Ecuador attractions come with its biodiversity, natural beauty, thriving jungles of Amazon, awe-inspiring national parks, indigenous culture, and an amazing Amazonian community. Discover this jewel in South America and travel from the mesmerizing Andes to the night-time walks through the Amazon jungles. Continue the experience as you soak in the mineral-rich thermal pools in Papallacta. Visit the spectacular Avenue of Volcanoes in Quito, and snorkel into the clear blue waters of the Galapagos. Your holiday will be nothing short of an adventure as you dive deep in the best dive spots. Go on wildlife watching tours, hike over lava beds, kayak, surf, and explore the archipelago of the Galapagos Islands off the Ecuador coast in the beautiful Pacific Ocean. The islands are a unique natural World Heritage Site with amazing landscapes, blue-waters, volcanic rocks, and white sandy beaches. The travel guide takes you through a journey of the various Ecuador things to do and see, to make your holiday memorable.
USEFUL INFO ABOUT ECUADOR
Official Name: Republic of Ecuador
Form of Government: Unitary presidential constitutional republic
Famous For: Panama Hats | The Galapagos Islands | Bananas | The Equator | Spanish Colonial Architecture | Cocao | Hummingbirds | Dora the Explorer | Shrunken Heads | WikiLeaks | Orchids |Yasuni | Ecuador Amazon | Cuy | Andes Mountains | Hotspot for North American Retirees
National Symbols: Ecuadorian Coat Of Arms | National Flag | National Anthem | National Motto | National Flower | National Tree | National Animal | National Mountains | National River | National Instrument
Driving Side: Right
Airports in Ecuador: Mariscal Sucre International Airport | Jose Joaquin de Olmedo International Airport | Seymour Airport | Mariscal Lamar International Airport | San Cristobal Airport | Eloy Alfaro International Airport | Francisco de Orellana Airport | Ciudad de Catamayo Airport | Lago Agrio Airport | Colonel Carlos Concha Torres Airport | Santa Rosa International Airport | General Ulpiano Paez Airport
The internet is available widely with the main providers being TV Cable, CNT, and PuntoNet. There are a host of plans and prices to choose from with some of the operators offering discounts. For the internet on the go, you could choose dongle services from Claro and Movistar. Quito and Guayaquil offer a range of WI-FI packages. If your phone is 3G compatible, you could choose a pay-as-you-go SIM that will enable connectivity. You could choose a monthly mobile package as well and get some mobile data included. There are plenty of WI-FI enabled cafes in large malls and airports, as well as hotels/ restaurants, that provide internet connectivity. However, the speed may not be fast, and costs may not always be free.
CALLING CODE: +593 Fire brigade: 102 Ambulance: 131 Police: 101 ER24: 911
Ecuador currency is the United States Dollar and the country has used the currency since 2000 after a financial crisis of the country's economy. The Ecuador currency code is USD and the symbol is $.
The Sucre was the Ecuador currency between 1884 and 2000. The code was ECS and the symbol was S/. It was subdivided into 10 Decimos or 100 Centavos. The currency was replaced by the United States Dollar due to the financial crisis in 1998-99.
Please note that Travelers Cheques are NOT accepted in most places.
Indian tribes populated the coastal section and Andean basin when the first Europeans reached the Pacific Coast in 1526. The Incan Empire stretched from the highland to an area near Quito. Further on, the first Spanish settlement in Ecuador happened in 1534 at Quito. Four years later, another settlement was established in Guayaquil. Francisco Pizarro extended the Spanish rule over the coastal lowlands and highland basins. Ecuador was now part of Peru until 1740 and transferred to the Viceroyalty of New Granada and the Spanish colonial period lasted until 1822. Although the first rebellion took place in 1809 it was only in 1822 that Ecuador gained independence and was part of the Federation of Gran Colombia.
In 1830, it withdrew from the federation and the country was run by dictators with a lot of conflict and instability between large landowners and small farm owners. Ecuador changed its constitution 13 times and had 18 presidents between 1897 and 1934 and 25 presidents between 1934 and 1988. The cocoa boom helped stabilize the country's economy at the end of the 19th century and for the first quarter of the 20th century.
