Provinz Galápagos, Ecuador
Provinz Galápagos, Ecuador

Provinz Galápagos

An iguana warming itself up in the sun.

ECUADOR

South America

Ecuador Travel Information

Temp icon
Overview icon

Key facts

Capital:

Quito

Location:

Western South America, bordering the Pacific Ocean at the Equator, between Colombia and Peru

Currency:

United States Dollar (USD)

Area:

283,561 sq km

Population:

17,093,159 (July 2021 est.)

Languages:

Spanish (Castilian) 93% (official), Quechua 4.1%, other indigenous 0.7%, foreign 2.2%; note - (Quechua and Shuar are official languages of intercultural relations; other indigenous languages are in official use by indigenous peoples in the areas they inhabit) (2010 est.)

Religion:

Roman Catholic 74%, Evangelical 10.4%, Jehovah's Witness 1.2%, other 6.4% (includes Church of Jesus Christ, Buddhist, Jewish, Spiritualist, Muslim, Hindu, indigenous, African American, Pentecostal), atheist 7.9%, agnostic 0.1% (2012 est.)

TimeZone:

UTC-5

Tel Code:

+593

Weather

Climate

Ecuador has a diverse climate due to its varied topography, with temperatures averaging around 15-25 degrees Celsius (59-77 degrees Fahrenheit) throughout the year. Coastal regions are typically hot and humid, while the highlands are cooler and more temperate. The Andes region also experiences a wet and dry season and the Amazon rainforest has a tropical climate, with high temperatures and humidity throughout the year.

Best Time to Visit

The best time to visit Ecuador depends on your travel plans and preferences. If you're looking to avoid the rain and enjoy warm weather, the dry season from June to September is the best time to visit the Andean region. This is also the peak tourist season, so expect crowds and higher prices. If you don't mind some rain and are looking for fewer crowds and lower prices, the green season from October to May can also be a good time to visit. Additionally, the Galapagos Islands have a constant tropical weather, with a warm climate all year round. If you plan to visit the Amazon rainforest, you'll find that there is no bad time to go, as the weather is warm and humid all year round.

Transportation

Public Transportation

Ecuador has a variety of public transportation options, including buses and taxis. These are the most affordable option for getting around, but can be crowded and uncomfortable. The public transportation system is well-organized in some areas, but less developed in others.

Rental Cars

Rental cars are also an option in Ecuador, but it is important to keep in mind that driving conditions can be challenging. The road infrastructure is well-developed in some areas, but less in others, and driving can be dangerous in rural areas, especially in the Andes. Additionally, it is a good idea to check with the rental agency and make sure that you have a valid driver's license and that your insurance covers you while driving in Ecuador.

Private Transportation

Another option is to hire a private driver or tour company, which can be a convenient and safe way to get around the country, particularly if you plan to visit multiple destinations. This option can be relatively expensive but can also be more comfortable and reliable.

Air Travel

For traveling between different regions of the country, air travel is also an option, but the options are limited and prices can be relatively high. However, it can save a lot of time, especially if you plan to travel to remote places that are not easily accessible by land. Some places like the Galapagos islands or the Amazon rainforest are only accessible by air.

Accommodation

Hotels

Ecuador offers a variety of hotels to choose from, including budget-friendly options and luxury resorts. In major cities such as Quito, Guayaquil, and Cuenca, you'll find a variety of international hotel chains as well as locally-owned properties. In more rural areas and beach destinations, you may find smaller, more basic hotels or guesthouses.

Hostels

Ecuador also has a growing number of hostels, which are a budget-friendly accommodation option. They often have shared dorm rooms as well as private rooms and offer a more social atmosphere than traditional hotels. Hostels are popular among backpackers and other budget-conscious travelers.

Vacation Rentals

Another option for accommodation in Ecuador is vacation rentals, such as apartments or villas. This can be a good option for groups or families traveling together, as it allows for more space and privacy than a hotel room. Vacation rentals can also be a more budget-friendly option, as the cost can be split among multiple people.

Eco-Lodges and Camping

For those who want to be closer to nature, eco-lodges and camping are also options. These can be found in national parks and other protected areas, and offer a unique way to experience Ecuador's natural beauty. Some of them offer sustainable tourism initiatives and opportunities to engage with local communities.

Money

Money Tips for Travel

  • Research the currency and exchange rates of your destination before you depart.
  • Notify your bank and credit card companies of your travel plans to avoid any potential issues with international transactions.
  • Bring a mix of cash, credit, and debit cards--and possibly a travel money card.
  • Be aware of the fees associated with withdrawing money from ATMs and using credit cards abroad.
  • Make sure to have a backup option for accessing money in case your primary method doesn't work.
  • Consider using a card with no foreign transaction fees.
  • Be aware of the local customs and etiquette when it comes to paying.
  • Keep an eye on the exchange rate throughout your trip and try to make large purchases or withdraw large sums of money when the rate is favorable.
  • NEVER accept currency conversion at ATMs! Always get your home bank to convert at much better rates.
  • Think about getting a Wise or other travel debit card; these can provide much better rates and some free ATM withdrawals.

