A new attraction has arrived in Guayaquil. It´s a giant Ferris wheel called La Perla (the pearl) that has become one of the must see places for locals and tourists who wander along the Malecón 2000 boardwalk next to the Guayas river.

It has 36 cars decked with air conditioning, wi-fi and a panic button. The ride, whether by day or night, is always an adventure. Nevertheless, as night falls, it´s quite a spectacle to observe the Ferris wheel illuminated by its more than 1,400 LED lights.

The Pearl is considered South America´s tallest Ferris wheel. Its 187 feet height is roughly similar to an eighteen floor building.

From this vantage point, visitors can admire the full splendor of nearby sites such as Santa Ana hill and the Malecón, as well as the city´s tallest buildings, La Previsora and The Point.

Each ride on the Ferris Wheel takes about twelve minutes and its speed doesn´t exceed 6 miles per hour. From another perspective, it´s really a mobile overlook that can accommodate 216 tourists.

Each car sits up to six passengers, with room for strollers and wheel chairs.

The Ferris wheel site has a bar offering soft drinks, popcorn and various sweets. There is also a souvenir shop and a photo area. Nearby is the Malecón 2000 food court with a wide diversity of options.

It´s open from Sunday to Thursday from 10 a.m. to 10 p.m. Fridays and Saturdays, from 10 a.m. to 12 p.m.

Tickets cost US$3.50 from Monday to Friday and US$5.00 on weekends and holidays. There is an express entrance ticket for US$7.00 and US$10.00 on weekdays and weekends, respectively. In all cases, seniors and handicapped pay half price and babies up to 2 years enter free.

With this new attraction, Guayaquil became one of the twenty cities with Ferris wheels taller than 75 feet.

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