Ecuador's geography map indicates that Ecuador lies along the earth's equator from where the country derives its name. The country is located on the west coast of South America and officially controls the Galapagos Islands located 620 miles from the Ecuador mainland. The country is incredibly biodiverse and varied with an interesting range from the Amazon basin to the Andes.
Ecuador geography consists of the coastal lowlands and the mountain areas, the central Andes and it's two major chains which are the Cordillera Occidental in the west and the Cordillera Oriental in the east, the lower mountains and lowlands of the east and the Galapagos Islands located 1000 km to the west. It is thus divided into the Costa (coast), Sierra (mountains), and Oriente (east) along with one insular region, the Galapagos Islands.
The Andes Mountains have the Cotopaxi which is the highest active volcano in the world. The Galapagos Islands are a unique destination with varied birds, plants, and reptile species. The Costa plain region is known for famous banana plantations and the Sierra is made up of farmland. Ecuador is thus considered the most diverse area of the world with over 25,000 plant species and over 1600 bird species. You could look out for the Galapagos tortoise, Galapagos penguin, iguanas, and the blue-footed booby. It is here in the islands that Charles Darwin began his study of evolution.
The country borders the Pacific Ocean at the Equator on the west, Colombia in the north, and Peru in the east and south. Ecuador tourism welcomes you with various tour packages and cruise services to a wonderland of diverse land formations.
Ecuador culture and art are influenced by Catholicism and Spanish colonialism. The country is famous for its ceramics, textiles, sculptures, woodcarvings, handicrafts, clothing, and paintings. The most notable indigenous handicraft in Ecuador is the Panama Hat. These hats were made by indigenous groups in the 16th century using native plants.
Flutes are one of the most important instruments in Ecuador such as panpipes called zampogna and vertical flute called the Quena. Other musical instruments are mandolins, clarinets, violins, brass, bandolina, guitarra, and charango that are still in use today. Brass bands and solo singers entertain tourists in Quito`s bars. The coast is influenced by African rhythms such as cumbia music that is melodious and dance-worthy.
Food and Drink
Ecuador cuisine is unique in style from the three main regions, the highland, coastline, and Oriente. Dinner tables are filled with delicious varieties such as roast guinea pig and locro (a potato soup) which is a specialty. The coastal regions offer fabulous seafood while the Oriente region offers lip-smacking dishes made of rice, yucca (manioc root type), fish, and banana. The piranha fish is also offered that you could have accompanied by a bowl of aji (hot pepper sauce) as most food here is not spicy.
Must-Try Ecuador National Dishes
Cuy (roasted guinea pig), Locro (soup of corn, potato, avocado, and cheese), Empanadas (corn stuffed with meat, and vegetables), Llapingachos (cheesy cakes), Seco de Chivo (goat stew), Ceviche (seafood raw cooked in lime, and spice), Encocados (fish with coconut sauce), Aji (hot pepper sauce), Fanesca (soup of beans, cod, and grain), Chirimoya (a jungle fruit), Pepinos (sweet cucumber)
Must-Try Ecuador National Drinks
Pilsner (beer), Club (popular beer), Pisco (local brandy), Chicha (corn drink), Inca Kola (a green Irn- Bru), Herbal Teas (made from native plants)
Locals in this beautiful country are warm and courteous with a mix of formal and conservative. Customary greetings such as Buenos Dias for `good morning` and Como Esta for `how are you` are commonly spoken. While greeting an acquaintance, it is customary to shake hands with a smile, whereas for friends, a hug and a single kiss on the left cheek is customary. The language barrier is tricky, so do pick up a few Spanish greetings to make your travel experience easy going.
In Ecuador, the family plays an important role and respect for elders is taken seriously. While addressing someone, it is a good idea to show respect by addressing 'senor' for men and 'senora' for women instead of 'you'. Bargaining is common especially in the handicraft market of Otavalo. However, be firm but not impolite and walk away with a smile even if you do not win in the bargaining.
Punctuality here is not very important. So, it is fine to arrive late at a party as it is not very common to come across a punctual local. It is common to be complemented by male strangers on the street, a cultural nuance. You could either feel flattered or walk past ignoring the male attention. The trip can be a sure success if you interact with a few local people and make new friends.
Ecuador's capital, Quito is rich in historical sites and Ecuador culture. The historic center is the first UNESCO World Heritage Site, a site that has the best-preserved colonial attractions.
