Fly To Guayaquil, Ecuador
Santiago de Guayaquil is the largest city and economic heart of Ecuador. It has been said that many years ago, the total of attractions in the city could be listed as one – the public cemetery. This little in-joke has thankfully been turned around thanks to some serious renewal projects. Today, there are a great number of attractions – none of which include the local cemetery. Visit lush parks, explore the many shopping hotspots, indulge in tasty delicacies at the numerous cafes or simply find the nearest beach and relax.
Visa Requirements & SA Embassy Details
- South Africans travelling to Guayaquil do not require a Visa for Ecuador for a stay up to 90 days. Ensure your passport is valid for at least another 6 months after returning from your trip and you have at least 2 blank pages available for stamps.
- The South African Consulate to Ecuador is in Quito. Av. República del Salvador N 890 y Suecia, Edf. Delta, Piso 6, Quito. Phone: +593 2 246 7219.
See and do
Most of the city’s attractions are within walking distance of hotels in the renewed area. There are almost too many to mention off the bat, but we recommend Malecon Simón Bolivar (a lovely park that has shops, picnic areas and views of the river); Las Peñas (old part of the city boasting beautiful old buildings) and Santa Ana & El Carmen hills (great look-out point with views of the city below).
You should also try to stop past the Jardín Botánico (Botanical Garden) and the Zoológico El Pantanal (Zoo), as both have much to offer. Museums are great for exploring, while parks such as Parque de las Iguanas give you the chance to see some of the area’s wildlife.
Shopping ranges from markets such as Mercado Artesanal that sell all kinds of cheap souvenirs and local handicrafts, to larger malls and stores that are a bit more American in their product lines. Via Samborondon is the best of these malls. Things to buy: coffee, chocolate and leather goods.
Getting around is easy in Guayaquil, especially with the Metrovia - a very fast bus system that is also affordable. Then there is the local bus route (confusing at times but cheap and reliable); unmarked taxis known as ‘Taxi Amigos’; standard yellow taxis and hired cars. Walking is safe in the main tourist areas – it gets very hot however so it’s often easier to use public transport.
Guayaquil Airport (José Joaquín de Olmedo) – GYE
Food and beverage: American Deli, Café DuPort, Juan Valdéz Coffee, Naturíssimo, Cinnabon.
Currency Exchange: AutoSuelto ATM offers currency exchange at Guayaquil Airport.
Airport Hotels: Sheraton Guayaquil, Howard Johnson Guayaquil, Courtyard by Marriott Guayaquil, Holiday Inn Guayaquil Airport.
Car Hire: Avis, Budget, Thrifty, Enterprise, Hertz, Seretur, Localiza.
Airport Hub: Guayaquil Airport (code GYE) is a hub for LAN Ecuador.