Guayaquil vs Quito: Why You Should Visit Guayaquil Instead of Quito

Guayaquil, Ecuador
Guayaquil, Ecuador | © Jess Kraft/Shutterstock

Founder, Not Your Average American

There are lots of reasons to visit Guayaquil instead of Quito, especially when you consider that this largest city in Ecuador has an international airport with direct flights to the Galapagos Islands. When compared side-by-side, several factors might sway you towards this port city full of its own unique culture, history and architecture.

Loved by over 40s

The heat

If you love summer and thrive in subtropical temperatures, then you will love Guayaquil. The average high hovers between 85 and 90 degrees Fahrenheit year round. Humidity is worse January through May, but is rarely unbearable.

Iguana Park, Guayaquil

The altitude

While the altitude in Quito is a grand 2850 meters (9,350 feet), Guayaquil lies close to sea level. No need to worry about altitude-related health problems or your ability to hike, bike, or even walk around the city.

The lifestyle

Living in a port city requires a different approach to life than living in the high mountain capital city of Quito. Guayaquil comes to life in the cooler evenings when locals flock to outdoor plazas and the breezy Malecon 2000. School vacations are scheduled to escape the most extreme heat of summer – January through March – and Guayaquileños hit the beaches in droves.

Malecon 2000, Guayaquil

The nightlife

Like many coastal cities with hot and humid days, Guayaquil comes to life at night. There are several neighborhoods where the nightlife is the main attraction with plenty of trendy bars, great restaurants, modern music and colorful people to keep it all exciting.

The food

Ecuadorians flock to the coast to eat the delicious traditional foods found all along the famous Ruta del Sol. In Guayaquil, the specialty is crab and restaurants are full to the brim on Thursday and Friday nights and Sunday afternoons, as Guayaquileños gather with mallets in hand.

Ceviche de Camarón

The coast

If you plan on visiting any beaches while in Ecuador, Guayaquil makes an excellent starting point. It lies just south of some of the most beautiful beaches on mainland Ecuador.

Parque Nacional Machalilla

The Galapagos Islands

In order to visit the Galapagos Islands, you pretty much have to fly through Ecuador. With many direct flights from the United States, your route to the archipelago could be more direct through Guayaquil.

Galapagos Islands
culture trip left arrow
 culture trip brand logo

Volcanic Iceland Epic Trip

meet our Local Insider


women sitting on iceberg


2 years.


It's the personal contact, the personal experiences. I love meeting people from all over the world... I really like getting to know everyone and feeling like I'm traveling with a group of friends.


I have so many places on my list, but I would really lobe to go to Africa. I consider myself an “adventure girl” and Africa feels like the ULTIMATE adventure!

culture trip logo letter c
group posing for picture on iceberg
group posing for picture on iceberg

Every CULTURE TRIP Small-group adventure is led by a Local Insider just like Hanna.

map of volcanic iceland trip destination points
culture trip brand logo
culture trip right arrow
landscape with balloons floating in the air


Connect with like-minded people on our premium trips curated by local insiders and with care for the world

Since you are here, we would like to share our vision for the future of travel - and the direction Culture Trip is moving in.

Culture Trip launched in 2011 with a simple yet passionate mission: to inspire people to go beyond their boundaries and experience what makes a place, its people and its culture special and meaningful — and this is still in our DNA today. We are proud that, for more than a decade, millions like you have trusted our award-winning recommendations by people who deeply understand what makes certain places and communities so special.

Increasingly we believe the world needs more meaningful, real-life connections between curious travellers keen to explore the world in a more responsible way. That is why we have intensively curated a collection of premium small-group trips as an invitation to meet and connect with new, like-minded people for once-in-a-lifetime experiences in three categories: Culture Trips, Rail Trips and Private Trips. Our Trips are suitable for both solo travelers, couples and friends who want to explore the world together.

Culture Trips are deeply immersive 5 to 16 days itineraries, that combine authentic local experiences, exciting activities and 4-5* accommodation to look forward to at the end of each day. Our Rail Trips are our most planet-friendly itineraries that invite you to take the scenic route, relax whilst getting under the skin of a destination. Our Private Trips are fully tailored itineraries, curated by our Travel Experts specifically for you, your friends or your family.

We know that many of you worry about the environmental impact of travel and are looking for ways of expanding horizons in ways that do minimal harm - and may even bring benefits. We are committed to go as far as possible in curating our trips with care for the planet. That is why all of our trips are flightless in destination, fully carbon offset - and we have ambitious plans to be net zero in the very near future.