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Guayaquil:
History | Climate | Orientation | Transport | Festivals | Places to avoid | Sightseeing | Tourist information | Accommodation | Restaurants | Fun & Entertainment | Shopping | Tour operators | General interest | Medical services | Embassies & Consulates | Museums | Churches | Excursions | Write a review about Guayaquil
Guayaquil sightseeing Malecon 2000 in Christmas EveMalecon 2000Santa Ana hillMalecon GardensGuayaquil Girls Santa Ana Mirador
Guayaquil, known throughout Ecuador as the "Pacific pearl", is the country's largest city and the most important seaport. The focus of the Ecuadorian economy.
 Ecuador and Galapagos Travel History

The first inhabitors to Guayaquil occurred over 5,000 years back when the Valdivia Culture moved in producing the continents first ceramics. The city was actually founded in 1537 by Captain Francisco de Orellana and officially named "Santiago de Guayaquil" in the Santa Ana hills.
The name Guayaquil originates from an old legend about an Indian chief Guayas who had an Indian wife called Quil who according to folklore both killed themselves through pride in preference to surrendering to the Spaniards.
Today, with a population of over 2 million coupled with the coastal geographical advantage that converges into the Babahoyo and Daule rivers, Guayaquil has become the pivotal commercial center for the country's economic progress.

 Ecuador and Galapagos Travel Climate

From December through April, Guayaquil is hot and humid with temperatures reaching up to 35º C. The rest of the year is nice and cooler with temperatures between 20º and 25º C.

 Ecuador and Galapagos Travel Orientation

To the north is Simón Bolívar International Airport, some 10 minutes by taxi from down town (See Taxis). By bus is about US$0.25.

The Terminal Terrestre (Bus Station) is north of the airport. To buy tickets to any destination all the bus company offices are located in the ground floor. If you're leaving to coastal areas within the Guayas Province, catch your bus in the ground floor. For inter-province connections all buses leave from the second, or third floor. There is a maintenance exit cost of US$0.10. The terminal has a good selection of restaurants, stores, 2 Satellite TVs, Toilets, etc. There is a frequent local bus service. But, try to avoid getting around the city with luggage, it's better to get a cab.

Guayaquil Getting around

Guayaquil

Public transport is the most popular way to get around in a big city like Guayaquil. Most hotels are in the city center close to the Malecón. At rush hours, local buses are very crowded and cost around US$0.25. Minibuses (furgonetas) are also available for about US$0.20, which have their routes posted on the windscreen. All buses run along the Malecón. For example: Bus #15 will take you from the Malecón to Urdesa, Bus #13 to Policentro. Buses are a good cheaper alternative to taxis (out of rush hours)

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 Ecuador and Galapagos Travel Transport
Guayaquil Car rental

For a complete list, check our Car rental section

Guayaquil Air

Guayaquil's International Simón Bolivar airport is about 5 km north of the city center, on Avenida de las Américas. The airport itself has several facilities such as: Information desks, restaurants, currency exchange, bank ATMs and post office amongst others.

Guayaquil Local airlines

TAME.-With frequent flights to Quito, Cuenca, Loja and Machala. All flights to the Galápagos islands leave from Guayaquil.

Other destinations are handled by small 5 to 17 seater planes leaving frequently from the Terminal de Avionetas such as:

AECA.- Flights to Manta, Portoviejo, Bahía de Caráquez, Pedernales & Guayaquil.

Austro aereo.- To Cuenca, Quito, Guayaquil and Machala.

Icaro.-To Quito, Guayaquil, Loja and Coca.

For additional information about these and other airline companies visit our Airline companies section.

