ENCOUNTER EcuadorTraveling with impact
DISCOVER THE PARADISE OF
Quito, the country’s capital, is an old Andean city. Although it doesn’t maintain much of its Inca origins, it’s still a testimony to Ecuador’s history and the merging between the Spanish and native cultures. Its historic downtown is the largest and best conserved in all Latin America, which resembles the rebellious character of old and new Quiteños, who in the words of Alexander Von Humboldt “are strange and unique beings: they sleep peacefully surrounded by roaring volcanoes.”
On the coast, you will find beaches that leave you stunned by their mere beauty and will have you thinking about surfing lessons or dancing non-stop, joining the active lifestyle. Be prepared to gain a few pounds, because seafood is one of the local treasures, and you can’t miss it.
The first recorded visit to the Galapagos islands happened by accident, as with many wonders of the world. A happy accident, since we know them now as the home of unique ecosystems and stunning landscapes. The scenery ranges from cacti filled islands alive with pinchers’ presence to rock formations in the middle of the sea, where you can dive and share the ocean for a moment with penguins, turtles, sharks, and dolphins, while guarded by a giant sleeping lion. He emerges like a sphynx in the vast pacific.
BEST TIMES TO
In the Amazon, also known as the rainforest, you can pretty much expect it to rain at any time, but the rainier months are March, April, and from July to September. But at any time, you can expect it to be warm and humid. Make sure you bring fast-drying clothes.
From November to March, the coast of Ecuador has its wet season. There’s a lot of rain and, in some cities, some flooding might happen. However, it will remain hot. The Galapagos get their weather from different ocean currents, so it will vary from warm and rainy from December to May and more relaxed and dry from June to December.
AT A GLANCE:
SEASONS & PEAKS
June to September is the driest and hottest months to visit the Ecuadorian mainland; locals also enjoy clear blue Andean skies and warm sunshine. Fewer showers also allow more extended periods in the cloud forests to enjoy birdwatching.
October to December, is a wonderful time to visit Ecuador as South American national holidays approach and the waters around the Galapagos become calmer again, so early booking is also advisable.
Winter (Jun-Aug) – Rainy season. July usually has less rain.
Capital City: Quito
Currency: U.S Dollars
The official currency of Ecuador is the dollar, but it´s a good recomendation that you bring in change and low denomination bills as higher denominations bills are usually not accepted in smaller businesses. MasterCard, Diners Club, American Express and Visa are all used in Ecuador, with Visa being the most widely accepted one; however, it´s a good idea to always carry around some cash, especially in little towns and areas outside the metropolitan areas. ATM’s are also widely available throughout the country.
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Ecuador is generally safe, but there are pickpockets, especially in the bigger cities. Be sensible, as you would anywhere in the world. Remember you’re foreign and so will stick out already. Keep a close eye on your belongings, and don’t wear lots of eye-catching jewelry or flash expensive cameras, laptops, or iPhones around. Don’t venture into unsafe areas. If traveling by bus, don’t leave belongings unattended.
No mandatory vaccinations are required to visit Ecuador. We recommend visiting the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention and checking the vaccines and medicines list, and visiting your doctor (ideally, 4-6 weeks) before your trip to make sure everything is up to date. Make sure to take precautions against altitude sickness if you’re traveling to the highlands.
Nationals of the USA and the EU do not require a visa to enter Ecuador and are granted a 90-day travel visa upon arrival. Citizens of other countries may need a visa to enter Ecuador, and it advisable to contact the Ecuadorian embassy in your home country for information. The Wikipedia Visa Policy of Ecuador is a great starting point for exploring whether or not any particular nationality might need to obtain a tourist visa to visit Peru.
Electricity in Ecuador runs at 110 Volts, so adapters/converters may be necessary for tourists from Europe. Just be sure to check your item’s label before plugging it in. If you plan to use anything with a three-prong plug, bring an adapter, as most establishments only have two-prong outlets.
Ecuador has such a variety of terrain that it’s not always that easy to navigate on your own! It’s not a big country but to get from place to place quickly we recommend flying with LATAM who offers excellent and reliable services in the few airports in the country. For shorter trips by bus, you can find many options in the cities’ bus stations. If you need to travel independently in the cities, you can use door-to-door transportation but bear in mind that private companies run them, so their prices may vary. Taxis are another option but try to take cabs from recommended taxi companies as an extra precaution.