ECUADOR TRAVEL TIPS
GMT-6 in mainland Ecuador. GMT-5 in the Galapagos Islands. Daylight savings time is not observed.
The official language of Ecuador is Spanish.
The currency is the US Dollar.
It is our recommendation that the quality of service should determine the extent of any gratuity. For example if the service received has been excellent, a suggestion of USD$5- 10 per person for the guide for a full day tour. Please understand that this is a suggestion only: tipping and gratuities are a very personal matter.
Best time to go to Ecuador
With the enormous range of destinations found in Ecuador comes a varied climate driven by a number of factors. Below is a description for each major destination.
Coast (San Lorenzo, Manta, Salinas, Guayaquil):
From January to April, the warm central Pacific current causes a hot, humid season with frequent torrential downpours. Daytime temperatures can average up to 30°C/86°F. From May to December, cool Pacific currents from the south lower the temperature by a few degrees although precipitation also lessens.
Highlands (Otavalo, Quito, Ambato, Cuenca):
The highlands are subject to a dry season from June to September, and again for a short period around Christmas. April is generally the wettest month, although even then the average is only one rainy day in two. In Quito, temperatures average a high of 21°C/70°F and a low of 8°C/38°F all year round.
Rainforest (Lago Agrio, Coca, Tena, Puyo, Macas):
The climate in the ‘Oriente’, the Ecuadorian jungle, is again very much dependent on altitude. However, as a general rule, precipitation is widespread throughout the rainforest all year round, with August and December to March being the driest months and April to June the wettest. Temperatures are high, sometimes as high as on the Pacific coast (up to about 30°C/86°F).
The climate of the Galapagos archipelago is hot and arid, although sea breezes tend to cool the area. The hottest months are January to March, when the average daytime highs are about 28°C/82°F. These are also the wettest months, although rainfall is minimal even then. May to December are cooler and drier, with average temperatures falling to about 25°C/77°F in September.
No immunisations are required for your trip to Ecuador, however, for travel to the rainforest prevention against malaria and yellow fever may be considered.
Do not drink tap water. Avoid ice in your beverages while travelling in Ecuador. However, you can use ice on board the yachts in Galapagos. Always drink bottled water and soft drinks
Try to avoid eating raw vegetables and salads or any raw foods while traveling in the continentIf you wear prescription glasses, it is advisable to bring an extra pair
If you wear prescription glasses, it is advisable to bring an extra pairAlways use sunscreen lotion even
Always use sunscreen lotion even in cloudy days
For up to date information on latest health and vaccination recommendations, please contact your doctor.
110 volts, 60 cycles AC.
Arrival and Departure Formalities
According to Ecuadorian Immigration regulations, every foreign passenger entering the country must have a passport with a time validity of at least 6 months from the day of arrival.
No visa is necessary for US citizens or citizens of most other countries. There are exceptions for some Asian, Central American and European countries. Please check your individual situation.
Upon arrival you will go through customs and immigration. Ensure your entrance papers are officially stamped showing the number of days allowed for your stay in the country. Keep them in a safe place, as you will need them to leave the country. If they are lost you must advise our office immediately. At least 72 hours notice prior to your departure from the country is needed to process the necessary replacement paperwork.
According to Ecuadorian laws, any person that enters the country temporarily is exempt from the payment of any customs duty. This means that you should not pay any taxes or duties for your luggage, new or used articles that you will use during your trip, and portable items such as photo cameras, video cameras, laptops, radios and CD players.
We recommend eating lightly the first day (if arrival city is Quito). Due to altitude you might suffer some digestive problems, as well as light dizziness.