Ecuador Travel Information

The Basics


GMT -5


Electrical current is 120 volts, 60Hz. Two-pin plugs are standard.


Spanish is the official language, but Quechua is the main language spoken among the indigenous people.

Travel Health

A yellow fever certificate is required from those arriving from infected areas, and is recommended for everyone entering Ecuador, particularly for those travelling to the regions of the Amazon basin. There is high risk of malaria and dengue fever in areas below 5,000 feet (1,500m). There has been a dramatic increase in the number of reported cases of dengue fever primarily in coastal and Amazon regions. The best prevention is to cover up and use mosquito repellent liberally throughout the day. High altitude can affect some people's health so visitors to Quito (6,500 feet/2,800m), for example, are advised to take it easy for the first few days. It is advisable to take seasickness tablets on a Galapagos boat cruise. Tap water should not be consumed; bottled water is available. Milk is unpasteurised so it is best to avoid dairy products. Medical facilities are inadequate and medical insurance is highly recommended.


A 10% service charge is usually added to good quality hotel and restaurant bills, but often the waitron does not receive this fee, so it is discretionary to add another 5-10%. Taxi drivers do not expect to be tipped and tour guides usually receive a $4-$8 tip.

Safety Information

Ecuador is generally a safe country to travel to but visitors should be vigilant with their belongings as most crime is opportunistic. Travellers are warned not to store belongings in the overhead lockers or under seats on public buses and trains. Due to a risk of kidnapping and armed crime, travel to the north-eastern areas bordering Colombia is not advisable, and travel to the northern provinces of Sucumbios and Orellana should be avoided. Ecuador has many active volcanoes, which are poorly monitored. Recent eruptions have caused the evacuation of thousands of people, particularly in the Baños area. Tungurahua volcano near Baños erupted on 6 February 2008, and there has been heightened activity in July 2008; travel to Banos at this time is not recommended due to the possibility of further eruptions. You should avoid hiking to Volcan Pichincha via Cruz Loma as violent gangs are known to operate in the wooded areas; a cable car provides access, but there have been several recent cases of armed robbery and rape reported in the area. Several incidents have also occurred along the hiking trail up Cerro Mandango near Vilcabamba, Loja, in which hikers have been robbed of all valuables by masked men. There is an ongoing risk of disruption to travel due to social and political unrest; all public gatherings and demonstrations are to be avoided.

Local Customs

Always ask permission to take photos of the local people. A tip is often requested. It is a legal requirement to carry identification at all times. Dress is more conservative and modest in the highlands compared to the coast. Politeness and good manners are essential for communication and a light handshake is the practiced form of greeting.


An essential aspect of conducting business in Ecuador is having a tie with a reputable local partner. Business dealings are somewhat formal; dress is usually smart and conservative, punctuality is important and greetings are made with a handshake. Dress can be more casual in hotter regions such as Guayaquil. Business cards are usually exchanged and it is recommended to have some business cards, company brochures and presentations translated into Spanish. Note that business disputes that would in countries such as the United States be dealt with by civil litigation are often, under Ecuadorian law, viewed as criminal, and can lead to arrest and imprisonment. Although the official language is Spanish, English is widely spoken and understood in the business sector. Business hours are usually 8.30am to 4.30pm Monday to Friday, with some businesses closing during lunch.


The international access code for Ecuador is +593. The outgoing code is 00 followed by the relevant country code (e.g. 0044 for the United Kingdom). The city code for Quito is (0)2. Calls made from hotel rooms can be very expensive, but public telephones can be found in most public buildings in the main cities; the most cost-effective way to telephone internationally is from call centres, which are located in most towns and cities. They also offers fax services and sometimes Internet connections, but Internet cafes are available in the main towns. The local GSM cell phone network does not have roaming agreements with international operators; European, Australian and other phones from non-GSM cell phone networks will not work, but cell phones can be rented at the international airports or at cellular phone shops.

Duty Free

Travellers entering Ecuador do not have to pay customs duty on 300 cigarettes or 50 cigars or 200g tobacco; 1 litre of alcoholic beverages; perfume for personal use; and gifts and personal effects to the value of US$200 for a stay of up to seven days, US$300 for eight days to six months, and US$400 for stays of six months to two years.

Become our Ecuador Travel Expert

We are looking for contributors for our Ecuador travel guide. If you are a local, a regular traveller to Ecuador or a travel professional with time to contribute and answer occasional forum questions, please contact us.


iExplore designs made-to-order, privately-guided adventure tours to Ecuador, the Galapagos Islands and over 200 other world wonders. Come Back Different!


