Handcrafting adventures in Ecuador and Peru since 1979
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Ecuador overview


260,670 sq. km (100,645 sq. miles) divided in 24 provinces, including the Galapagos Islands 1000 km (600 miles) off the mainland.


Over 13 million inhabitants, including 16 native ethnic groups.

Capital city

Quito (2 million).


Spanish and Quichua (official) plus 12 indigenous languages. Local people in the tourist trade speak English, French, German, Italian and other foreign languages.

National parks & protected areas

Over 50 including private reserves, comprising 18% of the total territory.


No inoculations are required, though guests with heart or blood pressure conditions should check with their local doctor about visiting high altitude regions. Medical facilities are readily available throughout the country.

Entry documents

Valid passport (more than 6 months prior to expiration upon leaving Ecuador) and onward bound reservation. Visitors can stay up to 90 days. Tourist card is given upon arrival at no cost.

Suggestion: Bring a couple of photocopies of your passport, plus extra photos to expedite a new one in case you lose or misplace it during your trip.

One bottle of liquor and 300 cigarettes duty free.

Airport departure tax

Most international carriers include the tax in the airfare: US$ 48.80 for Quito and US$ 40.22 for Guayaquil.

Local time

Eastern Standard, GMT-5 (no daylight savings time). GMT-6 in Galapagos.

Check correct time with your guide when you arrive.


110 volts, 60 cycles AC. Galapagos yachts and most lodges on mainland have outlets and adapters for recharging batteries and other portable appliances.


US Dollar. Most establishments accept major credit cards. Take note that Ecuadorian dollar coins are not negotiable outside the country. Banking hours are from 9 am to 4 pm, Monday through Friday. Teller machines are found in most major cities and towns. Traveler checks are not accepted.

Other details

Airmail to US, Canada & Europe takes 5 to 8 days. Overseas communications by phone, fax or email is efficient. Cable TV is available at most city hotels. Video system: NTSC. Embassies and consulates can be found in Quito & Guayaquil.

Stores close on Sundays, except at a few shopping malls (ask your guide for details).

Food is not spicy-hot, but quite wholesome and delicious (check with guide about local dishes you should not miss).