Machala: A City Made Rich by Bananas

Machala in Ecuador is a unique city, as I discovered when I came here. The unique landscape of the city is due to the banana plantations around it. The moniker of the region is Oro Verde which translates as green gold. It also serves as the administrative and commercial capital of El Oro. The main city scape is dusty with several commercial and transportation hubs. But it is close to the Peruvian border that makes it one of the most popular stops for several tourists and travelers.

City attractions

Within the city, I discovered several places to visit; for instance, Parque Juan Montalvo which is the main city plaza as well as acts as the epicentre of Machala. Most of the restaurants, hotels and bus stations are around this place. Third week of September sees the ‘World Banana Fair’ being held here, apt for a city that is surrounded by banana plantations. I happened to travel here in the month of September and also saw the public art piece called Monumento al Bananero.

Places to visit here are several; I enjoyed the beach in front of Playa Jambeli as well as Parque Lineal which has a historic monument as well. There is much of the city’s history at Parque Central and at Picapiedra Park. The latter has fun-filled activities for families with children and one can spend a day of fun here.

Cuisine destinations

My days were spent exploring the different eateries as well. For instance, Zona Refrescante has an impressive selection of grilled meats which are served along with fresh fruits. I also enjoyed lunches at Romero’s while El Paraíso de la Vida had sandwiches for good value. It was also my favorite place to stop by for breakfast. You can also stop by Gran Chifa which is a Chinese restaurant with its own unique Asian offerings.