Move over Galapagos Islands. Ecuador’s business capital Guayaquil has it’s own iguana wildlife hot bed. A city of almost 3 million, Guayaquil exceeds the population of Quito. In the heart of the city, Guayaquil boasts the only downtown city park in South America that is home to scads of iguanas. (‘scads’ being the technical term for ‘more than you can count or possibly imagine’).
Hanging from trees, lazing about the pond, climbing on the statue of Simon Bolivar, Guayaquil’s Parque Seminario (the formal name before the iguanas took over) is literally covered in iguanas, many of which are more than a three feet long.
Where is the Iguana Park in Guayquil?
Iguana Park (Parque Seminario) is located in Guayaquil, Ecador at 10 de Agosto Avenue and Chile Avenue. We would suggest hiring a driver of a registered taxi company or a guide to take you there. Vendors in the park sell mango slices that visitors can purchase to feed the iguanas.
How did the iguanas get to Parque Seminaro?
The iguanas did not recently fly in by carrier pigeon. Although by the hundreds of pigeons cohabiting with them one wonders at the possibility. Biologists believe that the friendly, green iguanas, known as the ‘Iguanas of Guayaquil’ settled in the city in colonial times. With water, willow trees and mangroves plentiful, it was iguana paradise. Since they were not considered edible no one pursued the reptiles and they remain in place to this day..
The iguanas could walk out of the iron fences however the chaotic traffic left us feeling it might be far safer to stay put with the friendly green guys.
Special Tips for Visiting Guayaquil’s Iguana Park
While in Guayaquil we were repeatedly warned to be extremely vigilant against pick pockets and to not have a purse or camera visible. Within the small fenced off park there were many people taking photos and we felt safe doing so as well. When we visited security/police staff had a visible presence in the park.
Below Guayaquil’s iguana pigeon conference in full swing.
Have you encountered any interesting park inhabitants in your travels?