Guayaquil

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Eco-friendly travel guide to Guayaquil advises how to be a responsible tourist. Learn how to explore the attractions in a sustainable way and how to respect the local people and culture. Make your trip green by supporting locally owned hotels, organic restaurants and other businesses. Read more on how to protect the environment by making conscientious choices and how to travel green in Guayaquil, Ecuador.


  • Air quality: 3.5 / 5
  • Exploring by foot: 4 / 5
  • Exploring by bicycle: 3 / 5
  • Public transportation: 3.5 / 5
  • Parks: 2.5 / 5
  • Outdoor activities: 3 / 5
  • Locals' English level: 3 / 5
  • Safety: 2 / 5
  • Accommodation: US$15 - $315
  • Budget per day: US$50 - $400

Responsible Travel

Guayaquil is a city in Ecuador that is also known as the gateway Galapagos Islands and Pacific Beaches. This is the second-largest city in the country and a very important port city for both the country and region. Situated on the banks of the Guayas River, the city is very vibrant and popular among the tourists. The number of tourists is very high in this city because of having the port. From beaches to monuments, you will be able to see a lot of wonderful things in this city. Here are some of the things that you can do to help the city as an eco-friendly traveler.

  • The traditional foods and different cuisines from restaurants are no donut one of the things to try in the city. But also make sure to try the street foods as well to get the best taste at a reasonable price and help the local people
  • During your trip to the city choose green hotels to stay instead of normal ones that use natural resources like sunlight to provide hospitality to customers. It will help the city to stay free from pollution
  • You will find many electronic cars in the city that help to keep the city safe from pollution. There are many other local transportations that help to reduce pollution, try to choose them to do your part as a traveler
  • There are many green parks in the city that you can visit to have a nice and fresh air along with getting closer to nature
  • On your trip to Guayaquil, try to help the local people as much as you can by buying items and goods from their small shops on the side of the roads


Air Quality and Pollution

The air quality of any city is very important, and you need to know before stepping in. The air quality of the city is good most of the time but sometimes it becomes moderate. Although it will not affect any normal people with good health conditions. But it can be bad for people who are having serious conditions like breathing problems or asthma. So, if you have any health condition, then you need to visit a doctor and take their advice before visiting the city. You might need to carry some maks, emergency medicines in the city to stay safe and healthy.


Respect the Culture

One of the things that you need to keep in mind while visiting the city is respecting the culture of the city. As the people in this city are very vibrant, you will be able to get a very good experience. The traditions are very different in the city from education to food. Most of the people that you will come across in the city are Catholic but there are other people as well.


Top 10 Places to Visit

There is no doubt that the city of Guayaquil is beautiful, and you would enjoy it to the fullest. Come here during your holidays, and you will feel the real enjoyment which you have never felt before. But now if you want to make your trip more exciting, then these 10 places are a must-visit for you.

  • Laglo De La Espol- The most famous lake where you can get a wide variety of turtles. Try it out and see how enjoyable and lovely they are. But if you miss it, then you would curse yourself throughout the whole life.
  • El Mono Capuchino- Do not go by its name because it is a monument where you can see the structures of popular monkeys. Go for it, and you will get to see something which you have never seen before.
  • Museo Antropologico y de Arte Contemporaneo- It is a center of art where you will get some modern paintings and craftworks. In the beginning, you would find it boring, but after visiting, you will understand its real value.
  • Bosque Protector Cerro Blanco- This place is for all those people who love camping activities and some thrill. You can come here to camp with your friends and go for a long forest trail.
  • Guayaquil Metropolitan Cathedral- Without any doubt, we can say that this cathedral is lovely and also has a specific significance. Visit here and wish for the best thing which you want to be fulfilled very soon.
  • Hemicycle De La Rotonda- This monument was build in the 18th century and has some contributions to the best liberators. Never miss it because it has the most wonderful architecture and depicts the best things about those ages.
  • Guayaquil Ecuador Temple- People in the city call it a church, but it is a very famous temple. It tells you about the history of Jesus Christ and the way he was being hanged to death.
  • Basilica La Merced- You will see that the architecture of this church becomes a point of attraction. No one misses it and loves some of its decorations and the ancient sculptures.
  • Mirador Bellavista- It is one of the topmost observation deck from where you can see the whole city. Have a tour of it and see how wonderful the view is from the top.
  • Ecua Andino Hats- If you have a hobby of hat collection, then you cannot miss this place. Here you will get the best varieties of hats and feel like wearing them and showing off.


