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Guayaquil Travel Guide - Travel S Helper

Guayaquil

travel guide

Guayaquil, formally Santiago de Guayaquil, is Ecuador’s biggest and most populous city, with around 2.69 million residents in the metropolitan area, as well as the country’s principal port. The city is the capital of Ecuador’s Guayas province and the seat of the same-named canton.

Guayaquil is situated on the western bank of the Guayas River, which runs into the Pacific Ocean at the Guayaquil Gulf.

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Guayaquil | Introduction

Guayaquil – Info Card

POPULATION : • City 3,500,000
• Metro 5,000,000
FOUNDED :  Settled July 25, 1547
Independence October 9, 1820
TIME ZONE :  ECT (UTC-5)
LANGUAGE :   Spanish (official)
RELIGION :
AREA : • City 344.5 km2 (133.01 sq mi)
• Land 316.42 km2 (122.17 sq mi)
• Water 28.08 km2 (10.84 sq mi)
• Metro 2,493.86 km2 (962.88 sq mi)
ELEVATION :  4 m (13.2 ft)
COORDINATES :  2°11′S 79°53′W
SEX RATIO :
ETHNIC :
AREA CODE :  4
POSTAL CODE :   090101 to 090158
DIALING CODE :   (+593) 4
WEBSITE :  www.guayaquil.gob.ec

Tourism in Guayaquil

Guayaquil is a seaport, and its character is heavily influenced by this fact. In addition, the weather is hot and humid. These two characteristics contribute to the city’s ‘Caribbean’ essence, where outsiders are typically pleasantly accepted, tropical music reigns supreme, and seafood is a must-do. An ancient tourist guide previously listed Guayaquil’s attractions as one: “The Public Cemetery.” Not any more; the city has experienced significant transformation in the previous ten years as a consequence of significant efforts made by municipal administration. Now, wonderful parks and green places can be found all throughout the city (for example, Peas and the Malecon), and the city has a fresh appearance that draws tourists from inside and beyond the nation.

Climate of Guayaquil

Guayaquil’s climate is tropical savanna (Köppen: Aw). Between January and April, the temperature is hot and humid, with high rainfall, particularly during El Nio years, when rainfall rises considerably and floods is common. Rainfall is negligible the remainder of the year (from May to December) owing to the cooling impact of the Humboldt Current, with gloomy mornings and afternoon and evening breezes. The 7.8 magnitude earthquake that struck Guayaquil and the rest of the coastal area on April 16, 2016 had an effect on the city.

Geography of Guayaquil

Guayaquil is the biggest city in Ecuador and the seat of Guayas Province. It is located near the Equator on the Guayas River, approximately 60 kilometers (40 miles) north of the Gulf of Guayaquil.

Economy of Guayaquil

The major sources of income for Guayaquileans include official and informal commerce, business, agriculture, and aquaculture. The majority of trade is comprised of small and medium-sized firms, adding a substantial informal sector vocation that employs thousands of Guayaquileos.

The Port of Guayaquil is the nation’s most significant commercial port; most import and export cargo enters and exits the country through the Gulf of Guayaquil. It is also vital to note that it is the country’s biggest metropolis, and the majority of industry are concentrated in the city or its surrounding regions.

Ongoing initiatives aim urban renewal as a primary goal for the expansion of the city’s commercial areas, since capital increases provide revenue. These initiatives in the city, spearheaded by the city’s most recent mayors, have accomplished this aim after substantial quantities of money have been invested. Guayaquil’s current municipal government wants to make the city a destination for world-class international tourist and business corporations.

Internet, Communication in Guayaquil

There are internet cafés in the area where you may contact with faraway friends and family. These often include phone booths for making VoIP phone calls. In addition to free entertainment, certain malls (Mall del Sol, Riocentro Los Ceibos) provide free Wi-Fi in their food courts. Buy $30 in groceries at Mi Comisariato and get a two-for-one movie ticket. As of January 3, 2007, a single weekday ticket costs $2.80.

How To Travel To Guayaquil

Get In - By plane

The international bus terminal and the new business district core are both close to the newly constructed José Joaqun de Olmedo International Airport, which was chosen as the finest airport in South America. Flights to New York, Miami, Houston, Buenos Aires, Caracas, Madrid, Amsterdam, Lima, Bogota, Panama City, San José, San Salvador, etc. are available from this airport. There are also new flights four times per week to Cali and twice per week to Medelln, Colombia. Not every flight has a non-stop leg. The cost of a taxi from a hotel in the northern suburbs to downtown, where the most of the attractions are, should not exceed $3. A new international airport is now being planned to be built around 20 minutes from Guayaquil, close to Daular.

