Ecuador's largest city and the country's chief sea port and industrial and commercial centre lies on the west bank of the chocolate-brown Río Guayas, some 56 km from its outflow into the Gulf of Guayaquil. The city couldn't be more different from its highland counterpart and political rival, Quito. It is hot, sticky, fast-paced, noisy, bold and brash. It may lack the capital's colonial charm, but Guayaquileños are certainly more lively, colourful and open than Quiteños. Since 2000, Guayaquil has cleaned-up and 'renewed' some of its most frequented downtown areas, there are new airport and bus terminals and a new transit system: the Metrovía. Although much remains to be done in terms of safety, cleanliness and public services outside the revitalized areas, the city as a whole is becoming more attractive and the authorities are trying hard to encourage tourism.

This is edited copy from Footprint Handbooks. For comprehensive details (incl address, tel no, directions, opening times and prices) please refer to book or individual chapter PDF
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