For many international tourists, Guayaquil serves as the point to catch a flight to the famed Galapagos Islands. But there’s much more to Ecuador’s commercial capital than just being a transit point. The city has been witnessing a surge of urban improvement projects in the recent past, continuing into the present. These have given a boost to the city’s beautification programs.

From new riverfront promenades to the bustling downtown, Guayaquil has undergone a complete transformation. Surrounded by picturesque undulating hills, the city presents a pretty picture. You can also hop on one of the train services that take you to the beautiful Ecuadorian countryside. There are lots of attractions to keep you engaged in Guayaquil for at least a couple of days. So, make the most of it.

Before you set off for Guayaquil to explore Ecuador, one of the smartest decisions you can make is to purchase travel medical insurance or travel insurance. Read on to learn why. 

Travel Medical Insurance for Travelers in Guayaquil – FAQs

Falling sick on a vacation is the last thing that you would want. But it might happen without warning. Medical facilities in Guayaquil are nowhere near European/American standards. So, stay safe financially. Be sure to have travel medical insurance.

Do I Need Travel Medical Insurance Before Traveling to Guayaquil?

Ecuador ended its legal requirement for visitors to have travel medical insurance in 2021. However, there is a caveat. Many people travel to Guayaquil before flying to the Galapagos Islands. As of this writing, it is still required that you show proof of health or travel insurance to visit the Galapagos Islands. 

Why Buy Travel Medical Insurance Before Traveling to Guayaquil?

Buy travel medical insurance to enjoy your trip with a carefree mind, and to meet the requirements if you plan to visit the Galapagos Islands. If you get sick or injured during your trip, your insurance will allow you to receive necessary treatment without being solely responsible for an unaffordable bill. 

Trip cancellation Insurance for Travelers in Guayaquil – FAQs

A last-minute trip cancellation hurts. You’ve already prepaid for most of your travel expenses, and they are likely nonrefundable. While trip cancellation insurance can’t help with the disappointment of trip cancellation, it can help you get your prepaid money back. 

Why Should I Get Trip Cancellation Insurance for My Guayaquil Travel?

You won’t get back much of anything from the advance payments that you made for travel if you have to cancel your trip. With trip cancellation insurance, you can be reimbursed for your prepaid, nonrefundable expenses if you have to cancel your trip for a covered reason. 

What Should I Look for in My Guayaquil Trip Cancellation Insurance?

Obviously, trip cancellation coverage is essential, but there are other coverages your travel insurance policy should include, such as:

Guayaquil’s Most Popular Places for Travel

Days spent in Guayaquil will certainly be rewarding for you. There are several places to visit here that are a treat for the senses. The city authorities have worked hard to make Guayaquil tourism-friendly. So, chalk out your itinerary in such a way that you don’t miss the following places of interest:

Cerro Santa Ana

There is a cross placed here, dedicated to the memory of Santa Ana. There’s a 400-year-old fort here as well, and also a lighthouse. The 444-stair climb might be a bit tiring, but the breathtaking view of Guayaquil and its surroundings from atop the lighthouse is worth it. There are several cafes and a bar here as well. Spend some time here to relax and recharge yourself.

Malecon 2000

This is the signature tourist attraction of the revamped Guayaquil. A glistening promenade by the Guayas River, this place is full of restaurants, cafes, fountains, museums, and shops selling memorabilia. The promenade stretches over two kilometers, so you can have a relaxing walk here. Stop at La Rotunda to take a look at the statues of Jose de San Martin and Simon Bolivar, the legendary freedom fighters of Latin America.

La Perla

This is the largest Ferris wheel on the continent, soaring almost 200 feet above the city. Catch a ride in it and relax in the air-conditioned pods. You would get some incredible photo-ops while up in the air of the city skyline, the river, and also the Cerro Santa Ana hillside. And on weekdays, you can also bargain for lower ticket rates successfully.

Santay Island

This is the perfect place to relax among some greenery. The island can be approached through a bridge connecting it with the Calle El Oro area of Guayaquil. Besides being home to mangroves, this island also has many butterflies, raccoons, and even a few crocodiles. Take wandering walks on the island. Visit an old village here that has a museum depicting the traditional Ecuadorian way of life. And come back to the city with your lungs full of some much-needed fresh air.

Henry Morgan Pirate Ship

You have had rewarding views of the River Guayas from the promenade and atop Cerro Santa Ana. How about a cruise on the river? You would love it for sure. Hop on to the simulated pirate ship and enjoy the hourlong cruise. Make it towards the evening to get stunning views of the setting sun. Relax on Captain Morgan’s ship with a drink in hand, while admiring the lights of Guayaquil after sunset.

Key Guidelines for Travelers in Guayaquil

Guayaquil, like many of its South American counterparts, has had its share of dubious distinctions. Admittedly, the city wasn’t the safest place to be in the past. But the authorities have taken proper steps to ensure safety for citizens and tourists. While much of that has borne fruit, you would still do well to observe some basic caution.

Pickpockets and Muggers Abound

Tourists are soft targets for pickpockets and muggers in many locations around the world. Guayaquil is no exception. Keep your cash and valuables in a money belt. And stay alert in crowded locations. Avoid roaming around the city after dark. And don’t carry or flash too many valuable items. You can become a sitting duck for muggers.

Natural Disasters

Ecuador lies in a seismically active zone. This makes it prone to natural disasters like earthquakes and resultant tsunamis. Be aware of any related predictions, and follow the instructions of authorities and disaster management teams in case you are caught in an emergency.

Risks from Scammers

From fake tourist guides to unethical taxi drivers, scammers are active in Guayaquil. Book only metered taxis, and ensure that the meter is turned on at the start of the journey. Your best bet would be to get a taxi booked from the hotel. Try not to flag down taxis on the road, as many drivers are waiting to fleece unsuspecting tourists. Book local tour packages only through the hotel.

Avoid Overly Friendly Locals

This might sound a tad offensive, but it’s for your safety. And this assumes more importance in restaurants and bars. Yes, it’s a great idea to chat with locals while on a vacation. This provides an insight into their way of life. But do so in moderation. Politely refuse their offers of buying you a drink. And don’t leave your food/drink unattended. In both cases, it can be spiked. And that can land you in serious trouble.

Risks for Women Travelers

Guayaquil might not be the safest travel destination for solo women travelers. So, consider being with a companion or in a group. Incidents of harassment are not uncommon. And the local justice system isn’t held in high regard by the standards of some travelers from other regions. So, stay aware at all times. 

Before You Travel to Guayaquil – Do This

  • Avoid drinking tap water at all costs. If you are not sure about the authenticity of bottled mineral water in Guayaquil, carry a portable water purifier with you.
  • Pack items like sunscreen (SPF 50), sunglasses, and hats/umbrellas. It can get quite hot and sunny in Guayaquil, except in the rainy season (January to April).
  • Pick up a smattering of Spanish. English isn’t widely spoken apart from the touristy spots. The average person on the street can guide you much better even if you speak very basic Spanish. 
  • Insurance is essential. Don’t put your health or your money at risk. Buy travel medical insurance or travel insurance.

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