The cheapest spot to fly from if you want to visit the Galapagos Islands is Guayaquil. You may travel between the Ecuadorian mainland and the Galapagos Islands on three different airlines. Flights from LAN-ECUADOR, Aerogal, and TAME are nonstop every day. It is less expensive to depart from Guayaquil than from Quito because it is closer and most Quito planes do stop at Guayaquil’s airport to refuel and pick up passengers. Take shoes if you’re visiting the islands; cabs aren’t available there. Examine the boundaries. Walking is required everywhere.

Guayaquil recently raised its international departure airport charge, which is now precisely $29.75. (January 2010). The airport in Quito is around $15 more expensive.

Get In - By boat

The largest port in Ecuador is located at Guayaquil. From here, you may go to the Galápagos Islands and other places.

Get In - By Bus

Cruz del Sur operate international bus services to and from Peru.

Within the city the local bus system is confusing but the locals will help you get where you want to go. It is also the cheapest way to get around the city as there is no metro system. For women it is safest if you sit at the front near the driver, but don’t be alarmed, the bus is a safe way to travel around Guayaquil.

Guayaquil’s bus terminal is well organized, but still keep an close eye on your belongings. There are frequent connections to almost every destination in Ecuador. Keep your items close to you during the midnight check points. The police will steal valuables when the men leave the bus to be checked for weapons; this occurs on night busses around Ecuador.

Get In - By Car

Your horn is your best buddy if you’re driving. Be careful since there are many aggressive drivers in the city, but if you are constantly on the alert, you won’t go anywhere. Service at gas stations is complete.

Just outside the airport, you may hire a car for about $35 per day. One of the most affordable yet reputable businesses is Carmax.

How To Get Around In Guayaquil

Get Around - By Metrovia

Modern bus rapid transit, or Metrovia, primarily connects the city’s north and south with its east and west. Each trip costs 25 cents in fee (as of April 2010). Cash and electronic cards are also acceptable forms of payment. It offers up-to-date buses and stations, and it is a trustworthy and simple transportation system. Fortunately, it offers a reliable link to the airport, the main bus station, and the city center. The Rio Daule terminal is a few streets from the airport and directly across the street from the major bus station. It takes around 15 minutes to get there. Since not all buses stop at all stations, make sure to match the bus code (e.g., T1, CS, T3, etc.) with the station you’re going to. For this, you can utilize the map that is displayed at each station. The La Catedral, Las Peas, Jardines del Malecón, Banco Central, and Biblioteca Municipal stations all provide drop-off locations that are adjacent to popular tourist destinations.

Get Around - By Taxi

Taxis come in a variety of forms, from “taxi buddies” (unmarked taxis you request to pick you up) to conventional yellow cabs. Tourists should expect overcharging from cab drivers. GPS meters are used in nicer cabs, although most taxis lack meters. Before you get into a taxi, always come to an agreement on a fee (or check if the meter is on).

Get Around - By Car

In addition, there are several locations near the airport where you may hire a vehicle. Daily costs start at $25 and go up from there. Driving while on vacation in Ecuador is legal for anybody possessing their home country’s drivers license. However, if you are in a collision, the police may detain both drivers until they investigate and determine what happened. Just hail a cab. It’s the safest mode of transportation in GYE. Always use a cab after dark.

Get Around - By bus

The city’s local transit system is complicated, but the residents will assist you find your way. Due to the lack of a metro system, it is also the least expensive method of transportation. The front seats next to the driver are the safest for female passengers. Guayaquil residents should avoid taking the bus. Your cell phones and other stuff are stolen by the guys. At the hotel where you are staying, request a cab. Take a business card and the driver’s ID from him. Yellow cabs are not all made equal. They’re not necessarily secure. At night, travel in pairs.

Prices in Guayaquil

MARKET / SUPERMARKET

Milk 1 liter $1.17
Tomatoes 1 kg $1.18
Cheese 0.5 kg $3.60
Apples 1 kg $2.10
Oranges 1 kg $1.85
Beer (domestic) 0.5 l $1.05
Bottle of Wine 1 bottle $15.00
Coca-Cola 2 liters $1.70
Bread 1 piece $0.80
Water 1.5 l $1.00

RESTAURANTS

Dinner (Low-range) for 2 $15.00
Dinner (Mid-range) for 2 $35.00
Dinner (High-range) for 2 $67.00
Mac Meal or similar 1 meal $6.00
Water 0.33 l $0.50
Cappuccino 1 cup $2.40
Beer (Imported) 0.33 l $3.00
Beer (domestic) 0.5 l $1.30
Coca-Cola 0.33 l $0.90
Coctail drink 1 drink $8.00

