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Located on the coast, Guayaquil is the largest city in Ecuador and the commercial hub. Even though it is in the same small country, it is a world apart from its mountainous neighbor, Quito. Guayaquil, with a population of about 3 million, has far more Western influence than most of the neighboring Latin cities. Smog, traffic, dirty streets and numerous stores displaying flat panel TVs and fancy electronics show the sharp contrast between what's coming and what has been. With a clear taste for the American way (and American fast food) much of Guayaquil is turning modern. This city is perfect for those looking for a cheap place to visit with a few nice things to see and access to the Galapagos Islands (by plane) and the beaches of Ecuador (by bus or car). With the use of the US$ the currency is easy to understand and negotiate. The mass importation of goods allows you to buy anything you want at any price you please. The locals speak fast and have a very strong accent, which can be a challenge if you're still just learning Spanish.
Best thing to see and do in Guayaquil is the spectacular multi-million dollar board walk. Several kilometres long, the state of the art walk way borders the inlet to the ocean. It has every thing from a physical exercise area, to a play ground, to an Imax theater, many restaurants, security guards every few hundred yards, a huge monument (on every postcard) to Simon Bolivar and much more.From the board walk you can pick a famous replica pirate ship and sail for a day for not too much money. The ship is old and well maintained and may well be the highlight of your trip to Guayaquil.
The climate is warm and humid all year round. Averge highs range from 28 °C in July and August to 32 °C in March and April, while average lows range from 19 °C from July to September to 23 °C in March. Annual precipitation averages around 1,100mm with most of it falling from January to April.
Taxi drivers do not use their meters. As soon as they see a foreign face, they try to overcharge you. Make sure you ask at your hotel what the cost should be for your journey, and haggle with the taxi driver to agree a price before you start the journey.
Guayaquileans have a predilection for sea food, especially for "Cebiches" (raw fish marinated in lemon juice), "Encebollado" (cooked fish with onions and yucca) and"Cangrejadas" (crab gatherings), in which family and/or friends get together around a table with the typical tools such as a small hammer and a board to savour them, accompanied by different hot sauces. All the above dishes are served with rice which is "Ecuadorians daily bread". To enjoy these local specialties, visit Guayaquil's best Ecuadorian food restaurants and/or Sea food restaurants.
|Casa de Romero||Calle Velez 501 Boyaca||Guesthouse||86|
|Dreamkapture Hostal||Alborada Doceava Etapa Calle Juan Sixto Bernal; MZ 02, Villa 21||Hostel||79|
|Iguanazu||Cdla la Cogra av Carlos Julio Arosemena km 3 1/2 m||Guesthouse||-|
|Manso Boutique Guesthouse||Malecon 1406 Aguirre||Guesthouse||87|
|Tangara Guest House||Ciudadela Bolivariana block F, house 1 Manuela Saenz||Guesthouse||86|
|Hostel Nucapacha||Balsamos Sur 308 Urdesa Central.||Hostel||78|
|Hostal Suites Madrid||Quisquis 305 and Rumichaca Downtown||Guesthouse||82|
|Hostal Alborada||Alborada 6ta Mz. 665 V 7||Guesthouse||-|
|Tabuba Guest House||Sauces 2 Mz F112 Villa 109||Guesthouse||82|
|Atlantic Suites Hotel||Escobedo 812 Between Junin and Luis Urdaneta||HOTEL||72|
|Thefunkymonkeyhostel||Cdla. Vernaza Norte Mz 5 V11||Hostel||81|
|Hotel Jeshua||Padre Solano 1501 y Jose Mascote||Hotel||84|
|Murali Hostal Airport Guayaquil||Garzota 2 La Salle and 3er Callejon esq. mz 135||HOTEL||80|
|Hostal North Star||Avenida Isidro Ayora, Sauces 1, Manzana F36, Solar 14||GUESTHOUSE||82|
|Suites Guayaquil||Avenida Leopoldo Benítez y Avenida Hermano Miguel MZ 2, V 9||Hotel||-|
|Puerto Azul||Vi�a a la Costa, Km 10 Puerto Azul||GUESTHOUSE||-|
|Manso Boutique Guesthouse||Malecon 1406 y Aguirre||GUESTHOUSE||-|
Internet cafes can be found nearly everywhere in the major cities and in many of the smaller ones. Cost is from $1 to $2 per hour in the large cities, and the better places have high-speed access. In some cafes, restaurants, and hotels you can find free wifi access, most of them protected by passwords; in most cases, you just have to ask for the password.
See also International Telephone Calls
The international telephone code for Ecuador is 593. The general emergency number is 911, but there are special ones of police (101) and fire (102).
The centre of most towns, cities and villages have telephone 'shops', advertised in the street as 'cabinas'. Go in, ask for a free phone booth and call. There is usually a digital display giving the cost (per second) of your call, whether local, national or international. You can call the United States for about $0.10 per minute and Europe for a bit more. Avoid making a phone call through an operator; the cost for an international call can be $3 or more per minute. For calls within Ecuador, it is possible to use a telephone cabin.
Some mobile phone SIM cards of various networks have problems working in Ecuador - you can purchase a local network SIM (for an unlocked phone) for a few dollars in local mobile phone shops. The costs of calling are higher though at around $0.45 an hour.
Correos del Ecuador is the national postal service of Ecuador. It's fairly reliable to send postcards and letters to other countries, though count on at least 5 days up to weeks for it to arrive. In general, postal services to North America are much faster than to other western countries. Prices start at around $1 (up to 20 grams), but rise steeply after that. You can get stamps at post offices or small shops/kiosks. Post offices generally are open from 8:00am to 6:00pm Monday to Friday and 8:00am to noon on Saturdays, although there are slight variations throughout the country. If you are going to send heavier post or post which has more value, it might be better to contact private courier companies like DHL, TNT, UPS or FedEx, which are generally about the same price and much faster!
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