Visit the Plaza de la Independencia that includes a monument to honor the brave who fought for the country's independence in 1809.
Explore the fascinating museum, Museo de la Ciudad with its many exhibition halls, to take you through the history of the city from the pre-Columbian era.
The highlight of the Ecuador attractions is the famous Galapagos Islands that is home to some unique wildlife and marine life such as turtles, manta rays, and fascinating sharks.
Feel the thrill of a bungee jump or white-water rafting in Banos, the adventure capital of Ecuador.
Experience the 'Swing At The End Of The World' in Casa del Arbol that propels you to an exciting depth below overlooking an active volcano in Mount Tungurahua at a distance.
Climb up to the summit of Cotopaxi Volcano, an active volcano in the Andean Mountains. A convenient way to also travel Cotopaxi is the Wanderbus, a hop-on, and hop-off service.
Relax by the pristine Lake Quilotoa and be fascinated by the still beautifully clear water in the crater that was once a former volcano.
If you want to relax and leave the rush of life behind, Cuenca city is a favorite Ecuador place to visit, with rustic churches, museums, and the exciting El Cajas National Park.
Ecuador Weather | ECU Climate
The best time to visit the Ecuador highlands is when the Ecuador weather is dry and sunny. Travel to Ecuador during the months of June to September, considered the dry season to enjoy the grand mountains, volcanoes, and panoramic views. June to September is considered the peak season, so you can expect a tourist rush and possibly higher accommodation costs.
It is worthwhile to note, however, that Ecuador Andes enjoys spring-like weather all year through. Ecuador temperature during the day can reach about 25℃ with the nights being chilly at 10℃ mostly. It is good to remember also that Ecuador's weather is dry and warm in December and early January also, a good time to travel during the Christmas and New Year celebrations.
October to May is considered the wet season. However, Ecuador weather has many days of dry spells with mornings of clear sky and rain often during the early afternoon. The rain, however, lasts for an hour or two only. It is interesting to note that in Ecuador, the wet season is considered the summer season.
Visit Ecuador With Family
Take a visit to the amazing Galapagos National Park and wander around the beach and port to encounter some amazing wildlife such as wild flamingos, sea lions, land iguanas, giant manta rays, hammerheads and more.
Enjoy a snorkeling adventure at the free snorkeling spots on Isla San Cristobal Galapagos for some great time in the underwater world among amazing marine life.
Take a journey to the popular Ecuador attraction, The Middle of The World, a museum in Quito with a 30-meter tall monument made of iron and concrete covered with polished andesite stone. Crossing the Equator is an amazing feeling.
Go on a shopping expedition with your family to Otavalo Market famous for handicrafts, fabrics, straw hats, leather items, artisan crafts, imitation jewelry, scarves, and much more.
Visit Ecuador as a Couple
Have an amazing time at the Museo Templo del Sol Pintor Ortega Maila for its outdoor sculpture area, fascinating paintings, aromatherapy sessions, amazing coca tea, and a must-see museum for the replica of the ancient Sun Temple.
Ride on the Devil's Nose Train, a stress-free romantic 45-minute experience from the town of Alausi to the town of Silambe and end the day with some exotic Ecuadorian lunch. The trip takes you through some hair raising and breathtaking scenery down the rocky slopes of the Andes.
Take a horseback ride up the Ruminahui Mountain to get a closer look at the Cotopaxi Volcano. You also have an option of a hiking expedition to the Cotopaxi glacier and up to the extinct volcano, Volcan Pasochoa on mountain bikes.
Take a thrilling canyoning ride in Banos de Santa to marvel at the excellent views and have a unique adventure as a couple. You can also practice zip lining and spend about three hours in the Canyon.
Visit Ecuador with Friends
Take the half-day climbing tour using multi-pitch techniques under the guidance of a trainer in the city of Banos. Climb the walls made of basalt rock left by the eruptions of the Tungurahua Volcano.
Go on a surfing expedition and enjoy the amazing beaches on the coastline of Ecuador, a great place to become a skillful surfer and take part in surf lessons if required.
Climb up the Chimborazo, an inactive volcano, and reach the highest peak in Ecuador. It is also considered the closest point to the sun because its location is along with the equatorial bulge. You are famously on the farthest point from the earth's center here.