Guayaquil Bus
Guayaquil Terminal Terrestre

There are several bus cooperatives available to Quito, 8 to 10 hours, ticket value around US$10. To Riobamba, 5 hours, ticket value around US$4. To Cuenca, 5 hours, ticket value around US$7. To Santo Domingo de los Colorados, 5 hours, ticket value around US$5. To Esmeraldas, 8 hours, ticket value around US$6. To Manta, 3 hours, ticket value around US$6. To Bahía de Caráquez, 6 hours, ticket value around US$5.50. To Ambato, 6 1/2 hours, ticket value around US$4. To Portoviejo, 3 1/2 hours, ticket value around US$5.50. To Salinas, 2 1/2 hours, ticket value around US$2.50. To Playas, 2 hours, ticket value around US$2.50. To Huaquillas, 4 hours. Ticket value around US$3.50. To Machala, 3 1/2 hours, ticket value around US$4.

Guayaquil Bus Station Taxis

Taxis in Guayaquil have no meters. Always agree the price previously with the taxi driver before getting a ride. Prices are negotiable. From the airport or bus station to the center for example the average rate is between US$5 and US$6. To Urdesa, Alborada, or Policentro is around US$4.00. From the center to the north (Urdesa Norte, Urdesa, Alborada, Kennedy, or Policentro) is around US$4. From the airport to the bus station costs around US$1.00. Short trips are US$1.00 as everywhere else in Ecuador. The most recommended Radio Taxi companies to use in Guayaquil are: Carrousel (Tel. 2110610), El Paraiso (Tel. 2201877 / 2204232), Fast rent-a-car (Tel. 2823333 / 2620151), Flash Car (Tel. 2245070), Auto City (Tel. 09-8476957) and VIP (Tel. 09-7231913). They will all pick you up from wherever you're calling. The rate to hire a taxi per hour in Guayaquil ranges between US$10 and $20, which depends on the company or service selected.

Taxi rutas.- Taxi rutas are cabs that run on a set route, charging US$0.50, per person. They look the same as the average taxis but with differing bonnets over the roof.

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 Ecuador and Galapagos Travel Festivals

The main festive celebrations are in July 24-25th which celebrates the birthday of Simón Bolivar (July 24th/1783) and the Foundation of Guayaquil (25th of July/1538). During these dates the city is bathed in a lively carnival atmosphere of cultural gatherings from parades to art shows as well as including beauty pageants and dancing events that are all illuminated by the various firework displays.

The other major festival is for the celebration of the city's independence day, on October 9th (1820) which merges for a longer celebration into the Día de la Raza on the 12th and there is an international outstanding colorful fair in Durán called "Feria de Durán". One of the biggest in South América where several countries expose their products and you can buy cheaper while enjoying live music and international shows. This international fair takes place every year in October from the 9th to the 12th together with the city's independence.

New years eve, is also a good time to be in Guayaquil and the Malecón 2000 has an impressive fire works display as well as the yearly tradition of burning full man sized stuffed dummies that often resemble local as well as world famous personalities in sports, politics, musicians and Disney world characters amongst others. These stuffed yet fully clothed puppets also known as "Años Viejos" (old years) symbolize the end of the old year and are burned also in the main streets in midnight bonfires as lucky omens for the coming new year. Often many apartment owners position their dummies on their balconies in windows or on the streets in the days leading up to New Year's eve and provide a surreal moment to many visitors as they pass by them.

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 Ecuador and Galapagos Travel Places to avoid

Guayaquil has improved its policing levels over the past 2 years and has far less crime than in other years and is no more dangerous than London or New York if you express sufficient common sense when security and safety are involved.

Travelers should consider the following rules:

1) Never walk around with valuables and try to wear simple clothes.

2) Be careful around the bus terminal and bank entrances.

3) Always take taxis at night. For more details visit our Useful tips > Safety section.

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Guayaquil:
History | Climate | Orientation | Transport | Festivals | Places to avoid | Sightseeing | Tourist information | Accommodation | Restaurants | Fun & Entertainment | Shopping | Tour operators | General interest | Medical services | Embassies & Consulates | Museums | Churches | Excursions | Write a review about Guayaquil
Surrounding areas:
Playas | Santa Elena Península | Baños San Vicente | La Libertad | Punta Carnero | Ballenita | Punta Blanca | Ayangue | Salinas | Valdivia | Manglaralto | Montañita | Olón
More about Ecuador Coastline:
Esmeraldas | Manabí | Guayas | Los Ríos | El Oro

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