Explore

Now when it comes to exploring, then the aforementioned places are not enough. You can also try out some city parks and museums as they will give you a valuable experience.


City Parks

  • Infantil- It is a children's park where you would get see saws and some amazing rides. Bring your children over here and get an opportunity to spend quality time with them.


National Parks

  • Senderos The Samanes- If you have the habit of long walking, then you have to visit this park. It has a lovely ambiance, and you will also get a nice feeling of nature.


Beaches

Unfortunately, you would not find any beaches in the city of Guayaquil. But do not worry because a nearby district is there where you would get some famous beaches.


Landmarks

  • Las Peñas Lighthouse- There is no doubt that this lighthouse is awesome, and here you will get amazing exposure. Come here during the daytime and see something very different and mind-blowing.


Museums

  • Museo De La Música Popular- In this museum, you will know about Ecuadorian music and some of its validity. The place is surrounded by some musical instruments, and it also signifies their popularity in full details.
  • Municipal Museum- It takes you to the early ages and gives you a brief description of the fossils of those days. Explore it thoroughly, and you would get a fair knowledge about those things and feel like sharing it with everyone.


Eat

As mentioned before, food is one of the best ways to know more about the culture and traditions of the city. Because of having a mixed culture, you will get a lot of food options along with the traditional foods here. From traditional cuisines from restaurants to street foods, make sure to taste all of the different types of foods in this city. Here are some of the food types and details about them are given below that will help you to visit the right place for foods.


Traditional Local Restaurants

Among all the other ones, the first that you need to try in this city is the traditional foods. The raw taste of spices and seasonal ingredients makes the food very delicious. There are plenty of restaurants in the city that offer good traditional food to the customer and are very well known for it. Make sure to visit these restaurants to have a nice traditional diner. Some of the names are given below that will help you to find them.

  • Marrecife
  • Restaurant Le Gourmet


Vegetarian and Vegan

Do not worry, you are vegetarian and want to taste some of the best traditional foods in the city. Because you might miss out on seafood but you will be able to get a lot of veg traditional dishes in the city. Make sure to visit some of the oldest and popular veg restaurants that have been offering veg cuisines for ages. Here are some of the places in the city that you need to visit the city for the best veg food.

  • Big Mamma Vegetarian Food
  • Veggie and Veggie Restaurant


Street Food

Just like traditional cuisines, street foods also play a major part in providing the best food experience in a city. Here are many street food dishes and small stalls that you might want to explore. Make sure to visit all of the corners of Guayaquil to get a very wide range of street foods available. Some of the must-try street foods in the city include Empanadas, Huevitos Chilenos, Carne en palito, Espumillas, Chochos, Helados, and many others. You will be able to get a very good experience while helping the locals and saving a lot of money.


Drink

Drinks are as important as food and also very well available in the city. You will be able to get many shops in the city on every corner that sells soft drinks to packaged water. During your exploration of the city, you can have a soft drink to get hydrated and feel refreshed. Not only soft drinks but visiting the nightlife of the city will help you to get a very good and memorable time.

You will find a wide range of options available in the bars from cocktails to beers. If you are an alcoholic lover, then you will love this city very much. Here are some of the sections given below in detail that will help you to find whatever type of drinks you are looking for.


Tap-water

Before you decide between tap water and bottled water, you need to know which of them is healthy for you and which one is bad for you. According to reports, the tap water is not drinkable and healthy to drink for both travelers and locals. You will need to buy bottled water from all the shops around the city to drink. It is best to avoid tap water for other purposes as well such as brushing teeth, washing face, etc. If you are in an emergency and there is only tap water available, then make sure to boil and filter it very well before drinking.


Organic Cafés

It is not very hard to stay healthy during your trip and prevent any tiredness. Organic meals play a major role in your health as it is made naturally without any chemicals. Availability is not very wide in the city but you will be able to get some of the restaurants in this city that serve organic foods to the customer. You might need to look online and offline if you do not know the name of these restaurants. So, here are some names to save your time and find them.

  • Frutabar
  • Zento


Breweries

After visiting all the different famous attractions of the city, you can get a long list of options available in the bars for drinks. Sipping on a beer or other alcohol on the beach while feeling the breeze wind is a one time experience that helps a lot to refresh. You will be able to get all of them in the city from craft beer to beaches for the best experience. There are many breweries in this city that you can visit to witness the making of these beers. You will be able to taste the alcohol too in some of them for free or with charge.


