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Health & safety

Dangers & annoyances

Guayaquil has its fair share of poverty and urban woes, though statistically and anecdotally it is certainly no more dangerous than Quito and doesn’t deserve the bleak tag that is bandied about by foreigners who spend only a few hours in the city. There is a persistent problem with post–ATM withdrawal robberies, so it’s worth being extra aware for at least a few blocks after leaving the bank. However, the main tourist areas of 9 de Octubre, the Malecón and Las Peñas are perfectly safe – not simply because there is a visible police presence but also because these are lively, vibrant areas clogged with couples and families, and not the predatory gangs that some would have you believe. The area directly north and south of the Parque del Centenario can feel dodgy at night, but simply use common sense and take the normal precautions when visiting any large city.

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While you're there

Medical services

Clínica Kennedy (238 9666; Av Periodista) The best hospital in Guayaquil, by the Policentro shopping center in the Nueva Kennedy suburb. Avenida del Periodista is also known as San Jorge.

Dr Peterson (288 8717; Acacias 608 & Av Las Monjas)

Dr Serrano Sáenz (230 1373; Boyaca 821 & Junín) Takes drop-ins and speaks English.

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