Love the city. Full of life, friendly people and very cheap. The U.S. dollar goes a long way there. Been there with my wife to visit her family five times and was also married there. Make sure you visit the Malecon 2000, which is a large waterfront park located on the Guayas river in the downtown area. Lots of tropical plants and flowers and original jungle trees wihch date back to before the city was founded (our wedding portraits were taken in this park). Also visit the small chapel and lighthouse at the top of the Santa Anna hill in the Old Guayaquil section for spectacular views of the city. Lots of shopping and dining. Visit the Mall Del Sol which is a large American-style shopping center located in a very nice area across the street from the Sheraton Hotel and five to ten minutes from the airport and downtown. Don't carry lots of cash because you won't need it.You can find bargains anywhere except the for the malls. Artesanal is a good place to bargain shop for souvenirs, clothes and many other items. Cyber cafes are located everywhere if you want to contact friends online and it only costs cents not dollars. Try Comida De Vicor for a typical Ecuadorian home-cooked meal in the La Garzota neighborhood, which is my favorite place. Don't go downtown alone at night. Always travel with a group and you'll be fine. Police presence has increased throughout the years so you'll feel safe. Transportation is also very cheap -- taxis can take you as far as across the other end of the city. Public transit is also very economical but if you're a man the bus will roll up and not stop so you have to jump on as it moves five miles per hour. La Puntilla is the rich part of Guayaquil with beautiful homes surrounded by walls and armed security guards. Some helpfull tips. Do not carry your passport with you if are staying in the area, only if you leave town. Carry copies only and have them certified with the U.S. Consulate or Ecuadorian government. I would recommend scanning your passports and other documents and saving them on you computer so you can email them to yourself if you have a free email account, this way even if you lose your copies you can go to any cyber cafe, log in and print them from your mailbox. This should make it easier to obtain new documents in case they are lost. No vaccination requirements unless you go to the Amazon. Hot, humid, tropical monsoon with heavy downpours happen almost daily especially in Guayaquil between January and April (about ten inches of rain each month). Rest of the year is mild and not too humid with very little rain if any. I'm strongly considering retirement options there since homes are also very affordable.
Guayaquil, the largest city in Ecuador, comprises a mix of the people and traditions that make this country. It is a city port, with a large and entertaining "Malecon," a beautifully made walkway by the water that gets incredibly busy, especially during weekends, with families, young people, and kids playing around. Streets vendors are all over, selling anything from chewing gum to balloons or flowers. During the warmer season, the city gets extremely hot and walking around outdoors can be tiring for the faint-hearted.
One of the most typical things to do while in Guayaquil is a boat ride through the river Guayas, a water channel that extends massively. Apart from this, there are plenty of entertaining things to do while in the city -- including decent cultural offerings, shopping options, nightlife, and happening streets full of outdoorsy and outgoing people.
It is almost impossible not to come across ceviche while in Guayaquil; this typical dish, common all across the coastal region of Ecuador and some other Latin American countries, is made of raw fish marinated in citrus juices, served with popcorn and plantain chips. Enjoy the intense flavors!
Hostels in Guayaquil, especially in the city centre, are plentiful; it shouldn't be a problem at all finding accommodation according to your budget. Do keep an eye when going out at night, as the city can get dangerous in less busy areas. Robbery and some cases of violent assault have been reported against tourists or locals, but you will be fine as long as you use some general common sense. Don't let it stop you from enjoying this happening city!
Hi, I'm zararock,
the Hostelz.com local expert for Guayaquil hostels. Welcome.