Visit the El Cajas National Park to witness a beautiful combination of hills with lush tundra vegetation and lagoons. The highest point being at 4450 m above sea level that provides some breathtaking viewpoints.
What To Buy?
Alpaca Wool Blankets
Jewelry, Keychains, Ornaments
A spectacular Ecuador place to visit, the loop offers gorgeous views of the crater lake. The loop connects to several hiking trails across several Andean villages you could tour. Visit the local flea market as well for a little bit of shopping along the way. The crater can also be accessed by bus. Although, trekking the 34 km loop around the massive crater lake is highly recommended. Best Time to Visit: All year Entry Price: $2
Take an awesome Amazonian experience in eastern Ecuador and glide on one of the many tributaries of the Amazon River. Reaching the Ecuadorian Amazon takes some effort, but the experience of the remote jungle is totally worthwhile. Fish for piranhas, look out for pink river dolphins, the search of anacondas as you float through the lush rainforest. The jungle also has reptilian life such as monkeys, jaguars, tapirs, and more.
Best Time to Visit: All year Entry Price: $198 for a private safari
Mindo village in the Andes Mountain is a soothing experience amidst nature. If you are up to an adventure you could horse ride, raft, mountain bike, and participate in bird watching through the day. It is also exciting to learn the process of chocolate making at El Quetzal del Mindo as you soak in the beauty of the farmlands and streams.
Best Time to Visit: All year Entry Price: $10
Little Miami Beach
Explore the shorelines to soak in some sun and sand at the Salinas Beach and spot some sea turtles laying eggs near the shore. Have a fun day surfer or yacht owners and enjoy some quality beach time with pleasant weather all year through. You will surely feel laid-back in this hidden beach paradise.
Best Time to Visit: December and January Entry Price: As per the tour package
A not to miss Ecuador attraction, the glorious Galapagos Islands beckons you with a distinctive ecosystem in the Pacific Ocean. Your certified tour guide will ensure you get to encounter varied marine animals and birds such as penguins, iguanas, sea lions, an unforgettable experience. Santa Cruz Island has the best Ecuador things to do such as snorkeling at the Tortuga Bay.
Best Time to Visit: Winter Months Entry Price: $2500 (short cruise)
San Francisco Church
This beautiful church on the Plaza San Francisco dates to the 1500s with twin towers on each side of the entrance to the massive complex. Be amazed at the spectacular Baroque interior and splendid religious paintings, carvings, textiles, handicrafts at the Convent Museum. This is the most famous Ecuador attraction in Quito's historic center.
Best Time to Visit: Winter Months Entry Price: $2
Podocarpus National Park
Also referred to as the 'Botanical Garden of America' this amazing Ecuador place to visit has a varied range of flora and fauna. With more than 4000 species of plants and trees, the humid forests here are fascinating with some popular plant species such as cinchona, Ecuador's national tree.
Best Time to Visit: Winter Months Entry Price: $10
More Places to Visit in Ecuador
Cajas National Park
Church of San Sebastian
Plaza San Blas Square
New Cathedral of Cuenca
Basilica del Voto Nacional
Charles Darwin Research Station
The Boardwalk of Guayaquil
Nariz del Diablo
The Hot Springs of Banos
Most Popular Regions and Cities to Visit in Ecuador Quito
Quito, the capital city is rich in architectural beauty, beautiful colonial buildings, churches, and a blend of modern and traditional worlds. Get the best view of the city from the Pichincha Volcano, an unparalleled panoramic view that you can get. You can reach the top by a gondola ride or on foot.
Visit For: Middle of the World, Basilica of the National Vow, Church of the Jesuits, Pichincha Volcano, El Panecillo
From white water rafting, mountain biking, bridge jumps, active volcanoes, stunning waterfalls and more, Banos is a thrill-seekers' paradise. The luxurious thermal water, Tungurahua Volcano, Devil's Cauldron Waterfall are just a few of the Ecuador attractions here.
