Guayaquil - Ecuador
is the largest
city in Ecuador, home to its main port and much of the
country's wealth. The climate is hot and humid,
often cloudy and overcast. The mosquitoes bite through
clothing. Corruption is rife in Guayaquil
and crime is a serious issue, especially outside of the central area.
The city is not as dangerous as it used to be in the
1990's but you should still remain aware of your surroundings
and take sensible precautions.
Guayaquil is not
attractive destination in Ecuador and has little in the way of culture,
it serves as a transport
hub for flights to the Galapagos Islands and buses to various beach
resorts and other destinations in the costa, so you may need to spend a
day or 2 here. The city is very noisy so avoid hotel rooms
facing onto main roads. The heat and humidity are
for most of the year so you will probably want a hotel with
airconditioning or at least a fan.
Malecón (waterfront) beside the River Guayas with its
statues and monuments along
visiting various museums and the picturesque barrio of Cerro Santa Ana
with its coloured houses. The Malecón is fenced in
gates have security guards, so this is probably the safest place to
The train carriage at one
end of the
Malecón is a reminder of Ecuador's
famous railway on which it was
once possible to travel from
Guayaquil to Quito, now reduced to a fragment of track from the
Devil's Nose and Alausi
in Guayaquil is
not always as varied or upmarket as you might expect in a city of this
size, but the Malecón
has a variety of eating opportunities, from takeaway snacks and fast
food chains to restaurants. The smarter hotels such as the
Oro Verde and Uniparkhotel also have good restaurants.
taxi drivers are renowned
for overcharging and think nothing of asking for 10 times what the fare
should be, or even more if they can get away with it. Ask
hotel to flag down
a taxi and negotiate the price for you - taxi drivers here rarely
condescend to use the taximeter.
Take a card with your hotel's address on it and
check what the taxi price should be for your return trip.
cameras or jewellry in Guayaquil.
local accent is not
easy to understand - Guayaquileños tend to
speak very rapidly, missing the "s" off the end of words and running
all the words in a sentence into one lump. Be
prepared for Spanish to sound very different here than in Quito.
If you can understand people in Guayaquil you are probably
on the way to fluency in Spanish. Advanced learners might
the challenge of the local accent here, but for beginners, Quito is
probably a better location to learn
in Guayaquil is pretty easy to
predict - hot, sticky, cloudy, often rainy. You can expect to
feel like a well wrung-out dishcloth any time you are not
airport and bus terminal have both been renovated in the last few
years. The airport is now clean and efficient, and the bus
terminal is reasonably efficient. Guayaquil airport code:
GYE. The airport, officially the Aeropuerto de Guayaquil
José Joaquín de Olmedo, is within the city but
since traffic is usually very congested you should allow plenty of time
for your journey. In fact, allow plenty of time for any
Spanish Vocabulary for Guayaquil, Ecuador's largest city and
malecón: waterfront promenade (be sure to pronounce the
accent on the o, otherwise it means something entirely
different and not very polite)
Ecuador's main port and largest city, Guayaquil has a few
tourist attractions such as the Malecón and several museums,
also a high crime rate. Guayaquil airport code GYE receives
Website www.ecuadortravelsite.org, text and photos by Sarah Clifford.
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