Ecuador/Galapagos, South America, travel

24 Hours in Guayaquil

On my way to the Galapagos, I had a layover in Guayaquil, Ecuador. Guayaquil is the cheapest city to fly out to the Galapagos from, so naturally your Type A budget master chose that route!  During this twenty-four-hour layover, I set out to explore this interesting and historic city. Guayaquil is a busy metropolis city, that can be overwhelming at times. Despite this, I still found parts of the city that I just loved, like the lighthouse and the Malecón 2000 (or riverfront boardwalk). Below you will find my Type A tips and recommendations for a quick tour of this city. 

Type A Tips and Top Sights

  • Malecón 2000, aka the boardwalk. This riverfront area is a 2.5 kilometers stretch filled with many sights and activities. There is a Ferris wheel, museums, food market, restaurants, and various monuments and statues to view. 
  • Museums are closed on Mondays 😦 I was in Guayaquil on a Monday so I was unable to explore the museums but I have heard they are great!
  • Las Penas neighborhood, the oldest neighborhood in Guayaquil, is a charming area to wander. Once there take the 444 steps to the white and blue lighthouse at the top of the hill. From here you have a view of the entire city. 
  • Only a couple of blocks from the main boardwalk is Seminaro Park. You may know this park as Iguana Park, named for its huge iguana population. Don’t worry, they are fairly friendly and are just as likely to strike a pose for a picture as they are to run away from you. 
  • El Mono Goloso is an incredibly yummy bakery with pastries and sandwiches. I HIGHLY recommend grabbing at least a snack there! (Luzarraga #202 y Panamá)
  • I stayed at RE Bed and Breakfast and really enjoyed it. The owner is very friendly, the rooms are spacious and clean and its in a great location. What more could be better!?!

Staying Safe in Guayaquil:

  • Guayaquil is safe in the light of day, but after about 9pm it gets dangerous. It is not recommended to wander alone after 9pm.
  • Take only official taxi’s (people pose as taxi drivers then kidnap you for ransom). Better yet, have your hotel/hostel call a taxi for you. Check out New Zealand’s warning if you don’t believe me. 

Whether you’re stopping over on your way to the Galapagos, or just part of your exploration of Ecuador or South America I hope you enjoy exploring Guayaquil as much as I did! This is a brief guide about my experience to help your planning, but if you have any questions or comments please leave them below. I would love to hear from you!

-Teresa, the Type A Trekker

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