Ecuador tourist essentials

A good recommendation can make you save time and get you more relaxed during your vacations. So we made a list of tips that will make your trip easier and get you well prepared, if it’s the first time you put your feet on Ecuador.

While you plan your itinerary and which are the places more suitable to visit with your little children, make sure you have at hand everything you need for a safe trip.

Climate

It’s true that, due to its location, anytime of the year is suitable to visit Ecuador.

Locals may tell you that you can expect four seasons in one day, so don’t cancel your plans if the day starts with a little rain. It always can stop and let the sun goes out, and maybe give the chance to a little cold breeze to blow. These variations are unpredictable.

There’s a wide variety of temperatures between one place and other, on the same season. So, if you plan to visit the jungle or the ocean, you’ll only need to wear a shirt and a pair of shorts. But, if the plan takes you to the mountains, be ready for some cold weather.

While Quito and the highlands are comfortable year-round, with occasional light showers, the Amazon regions are hot, humid and wet. Even the rains can be a refreshing break from the heat and humidity, so any time of the year can be a fine choice.

Protection

In Ecuador the sun rays may be stronger than anywhere else. So keep at hand the sunscreen. The higher the protection, the less you’ll have to worry about possible skin burns while you take a walk.

Always keep sunscreen at hand

Take into account that, if you visit Quito, you’ll be almost three hundred meters above the sea. So, an extra protection will be a great investment and will give you a quieter and, mainly, healthier trip.

Health

The Amazonas is one of the most popular destinations, so don’t miss the chance to visit and have an experience that you’ll find nowhere else. But first, get your yellow fever vaccination at least ten days before your arrival in Ecuador. Don’t forget to bring the International Certification of Vaccination or Prophylaxis (ICVP).

However, if you visit the highlands and the Galapagos Islands, you won’t need this vaccination.

Currency

Ecuador adopted the US dollar as its national currency, so it’s easier for foreign visitors to do their shopping.

Keep in mind that only larger restaurants and stores accept credit cards, but bring it in case of emergencies. Although it’s helpful, don’t count on using it for most purchases.

Also, Galapagos National Park fee must be paid in cash.

Electricity adapters

Ecuador uses the same electricity system as the US: 110 volt, 60 cycle, and power plugs and sockets are of type A and B (which also works with plug A).

To be sure your appliances will work properly, check the label. Some never need a converter. If the label states ‘INPUT: 100-240V, 50/60 Hz’ the appliance can be used in all countries in the world. This is common for chargers of tablets/laptops, photo cameras, cell phones, toothbrushes, etc.

Visa and passport

Even though entry requirements change with surprising frequency, a visa is not needed for most of the travelers that visit Ecuador. You will need to get a visa only if you come from one of the following countries: Costa Rica, Cuba, China, Bangladesh, Taiwan, North Korea, South Korea, Vietnam and most middle-Eastern countries. 

Nevertheless, don’t miss to check the most up-to-date visa information from your consulate.

Remember you’ll need a passport valid for at least six months after your depart.

Security

Take the same precautions that you would in any major city. Keep in mind the tour leader advices and pay attention to your common sense, such as not going into unfamiliar areas alone, especially at night. 

Keep your valuables with you and avoid carrying large amounts of cash, jewelry or other expensive items, mainly in crowded sites.

However, there’s no need to worry more than the necessary. Enjoy the trip.

Water to drink

Always keep water at hand. High temperatures can be hard to deal with if you are not used to them. Hydration and good rest are vital for your journey.

Bottled water is very available

Tap water is generally not safe to drink. Always get bottled water, even to brush your teeth, just in case. It’s available at tourist sites, hotels and restaurants, so won’t be a problem to keep safe along the whole trip.

Ice isn’t always made from bottled water, so try to order your drink without it, and avoid a possible annoying stomach ache.

Language

The official language in the country is Spanish. However it’s normal to have English speaking tour leaders, and also sellers in the stores. 

This can be a great opportunity to learn some Spanish and surprise your friends when you get home. But be sure people that’s at your service will understand your needs if you also speak in English.

Time zone

Ecuador is five hours behind GMT, and Galapagos Islands are one hour behind the mainland. They don’t observe daylight-savings time so there’s no variations.

Have you already done your checklist? Hope this will help you.

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Nature Galapagos & Ecuador

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