Guayaquil, Ecuador – City Guide for Nomads and Expats

Guayaquil, Ecuador.

The largest city in Ecuador and the main business and commerce hub. The airport in Guayaquil flies directly to the Galapagos islands.

I’d consider it Ecuador’s most modern city. While it may not have quite the colonial charm as Quito or Cuenca, it does have a nice boardwalk and area surrounding it. It’s also Ecuador’s best option for year round nightlife fun! If you want a bustling city, this is your Ecuador option. Expect to pay a little more to live here than you would any other Ecuadorian city. It also boasts some of the best looking women in the country.

POPULATION: 2,400,000 


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RENT AN APARTMENT IN GUAYAQUIL

$600.00. You want to make sure you’re in a good area close to the center.

 

DAY TRIPS & THINGS TO DO IN GUAYAQUIL

Hike to the top of Cerro Santa Ana.

Walk through the beautiful and historic Las Peñas neighborhood.

Visit the Catedral Metropolitana de Guayaquil, a symbol of the city.

Stroll the Malecón 2000 at sunset.

Check out the Parque Histórico de Guayaquil, a popular park surrounded by colorful colonial houses.

Visit the Ecovillage Santay Island. You can rent a bicycle, just remember to bring an ID for them to hold while you bike around the island.

When you get tired of the city, head out to the beach town of Salinas.

 

 COST OF LIVING IN GUAYAQUIL

The following data is from Expatistan, a crowdsourced database of prices and cost of living around the world. In our experience, the data tends to underestimate cost of living, so take the following as the minimum you might need to live here.

*Figures are listed in USD

You’ll need a minimum of $977 USD/month to live in Guayaquil, Ecuador

cost-of-living-guayaquil-ecuador

BEST BARS & NIGHTLIFE IN GUAYAQUIL

6.5/10 

Guayaquil is the bar/nightlife capital of Ecuador. But that accolade is more a default of its size and population than anything else. Most of the action goes on in the Zona Rosa. It’s heavily patrolled so you shouldn’t have to worry too much about security. Zona Rosa offers the ability to barhop, but I wouldn’t suggest it unless you don’t mind paying multiple cover charges. But go wherever the wind takes you. 

Bars that My Latin Life recommends:

Fridda: Located in centro as opposed to Zona Rosa, but if you’re staying close to the centre, this is your best choice. And, most importantly, the girls are actually hot, which seems to be rare for Ecuador, so enjoy. But please, don’t look like too much of a backpacker if you come here. Take a shower, dress nice, comb your hair and the girls will respond positively.

 

BEST CAFES IN GUAYAQUIL FOR DIGITAL NOMADS

This isn’t a great city for cafes. It’s very humid and walking to the cafe, dealing with wifi, air conditioning etc is a bit of a mission. When digital nomading in Guayaquil, try to get a good Airbnb or hotel with wifi. 

Cafes that My Latin Life recommends:

Café Bombon’s – World Trade Center: Good cafe, modern building, free wifi.

Sweet & Coffee: Nice place by the river but they don’t give the wifi out very often.

Juan Valdez Café: Coffee chain all over Latin America. They have several locations in Guayaquil. The wifi here is often slow.

Comuna Cafe: Modern cafe with good wifi. Probably the BEST cafe in Guayaquil for digital nomads and remote workers.

 

IS GUAYAQUIL SAFE?

Guayaquil is a bit dangerous. The malecon is fine during the day, but I wouldn’t advise venturing into the outskirts of the city, or really anywhere that you aren’t familiar with or haven’t researched. Not as many tourists as Quito or Cuenca so you’ll stand out to criminals as a potential target. I didn’t find safety in Guayaquil much better than a large Colombian city, despite large Colombian cities having worse reputations. In business and shopping districts you should be fine during the day. At night, I do recommend taxis even for short distances.

 

FINAL THOUGHTS

Honestly I tend to avoid cities like this. But I’ll give Guayaquil some credit for its promenades and parks. They are definitely the best things to experience in a city that offers little else to do during the day, and that lacks the colonial charm of many other Latin American cities, both large and small. 


OVERALL RATING: 6/10


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