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Ecuador Travel Guide

Quick Facts

💰Currency United States Dollar ($)
💬Language Spanish
🗣️English Fluency Moderate
🏙️Capital Quito
👥Population 17.4 million
🚘Driving Side right
🔌Plugs A, B
🕑Time Ecuador Time (UTC-6), Galapagos Time (UTC-5)
🍽️Must-Try Ceviche, Locro de Papa, Empanadas, Llapingachos, Seco de Chivo

Backpacker Budget: US$25

Hostel Dorm US$10
Takeaway Meal US$4.5
Public transport US$1
Long-distance bus US$10
Entrance Fee US$5
Beer US$2

When to go?

January - April High season, ideal for visiting coastal areas and the Galapagos Islands.
May - September High season, ideal for mountain activities and exploring the Amazon rainforest.
October - December Low season, with occasional rain showers. Good time for cultural events and festivals.

What's unique?

Welcome to Ecuador, a country that offers an enchanting blend of natural wonders, rich cultural heritage, and thrilling adventures. Nestled in the heart of South America, this vibrant destination promises a breathtaking diversity that will captivate your senses.

Prepare to be awe-struck as you set foot in the spectacular Galapagos Islands, a UNESCO World Heritage site known for its remarkable wildlife and pristine landscapes. Discover unique species found nowhere else on Earth as you snorkel with playful sea lions or observe giant tortoises in their natural habitat.

In addition to its extraordinary biodiversity, Ecuador boasts the majestic Andes mountain range which runs through the country like a spine. Immerse yourself in indigenous cultures by exploring colorful markets and charming villages nestled high amongst these rugged peaks. Don't miss the opportunity to visit Quito, one of the highest capitals in the world and home to well-preserved colonial architecture.

If adventure calls your name, head east into the lush Amazon rainforest where you can embark on exhilarating jungle treks, encounter fascinating wildlife, and learn from local communities about sustainable practices.

Ecuador's stunning beauty extends even further with its Pacific coastline offering picturesque beaches perfect for sunbathing or surfing. Whether it's hiking volcanoes in Cotopaxi National Park or savoring delicious culinary delights such as ceviche or chocolate made from locally sourced cacao beans, Ecuador promises an unforgettable journey filled with authentic experiences.

Treehouse swing near Baños
Treehouse swing near Baños

Exploring Ecuador
(2 weeks)

  1. 1

    Cuenca is a charming colonial city known for its well-preserved historic center. Explore the cathedrals, cobblestone streets, and vibrant markets.

  2. 2
    El Cajas National Park

    El Cajas is a stunning national park with beautiful lakes and high-altitude grasslands. Go hiking, bird watching, or simply enjoy the picturesque scenery.

  3. 3

    Baños is a popular tourist destination known for its thermal baths and outdoor activities. Go hiking, mountain biking, or visit the impressive waterfalls.

  4. 4
    Quilotoa Loop

    The Quilotoa Loop is a scenic trek through indigenous villages and stunning landscapes. The highlight is the emerald-green Quilotoa Lake in a volcanic crater.

  5. 5

    Quito is the capital city of Ecuador, located high in the Andes. Visit the historic center, explore the museums, and take in breathtaking views from the surrounding mountains.

  6. 6
    Otavalo Market

    Otavalo Market is one of the largest indigenous markets in South America. Shop for colorful textiles, traditional crafts, and fresh produce.

Crater lake Quilotoa
Crater lake Quilotoa

Fun Fact

Ecuador is the closest country to the sun when measured from the center of the Earth.


Is Ecuador safe for tourists?

Ecuador is generally a safe country for tourists, but it is always important to take precautions and be aware of your surroundings, especially in crowded and touristy areas. It is recommended to avoid displaying valuable items and to use reputable transportation services.

What are the top tourist destinations in Ecuador?

Some of the top tourist destinations in Ecuador include the Galapagos Islands, Quito, Cuenca, Otavalo, and the Amazon rainforest.

What are some essential phrases in Spanish to use in Ecuador?

Some essential phrases in Spanish to use in Ecuador are: - Hola (Hello) - Por favor (Please) - Gracias (Thank you) - ¿Dónde está...? (Where is...?) - ¿Cuánto cuesta? (How much does it cost?)

What's the best way to get around Ecuador?

The best way to get around Ecuador is through a combination of domestic flights, buses, and taxis. Domestic flights are convenient for long distances, while buses and taxis are commonly used for traveling within cities and towns.

Are there ATMs without a fee in Ecuador?

Banco International, Banco del Austro ATMs charge no fee for cash withdrawals.

Travel Tips

  • Money Card payment is often possible, but not always
  • ATM Fees Most ATMs charge fees, but you can find fee-free ATMs
  • Free ATMs Banco International, Banco del Austro
  • ATMs to avoid (high fees) Banco Pichincha, Produbanco
  • Do try the local food and drinks.
  • Do respect the environment and avoid littering.
  • Do learn a few basic Spanish phrases to communicate with the locals.
  • Do dress modestly when visiting churches and other religious sites.
  • Don't drink tap water, always opt for bottled water.
  • Don't touch or feed wildlife in the Galapagos Islands.
  • Don't forget to negotiate prices in markets and street vendors.
Disclosure: This travel guide may contain affiliate links
Cover: View from El Altar volcano

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