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Discover Guayaquil, Ecuador, With Carolina From Nucapacha Hostel

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Caroline from Nucapacha Hostel

Why do you work in a hostel?

Best work environment ever!

Describe your city in 3 words?

3w: Warm (weather) Warm (people) Wonderful.

Pool at Guayaquil Hostel
First thing to do after check-in: jump in the pool!
First thing to do after checking-in?

Go to the bar get a beer and jump into the pool!

The perfect day in your city?

Sunny Sundays!

First place you take visitors?

Malecon, the boardwalk overlooking the river, it’s beautiful!

Quirky places in Guayaquil?

Probably the public cemetery, which is a little spooky. Also, Bahia; 20 blocks of merchants where you can find pretty much EVERYTHING at the cheapest price possible. You can even bargain the prices, but be careful: cheap, at this place, always means fake and bad quality!

Best viewpoint of Guayaquil?

Cerro Santa Ana, also know as Las Peñas.

View from Cerro Santa Ana on the church and the whole city, by Andrew Magill
Best district to buy cool souvenirs?

The center.

Best district to get lost and look like a local?

Urdesa. Nice to walk around, very residential/commercial neighborhood. You can find plenty of restaurants. It is not as touristic as the center.

Cheesiest attraction that you can’t help but love?

The Parque historico, where the past is present!

24 hours in Guayaquil?

Take a bus to the center of the city where you’ll be able to walk along the Malecon and go to Las Peñas. Visit some of the parks and churches around there. Go to the Parque Historico and Malecon del Salado.  Get a beer, have some yogurt ice cream or pan de yuca, have a coffee in Urdesa. Go to a club if you have the chance and then eat a shawarma after the party!

Best advice about the public transportation?

It’s really cheap and they take you pretty much everywhere but this also means that it’s messy! So don’t be surprised if the buses stop anywhere, even in the middle of the street with traffic. It has improved, but still has a long way to go… but we are getting there.

Coolest bus route?

Just get lost on the #52, it takes you around the main avenues of the city!

Fun events in Guayaquil?

Fiestas de Guayaquil in October: a lot of free concerts from popular local artists. It’s usually salsa/merengue concerts. With a loooot of people. Food and beers are sold in the middle of the street!

Fiestas de Guayaquil
This pic was taken at one of the free concerts during Fiestas de Guayaquil. You usually go with a big group and stay in the middle of the street to listen to the music, drink and eat. People find the way to sell everything in the middle of the street (even with no power outlets). See the picture closely and you’ll see the back of the car full with ice and beers…

New Year: we have a tradition where we burn dolls made out of wood, old clothes and newspapers. These dolls represent all the bad things that happened during the year and by burning them we keep all bad luck and negative energies away. When we burn them we try to make it as loud as possible using “camaretas”, which are pretty loud firework (it does not have any colorful splash or anything, it is just loud).

New Year in Guayaquil

Any myths about Guayaquil?

People think Guayaquil is extremely dangerous, and it’s not like that at all. We have some areas that are dangerous as every other city but we also have great, safe places. Also, since Guayaquil is located in Ecuador, people don’t think of it as the modern city that it is. It’s true that we may not have the technology found in first world countries but we are not not developed at all.

What are you most proud of about your city?

All the improvements that it has made since the last decade. How modern it has become.

Guayaquil Before and After
On the left: how “Las Peñas” looked like around 1994. On the right: the way it looks nowadays!
Fun fact about Guayaquil?
  • We have great and cheap places to get food when the party ends, so you can easily get something to eat at 5am!
  • Here for us it’s always summer. So wear light clothes and sunblock.
  • It’s not allowed to sell alcohol on Sundays, but you have no idea how easy it is to find a place that sells it!
Great day trips from Guayaquil?

The playas! (beach) Go dolphin watching in the manglares, visit a bird island full of frigates, practice wake-boarding or just enjoy the beach!

Day trips from Guayaquil

The one souvenir a traveler should buy?
Guayaquil Hostel

Other than the panama hat, a t-shirt from the best futbol team in the city: Barcelona!

Best park to read a book?
Guayaquil Hostel
Chilling at the hostel

Actually the best place is the hostel’s hammock under the mango tree, with a full view of the pool!

Where can we find you on a Friday night?

At the hostel, having a beer with friends and guests. Friday night at Nucapacha Hostel    

Best local drink?

Beer beer beer… Pilsener, the beer of Ecuadorians, and Club!

Best hangover breakfast place?

Wherever you can get “encebollado”. It is a very popular dish in the city and very famous for its effect on hangovers. Basically, it’s kind of a fish soup with onions, tomatoes, yuca and herbs. Since this is a popular dish, there are plenty of places that offer it.

If you are not into fish for breakfast there is also a place call Café de Tere famous for its “bolones” which is green bananas smashed together into a ball with cheese or fried pork (or both). It also offers a variety of dishes with green bananas.

Cheapest meal near Nucapacha Hostel?

Lunch, or “almuerzos”. $2.5 the whole meal, including soup.

Delicious Maracuya pie…
Best dessert in Guayaquil?

Maracuya pie or cheesecake from Lattte Postre Bar…yum!!

Best coffee place?

Café Olala and Sweet & Coffee.

Useful words travelers should know?
Travel Quote
Favorite travel quote: “Little by little, one travels far”

Como llego a…. (how do I get to…)
Que chevere (that’s cool)

Most inspirational traveler?

So far, everyone coming to do volunteer work. For me there is nothing more inspirational than people going places so far away just to help.

Would you do another job?

Definitely no.


Before and after photo:

Guayaquil Hostal

For more info about Nucapacha Hostel, check out their website.

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The Hostel Worker

I once asked a fellow hostel worker if he was still sane after working in hostels for so many years. His response: "Well, sane is another word for boring." Here's to many more hostel years!

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