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Ecuador - Travel Information

A group of islands situated about 970 km off the shores of Ecuador, is the main tourist attraction of the country - the Galapagos Islands. However, Ecuador can offer many other things to travelers who are willing to tour this beautiful country.

Ecuador's Geography

The equator passes in the center of Ecuador and it is a tropical country. The country is situated near the pacific and is bordered with Peru and Colombia. Ecuador's population is about 13 million inhabitants and its land size is 283,000 sq km.

Ecuador is defined as one of the Andean countries, which big parts of their land are in the Andes and the population is Indian.

The official language of Ecuador is Spanish.

Technical information

International phone code: 593
Electric current: 120V

When to travel to Ecuador

cuador's tropical weather enables to visit it all year, but it might rain at any minute. When it rains, however, it is most likely that the sun will come out right after the rain.

The hot and wet season is during the months of January to April, and it is the touristic high-season of Ecuador's coastal area.

June to August, the cool and wet season, is the best trekking season in the high lands.

In and Out

Citizens of most countries can stay in Ecuador a maximum of 90 days per annum without needing a visa. It is possible to extend the visa at immigration offices.

Ecuador's border crossing with the surrounding countries is simple, and it involves minimal bureaucracy.

Travel costs in Ecuador

Ecuador is relatively cheap travel. About $400 to $500 per month will be sufficient for most backpackers. The budget, of course, depends on special spending, such as a tour to the Galapagos Islands that might cost another $1,000.

In year 2000 Ecuador's government changed the local currency to the American Dollar (with real American Dollar bills). The local coins are equal to the American ones.

Some tips regarding money in South America:

  • Take most of your money in Traveler Checks, preferably American Express. Leave at least
    400 Dollars unused until the end of your trip. This is safty money in case of a robbery.
    The exchange rate and commission on traveler checks are relatively high.
  • Write down your traveler checks details in your private e-mail, including emergency
    phone numbers for communication, in case your bags are stolen.
  • For daily use, draw money from ATMs using an international credit card. The ATM commission is per
    transaction; therefore draw each time a big amount of money.
  • Try to pay with credit card instead of cash - usually you will pay no commission.
  • Try to keep $200 in a hidden place, in a $100 bill and other smaller bills in case
    you reach a place with no ATMs (rare).


  • Make a photocopy of your passport and entrance visa. Don't carry your passport with you
    (if possible). Only the immigration police is authorized to ask for the original passport and
    even then you can ask to present it in a police station.
  • Do not underestimate anyone. The main danger in Ecuador is theft. The person that looks
    harmless might be the thief.
  • Watch out at night. Don't carry valuable things on you at night, specifically in Quito.
  • Popular pocket picking methods: cutting the bottom of your backpack, throwing mud on the
    victim and then pick pocketing him while helping him to clean up, and simple picking of your
    pockets (mostly in crowded places).

(Last update: August 2006)