Visit For: Tungurahua Volcano, Devil's Cauldron Waterfall, Thermal Springs, La Casa del Ãrbol, Cascada Manto de la Novia, Termas de la Virgen, Cascada Cabellera de la Virgen
A popular Ecuador thing to do is to visit the nature lovers' popular retreat, Mindo. A tiny town welcomes you to tours of butterfly farms, orchid field walking trails, horse riding expeditions, mountain biking, zip-lining excursions and more. Listen to the relaxing sounds of nature and enjoy a relaxed day.
Visit For: Casa Amarillo, Orchid Garden, Ruta de las Cascadas, Mindo`s Butterfly Farm, El Dia de Los Muertos, Zipline Over the Forest
Tena is a beautiful town with spectacular views of the Sumaco Volcano. On clear days there are plenty of Ecuador things to do such as nature trails, wild swimming spots, white-water rafting, or just grab some peaceful time by the mesmerizing waterfalls. Enjoy a hearty local meal at one of the restaurants too.
Visit For: Amazonico La Isla Park, Sumaco Galeras National Park, Tena Park, Jumandi Caves, Kallari, Laguna Azul
Otavalo is home to the weekly Saturday market from where you can buy the best souvenirs and gifts. Be among market owners in a world full of color and noise as you bargain your way to buying gifts for your loved ones back home. Trading in these streets dates to the pre-Incan times.
Visit For: Otavalo Market, Condor Park, Mercado 24 de Mayo, Volcan Imbabura, Museo Otavalango
Other Popular Cities in Ecuador
This celebration is devoted to Inti, the sun god and takes place in late June throughout the Andes. Residents gather in the town of Cotacachi that has the largest celebration dressed in black pointed hats and goatskin chaps. The festival is a delight to watch with the locals dancing, chanting, and blowing their conch shell horns. Food stalls serve delicious local cuisine too.
Location: Cotacachi Date: Late June
The festival celebrates the beginning of the annual rains in September to pay homage to the growing season. You could enjoy yourself with musical events, dancing, and a treat buffet of food from chicken, pulled pork, potatoes, hominy, and more. This festival is a three-day event.
Location: Ecuador Highlands Date: September
Dia de Los Difuntos
The festival honors the loved ones who have passed on and families prepare delicious Colada Morada, bread in the shape of babies and other treats. They picnic at the graves of their ancestors and is Ecuador`s version of the Day of the Dead. Location: Ecuador Date: Late October to early November
Fiestas de Quito
Quito streets are filled with music and celebrations which occur in late November to the 6th of December. This week-long event celebrates the foundation of Quito with events such as bullfighting at the Plaza de Toros, flamenco dancing performances, and theatre shows. It is one of the city's favorite events.
Location: Quito Date: Late November to 6 December
During the Holy Week leading up to Easter Semana Santa is celebrated. Fanesca, the traditional soup is sold at local restaurants and is made of hard-boiled eggs, salty fish, and 12 types of grains and legumes to represent the 12 apostles. Devoted Catholics make a 3-mile journey dressed in purple robes and carry wooden crosses in the historic city of Quito.
Location: Quito Date: March
Other festivals/events celebrated in Ecuador are
Independence Day and Simon Bolivar's Birthday
All Souls Day
Christmas and New Year
Guayaquil Foundation Day
Cuenca Independence Day
All tourists need to have a passport valid for at least six months from their date of travel. Ecuador visa and passport requirements indicate that citizens from Britain, Australia, Canada, USA, and other EU countries do not require a visa to travel into the country.
Visa-on-arrival / iVisa
Ecuador tourist visas are not required by nationals referred above for a stay of 90 days in a 12-month period. An Ecuador visa for Indians and a few other countries are not required in advance. They can get the visa on arrival in Ecuador provided they have valid travel documents. Passport holders of the following countries need a visa to travel to Ecuador as a tourist.
The Democratic Republic of the Congo
For a visa extended beyond 90 days of stay, you must apply for temporary residence from the Consulates of Ecuador in your country.
Unfortunately, Ecuador is not a supported country on ivisa. For further information, it is advisable to contact the nearest embassy of Ecuador.
More Types of Visas There are three types of visas for travel which are;
Ecuador tourist visa, Ecuador temporary resident visa, Ecuador permanent resident visa.
For an extension up to 90 days additional on a tourist visa, you must apply for an Ecuador immigration visa at the Immigration office. The cost of the extension is $230 plus $50 for a consular fee. Remember, you are allowed 180 days maximum per year on an Ecuador tourist visa. You can be fined heavily by the authorities with a hefty fine of $2000 if you overstay.
