Latinamerica Collection
Tourist Information About Ecuador

Passport and Visas

The following information is subject to change and should be verified by contacting the nearest diplomatic or consular office of Ecuador. Violations of entry and exit requirements may result in serious penalties.



i. United States Tourists
A valid U.S. passport is required for all citizens regardless of age in order to enter Ecuador and to return to the U.S. A visa is not required for tourist visits of up to 90 days. Though not necessarily an official requirement of Ecuador, U.S. citizens should assure that their passports are valid for a period of six months after their expected date of departure from Ecuador and are in good condition. If a second nationality passport was used to enter Ecuador in the case of dual citizenship, all U.S. citizens must use a U.S. passport when returning to the U.S. Certificates of Naturalization, birth certificates, driver's licenses and photocopies are NOT accepted as alternative travel documents by authorities in the U.S. or Ecuador.

 

All U.S. tourists traveling within Ecuador should have in their possession at all times either the original passport or a photocopy of the information page as well as a photocopy of the visa stamp showing date of entry into Ecuador.

 

In order to prevent international child abduction, Ecuador may require documentary evidence of approval of both parents when the child is traveling alone, with only one parent, or in the custody of someone else.

 

ii. Canadian Tourists
A valid Canadian passport is required for all citizens regardless of age in order to enter Ecuador and to return to Canada. A visa is not required for tourist visits of up to 90 days. Though not necessarily an official requirement of Ecuador, Canadian citizens should assure that their passports are valid for a period of six months after their expected date of departure from Ecuador. If a second nationality passport was used to enter Ecuador in the case of dual citizenship, all Canadian citizens must use a Canadian passport when returning to Canada. Certificates of Naturalization, birth certificates, Certificates of Canadian Citizenship, driver's licenses and photocopies are NOT accepted as alternative travel documents by authorities in Canada or Ecuador.

 

All Canadian tourists traveling within Ecuador should have in their possession at all times either the original passport or a photocopy of the information page as well as a photocopy of the visa stamp showing date of entry into Ecuador.

 

In order to prevent international child abduction, Ecuador requires documentary evidence of approval of both parents when the child is traveling alone, with only one parent, or in the custody of someone else.

 

iii. European Tourists
A valid European passport is required for all citizens regardless of age in order to enter Ecuador and to return to Europe. A visa is not required for all tourist visits of up to 90 days. Though not necessarily an official requirement of Ecuador, European citizens should assure that their passports are valid for a period of six months after their expected date of departure from Ecuador.

 

All European tourists traveling within Ecuador should have in their possession at all times either the original passport or a photocopy of the information page as well as a photocopy of the visa stamp showing date of entry into Ecuador.

 

In order to prevent international child abduction, Ecuador requires documentary evidence of approval of both parents when the child is traveling alone, with only one parent, or in the custody of someone else.

 

Airport Taxes and Customs
There is an international airport tax of US$25 that is collected upon departure of Ecuador. This tax is not in effect for domestic flights.

 

Health and Vaccinations
All tourists should be sure that their routine vaccinations are up to date whether traveling or not. This information can be found on the Centers for Disease Control website.

 

Hepatitis A, Hepatitis B, Typhoid, Yellow Fever, and Rabies vaccinations are recommended, but not required, for all those traveling to Ecuador. For more information visit the Centers for Disease Control website.

 

Malaria risk exists in all areas at altitudes below 1,500 m (<4,921 ft). However, no risk exists in the cities of Guayaquil and Quito, nor is there a risk on the Gelapagos Islands or in the tourist areas of the central highlands. If you will be visiting areas with a risk of malaria infection, you should take an antimalarial drug such as atovaquone/proguanil, doxycycline, or mefloquine. Chloroquine is not an effective antimalarial drug in Ecuador and should not be taken. Please visit the Centers for Disease Control website for more information.

 

To avoid infection of any diseases transmitted by mosquitoes, it is recommended that you wear long sleeves or pants or have in your possession mosquito repellant, especially in areas where infection of Malaria is possible. Additionally, the use of bed nets is recommended in these areas.

 

Safety and Security
Ecuador is a developing country, and travelers should exercise caution as criminal activity continues to be an active problem. Tourists should avoid carrying with them valuables that may jeopardize their safety.

 

It is recommended that tourists DO NOT travel to the areas immediately bordering Colombia, with the exception of Tulcán and San Lorenzo, due to the presence of drug traffickers and other criminal and violent activity.

 

Clothing and What to Bring
In Quito and the Sierras area, it is a good idea to bring clothing for mild warm weather including something warm from the cool evenings and chilly mornings. In the tropical areas and the lowlands you may want to bring some light-weight clothing that will protect from mosquitoes. If you plan on doing any bird watching, it is likely a good idea to bring your own binoculars, though equipment for such adventures as climbing and rafting is provided in Ecuador.

