ECUADOR TRAVEL FAQS
When to visit Ecuador?
All year round! There are not seasons, the periods vary from rainy to dry season. Like all over the world, kind of unpredictable, the country has 4 regions and they offer different and amazing options to travel.
Coastal cities, like Guayaquil, have a warmer, tropical climate, and the temperature varies from the low 70s to high 80s (20 – 30 degrees Celsius).
In the highlands, the temperatures could be cooler. The average temperature in Quito is in the mid-60s Fahrenheit (17 – 18 degrees Celsius).
On the jungle you can feel warm throughout the year. Normally wet.
The Galápagos Islands are located about a thousand kilometers (600 miles) west of Ecuador in the Pacific Ocean; they are cloudy, cool and misty, from July to November and semi-arid and tropical with a hot and relatively rainy season from January to May.
At the Islands, a subtropical weather is always presented and affected by the marine currents which are in the area.
Dec – May is our warm season with more sunshine. Average air temperature ranges from 80-87 F / 26-31 C. February and March are the warmest months.
June – Nov is the cooler season. Garua and mist could be presented. Winds bring more currents and the sea could be a bit stronger. Average air temperatures range from of 67-78 F / 20 -26C. This is an opportunity to observe an increase on aviary species and sea animals.
Is a visa required to travel to Ecuador?
For less than 90 days of stay, you do not need a visa, however a passport with at least 6 months validity will be required. Never mind, this is a personal issue.
Are Wolf and Darwin Islands included in the trip?
Yes, they are included in our itinerary
What about Ecuadorian food?
Ecuadorian dishes are based on potatoes, corn, different types of meat, even seafood, rice and beans. Ask for special dietary conditions, we will have several options!
What time zone is Ecuador in?
Ecuador is five hours behind Greenwich Mean Time (GMT).The Galapagos Islands are always one hour behind the mainland.
Suggestions to pack?
Among other items, we have the following recommendations:
- Rain jackets
- Zip-up light-weight fleece
- Long-sleeved shirt, pants, Tops, T-shirts (Wool or Cotton)
- Jeans or leggings
- Very good shoes for walking; also sandals/flip flops.
- Flash light
- Camera and external batteries
- Sun lotion
- Bug spray / with Deet
- Zip lock bags
- Your medicine (motion sickness pills could be necessary / suggested by your doctor)
- Money belt
- A Backpack
Not allowed at the Islands?
You are not allowed to carry any plants or animals in your checked luggage (to avoid invasive species on the islands), your suitcases will be scanned and a seal zipper will not allowed you to put anything else after the revision. No plants or fruits with seeds are allowed. Smoking is prohibited on the Islands.
Are there briefings on board?
Yes, our guides will be in charge of the briefings, they will explain all the daily activities and the necessary points for each excursion. Our guides speak fluent English and Spanish.
Is tipping customary in Ecuador?
Tipping depends on you and how you consider, the type of service you will receive.
Is there internet access?
Big cities like Quito, Guayaquil and Cuenca will have good connections. In small towns, Amazon, and Galapagos, it is not easy to find internet.
And the use of cellphones?
With an unlocked smartphone, you can obtain a pre-paid SIM card to use. Never mind, like internet, there are some places where it will not work.
Can I drink the water in Ecuador?
The tap water in Ecuador is not safe to drink, bottled water is always, the best while travelling.
Are credit cards accepted in Ecuador? Will I be able to find ATMs?
Credit cards are accepted at most of the restaurants and big stores; we suggest to bring cash for purchasing handicrafts or small articles. ATMs can be easily find in big cities.
What currency is used in Ecuador?
The Ecuadorian government adopted the U.S. dollar as our official currency since 2000.
Is Ecuador safe to travel?
You should take the same precautions you would, anywhere else. (Avoid carrying large amounts of cash, jewelry or other expensive items).
What about power adapters?
In Ecuador you can find a standard voltage of 110v and the frequency is 60 Hz. You can use your electric appliances in Ecuador, if the standard voltage in your country is in between 110 – 127 V. You can also consider a combined power plug adapter/voltage converter.
And concerning shots?
Yellow fever vaccinations is not necessary to enter the country, never mind you should check with your foreign travel office, especially if you have a connection trip to another country which requires this. The same thing for malaria. As a suggestion, always check about it with your doctor.
What about time zone for the Galapagos?
The Galapagos Islands are 1 hour behind the mainland.
And Gear Suggestions?
We need to consider that the temperature in the Northern area of Galapagos is cooler than in the other areas, reason due to which we recommend: Hood as a personal desire. Gloves and a 7mm wet suit. We will provide tanks, weights and belts. Dive Computers are mandatory. Bring your spare elements too.
What about flights?
Your international flights will arrive to Guayaquil or Quito. So the national flights to Galapagos can be organized from these cities (during the morning). We hardly suggest to spend an extra night on the mainland, prior and after your Galapagos program.