Ecuador: Trip Preparation & Destination Information

Ecuador: Trip Preparation & Destination Information

About Ecuador


Nestled in South America, Ecuador beckons with a diverse tapestry of natural wonders and cultural treasures. From the majestic Andean peaks to the lush expanse of the Amazon rainforest and the iconic Galapagos Islands, this country offers an immersive journey through varied landscapes. Quito's colonial charm invites cultural exploration, while biodiverse hotspots like Tena's rainforests, Cotopaxi's volcanic terrain, and the unparalleled wildlife of the Galapagos promise unforgettable natural experiences.


Capital City: Quito

Population: 17.5 million (2022 est.)

Currency: United States Dollar (USD)

Time Zone: Ecuador Time Zone ECT (UTC -5)

Emergency Number: 911

Outlet: Type A/B

A waterfall in the Amazon rainforest of Baños de Agua Santa.
 Mitad del Mundo monument in Quito, Ecuador.

Packing List

Speak the Language

Language:  Spanish

- Hello - ¡Hola! (O-la)
- Goodbye - ¡Adios! (AH-dee-ohs)
- Thank you - Gracias (GRA-see-as)
- Do you speak English? - ¿Habla inglés? (Ab-la in-GLAYS)
- I (don’t) understand - Yo (no) entiendo (yo no en-tee-EN-doh)
- How are you? - ¿Cómo está? (KOH-moh eh-STAH)
- I’m fine, thank you - Bien, gracias (bee-EN, GRA-see-as)
- What’s your name? - Cómo te llamas? ((KOH-moh te ya-mas?)
- My name is… - Me llamo… (May ya-moh… )
- Where is... - ¿Dónde está… (DON-day es-tah...)
- The bathroom - el baño (el BAH-nyo)
- An ATM - un cajero (un kah-HEH-roh)

Google Translate: Download the Google Translate app or click here 

A skyline view of rooftops in Quito, Ecuador.

Fun Facts

  • Equator: The country is named after the equator, which runs through it, and the Mitad del Mundo monument north of Quito celebrates this geographical fact.

  • Volcanoes: Ecuador is known for its numerous volcanoes, including Cotopaxi, one of the world's highest active volcanoes, providing stunning landscapes for adventure seekers and nature enthusiasts alike.

  • Biodiversity: Despite its relatively small size, Ecuador boasts incredible biodiversity. It's one of the 17 most mega-diverse countries in the world, hosting a wide range of ecosystems, from the Andes to the Amazon rainforest.

  • Galapagos Islands: Ecuador is famous for being home to the Galapagos Islands, known for their unique and diverse wildlife that inspired Charles Darwin's theory of evolution.

  • Cuisine: A popular Ecuadorian dish is "ceviche," a seafood dish typically made from fresh raw fish cured in citrus juices and often served with onions, tomatoes, and other seasonings.


Tipping Suggestions: Tips for Guides, drivers, and restaurants are not included. Tips provide supplemental income, and, while not mandatory, are greatly appreciated. If the local teams have added to the experience, please reward them.

Guides USD $6-8 per person/per day
Drivers USD $4 per person/per day
Restaurants (full service)  USD 10% of total bill



Where can I find information on travel safety? Common sense safety rules apply here: Don't wear flashy jewelry, keep your phones and cameras out of sight, only carry enough money for the day, and avoid taking cards or passports out with you. Wear what you would normally wear, but try to wear clothing with hidden pockets to stash your important items. Check out the US Department of State's website for the most up-to-date information on safety while traveling.


Is Ecuador LGBTQ+ friendly? Ecuador has made significant strides towards LGBTQ+ rights and inclusivity in recent years. Same-sex relationships have been legal since 1998, and Ecuador has recognized same-sex marriage since 2019.


Is the water safe to drink? While it is safe to drink in most Ecuadorian cities, it is better to avoid it to be safe and always drink treated water which can be found at all lodging accommodations.


Do I need a Visa? For Visa information, click here. Make sure your passport is valid for at least six months after you return home and has two or more blank pages. Otherwise, some countries may not let you enter.


What about vaccines? For vaccination information, click here.


Do you recommend travel insurance? While not required, we highly recommend all Travelers get travel insurance for their trip to protect themselves from the unknown!


How much should I pack? As we will be using shared transfers and spaces throughout our tour we recommend all Travelers pack as lightly as possible. Please take a look at our luggage restrictions below.


Is Uber or Lyft available? Uber is available in major cities including Quito. There are also other ridesharing apps like Cabify or Lyft.


What about Wifi? Wifi should be readily available in most hotels and restaurants.

Luggage Restrictions

Luggage Restrictions purple
Luggage restrictions purple – mobile – 1

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