Imagine a land the size of Great Britain or Colorado State, but with more biodiversity than the whole of North America combined.
Ecuador inspired scientists and explorers in some of the most influential theories of all time, from Alexander Von Humboldt to Charles Darwin. In fact, to paraphrase Darwin, Ecuador is “a world within itself.”
Recollected in this section, you can find health, security and travel recommendations as well as information about the different destinations and possibilities that Ecuador has to offer.
While crossing this extraordinary country, you would blaze through deserts, scale glaciers with crampons, eat fresh fish on tropical beaches, ride on restored steam trains through fields of purple quinoa, bike alongside fuming volcanoes, hike through intriguing cloud forests, canoe along tributaries of the Amazon, and ride horses across the wild paramo moorlands in the shadow of Andean peaks.
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The following Ecuador travel recommendations try to include everything you should know to prepare your trip to mainland Ecuador.
Ecuador lies on the equator, and it receives the same hours of sun every day of the year, making for a template climate with very little changes in temperature. This means that Ecuador can be visited all year around! Peak seasons are marked by holidays and not wheater; the busiest season is from late June to early September, and during late December, early January. ON the Andes you have sunny mornings, with occasional showers on the afternoons and evenings. The Pacific coast has warm seas (22 to 25 Degree Celsius) and weather (25 to 31 Degree Celsius) and is locally known as Coast of the Sun. The Amazon rainforest is hot and very rainy, with the highest periods of rain from December to April.
Most hotels, shops, and restaurants accept Visa and MasterCard. Discover, and American Express are not widely accepted. However, we suggest that you have enough cash on hand to pay for souvenirs and for purchases at other small shops and markets as some small businesses do not accept credit cards. Please note that most businesses in Ecuador, including restaurants and other large stores, do not accept bills larger than $20.
Ecuador has a strong indigenous component, as the country has more than 30 indigenous nations in its three mainland regions. The amalgam between their traditions and the Catholic faith that was adopted during the colonial era have created a unique and
interesting culture, quite present in the daily life expressions and the country’s art and customs.
- Read our calendar for the unique events that take place in Ecuador
Ecuador is divided into four different geographical regions: Amazon, Andes (also known as the highlands), the Pacific Coast and the Galapagos Islands. The climate is different in each region; we have made a short description of the particularities of each one in the following link.
Ecuador does not require visitors to have a travel or health insurance to enter the country. Nevertheless, we highly recommend getting travel insurance for each of your travels, regardless of the destination. Please consider: Most claims to travel insurances are not because of something specific to a destination, but because of daily occurrences like an indigestion or a sprung ankle.
Ecuador is one of the safest countries in all Latin America! Under the new safety rating system introduced by the United States, Ecuador, Argentina, Chile, Peru, Uruguay, and Paraguay are rated in Category 1, countries posing the lowest risk to travelers.
Crime is the largest factor in determining safety risk, according to the State Department. Ecuador ranks second behind Chile for the lowest murder rate in Latin America, and third behind Chile, Argentina for lowest rates of violent crimes.
Although we are a safe country to travel, there are always some considerations and precautions you can take to avoid any unnecessary risks. As in every big town or city, in Ecuador, we have petty crimes and pickpockets in our cities.
Here are some common-sense tips for traveling safely in Ecuador:
Certain precautions and vaccinations are recommended for your visit to Ecuador. Health professionals will normally advise immunizations for hepatitis A, typhoid, tetanus and yellow fiber for travelers visiting countries in the tropical regions.
The Ecuadorian authorities do not require a vaccination certificate for visitors. The only exceptions are for passengers coming from Uganda, The Democratic Republic of Congo and Brasil, as these countries have a high number of yellow fiber cases. This is to prevent yellow fiber form propagating in Ecuador, as yellow fiber cases are not usual in our country. Please be sure to bring you yellow fiber vaccination certification if you are arriving from any of the listed countries.
Is important to mention that the only region of Ecuador where yellow fiber cases have been documented are in the Amazon, locally known as “Selva.” The coastal region, the Andes and the Galapagos islands are free of yellow fiber.
The electrical current in Ecuador is 110 volts (same as in the U.S.). Outlets throughout Ecuador are also U.S. style (two flat pins).
Mainland Ecuador is located in the GMT -5 time zone.