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What you need to know about Guayaquil

Guayaquil officially Santiago de Guayaquil (English: St. James of Guayaquil) is the largest and the most populous city in Ecuador, with around 2.69 million people in the metropolitan area, as well as the nation’s main port. The city is the capital of the Ecuadorian province of Guayas and the seat of the namesake canton. Guayaquil is located on the western bank of the Guayas River, which flows into the Pacific Ocean at the Gulf of Guayaquil.

Area: 344.5 km²
Population: About 2.69 million

 

Currency

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The currency used in Ecuador and Guayaquil is United States Dollar.

Economy

Guayaquileños’ main sources of income are: formal and informal trade, business, agriculture and aquaculture. Most commerce consists of small and medium businesses, adding an important informal economy occupation that gives thousands of guayaquileños employment. The Port of Guayaquil is the most important commercial port of the country, most import and export merchandise that gets in and out of the country passes through the Gulf of Guayaquil. It is also important to remember that it is the largest city in the country and most industries are located either in the city or its peripheral areas. Ongoing projects seek urban regeneration as a principal objective to the growth of the city’s commercial districts, as the increase of capital produces income. These projects in the city driven by the recent mayors have achieved this goal after investing large sums of money. The current municipal administration aims to convert Guayaquil into a place for first-class international tourism and business multinationals.

 

Food

Typical Guayaquil cuisine includes mostly seafood dishes such as encebollado andceviche. The most traditional dish of Guayaquil is Arroz con Menestra y Carne Asada (Rice with lentils and grilled beef). Churrasco is also a staple food of Guayaquil. During breakfast, Patacones and Bolon de Verde (fried plantain with cheese mashed and given a rounded shape) play a big role. Pan de yuca is a typical snack in Guayaquil. Local cuisine is heavily influenced by the diversity of Guayaquil’s ethnic groups which includes Italian, Spanish and Eastern African origins.

 

Government

Guayaquil’s current mayor is Jaime Nebot. He began a campaign of construction projects for the city in the early 2000s to attract tourism, that included the “urban regeneration” plan, which reconstructed the city main tourist streets’ sidewalks and fixed the city’s chaotic transit system with the construction of multiple infrastructures (speedways, overhead passages, tunnels, etc.). In August 2006, the city’s first bus rapid transit system, Metrovia, opened to provide a quicker, high-capacity service. One of the main projects was called Malecón 2000 [maleˈkon doz ˈmil], the renovation of the waterfront promenade (malecón) along the Guayas River. Another project was the creation of the Nuevo Parque Histórico, a park in a housing development area that is called Entre Ríos because it lies between the Daule and Babahoyo rivers (which confluence to form the Guayas river), in a mangrove wetland area. The park cost the city about 7 million dollars. In the year 2013, the national government led by Rafael Correa, built two pedestrian bridges. Connecting Guayaquil downtown, Santay Island and Duran city by land with the purpose of offering people the chance of making ecotourism trips on a same day return basis. The two bridges were a big addition to the Guayas river scenery.

 

Language

Official language is Spanish.

 

Weather

Guayaquil features a tropical savanna climate. Between January and April the climate is hot and humid with heavy rainfall, especially during El Niño years when it increases dramatically and flooding usually occurs. The rest of the year (from May through December) however, rainfall is minimal due to the cooling influence of the Humboldt Current, with usually cloudy mornings and afternoon and evening breezes. Guayaquil, along with most of the coastal region, was impacted by the April 16, 2016 earthquake of 6.8 magnitude. A bridge that was above a major artery, Avenida de las Americas, collapsed in the early evening of April 16, killing two people.

 

Transport

Among its major trading points are the Seaport, the largest in Ecuador and one of the biggest influx of shipping on the shores of the Pacific and José Joaquín de Olmedo International Airport. The city’s new airport, José Joaquín de Olmedo International Airport (IATA airport code: GYE), though using the same runways, had its passenger terminal completely rebuilt in 2006 and was renamed. The old passenger terminal, Simon Bolivar, is now a convention centre. Public Transport in Guayaquil is the Metrovia which is relatively new yet the most used way of public transportation.