Intrepid Travel

Intrepid Travel, one of the world's leading suppliers of small group adventures focused on getting off the beaten track, interacting with the locals and having real life experiences throughout Ecuador.



1,638,792 bytes
Loading Time Base Classes  0.0475
Controller Execution Time ( Countries / Index )  0.1321
Total Execution Time  0.1823
No GET data exists
No POST data exists
  DATABASE:  globe_media   QUERIES: 39   
0.0005   INSERT INTO `ci_sessions(`session_id`, `ip_address`, `user_agent`, `last_activity`) VALUES ('e384922225fa313092a4aee220086562''''CCBot/2.0 (http://commoncrawl.org/faq/)'1412152509) 
0.0005   UPDATE `ci_sessionsSET `last_activity` = 1412152509, `user_data` = '' WHERE `session_id` = 'e384922225fa313092a4aee220086562' 
0.0003   UPDATE `ci_sessionsSET `last_activity` = 1412152509, `user_data` = '' WHERE `session_id` = 'e384922225fa313092a4aee220086562' 
0.0015   UPDATE `ci_sessionsSET `last_activity` = 1412152509, `user_data` = '' WHERE `session_id` = 'e384922225fa313092a4aee220086562' 
0.0006   UPDATE `ci_sessionsSET `last_activity` = 1412152509, `user_data` = '' WHERE `session_id` = 'e384922225fa313092a4aee220086562' 
0.0003   UPDATE `ci_sessionsSET `last_activity` = 1412152509, `user_data` = '' WHERE `session_id` = 'e384922225fa313092a4aee220086562' 
0.0004   UPDATE `ci_sessionsSET `last_activity` = 1412152509, `user_data` = '' WHERE `session_id` = 'e384922225fa313092a4aee220086562' 
0.0004   UPDATE `ci_sessionsSET `last_activity` = 1412152509, `user_data` = '' WHERE `session_id` = 'e384922225fa313092a4aee220086562' 
0.0004   UPDATE `ci_sessionsSET `last_activity` = 1412152509, `user_data` = '' WHERE `session_id` = 'e384922225fa313092a4aee220086562' 
0.0004   UPDATE `ci_sessionsSET `last_activity` = 1412152509, `user_data` = '' WHERE `session_id` = 'e384922225fa313092a4aee220086562' 
0.0005   UPDATE `ci_sessionsSET `last_activity` = 1412152509, `user_data` = '' WHERE `session_id` = 'e384922225fa313092a4aee220086562' 
0.0013   UPDATE `ci_sessionsSET `last_activity` = 1412152509, `user_data` = '' WHERE `session_id` = 'e384922225fa313092a4aee220086562' 
0.0004   UPDATE `ci_sessionsSET `last_activity` = 1412152509, `user_data` = '' WHERE `session_id` = 'e384922225fa313092a4aee220086562' 
0.0005   UPDATE `ci_sessionsSET `last_activity` = 1412152509, `user_data` = 'a:1:{s:16:\"destination_type\";s:9:\"Countries\";}' WHERE `session_id` = 'e384922225fa313092a4aee220086562' 
0.0006   UPDATE `ci_sessionsSET `last_activity` = 1412152509, `user_data` = 'a:2:{s:16:\"destination_type\";s:9:\"Countries\";s:7:\"country\";s:7:\"Ecuador\";}' WHERE `session_id` = 'e384922225fa313092a4aee220086562' 
0.0005   UPDATE `ci_sessionsSET `last_activity` = 1412152509, `user_data` = 'a:3:{s:16:\"destination_type\";s:9:\"Countries\";s:7:\"country\";s:7:\"Ecuador\";s:13:\"selected_node\";s:6:\"basics\";}' WHERE `session_id` = 'e384922225fa313092a4aee220086562' 
0.0004   SELECT *
FROM (`config_categories`)
WHERE `type` = 'left'
AND `parent_category_idIN (SELECT id FROM config_categories WHERE link "/countries")
display_order` != '0'
ORDER BY `display_order
0.0005   SELECT `province_code`, `province_name`, `c`.`country_name`
FROM (`provincesp)
LEFT JOIN `countriesON `c`.`country_code` = `p`.`country_code`
WHERE `c`.`country_name` = 'Ecuador'
ORDER BY `p`.`province_name
0.0009   SELECT rc.id as regions_cities_idrc.region_namerc.major_cityrc.key_regionc.country_namep.province_name  FROM regions_cities rc INNER JOIN countries c ON c.country_code rc.country_code LEFT JOIN provinces p ON rc.province_code p.province_code WHERE c.country_name "Ecuador"  AND rc.major_city AND rc.nfuwt != 1 UNION SELECT rc.id as regions_cities_idrc.region_namerc.major_cityrc.key_regionc.country_namep.province_name FROM regions_cities rc INNER JOIN provinces p ON p.province_code rc.province_code INNER JOIN countries c ON p.country_code c.country_code WHERE c.country_name "Ecuador"  AND rc.major_city AND rc.nfuwt != ORDER BY region_name  