 

Currency, Banks, Credit Cards
The former Ecuadorian currency known as the sucre was eliminated in the year 200 and replaced by the US$ as the national currency. A good option is to bring US$ into Ecuador as they can be used throughout the country. Canadian dollars may be difficult to exchange in Ecuador and US$ are preferred.

 

In addition, international debit and credit cards may be used to withdraw money from local ATMs. Also, most major credit cards are accepted in Ecuador, especially in tourist destinations. It is always a good idea to check with your credit card companies to find out what, if any, foreign use fees exist.

 

Bringing US$ traveler's checks to Ecuador for exchange is also another viable option. Canadian dollar traveler's checks may be difficult to exchange and US$ traveler's checks should be used.

 

Taxes and Tips
A service charge is generally added to all bills of roughly 10% to 15% percent, but be sure to check the bill. In some cases the server may not receive this tip, so good service may deserve an additional discretionary gratuity. Taxi drivers are generally not tipped though it is customary to tip your tour guide a few dollars.

 

Time Zone
The time zone used in Ecuador is five hours before Coordinated Universal Time, or (UTC-05:00). This means that during summer (daylight savings time) Ecuador is one hour behind New York City and two hours ahead of Los Angeles.

 

The Galapagos Islands is six hours before Coordinated Universal Time, or (UTC-06:00).

 

Telephone Calls
When calling from Ecuador to the United States or Canada visitors must dial the following: 001 City Code Local Number.

 

When calling from Ecuador to another international country visitors must dial the following: 00 Country Code City Code Local Number.

 

Electricity and Voltage
Electricity in Ecuador is 120V at 60Hz and uses the standard two prong flat blades. These sockets will most likely not have a third hole for the round ground pin. This means that standard North American devices may still require an inexpensive prong adapter to get around the third ground prong.

 

Local Newspapers
• Business News Americas
• Correo (Machala) 
• Diario Cronica (Loja) 
• Diario El Extra (Guayas) 
• Diario Hoy (Quito) 
• El Comercio (Quito) 
• El Diario (Portoviejo) 
• El Financiero 
• El Heraldo (Ambato, Tungurahua)
• El Mercurio 
• El Metro de Guayaquil (Guayas) 
• El Migrante Ecuatoriano (Quito) 
• El Nuevo Empresario (Manabi) 
• El Porteño (Manta) 
• El Telégrafo (Guayaquil) 
• El Universo (Guayaquil) 
• Expreso (Guayaquil) 
• Extra Online (Guayaquil) 
• La Hora (Quito) 
• Moving Ecuador (In English)

 

Transportation and Getting Around in Ecuador
i. Cars
Most major car rental companies do have offices in Ecuador, though insurance issues may be somewhat different from back home, so be sure to question about the important details. Roads are often not the best quality, and drivers should also use extreme caution when driving in Ecuador.
 

ii. Taxis
Yellow taxis are a great way to get around within the cities of Ecuador. Taxis in the major cities are required to have a working meter, though it is possible that some may not. In this case or in the case that you are in a smaller city, be sure to negotiate a price beforehand. For that reason, it helps to have an understanding of how much the trip should cost. Most trips should not cost more than a few dollars depending on the time of day.


 

iii. Buses
Traveling by bus through Ecuador is surely the cheapest way to get around. Also, you will have a chance to enjoy the great views as you travel from destination to destination. Keep in mind that though none of the distances are very long, the time to travel that distance may be. This is because of road conditions in Ecuador, so it may be a good idea to upgrade to a more luxurious coach for those longer trips.

 

It may be a good idea to purchase your tickets earlier in the day or a full day in advance if you are traveling during a busy weekend, etc to be that there are seats available. Otherwise, you may be stuck standing in the aisle for the entire trip.


 

iv. Trains
Though the rail system is no where near as extensive as it once was, it still services a few cities throughout Ecuador and likewise comes with a fabulous view, including small towns, countryside, and even volcanoes.

 

v. Planes
Another option when traveling around Ecuador is by domestic flight. Prices are generally affordable and only take roughly thirty minutes in the air. Obviously flights to the Galapagos Islands are much more expensive and take much longer. However, most mainland cities are affordably serviced by Ecuador's domestic carriers.

 

Business Hours
Bank hours in Ecuador are generally from 9:00AM to 4:30PM during the weekdays. Restaurants will commonly close between meals, especially between lunch and dinner from roughly 3:00PM until 6:00PM. In larger cities, it is not uncommon to dinner quite late in the evening. Retail businesses are generally open from 8:30AM until 4:30PM and may close during lunch hours.