Guayaquil Warnings and Dangers

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    Coming back to the port
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    Entrance area
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Most Recent Warnings and Dangers in Guayaquil

  • DanielR's Profile Photo

    Dangerous??

    by DanielR Updated Apr 4, 2011

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    Guayaquil as any other 2 million people city is the same dangerous as.

    Don't be afraid to be the next. You better ask about all the dangerous areas where you have not to be. I recomend you to ask your travel operator of the police in streets.

    As a tip, you have to be far away from the south of the city, I mean around the port for example. It's not necessary anyway.

    Another hard place maybe can be the West of the city... there is nothing to do over there if you are by yourself.

    Security in Guayaquil has been modified for your safety, so, take it easy, I only have to say that you must walk with a copy of your passport and no jewerly stuffs.

    Cameras? mmm, maybe... by your own risk. But, I always said: If you think it'll happend.

    So, enjoy... and call me to share your experience ; )

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  • Taxi Kidnappings and Crime in Coastal Ecuador

    by ACSGuayaquil Written Jun 12, 2010

    Warden Message
    Taxi Kidnappings and Crime in Coastal Ecuador

    June 11, 2010

    The U.S. Embassy in Quito and U.S. Consulate General in Guayaquil wish to remind U.S. citizens traveling to and living in coastal Ecuador of ongoing safety and security concerns related to taxi kidnappings in the cities of Guayaquil and Manta.

    The U.S. Government continues to receive an alarming number of reports of U.S. citizens who are kidnapped and robbed in taxis in Guayaquil and Manta, incidents known locally as "secuestro express," or "express kidnappings." Taxi kidnappings have also been reported in Machala, Playas, and other coastal towns.

    Typically, U.S. citizen travelers become victims of "secuestro express" after hailing a taxi cab on the street. Shortly after entering a taxi, the vehicle is intercepted by armed accomplices of the taxi driver, who is normally complicit with the crime. The accomplices enter the vehicle, threaten passengers with weapons (typically guns and/or knives), rob passengers of their personal belongings, and then drive to various ATMs to withdraw money using the victims' debit cards. In some instances, victims of "secuestro express" have faced physical violence and/or have been sexually assaulted.

    "Express kidnappings" have occurred even in the more affluent areas of Guayaquil, and target both local citizens and international visitors. Incidents involving U.S. citizens are most frequently reported at the north end of the Malecón 2000 near Las Peñas, outside of the San Marino Mall, and in the Urdesa restaurant/bar district, but have been reported in all areas of the city.

    Due to the seriousness of this crime, all personnel working for the U.S. Diplomatic Mission in Guayaquil have been prohibited from riding in taxis hailed off the street, even yellow taxis. Yellow taxis, local buses, and other forms of public transportation are expressly off-limits to U.S. diplomatic personnel in Guayaquil. As an alternative, employees have been told to use their personal vehicles, or to call one of the vetted taxi services available on the U.S. Consulate General's website: http://guayaquil.usconsulate.gov

    It is vital that U.S. citizens understand the risks associated with using taxis in Guayaquil, how best to avoid dangerous situations, and who to contact if one becomes a victim of crime. U.S. citizens are urged not to hail taxis on the street, and to exercise caution when selecting a taxi in all areas of Guayaquil, regardless of location and/or time of day. We strongly encourage U.S. citizens in the Guayaquil area to use only vetted, radio-dispatched taxis, such as those listed on the U.S. Consulate General's website.

    If you find yourself involved in a taxi kidnapping and/or robbery, it is best to be non-confrontational and cooperate with the perpetrator. Nothing material is as valuable as your life. Following a criminal incident, U.S. citizens are encouraged to file a "denuncia," or "police report," with the local police and to inform the American Citizens Services Office at the U.S. Consulate General in Guayaquil.

    * * *

    Americans living or traveling in Ecuador are encouraged to register with the nearest U.S. Embassy or Consulate through the State Department's travel registration website https://travelregistration.state.gov , and to obtain updated information on travel and security within Ecuador.

    Americans without Internet access may register directly with the nearest U.S. Embassy or Consulate. By registering, American citizens make it easier for the Embassy or Consulate to contact them in case of emergency. Please see the following links for local Warden Message information in Quito and Guayaquil, respectively: http://ecuador.usembassy.gov/ and http://guayaquil.usconsulate.gov/.