0.0004   SELECT rc.id as regions_cities_idrc.region_namerc.major_cityrc.key_regionc.country_namep.province_name  FROM regions_cities rc INNER JOIN countries c ON c.country_code rc.country_code LEFT JOIN provinces p ON rc.province_code p.province_code WHERE c.country_name "Ecuador"  AND rc.major_city AND rc.nfuwt != 1 UNION SELECT rc.id as regions_cities_idrc.region_namerc.major_cityrc.key_regionc.country_namep.province_name FROM regions_cities rc INNER JOIN provinces p ON p.province_code rc.province_code INNER JOIN countries c ON p.country_code c.country_code WHERE c.country_name "Ecuador"  AND rc.major_city AND rc.nfuwt != ORDER BY region_name  
0.0090   SELECT `r`.`id` as resort_id, `r`.`name`, `r`.`major_resort`, `r`.`attr_ski_chk`, `r`.`attr_beach_chk`, `c`.`country_name`, (SELECT region_name FROM regions_cities WHERE country_code c.country_code AND id r.region_city_code) as region_name
LEFT JOIN `countriesON `c`.`country_code` = `r`.`country_code`
WHERE `c`.`country_name` = 'Ecuador'
AND `attr_ski_chk` != "Yes"
ORDER BY `r`.`major_resortDESC, `r`.`name
0.0017   SELECT `r`.`id` as resort_id, `r`.`name`, `r`.`major_resort`, `r`.`attr_ski_chk`, `r`.`attr_beach_chk`, `c`.`country_name`, (SELECT region_name FROM regions_cities WHERE country_code c.country_code AND id r.region_city_code) as region_name
LEFT JOIN `countriesON `c`.`country_code` = `r`.`country_code`
WHERE `c`.`country_name` = 'Ecuador'
AND `attr_ski_chk` = 'Yes'
ORDER BY `r`.`major_resortDESC, `r`.`name
0.0026   SELECT `iata_code`, `name`, `url_name`, `c`.`country_name`
FROM (`port_of_callpc)
LEFT JOIN `countriesON `c`.`country_code` = `pc`.`country_code`
WHERE `c`.`country_name` = 'Ecuador'
ORDER BY `pc`.`name
0.0073   SELECT *
FROM (`config_nodescn)
JOIN `config_nodes_categoriescnc ON `cnc`.`node_id` = `cn`.`id`
WHERE `cnc`.`category_idIN (select id from config_categories where link "/basics")
ORDER BY `cn`.`position`, `cnc`.`display_order
0.0015   SELECT `id`, `headline`, `via_title`, `via_link`, `body`, `event_date`, `end_date`, `anchor_link`
FROM (`news`)
WHERE `for_pro` = 1
AND `end_date` >  '2014-10-01'
AND `country_code` = (SELECT country_code FROM countries WHERE country_name "Ecuador") 
0.0016   SELECT *
FROM (`tour_operators`)
WHERE `country_code` = (SELECT country_code FROM countries WHERE country_name "Ecuador")
show_in_column` = 1
`show_in_columnDESC, `name
0.0006   SELECT country_code FROM countries WHERE country_name "Ecuador" 
0.0012   SELECT from tourop_list WHERE destinations LIKE '%EC%' ORDER BY id DESC 
0.0008   SELECT `country_code`
FROM (`countries`)
WHERE `country_name` = 'Ecuador' 
0.0174   SELECT d.id AS destination_idd.overview AS destination_overviewd.extended_overview AS destination_extended_overviewd.photo as destination_photod.*, c.*, 'Ecuador' AS country_nameLENGTH(CONCAT_WS(d.timed.electricityd.languaged.healthd.tippingd.safetyd.businessd.communicationsd.duty_free)) AS basicsLENGTH(CONCAT_WS(d.embassy_consulate_usd.embassy_consulate_ukd.embassy_consulate_cad.embassy_consulate_aud.embassy_consulate_ird.embassy_consulate_nz)) AS contacts(SELECT money FROM destinations WHERE country_code "EC" ) AS money(SELECT LENGTH(CONCAT_WS(passport_visaentry_req_usentry_req_ukentry_req_caentry_req_auentry_req_irentry_req_nz))
