Caracol; and in the upper part of its course is known successively as the Caracol and Babahoyo. It is subject to overflow, and is encumbered by a bar 12 m. from its mouth, and by shifting sands.