Guayaquil was a sultry place to be sure. It was a city of over 3 million people. It was busy, sultry, dirty, and at the same time beautiful. It is the gateway to the Galapagos Islands. By far, my favorite place was the Parque de las Iguanas. On the whole, I think that Guayaquil was well worth the visit, however I don't wish to ever return. I never really felt safe in Guayaquil. Perhaps I was pre-biased based the research I did before the trip.
Hostals are small non-traditional hotels. They are not chains and frequently family owned, and sometimes are actually in peoples homes. A hostal may consist of a room in a home or a house or small hotel converted to serve perhaps 20 guests or more. Hostals frequently include a free breakfast and offer an "off the beaten path" way to experience the country and meet natives and ex-pats from all over the world. If you ask around and do your homework, you can find very nice places to stay in nice and safe neighborhoods with ample opportunity to interact with very interesting people. An added plus to staying hostals is that they are usually much less expensive than hotel chains. I highly recommend them.
|Hostal Macau business card|
|Hostal business card (back) with map|
|Hostal view from the front|
|Welcoming front door|
|Pleasant stairway to upstairs rooms|
|Bright and cheerful hall. Murals painted by local talent|
|Small sitting area, and stairs to third floor.|
|Yet more hallway art. A skylight above aids in lighting.|
|Spartan but clean room (twin beds)|
|Small table with small TV- My room was much larger with larger tv and more dressers, etc. Still, safe and very comfortable, clean and quiet.|
|Very simple bathroom.|
|A/C unit next to window- quiet and very effective. Very nice after being in the heat and humidity.|
|View of street and courtyard from second floor.|
This hostal was very nice, and if you haven't ever tried one, I highly recommend it. You have to be up for an adventure. You won't find room service and all of the "extras", but it is fun, cozy, and gets you close to the "pulse" of the people.
Next up...Salinas Ecuador, and the coast.