FROM destinations WHERE country_code "EC" ) AS visa(SELECT group_concat(id) FROM public_holiday p WHERE p.country_code "EC" order by p.weight desc) AS public_holiday(SELECT count(*) FROM tour_operators t where t.country_code d.country_code) AS num_tour_ops(SELECT count(id) AS total_rows FROM tourop_list tl WHERE tl.destinations LIKE ("%EC%")) AS num_tour_operators(SELECT group_concat(name) FROM port_of_call pc WHERE pc.country_code d.country_code) AS ports_of_call(SELECT group_concat(region_name) FROM regions_cities WHERE major_city AND nfuwt != AND country_code d.country_code ORDER BY major_city DESCregion_name ASC) AS cities(SELECT group_concat(region_name) FROM regions_cities WHERE major_city AND nfuwt != AND country_code d.country_code ORDER BY major_city DESCregion_name ASC) AS regions(SELECT group_concat(name) FROM resorts WHERE major_resort AND country_code d.country_code ORDER BY major_resort DESCname ASC) AS resorts(SELECT count(*) FROM dmcs WHERE country_code d.country_code) AS num_dmcs(SELECT concat(caption" © "copyright) FROM images WHERE filename d.photo) AS photo_copyright(SELECT count(*) FROM airports ai where ai.nfuwt != AND ai.country_code d.country_code) AS num_airports(SELECT count(*) FROM events e where e.country_code d.country_code AND show_on_country 1) AS num_events(SELECT count(*) FROM activities where region_city_code "0" AND country_code d.country_code) AS num_activities(SELECT count(*) FROM attractions a where a.country_code d.country_code AND show_on_country AND excursion "No") AS num_attractions(SELECT count(*) FROM attractions a where a.country_code d.country_code AND show_on_country AND show_on_kids AND excursion "No") AS num_kids_attractions(SELECT count(*) FROM attractions a where a.country_code d.country_code AND excursion "Yes") AS num_excursions(SELECT phrases FROM phrase_book pb where pb.country_code c.country_code AND phrases != "") AS num_phrases(SELECT count(*) FROM image_bridge ib LEFT OUTER JOIN images i ON ib.image_id=i.id WHERE ib.destination_code c.country_code) AS num_photos(SELECT count(*) FROM hospitals h where h.country_code c.country_code) AS num_hospitals
(destinations d)
LEFT JOIN countries c ON c.country_code d.country_code
LEFT JOIN provinces pr ON pr
.province_code d.province_code
`c`.`country_name` = 'Ecuador' 
0.0011   UPDATE ci_sessions SET last_activity 1412152509user_data 'a:3:{s:16:\"destination_type\";s:9:\"Countries\";s:7:\"country\";s:7:\"Ecuador\";s:13:\"selected_node\";s:6:\"basics\";}' WHERE `session_id` = 'e384922225fa313092a4aee220086562' 
0.0006   UPDATE ci_sessions SET last_activity 1412152509user_data 'a:4:{s:16:\"destination_type\";s:9:\"Countries\";s:7:\"country\";s:7:\"Ecuador\";s:13:\"selected_node\";s:6:\"basics\";s:6:\"region\";s:0:\"\";}' WHERE `session_id` = 'e384922225fa313092a4aee220086562' 
0.0006   SELECT TagID FROM FORUM_DiscussionTags WHERE  Tag 'Ecuador'  
0.0008   SELECT DiscussionID FROM FORUM_DiscussionHasTags WHERE TagID IN (851)
GROUP BY DiscussionID HAVING COUNT(DiscussionID) = 
0.0022   SELECT od.`Name`, od.`DiscussionIDFROM FORUM_Discussion od
                    WHERE od
.`DiscussionIDIN ( 807,1456,1457,1971,5029,5192,5596,5929,5930,6401,7263,8449,9589 ) ORDER BY od.`DateLastActiveDESC LIMIT 0 15
0.0033   SELECT i.*, e.fullnamee.bioe.pic FROM interviews i INNER JOIN experts e ON i.expert_id e.id
INNER JOIN countries c ON i
.spatial_id c.country_code WHERE i.interview_type 'country' AND c.country_name 'Ecuador' 
0.0006   SELECT TagID FROM FORUM_DiscussionTags WHERE  Tag 'Ecuador'  
0.0004   SELECT DiscussionID FROM FORUM_DiscussionHasTags WHERE TagID IN (851)
GROUP BY DiscussionID HAVING COUNT(DiscussionID) = 
0.0005   SELECT od.`Name`, od.`DiscussionIDFROM FORUM_Discussion od
                    WHERE od
.`DiscussionIDIN ( 807,1456,1457,1971,5029,5192,5596,5929,5930,6401,7263,8449,9589 ) ORDER BY od.`DateLastActiveDESC LIMIT 0 15