Activities

Activities help you to make your tour fill with fun and adventures. While many people like to do normal activities, others like to have outdoor activities. Well, you will be able to get both of them in this city from outdoor to indoor activities. There are many famous ones in the city that you can visit and have a very good visit. Also, different outdoor activities such as hiking, bike tours, wildlife tours, camping, and others are widely available. You can choose any of them to do in this city.


Yoga and Retreats

To keep both mental and physical health top-notch, yoga is the best way. During your tour, you can take part in yoga classes or sessions to keep yourself healthy both mentally and physically. It will take you far from all the crowds in the city and help you to get a quiet time to get back the energy for exploration. You can choose both packages and classes from the services based on your stay and budget range. It is best to book yoga classes online to avoid any type of issue.


Accommodation

Staying in a nice place boosts the experience of traveling to a city and helps you to get a good night's sleep. However, choosing accommodation is not a piece of cake. You will need to consider different things like your staying period, budget, and others. Based on that, you will get plenty of options available in the city from 5 stars to cheap hotels. Here are some of the accommodation options along with details that will help you to know the names and other things.


Green Hotels

Among all the other options, the first one that you need to choose as responsible is the green hotels. They are eco-friendly and come with most of the features that other hotels have. You will be able to get plenty of green hotels available in the city that you can book using both online and offline services. Staying at the green hotels will also help you to keep your health very good. Here are some of the most popular and famous green hotels in the city that most of the travelers choose.

  • Hotel Del Parque
  • Unipark Hotel


Hostels and Guest Houses

Hostels come with many fewer options and features compared to hotels but when it comes to staying for more time in the city, it can help a lot. Because the rooms of hostels and guesthouses are cheaper than the hotels in this city. You will find plenty of guest houses in this city along with hostels that are very well equipped to offer a good stay. You can find one of the rooms that are shareable, which helps you to save further money. Here are some of the best hostels and guest houses in this city that you can choose for your stay.

  • Manso Boutique Guesthouse
  • Hostel Nucapacha


Apartments

You have a lower budget for a hotel room but want to stay for a long time in the city? Not to worry, because you can stay as long as you want in the city with a very minimum charge in the apartments. There are plenty of apartments that you can rent to stay in for more than a month. It will not only help you to find shelter in this city but also a very good way to know the lifestyle of the local people. Daily watching them and staying with them will help you to know a lot about their culture and traditions.


Couchsurfing

Apart from all these, there is another way of staying in the city that contains a new experience, which is known as Couchsurfing. Yes, you can Couchsurf in this city with the help of different hosts. Couchsurfing is a community of travelers that helps out each other while traveling to their hometown. You will need to take the help of online services to find a host. Staying with the local people will help you to know the traditions and local foods very well. Also, you will be able to get all the information about the city from a local for the best traveling experience.


Camping

Are you looking for a more adventurous option? Well, the city will not disappoint you as there are many camping places that you can choose to stay and feel nature. Camping is known to be a very popular camping option for many tourists as it helps to get close to nature and very adventurous to stay under the stars. Most of the camping spots in this city offer different features like restaurants, outdoor activities, campfires, and others.


How to Get There

Once you make your mind to visit this city, the first thing that needs some attention is the transportation. You need to know what are the different options available that you can choose from to breach Guayaquil. From most of the cities and countries, people mostly choose flight as their transport. But there are many other ones also available that might take some extra time than a flight but offer a lot of advantages. Here are some of them given below in detail to help you choose the right one.


Air

As mentioned above, the flight is the most popular way to visit this city as it helps to reach the city very fast and comfortably. Apart from that, you will also be able to take a direct journey to this city by air. You need to keep in mind that the fare of flights is also the most expensive one compared to others. However, you can get a flight from almost all the countries, how frequent the flights are is based on your location. Jose Joaquin de Olmedo International airport serves a lot of airlines daily from different cities and countries.


Bus

Buses are believed to be the cheapest and most convenient way to reach this city from other cities of Ecuador. You will be able to get a bus easily from other cities that are connected with this city or go over this city. However, if you are traveling from any other country, then you will need to break your journey and take the bus after entering the country.


Train

Trains are available but not that much popular in the city as most of the travelers avoid train journeys. The train journey is quite expensive compared to other places and takes a lot of time to reach. However, you will be able to see many scenic beauties on your way to the city. It will help you a lot to get a very good experience.