You can also apply for a six- month Commercial Act Visa at the Ecuadorian Embassy in your country. The processing fee is $230, plus a $30 application fee, plus a $40 one-time fee. The proof of income must be met which is $600 per month.
You can apply for an Ecuador residency visa only if you have a Commercial Act Visa for permanent residency status in the country.
Ecuador tourist visas are valid for 90 days within a 12-month period and can also be used for multiple entries.
You must apply for a temporary residence visa or extended tourist visa for a stay longer than 90 days from the Consulate or Embassies of Ecuador.
Special tourist visa has a longer duration of 180 days and can be obtained by applications to the Embassy or Consulate of Ecuador in your country.
Domestic flights are not more than 30 to 45 minutes and flying is the ideal transportation intercity in Ecuador. Apart from flights to Galapagos, domestic flights cost about $170 round trip. Fifteen cities in Ecuador have airports with Quito and Guayaquil harboring international airports. Almost all flights start or end in the two cities. TAME, AeroGal, SAEREO are some of the domestic airlines in Ecuador.
Taxis are yellow in color with orange license plates with rides that cost around $1 during the day and just $0.50 to $1 added during the nights. It is illegal to not have the meter running and the taxi driver can be fined heavily. Beach areas and in smaller cities, taxis ply with less police presence and a lit bit of negotiation is not a bad idea.
Hotels normally use private cars with executive drivers to ply you around. They are safe to use and cost usually $1 more than a metered taxi for a short drive. Make sure the private driver has a license and a good driving record. They are usually courteous and friendly, and you could hire a car with a driver for a whole day.
Bus travel is the most popular and cheapest way of getting around. The long-distance intercity buses charge more than $2.50 an hour and offer ejecutivo or first-class services. They do not make unscheduled stops. All cities have a Terminal Terrestre, a central bus terminal where you can buy tickets and grab a good seat with a TV screen facility provided. Quito provides modern busses that run on separate tracks and is called the `Trolebus`.
The vans can carry about 8, 12, or 20 persons and travel between main cities such as Quito, Cuenca, Salinas, and others. Some van companies use unlicensed drivers so be aware of transport documents before you take the ride. Van services cost around $3 to $4 per hour. You could probably look out for other options before choosing the van mode of travel.
You could choose a yacht or cruise ship to get to the Galapagos Island and this is a very scenic way to travel. It is more expensive than flying but totally worth the experience. You could hire a boat to travel around the island. Try a canoe or speed boat as well to reach a few Ecuador attractions such as Cuyabeno National Park.
Rail travel runs along short routes and are day trips mostly designed for tourists. Do not miss a tour on the dramatic train ride along La Nariz del Diablo called The Devil's Nose. You could also take the weekend train excursion between Quito and the Area Nacional de RecreaciÃ³n El Boliche, near Cotopaxi, another famous Ecuador thing to do.
Via Air Route
International flights land in Santa Cruz and Baltra in the Galapagos. International commercial flights also come into the mainland in Quito, Guayaquil, Santa Rosa, Tulcan, and other airports. Air travel is usually the best option and the safest. Air Europa, KLM, Iberia are some of the international airlines that operate in the city.
Ecuador and the Galapagos Islands are one of the most popular Southern Pacific cruise destinations. Most passenger cruises stop in San Cristobal or Guayaquil and offer delightful experiences. Travel to Ecuador and the neighboring islands and explore the South American coastline.
Ecuador has got a few roads that have become four-lane freeways in Quito, Guayaquil ring road, Machala - Pasaje lane among others. The Pan-American Highway goes across the north to south and the Sierra Region plays an important role in road transport across the country. However, road travel is considered dangerous and there are plenty of checkpoints en route between Colombia to Ecuador.
Train routes are limited to tourism purposes that showcase Ecuador tourism experiences in the highlands and volcanoes. Some of the famous Ecuador rail networks are the Devil's Nose Train, Liberty Train, Quito - El Boliche, and Tren Crucero. The government has chosen to put Ecuador Railways into liquidation as income from oil revenues has considerably reduced.
Carry photocopies of all relevant travel documents with you.