ENTERTAINMENT

Cinema 2 tickets $12.00
Gym 1 month $55.00
Men’s Haircut 1 haircut $7.00
Theatar 2 tickets $80.00
Mobile (prepaid) 1 min. $0.18
Pack of Marlboro 1 pack $4.50

PERSONAL CARE

Antibiotics 1 pack $7.00
Tampons 32 pieces $5.30
Deodorant 50 ml. $3.30
Shampoo 400 ml. $5.20
Toilet paper 4 rolls $2.10
Toothpaste 1 tube $1.80

CLOTHES / SHOES

Jeans (Levis 501 or similar) 1 $72.00
Dress summer (Zara, H&M) 1 $68.00
Sport shoes (Nike, Adidas) 1 $115.00
Leather shoes 1 $108.00

TRANSPORTATION

Gasoline 1 liter $0.58
Taxi Start $2.00
Taxi 1 km $1.00
Local Transport 1 ticket $

Sights & Landmarks in Guayaquil

These places are located in the downtown area, near the main hotels and at the heart of the regenerated area, a very secure walk.

  • The Malecon Simón Bolivar. It is a long park beside the Rio Guayas (“Guayas River”), with shops, an IMAX theater, gardens, and a beautiful view of both the river and downtown.
  • The “Malecon del Salado” located next to the “Estero Salado” (an estuary of sea water). Here you can enjoy fresh air and wonderful sunsets, with restaurants of typical food, all framed within a very safe new park.
  • The renewed downtown area (Area regenerada), very secure to walk and look around.
  • Museums (Museo Municipal, Museo Nahim Isaias, MAAC and Presley Northon Museum are located in the center of the downtown)
  • Santa Ana & El Carmen hills. You can see almost the whole city from here. You can walk up the 400 odd steps to the top from the Malecon Simón Bolivar. There is a lighthouse, museum, small chapel and park at the top. Along the stairs, vendors sell water, ice cream and other snacks.
  • Las Peñas, where the city was founded, was actually rebuilt and painted bright colors where most of Guayaquil’s colonial buildings are.
  • Parks. Visit the “Parque de las Iguanas” downtown, which is home to hundreds of tame iguanas, some fish in a pond and a black squirrel or two, and do not forget some turtles.
  • The Central Bank Building has several giant paintings on the outside of the building.
  • Markets. You can visit the “Mercado Artesanal”, where you can buy some very cheap souvenirs from all regions of Ecuador. Near the Malecon Simón Bolivar.
  • The cemetery north from the centre has a few impressive graves and statues as well as plenty of more normal graves. Worth a visit if you’re into graveyards.

Other interesting places near Guayaquil:

  • “Parque Histórico”, an interesting recreation of the early 20th century years of Guayaquil, the look, the people and the food. Includes a small zoo.
  • “Crucero Discovery”, rides up and down the Rio Guayas. You can catch it at Malecon Simón Bolivar. Crazy parties at night.
  • Traditionally, Salinas has been the main beach, but since 2008 General Villamil Playas has attracted a big part of the local and international tourism. Fishing, surfing, and other water sports. Many modern hotels and delicious sea food. Interesting night life. Wonderful whalewatching during June to September.

The following places are interesting to see if you are daring:

  • 6 de Marzo is an interesting street to visit about 10 blocks from the downtown area during the week before New Year’s Eve, because the street is lined with “Años Viejos” or old years, papier-mâché figures ranging in size from about 12 inches up to 10 or more feet tall. These are often political, movie or cartoon characters.
  • La Bahía, just off the southern end of the Malecon Simón Bolivar. Huge market area full of shops and stalls of almost anything imaginable. Because it is so cheap you will have lower social class people and have to be a little careful with belongings.
  • Cocoa or banana plantations are located around Guayaquil city.

Food & Restaurants In Guayaquil

  • There are many typical dishes to try from such as encebollado, seco de pollo, ceviche, and caldo de salchicha.
  • There are also many international fast food chains throughout the city such as:
    • Burger King
    • Kentucky Fried Chicken
    • McDonald’s
    • Taco Bell
    • Pollo Tropical
  • Parrillada del Ñato; foods such oven cooked pizza, grilled meat, and more are served.
  • Red Crabbest restaurant in the city. Coastal food: fish, crabs, shrimp; a big variety of dishes and combinations. A little pricey for the medium. Has two locations: 1. in Urdesa: Av. V.E.Estrada 1205 y Laureles. 2. in Samborondón: Plaza Nova, Km. 2,5 vía a Samborondón.
  • Chinese restaurants (Chifas) are found throughout the city, and their food is very good.
  • ‘El Patacón’ restaurant in Urdesa serves typical dishes, mostly based on verde (green bananas also known as ‘Plátano Macho’ in Central America).
  • Vegetarian food is not very common in Guayaquil, but there is a guesthouse in the Centro called Manso that serves quinoa and lentil hamburgers and other dishes that combine Ecuadorian ingredients in fast food format for veggies.
  • Wendy´s9 de Octubre 421 entre Chile y Chimborazo,  +593423212597am-10pm

