Modern, clean, and distinctly South American: that is Guayaquil. From the moment you touch down to the moment you take off again, this beautiful city will ensnare your senses and envelope you with its decadent cuisine, rich history, and vibrant streets.
This lush park is situated right by the Rio Guayas and has great views of the river and downtown core of Guayaquil along with a gardens and an IMAX theater.
For breathtaking views of the city, you can brave 400 steps or so up a hill, right? Come during sunset for a natural spectacular show and rest at the top with some ice cream.
True to its name, this park features a historical re-creation of life in the early 20th century in Guayaquil.
With its interesting street vendors and outdoor markets, La Bahia is the place to go for a stroll as well as bargain hunting.
When you've had your fill of the view and the parks, head to one of these picturesque beaches to relax, unwind, and work up a tan. Besides great food and nightlife, there is also the chance to whale-watch from June to September.
Beginning in May and continuing through to December, Guayaquil experiences truly pleasant weather. Temperatures reach a peak of 82.4 in July. January to April is also warm but it's mostly rainy.
If you're going to be landing at Guayaquil's José Joaquín de Olmedo International Airport (GYE), you're in luck: it was voted the best South American airport. To get to the city center, take a taxi for around USD$3.
Taking a train to Guayaquil is less about speed than it is about the actual journey. From Quito, for example, the journey includes meals and fares start at USD$50.
Getting from Mancora to Guayaquil takes around seven hours in all. Use the Panamericana Nte. and Highway E25.
International operator Cruz Del Sur runs rides from other major cities and countries like Peru. A trip from Peru to Guayaquil is around USD$93, but from Mancora to Guayaquil, it is significantly cheaper, with prices around USD$28.
The Grand Hotel Guayaquil will mesmerize you with its hanging gardens and waterfalls. For comfort on a dime, check in to La Fontana. Budget travelers will appreciate the hospitality at El Manso.
Prosperina - a residential neighborhood with smaller, local restaurants and beautiful vacation homes.
La Bahia - right on the banks of the Rio Guayas is La Bahia, a picturesque port neighborhood with gorgeous parks like Parque Seminario and Parque Centenario.
Urdesa - a hub of trendy and upscale shopping malls, bars, restaurants, and clubs, Urdesa is lit up and alive at all times.
Locals rely on the Metrovia, a rapid bus transit system. A single adult fare is USD$0.25 and a monthly pass is USD$10.
Taxis in Ecuador are recognizable as "standard" yellow cabs or "taxi amigos", which are a pre-booked service. If it's not metered, make sure to agree on a price before getting in. Metered fares start at USD$1 and it's USD$0.62 per mile thereafter.
Car rentals in Ecuador are readily available from companies like Ace Rent A Car and Alamo, with per-day prices starting at USD$18 to USD$29 for a compact, economy rental.
Within the Urdesa neighborhood, there are plenty of upscale shopping spots such as Aventura Plaza and Mall del Sol.
A quart of milk costs USD$1.13 and a dozen eggs will run you about USD$2.
A local favorite that's also easy on the pocket, La Parrilla del Ñato is always packed. Enjoy authentic Ecuadorian dishes like grilled meats for around USD$10.