view from airplane

PRACTICAL INFO REGARDING YOUR TRIP

Before you leave

If you are going to Ecuador for less than 3 months you do not need a visa. An international passport is sufficient. Please note that the required validity of your passport is at least 6 months from the date of entry into Ecuador.

No vaccinations are required to enter the country. In some areas there is a limited risk of malaria and yellow fever.

For more information about Covid, please refer to the site ec.usembassy.gov.

When you bring electrical devices (chargers for cameras and the like) check that they work on 110 volts/60 hertz.
model electric plug in Ecuador

In Ecuador, a cell phone operates on the 850 frequency. So a quad-band or special tri-band cell phone (most tribands work on 900/1800/1900 MHz) will do it here. Check whether your phone meets these requirements. The fact that your phone works in Ecuador does not mean that you can call there – it depends on the roaming contract with your provider.
There are many internet cafes in Ecuador, even in the smaller cities, where you can email and chat cheaply. You can make phone calls over the Internet there.
If you travel with us, we will give you some numbers in advance so that you can remain contactable.

Spanish is the official language everywhere. In the Andes region many Indians speak Quechua and in the Amazon there are also many local languages. English will not get you very far, especially in the countryside. Guides do speak English reasonably well. On the Galapagos Islands the knowledge of English is more widely spread.

Since 2000, the US dollar has been the national currency in Ecuador. Previously the Sucre was used, but it has been abolished due to high inflation rates, although many Ecuadorians still talk about it with nostalgia today. Large dollar bills (above 50 USD) are often difficult to get rid of, especially outside the major cities.
Credit cards are widely used. In the big cities you can get money out of the wall: bank ATMs are widespread.
It is best to bring a combination of cash and credit card. Ecuador is one of the cheaper countries in South America.

On the Galapagos Islands it is one hour earlier than on the mainland.
In Ecuador, people often don’t take the time very seriously: they talk about “la hora ecuatoriana”, a kind of local clock that is sometimes a few hours behind.
Below is the current time in Quito and Galapagos.

Mainland
Galapagos
The climate

Ecuador has a huge variety of climates. Therefore, we have broken down the climate descriptions below by region.

In the Andes, temperatures vary greatly throughout the day and according to altitude. Moreover, each valley seems to have its own micro-climate. The dry season (summer season or el verano) runs from June to September. It can be very dry, hot and dusty then. But you have a better chance of seeing the snowy peaks unclouded. During the rainy season (winter or el invierno) it sometimes rains very hard, but rarely for long – the air is fresher and nature is greener. But the mountains are often in the clouds. The south of the country is considerably drier than the north. Recommended attire: you should be prepared for anything. Wear light summer clothing. A cap or hat are very useful (altitude sun!). But in a bag or backpack, always take a raincoat and warmer clothes. Beware: if you go higher into the mountains (>3000 meters) it can be really cold. Here it freezes at night.

In the Amazon, it can rain long and hard at any time of the year. However, it is usually wetter from March to September. A rain poncho and gum boots are a must if you want to hike in the forest. Most lodges in the Amazon jungle stock boots and ponchos – including American sizes.

The coastal region or Costa has a very African feel. Here you feel that you are on the equator. It is cooler from June to September. From January to May is the hottest and wettest period of the year. As in the Andean region, the south of the coastal region is drier than the north. Recommended attire: you wear light summer clothes and in the rainy season bring a light raincoat.

From January to May it is warm but usually rains more. Nevertheless, the number of rainy days in that period is still very limited. Moreover, the rain showers are usually short-lived.
From June through December it is drier but cooler.
The islands lie in a cold gulf stream that drifts westward from the southeastern Pacific Ocean at the height of the equator. Therefore, the water temperature sometimes drops between July and September.
Here you will find a Galapagos Islands Climate Table.

Book your trip

If you want to set up a trip in Ecuador and/or the Galapagos Islands alone, with partner, family or friends, we will be happy to help you with this.
To do this, we have a few strong assets: a very wide range of cruises, hotels, guides and drivers and in addition, We know the country very well. Our staff in Ecuador ensures that the information about our trips is permanently updated.
If you travel with us, you can count on local English-speaking support in case of emergency and permanent (telephone) information during your trip.
Our trips in Ecuador are usually made up of several components:

Look at the range of cruises on large, medium and smaller ships. Visiting the Galapagos can be done in the most comfortable conditions, but also in an adventurous and cheaper way.
Choose for yourself which regions and cities you want to visit, in which hotels you want to stay and which excursions you want to participate in. For each region we selected a number of hotels and excursions.
There are a number of very high quality lodges and river cruises that are in line with local people and local conservation initiatives. You will spend several days deep in the jungle.
Ecuador has more than a thousand kilometers of tropical beaches. The vast Machalilla National Park, with Isla de la Plata and Los Frailes, offers a cheap alternative to Galapagos.
After getting to know your wishes and interests, we will work out a travel proposal that matches your expectations as closely as possible. Usually you will receive this proposal already a few working days after your request.

WHY TRAVEL WITH EXPLORE ECUADOR?

Tom - guide in EcuadorI’m Tom from Belgium and I’ll make sure your trip to Ecuador or cruise in Galapagos goes as smoothly and pleasantly as possible. I have been living in Ecuador for a decade and have been working in tourism for 8 years now. Before that, I obtained my guides diploma in Ecuador. Traveling and discovering new places is my passion.
Together with the local travel agency Descubre-Ecuador, we offer tailor-made tours in Galapagos and on the Ecuadorian mainland. Over the years, Descubre-Ecuador has built a reliable partnership with the best hotels and the best nature guides in Ecuador. Our small-scale way of working ensures easy accessibility and a lot of flexibility when traveling.
Customer satisfaction is the essence for us. And even in those rare moments of unforeseen difficult circumstances, we make sure that we are there to make sure your trip runs smoothly.
Explore Ecuador and Galapagos!

WHY TRAVEL TO ECUADOR?

Indian woman from SalasacasIn South America, Ecuador is one of the smaller countries, but the country is hugely diverse in terms of geography, climate and population. You can visit the Andes, the Amazon rainforest as well as the tropical coast without taking extremely long domestic flights or transfers. And then you have the Galapagos Islands, a once in a lifetime experience. The diversity of flora and fauna per square mile is enormous. Ecuador is South America in a nutshell. Moreover, the country is relatively safe and little visited. The national currency is the USD and you have a wide choice of direct flights to Quito and Guayaquil from Europe and the United States.

WAAROM REIZEN MET ONTDEK-ECUADOR?

Tom - guide in EcuadorIk ben Tom uit België en zorg ervoor dat jullie reis naar Ecuador of cruise in Galapagos zo vlot en aangenaam mogelijk kan verlopen. Ik woon al een tiental jaren in Ecuador en werk nu 8 jaren in toerisme. Daarvoor heb ik in Ecuador mijn gidsen-diploma behaald. Reizen en nieuwe plaatsen ontdekken is mijn passie. Samen met het lokale reiskantoor Descubre-Ecuador, bieden we reizen op maat in Galapagos en op het Ecuadoriaanse vasteland aan. Descubre-Ecuador heeft door de jaren heen een betrouwbare samenwerking opgebouwd met de beste hotels en de beste natuurgidsen van Ecuador. Onze kleinschalige manier van werken zorgt voor een vlotte bereikbaarheid en veel flexibiliteit bij het reizen. De tevredenheid van de klant is voor ons de essentie. En ook op die zeldzame momenten van onvoorziene moeilijke omstandigheden zorgen we dat we er zijn om jullie reis toch perfect te laten verlopen. Ontdek Ecuador en Galapagos!