ATM and Credit Cards

  • Research the availability of ATMs and credit card acceptance at your destination before you depart.
  • Keep your ATM card in a safe place and be mindful of your surroundings when using it.
  • Try to stick to using ATMs that are affiliated with major banks.
  • Keep your credit card information safe and secure, and be aware of potential scams.
  • Make sure your cards have the necessary security features, such as chip and pin.
  • Be aware of the fees associated with withdrawing money from ATMs and using credit cards abroad.

Exchange Rates

  • Research the currency and exchange rates of your destination before you depart.
  • Consider using a card with no foreign transaction fees.
  • Be aware of the local customs and etiquette when it comes to paying.
  • Keep an eye on the exchange rate throughout your trip and try to make large purchases or withdraw large sums of money when the rate is favorable.
  • Be careful of places that may offer to exchange money at rates that seem too good to be true.

Mobile

When traveling, getting mobile access is very important these days. If you are working remotely, wanting to update social media, or need to access your banks SMS authentication messages having a reliable service is a must. At WhereNext we recommend:

eSIM

Services such as those offered by our partner, Airalo, allow you to easily order and install an eSIM for different countries or regions that you are traveling in.

Dual SIM phone

If you have a phone that supports dual SIM's then you can get a SIM on arrival for each country, this is probably better done at a telco store rather than at the airport.

Extend your home plan

Depending on where you live and your mobile service provider you may be able to extend your plan to cover mobile roaming at reasonable rates.

Keep your primary SIM

With the amount of accounts we all have that require two factor authentication via SMS, keeping a constant number for these accounts is a must.

Community

There are several online communities and platforms that you can use to meet people while traveling, both for making new friends or for networking professionally. Some popular options include:

Facebook groups

There are many Facebook groups dedicated to connecting people while traveling, from expat groups and travel communities to groups specific to certain cities or regions of the country. You can search for groups based on your interests or location and connect with others who share similar interests.

Meetup

Meetup is a platform that allows you to find groups of people that share your interests in your local area. There are Meetup groups all around the world, and they cover a wide range of topics, such as language exchange, sports, and cultural activities.

Internations

Internations is a social network for people who live or work abroad. It has a large community of expats and organizes regular events, activities and gatherings that allow members to connect and socialize.

Couchsurfing

Couchsurfing is a platform that connects travelers with local hosts, who offer free accommodation and a chance to experience the local culture. It's a great way to meet locals and make friends!

Reddit

Reddit has a large community, and there are several subreddits dedicated to connecting expats and travelers. You can use it to ask questions, get advice, and connect with others who are also living or traveling in the country.

Linkedin

LinkedIn is primarily a professional network, but you can also use it to connect with people who work in the same industry or have similar backgrounds. It can be useful to connect with people before you arrive and establish a few professional contacts to help you get started.

At WhereNext, we use Nomad List as a global community and then research more local ones for our destination. These are just a few examples of online communities you can use to meet people; please suggest any others that you think are appropriate for this destination.

Insurance

Travel insurance can provide financial protection and peace of mind for travellers in the event of unexpected situations or emergencies. It covers a wide range of needs--even some you might not expect!

Medical Coverage

Travel insurance can provide coverage for medical expenses if you become ill or injured while traveling. This can include coverage for doctor visits, hospital stays, and emergency medical transportation. It's also a good idea to ensure that your travel insurance covers COVID-19 related illness and delays!

Trip Cancellation and Interruption

Travel insurance can provide coverage if you need to cancel or interrupt your trip due to unexpected events such as illness, weather, or travel bans. It can also provide coverage if your trip is delayed or if your travel provider goes out of business.

Lost or Stolen Luggage

Travel insurance can provide coverage for lost or stolen luggage, as well as personal items such as passports and electronic devices.

Emergency Assistance and Evacuation

Many travel insurance plans offer emergency assistance services, such as providing information on local hospitals and doctors, assistance with replacing lost or stolen documents, and help with arranging transportation in the event of an emergency. At WhereNext we have partnered with Global Rescue for evacuation services, which are highly recommended if you are undertaking dangerous activities or are travelling to dangerous parts of the world.

Liability coverage

Travel insurance can also provide liability coverage in case you cause an accident or harm someone while you are traveling.

Travel insurance can provide financial protection and peace of mind for travellers in the event of unexpected situations or emergencies. It can help cover the costs of medical expenses, trip cancellations, lost or stolen luggage, and more. It's always a good idea to review the coverage and compare the different options available before making a decision. At WhereNext we both use and have partnered with Safety Wing for general travel insurance.