Hitchhiking

You can reach the city with great adventure and less spending money by choosing a hitchhike. The main roads are very well connected with the city that will help you to get a lift easily on the roads. The local people are very helpful, and you will get a lift from them easily if you are in the right spot. Make sure to hitchhike at spots like fuel stations, toll booths, and others.


Others

There are other options that you can choose to visit the city such as road trips, long rides, and others. You can choose 4 wheelers or bikers to visit the city and have a very good memory. Most of the people avoid choosing it as it takes a lot of days to reach the destination. If you have time on your hand, then you can take a car after entering the country and start your road journey.


Moving Around

A major part of exploration also depends on how you move around the city and transportation. There are many different ways available that you can choose to move around the city. Here are some of them given below with details to help you choose the best one among them.


Walk

Walking is known to be the most healthy and good way of traveling as it helps to explore the city very well. You will be able to get a very good experience visiting every corner of the city where only pedestrians are allowed. It is a nice way to know more about the local people and their culture as well.


Bicycle

Bicycles are a very well known transportation mode to visit famous attractions in the city and explore it. You will be able to get a cycle on rent from different services at an affordable price. Also, you can get them for free from the hotel if they have provided this service to customers. There are many places in the city, where you will get a separate lane for cycles.


Electronic Vehicles

As an eco-friendly traveler, you need to choose electronic vehicles to move around the city instead of fuel cars. It will help the city much to stay pollution-free and save your money. You will find many car services that provide electric cars at affordable prices. However, make sure to have some time on your hand before going out as you can get stuck in traffic.


Public Bus

Public buses are the best option if you want to know more about the lifestyle of the local people. You will come across many local buses very frequently that you can catch from the bus stands. Buses are known to be the cheapest option to move around the city and explore well. As the buses are very well connected to different places, you will be able to explore very well.


Tram, Train and Subway

If you want to avoid traffic but want to reach your destination faster, then travel by train. However, the trains are not well connected with different corners of the city, which makes it difficult to cover the whole city by train.


Sustainable Shopping

Sustainable shopping is a very good way to help the city to reduce waste and get some of the best items at very low prices. You will come across shops and markets that provide rare items, antiques, vintage goods at very low prices. You can also buy and use second-hand products that are recycled to make the city stay waste-free. Here are some details below about different shops and markets.


Food Markets

Food markets are one of the first places that you need to visit on your tour of the city. If you are a food lover, then you will get a great time exploring the markets. There are many markets in the city that offer seasonal spices to rare vegetables and fruits that make them special. Apart from that, you can also rest at the small food stores to try some street food during exploration.


Flea Markets

Flea markets are the best spots in the city if you are looking for some vintage items that you can add to your collection. You will find many flea markets in this city that offer plenty of items at low prices. You will need to bargain to get them at a low price or you will end up getting the items overpriced. Some flea markets in the city that you need to visit include:

  • Mercado Artesanal Guayaquil
  • Parqueadero La Placita


Second Hand Stores

If you want to help out the city and spread awareness through the local people, then make sure to make a stop at the second-hand shops. From clothes to other items, all second-hand goods are available in these markets. Most of them are very high quality and look as good as the new ones.


Eco-Fashion

Keep yourself healthy and the city safe from pollution by adopting eco-fashion. They are made with natural resources instead of chemicals that help to reduce waste a lot. Eco-fashion plays a very vital role in the improvement of the environment.


Recycling

Recycling is a very good process to keep the city clean and reduce the waste of the city as much as possible. Guayaquil has improved its recycling methods a lot over the years. Now, they recycle more than 15% of the total waste in a day and use them in different places. From the government to many other companies have helped very much to make the recycling programs working in the city.


Waste

More than 4200 tons of waste are produced in one day in this city. Among them, only 15% is recycled and the rest goes into the landfill and others. Several steps are being taken to reduce the waste in this city in the upcoming years.


Work and Study Abroad

You will come across many students and workers from different countries who are staying in this city for a long time. As there are many universities and job opportunities available in this city, the number of foreign students and workers is high here.


Exchange Student

Exchange students are a very helpful way for the students in other countries to visit this city and pursue their education. Many universities and colleges are available in this city that offers this benefit to their students.


Au Pair

Au Pair is a nice way to have some money along with food, and shelter. It is very helpful for foreign workers and students to earn some money and a job in their initial stage in the city. You can look at the online services to get an Au Pair job in this city.


Volunteering

If you want to help out the city and the local people, then you can volunteer for many different activities. Some of the most common things that you can volunteer for are teaching English to the local people, helping out tourists, keeping the famous attractions clean, and others.


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