    U.S. citizens should consult the Country Specific Information for Ecuador and the latest Travel Alerts and Warnings and Worldwide Caution at the Department's web site at http://travel.state.gov. Updated information on travel and security in Ecuador may also be obtained from the Department of State by calling 1-888-407-4747 within the United States or by calling 1-202-501-4444 outside the United States.

    The U.S. Consulate General in Guayaquil is located at the corner of Avenida 9 de Octubre and Garcia Moreno (near the Hotel Oro Verde); telephone (011-593-4)232-3570 during business hours (8:00 a.m. to 5:00 p.m.) or 232-1152 for after-hours emergencies; fax (011-593-4)232-0904. See the Consulate General web site at http://guayaquil.usconsulate.gov/.

    The U.S. Embassy in Quito is located at Avigiras E12-170 y Eloy Alfaro. The hours and telephone number for American Citizen Service enquiries is (011) 593-2-398-5000. Within the same city use the last seven digits. Add the city code for intercity telephone calls. Public call-in hours are Monday through Thursday 8:00 to 10:00 a.m. and Friday 10:00 to 11:00 a.m. Appointments for passports, Consular Reports of Birth Abroad (CRBAs) or Notaries can be scheduled through the Embassy Web site: http://ecuador.usembassy.gov. Appointment times for passports and Consular Reports of Birth Abroad (CRBAs) and are between 1:30 p.m. and 3:30 p.m., Monday through Thursday, excluding U.S. and Ecuadorian holidays. Appointment times for Notary services are Monday and Thursday from 1:30 to 3:30 pm. Appointments times for Immigrant Visas are Tuesday and Thursday from 3:00 to 4:00 pm and should be scheduled through the Call Center at 1-800-010-145. No appointment is required for adoptions and re-entry permits. Walk-ins are welcome Monday through Thursday between 1:30 p.m. and 3:30 p.m. Walk-ins for Federal Benefits are accepted Tuesday and Wednesday between 1:30 and 3:30 p.m. Walk-ins for reports of death, to pick up passports or CRBAs or for emergencies are accepted Monday through Thursday between 1:30 and 3:30 p.m.

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  • Robbed by customs officials in Guayaquil Airport!

    by kiwionholiday Written Oct 16, 2009

    We were robbed at Guayaquil airport.
    We had checked in and were waiting in the departure lounge when we heard my partner's name called over the loudspeaker along with a number of other people from our flight. When we went to the counter we were told that I was to wait in the departure lounge while he went to unlock our checked-in baggage for a search.
    He was led to a room in which about a dozen military personnel were waiting and unlocked our two bags. Other people on the flight were having their bags searched. One man in military uniform opened up our two suitcases to search them (he was unsupervised). The search was conducted in a very suspicious manner. By his furtive actions and the way he kept hiding what he was doing, my partner became convinced that he was either removing something from our bags, or (even worse) planting something inside them. He was too intimidated by the armed military around him to do anything about it. No one from the airline was allowed in the area to assist the passengers.
    Sure enough, when we arrived at our destination we found the camera case had been unzipped and the camera stolen.
    I'm not sure what anyone can do about this other than avoiding Guayaquil altogether. If we'd spoken up, who knows what would have happened to us. We will certainly never go back to this dangerous and corrupt city. Not only did we lose an expensive camera, but much worse, we lost all of our photos from our three-week holiday in South America.

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  • grandmaR's Profile Photo

    Port Security

    by grandmaR Updated Feb 23, 2009

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    Entrance area
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    There is lots of security around the ports in most places in South America. Guayaquil was no exception. The port website says

    "Measures are being taken to ensure that the Port of Guayaquil becomes the most efficient in the region and a continental leader in security, technology and trade facilitation... The port offers year-round service and is open 24 hours a day. Its facilities include a container terminal with four 600-foot berths and nearly 3 million square feet of paved container area. ..

    "..an agreement with the city of Guayaquil to build and operate a passenger terminal in the boardwalk area of Malecón 2000. ..The passenger terminal in the city’s main tourist area will feature a 600-foot mooring for cruise ships behind the Crystal Palace and close to the southern market area.

    If they want cruise ships to come here though, they are going to have to clear them without making demands.

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  • grandmaR's Profile Photo

    Official Difficulty

    by grandmaR Updated Feb 22, 2009

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    Menacing looking statue
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    The ship was not cleared in a timely manner, and eventually they said that we all had to have shore passes signed by an Ecuadorian officer in addition to our ship card. They had to make each individual shore pass up and passed them out to us in our staterooms. (photo 2) It was still only about 10:20.