Entry Requirements

Here are some general travel tips regarding entry requirements that apply across all countries:

Passport

Make sure that your passport is valid for at least six months from the date of your arrival in the country you are visiting. Some countries will not allow you to enter if your passport is set to expire within a certain period of time.

Visa

Check with the embassy or consulate of the country you are visiting to see if you need a visa. Some countries require a visa for entry, while others do not. Make sure to apply for a visa well in advance of your trip as the process can take several weeks. Check the latest Visa requirements and if necessary get an online Visa with our partner iVisa.

Health Requirements and COVID-19 Rules

Check with the embassy or consulate of the country you are visiting to see if there are any health requirements for entry. Some countries require vaccinations or proof of medical insurance. Check the latest health requirements and if necessary get an online Visa with our partner iVisa.

Travel Insurance

Consider purchasing travel insurance, especially if you are traveling internationally. Travel insurance can cover you in the event of trip cancellation, medical emergencies, and other unexpected events. Our travel insurance partner is SafetyWing. For dangerous activities and/or countries consider a rescue service like those offered by our partner, Global Rescue.

Customs

Be familiar with the customs and laws of the country you are visiting. Some countries have strict laws regarding drug possession, alcohol consumption, and dress codes.

Currency

Check the currency exchange rate and make sure you have enough local currency for your trip. Some countries may not accept credit cards or travelers cheques, so it is always good to have some cash on hand. At WhereNext we recommend use a Wise debit card, which provides low cost currency conversions and ATM withdrawals.

Research the country

Research about the culture, customs and laws of the country you are visiting. It will help you to understand the place more and also prepare you better for the trip.

Contact Information

Make a copy of your passport and keep it in a separate place from your passport. Also, leave a copy of your itinerary and contact information with a friend or family member at home.

COVID Status

I am vaccinated 
Ecuador Open
Test
Not required
Quarantine
Not required

Check Visa Requirements

      Things to Do

      Ecuador is a small country located in South America, known for its diverse landscape, rich culture and history, and friendly people. From the Andes mountains to the Amazon rainforest, Ecuador offers a wide range of activities and attractions for visitors. Here are the top 10 things to do in Ecuador:

      1. Explore Quito

      Quito is the capital and the second-largest city of Ecuador, it has been designated as a UNESCO World Heritage Site, known for its well-preserved colonial architecture, and its charming plazas and parks. Visitors can explore the city's museums, markets, and churches, and take a cable car ride to the top of Pichincha volcano for a panoramic view of the city.

      2. Visit the Galapagos Islands

      The Galapagos Islands are a group of volcanic islands located in the Pacific Ocean, known for their unique wildlife and natural beauty. Visitors can take a guided tour of the islands and see giant tortoises, marine iguanas, and a variety of birds and other animals that are found nowhere else in the world.

      3. Visit the Otavalo market

      Otavalo is a small town located in the Andes, known for its traditional indigenous market. Visitors can explore the market and buy local crafts, textiles, and souvenirs.

      4. Explore the Amazon Rainforest

      Ecuador is home to a large portion of the Amazon rainforest, visitors can take a guided tour and explore the rainforest, learn about the local culture and wildlife, and take a boat ride along the river.

      5. Visit the Cuenca

      Cuenca is a colonial city located in the highlands of Ecuador, known for its well-preserved architecture and its vibrant culture. Visitors can explore the city's museums, markets, and churches, and take a walk along the Tomebamba River.

      6. Visit Ingapirca

      Ingapirca is an Incan archaeological site located in the Andes mountains, known for its well-preserved ruins and its historical significance. Visitors can take a guided tour of the site and learn about the Incan culture and history.

      7. Visit the Cajas National Park

      Cajas National Park is a protected area located in the Andes mountains, known for its diverse landscape and hiking trails. Visitors can take a guided hike and explore the park's natural beauty, including glacial lakes and rugged peaks.

      8. Visit the Middle of the World

      Ecuador is located on the equator line, and visitors can visit the Middle of the World Monument, a monument that marks the exact location of the equator. Visitors can also learn about the history and culture of the indigenous people who live in the area.

      9. Visit the Banos

      Banos is a small town located in the Andes, known for its hot springs and outdoor activities. Visitors can take a dip in the hot springs, go hiking, and white water rafting, and enjoy the local culture.

      10. Visit the Machalilla National Park

      Machalilla National Park is a protected area located on the Pacific coast, known for its biodiversity and natural beauty. Visitors can take a guided tour of the park and explore the beaches, lagoons, and mangroves, and see a variety of wildlife, including monkeys, birds, and sea turtles.

      Join logo

      Join our newsletter to stay up to date. No spam, ever!