of Guayaquil is the city of Machala. It's the capital of El Oro
Province and the commercial heart of Ecuador's main banana-producing
region. Despite its economic importance. Machala is also one of the
largest Banana exporters in the world and as such is often nick-named
the ‘Banana capital of the world'.
Machala, a lonely village with only 7549 neighbors, now with 250
thousand habitants, soon became one of the largest growing cities in
Machala has a highly touted International Banana & Agricultural
Festival during the third week in September, when a contest of
different countries from Latin America is held to elect La Reina del
Banano ('The Banana Queen'). This celebration is important too because
it opens the world of exportation for the people that have bananas or
want to do business.
On the main road to Machala, southeast of the city, stands the statue
of El Bananero - a man carrying a large branch of bananas. This is
Machala's most telling monument.
Puerto Bolivar and Jambeli
Bolivar, the city's outport and one of Ecuador's leading
banana-exporting points, is to the southwest.
The port itself is protected by mangroves and during the day makes a
pleasant waterfront detour with motorized boat services available for
crossing to the Jambeli beaches which are the locals favorite vacation
spot from Machala bustling town center.
Jambeli is visited by many people from the mountain region especially
in February when it is hot and humid. Small hotels and restaurants
offer basic facilities for visitors.
Also worth seeing in Machala is the Isla del Amor which has an amazing
abundance of birdlife. You can rent a canoe and paddle around the
mangrove swamps on your own or take a motorized boat tour of the
harbour – or both if you prefer. continues...