Be sure to carry enough cash as paying by credit card will cost you 6% more.
US $ is the Ecuador currency. Remember to take small denominations of USD (less than $20 or $10 banknote) especially when you visit the market to buy small things.
Try out hostel accommodation as it comes cheaper than room rent in a hotel.
There are so many Ecuadorian things to do that it is better to travel spontaneously as it is difficult to plan the entire trip in advance.
Carry along travel insurance in case of an emergency
Visit small shops in the supermarkets for better deals.
Learn basic travel phrases in Spanish as most locals speak only Spanish.
Cheapest flights to Ecuador are from February to June.
Pick your travel time smartly depending on where you are traveling, May to December to the Amazon Rainforest, November to February to the Coast and Galapagos Islands, and from April to November to Highlands Andes.
Be careful of thefts especially when traveling in public transport during peak hours.
Traffic can be quite reckless, so always hire a driver that is knowledgeable and experienced.
It is better to take a private taxi rather than public transport.
Do not leave your valuables carelessly in the car or beaches etc.
Avoid walking alone after dark as you could get attacked by robbers.
Women need to be more careful of sexual assault, especially at night.
Be careful while crossing roads as Ecuadorians are reckless drivers.
Do not get fooled into paying more than the meter in a taxi driver.
Always take the official taxi with a green sticker, Uber, and Cabify.
Avoid participating in the Ayahuasca spiritual medicine ceremony that can cause health concerns.
Always drink only boiled bottled water and avoid water from taps.
Try and avoid ice cubes in drinks.
Avoid salads and other foodstuffs that you are not sure of.
Take the vaccinations suggested by WHO such as Typhoid, Hepatitis A, and Hepatitis B, Yellow Fever.
Medicines may be limited. So, carry along some medicines for food and water-borne diseases.
Carry along with you a repellent for safety from mosquitoes.
Many locations are high in altitude, so carry along medications for altitude sickness as well.
Always get good travel insurance that includes adventure activities and 24/7 emergency assistance.
What to Pack?
Passport, Travel Wallet
Comfortable Shoes, Flipflops
Collapsible Water Bottle
Phone, Portable Travel Charger
Dress Code & Etiquette
Neatness in dressing and gentle polite mannerisms like handshakes with a smile is the custom.
Shorts, short trousers, or skirts are not allowed inside the church.
Women should be careful not to wear skimpy clothes and draw the attention of men that could be unwanted.
Low - level grafting is practiced with officials and it is an art you should leave to the locals to do to help you.
If you are invited, it is ok to arrive late even up to an hour.
The host normally pays for everything especially if it is a man inviting a woman.
Always point your hand downwards when calling for another person towards you.
Airport porters, hotel waiters and tour crews expect to be tipped.
Maintain good humor in a discussion as raising your temper could very quickly lead to a fight.
Use the phrase 'con permiso' which means 'with permission' especially if you must squeeze past someone.
It is good table manners to say 'buen provecho' that means 'enjoy your meal' to your table companion.
Men remove their hats or caps indoors.
Colombia (708 km of the border)
Visit the beautiful country for its attractive landscapes, Andean Peaks, coffee production and emeralds. Top attractions welcome you such as the Gold Museum, Rosario Islands, Cocora valley, Lost City, La Candelaria, among others.
Peru (1,529 km of the border)
Travel to famous attractions such as Sacred Valley, Colca Canyon, Moray, Machu Picchu, and other wonders in Peru. This popular South American destination offers a lot of history, adventure, and delicious food that attracts travelers from all over the world.
Distance Between Places of Importance in And around Ecuador
Ecuador to Venezuela - 1580 km, Ecuador to Panama - 1188 km
Mount Chimborazo is 1.5 miles higher than Mount Everest because of the slight bulge.
The name of the country literally means The Republic of the Equator.
The Galapagos Islands is the first UNESCO World Heritage Site.
Ecuador was once a part of Colombia and Venezuela.
Charles Darwin developed his theory in the Galapagos Islands.
Ecuador is famous for its iconic Panama Hats.
The first female president Rosalia Arteaga served only for two days.
Ecuador is the country closest to space and not Mount Everest.
Ecuador is known as the world's largest exporter of bananas.
Ecuador has used USD as the country's currency since 2000.
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