Budget

  • There is a lot of great cuisine in Guayaquil’s centre. If you are more daring, you can go to this downtown area, near 9 de octubre avenue; there are Chinese restaurants called “chifas” and typical restaurants where you can eat the seco de pollo, caldo de salchicha, etc.
  • A myriad of more upscale shopping opportunities and bars can be explored around the Urdesa neighborhood, especially along its main drag, Victor Emilio Estrada. Wonderful small food carts are scattered throughout, called “Carretillas”. Common on the streets, those with “Shawarma” (the Lebanese gyro) are particularly delicious. These abound, due to a large expatriate Lebanese community which has been a part of Guayaquil for almost a century.

Mid-range

  • Lo Nuestro has a good variety of typical dishes.
  • You can also go to a restaurant where the best ‘encebollado’ is sold. The place is called “Encebollado cordero”; it is located near the IESS.

Splurge

  • Samborondon is located at the northeast of the city. There are a lot of restaurants with a great variety of food. Here you can find Japanese, Italian, American, and typical food, too.
  • Taberna Libanesa is an excellent place, located just behind the Supermaxi, Via Samborondon. Cozy and elegant, with excellent Lebanese food. They serve lunch and dinner and have a few tables on the veranda of this upscale shopping center.
  • There is another place called Urdesa. In the Victor Emilio Estrada you can found a great variety of good food and also a nice place to visit.

Nightlife In Guayaquil

Excellent nightlife; you may visit five or more clubs in one evening with little travel. Generally, entry costs between $10 and $15 in consumables, depending on where you go. The festivities there typically go until 4AM. However, there are always more things to do in this metropolis. Visit the “Zona Rosa,” a safe, newly developed region with a variety of nightlife alternatives. Beer comes in a variety of brands.

  • El Gran YateAlborada (close to Dreamkapture). Crabs and beers, 1$ a crab
  • Bloom ClubAventura Plaza Local 46 (Av. Las Monjas, Urdesa),  +593 9 931 5800, e-mail: Opens from Thursday to Saturday at 20:00 – 04:00. It is a favorite hangout for folks between the ages of 20 and 40 and has an approximate capacity of 200 people. The “Aventura Plaza” shopping center provides security, includes a lovely park with a large sculpture of an iguana inside, as well as various sport and karaoke bars, little clubs, and several excellent restaurants at reasonable costs. There is a free parking lot available, but if you plan to drink, a cab is preferable. It is advised that you ask the host to arrange you a safe taxi when you leave. If you are an international traveler, you may enter for free and pay as you drink by presenting your passport or international ID. The admission price is $20 consumable. Beers range in price from $3 to $5, while glasses of rum, vodka, whiskey, or cocktails cost $6 to $10, or $75 for a bottle.

Stay Safe & Healthy In Guayaquil

2009 saw a significant increase in crime in Guayaquil, particularly violent crime.

It is commonly known that Guayaquil is the most violent and deadly city in Ecuador. Keep an eye on your surroundings at all times. Don’t listen to anyone who approaches you on the street, not even those who appear to be affluent or beggars. At night, stay away from strolling alone in the downtown area, especially away from Avenue 9 de Octubre or in well-lit places. Never display cash or other valuables in public. Never venture into unsettling locations. Avoid strolling on the streets at night as Guayaquil is particularly dangerous at that time.

Attacks where the target is distracted in order to place the victim in a choke hold from behind and render them unconscious so they may be easily robbed have been documented. Since there have been several robberies using taxi cabs in the past year, it is preferable to radio taxis rather than flag one down on the street. It is best to refrain from wearing jewelry that is pricey or seems high-end.

In Plaza Centenario, pay attention, especially when it’s busy. Avenue 9 de Octubre, Malecón 2000, Malecón del Salado, Las Peas, and Plaza de la Administración are the only somewhat secure locations in downtown Guayaquil. Never cross any other street unless you are certain of your location.

Malecón 2000’s interior is secure both during the day and at night. There are several security officers present during the day. Bottled water is the sole source of drinking water.

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