Guayaquil Travel Blog› entry 83 of 123 › view all entries
I was surprised by Guayaquil. The guidebooks don't have much that's positive to say about it and thus most travellers avoid it like the plague (yet another city tagged as too dangerous to spend anytime in). However, the short time I had there left a good impression on me.
I got chatting to an Aussie girl, Amanda, over breakfast at Nucapacha, the hostel I was staying at. It turned out she had had a similar idea to me in that she wanted to book a last minute trip to the Galapagos, so we decided to head out to a couple of travel agencies together to sketch out some plans. We spoke to Isabelle at Dreamkapture (which is also a rival hostel of Nucapacha!), who was really helpful.
Trip all booked to leave the next day, Amanda and I headed into the city centre to have a look round. There are plenty of cheap buses to get around on (25c a ride) and we walked down the main street, which was pleasant enough - a mix of new buildings and reconstructed older fascades given a fresh lick of paint (and a bit of a touch up!). At the end on the waterfront is the superb new Malecon 2000 walkway - a lot of other cities could learn from this. It is a nice surprise to see a city in South America where recent additions have been done well and tastefully. Its a long pedestrian zone that runs 2.5km along the waterfront and we had a lovely hot sunny day in which to take it all in. We bumped into Justin and Juliana who we'd met at the hostel, so we walked with them down to the Santa Ana hill which is at one end. Again, its been nicely reconstructured to resemble a authentic hillside village and was a great place to get views over sprawling Guayaquil and grab an almuerzo. We finished the day with a swim at the hostel and then a nice chinese in the evening - a great day!