    Then there were more arguments on the pier. The Ecuadorians were making (according to the cruise director) 'unreasonable demands'. The Port Lecture person (who grew up in Panama and so spoke South American Spanish) spent a lot of time arguing with them at the gangway, and eventually it was decided that we would have to take customs forms and fill them out and give them back when we returned to the ship.

    I suspect that the hold-up was either because we had a group of Russians on board or because the ship did not provide an expected amount of gifts to the officials.

    Bob thought we should have just left without dis-embarking any passengers, but the Russians were expecting to fly from here to Quito.

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  • ROBBED BY THE YELLOW TAXI DRIVER!

    by tn1traveler Written Sep 30, 2008

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    My group was hijacked by a yellow taxi driver at night from the restaurant Parillada Nato near downtown on Sept. 13, 2008. We got in the cab, the driver diverted us from our route to our hotel, we took backstreets until a 2nd yellow taxi driver brought the robbers with big guns. They climbed in our cab and took us on a robbery run that lasted 20 minutes or so. They took all our belongings, credit cards (wrote the numbers down from our cards) and waved the big gun at us many times. We feared for our lives. Finally they shoved us out in a remote part of town, Duran. The Lord was merciful to us and let us live through this experience. Do not trust all cabbies! The bandits wanted us to believe the taxi driver played no part in the robbery, but it was too obvious...he led us to backstreets that were not on our route, he didn't even back up when we were cut off in the street by the 2nd taxi. He was definitely part of the plan, as was the 2nd yellow cabbie who carried the bandits to us. The restaurant should have had police officers on the premises as should our hotel Marcelius. None to be seen. Only chance of heading off these robberies is to have police escort.

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  • spartan07's Profile Photo

    Dont be to flashy.

    by spartan07 Written Feb 8, 2007

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    Like every poor country, there is a higher risk of getting robbed if you seem to have money.
    The time i was in the city i did not get assulted, because i took precaution everywhere i went.
    i did not wear anything to new like expensive sneakers, jewlery, digital camaras, but maybe i was just paranoid. Do not take the local buses, they are very high risk, take a taxi instead (very cheap).

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  • namastedc's Profile Photo

    Don't get 'jacked at the airport!!!

    by namastedc Written Feb 22, 2005

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    Car jackings in Guayaquil are a very real threat. This is especially true coming from the airport.

    If you are on an international flight coming in after dark (which, unfortunately, is when most flights do come in), try to have a hotel shuttle come and pick you up.

    Something to know. The problem is so bad that the city offers police escorts to anyone who wants them, for free. It may seem extreme, but it is a VERY smart idea to talk to one of the police standing right outside the international terminal, and have them follow your taxi back to your hotel. They expect NOTHING in return.

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  • No problem in tourist areas

    by CaptainAmerica Written May 2, 2004

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    A pickpocket is hiding!

    Guayaquil has some of Ecuador most poverty (poor campesinos attracted by the light of the city) and tourists can be east target, as in Paris or New York. However, the touristic areas are full of cops and we never felt unsecure at all.
    The city can become dangerous at night.
    Use common sense like any other big city and everything should be fine.

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  • gaolei's Profile Photo

    Overall, a dangerous city.

    by gaolei Written Oct 20, 2002

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    The first impression of the city is all of the guards with guns. Even McDonalds has an armed guard. My hotel had two guards with bullet-proof vests and sub machine guns. I think they are trying to tell us something about the dangers on the streets here.

    The weekend flea market is to be avoided. A friend was slugged in broad daylight, knocked out and robbed of everything on him.

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  • dreamkapture's Profile Photo

    Guayaquil as deacrease is...

    by dreamkapture Updated Aug 26, 2002

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    Guayaquil as deacrease is crime rate in the last year, Of course this is a big city, be aware, be alert, and try to blend inn. Like any big city in the world it as is inconvenient, but nothing to be alarm of. So just be carfull that's all.

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  • montxito's Profile Photo

    The downtown is dangerous in...

    by montxito Written Aug 25, 2002

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    The downtown is dangerous in the nights, during the day take care with your photo camera, the pickpockets are very common in the area. The marina next to the river is a nice and safe place, because is plenty of people and has many good restaurants and a fabulous views of the city and the Guayas river.

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  • Joemidwest's Profile Photo

    Little green benches

    by Joemidwest Updated Oct 3, 2005

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    Iron? Steel?  Very very Hard!
    1 more image

    When you are looking for that "perfect camera angle", don't forget about those dangerous green benches! They are only a foot and a half high and they lurk in wait.

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