If you are going to Ecuador for less than 3 months, you do not need a visa. An international passport is sufficient. You can request this at the town hall of your place of residence. Keep in mind that it can take some time to create your passport. Please note: the required validity period of your passport is at least 6 months from the date of entry into Ecuador.
There are no vaccinations required to enter the country if you are coming from the European Union. In some areas there is a limited risk of malaria and yellow fever.
If you bring electrical devices (chargers for cameras and the like), check if they work on 110 Volt / 60 hertz.
The sockets in Ecuador are of the American type (see picture). You can buy an adapter in a DIY store or in a travel store.
In Ecuador, a mobile phone works on the 850 frequency. A quad-band or special tri-band mobile phone (most tribands work on 900/1800/1900 MHz) will work here. Check whether your phone complies with this. The fact that your phone works in Ecuador does not mean that you can also start calling there – that depends on the roaming contract with your Belgian provider.
In Ecuador, even in the smaller cities, there are many internet cafes where you can mail and chat cheaply. You can make calls via the internet.
If you are traveling with us, we will give you some numbers in advance so that you can remain reachable.
Spanish is the main language everywhere. Quechua is spoken by many Indians in the mountains and in the Amazon region there are also many local languages. With English you will not get very far – especially on the outside. Guides do speak English quite well. Knowledge of English is more widely spread in the Galapagos Islands.
Since 2000, the US dollar has been the national currency in Ecuador. Previously, the sucre was used, but it has been abolished because of the high inflation figures, although many Ecuadorians today still talk about it with nostalgia. Large dollar bills (above USD 50) are often difficult to get rid of, especially outside the big cities.
Credit cards are widely used. In the big cities you can get money out of the wall: 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 Ecuadorian mainland it is seven hours earlier during Belgian summer time and six hours earlier during Belgian winter time. On the Galapagos Islands it is still one hour earlier than on the mainland.
Take into account jet lag, which is especially important when returning to Belgium.
In Ecuador people often don’t take time too seriously: they talk about “la hora ecuatoriana”, a kind of local clock that sometimes lags a few hours behind.
Below is the current time in the mainland and Galapagos.
Ecuador has an enormous variety of climates. That is why we have split the climate descriptions below per region.
In the Andes Mountains, temperatures vary greatly during 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 then be very dry, warm and dusty. But you are more likely to see the snow peaks unclouded. During the rainy season (winter or el invierno) it sometimes rains very hard, but rarely for a long time – 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 clothing: you have to be equipped with everything. Wear light summer clothes. A cap or hat are very useful (sunlamps!). But in a bag or backpack you always take a rain jacket and warmer clothing with you. 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. But usually it is wetter from March to September. A rain poncho and rubber boots are a must if you want to go hiking in the forest. Most lodges in the Amazon rainforest stock boots and ponchos – including European sizes.
The coastal region or Costa has a very African feel. Here you feel that you are on the equator. It’s cooler from June to September. January to May is the hottest and wettest time of the year. Just like in the Andes region, the south of the coastal region is drier than the north. Recommended clothing: you wear light summer clothing and in the rainy season you bring a light raincoat.
From January to May it is warm but it usually rains more. Yet the number of rainy days in that period is still very limited. Moreover, the rain showers are usually short-lived.
From June to December it is drier but cooler.
The islands lie in a cold Gulf Stream that turns westward from the southeast of the Pacific Ocean at the level of the equator. That is why the water temperature sometimes drops to 20 ° C between July and September.
Below a climate table for the Galapagos Islands.
Jan Feb Mar Apr May Jun Jul Aug Sep Oct Nov Dec
max temp celsius 30 30 31 31 28 26 26 26 26 26 26 27
min temp celsius 22 24 24 24 22 21 20 19 19 20 21 22
hours of sunshine per day 5.3 7.5 6.0 7.5 5.2 4.4 2.8 3.3 2.9 3.8 3.5 4.0
temp. sea water 24 25 25 25 24 23 22 21 22 22 23 23
rainfall in mm 761 117 101 74 15 5 8 5 5 5 5 8
wind force * 3 2 1 2 3 4 5 6 7 6 5 4
sea waves ** 2 1 1 1 2 2 3 4 4 3 3 2
* Wind force (beware: this is not about the Beaufort scale)
1 = windless
7 = moderate wind
10 = possible damage
** Sea waves:
1 = silent
4 = fair waves
10 = imminent danger
If you want to set up a trip in Ecuador and / or the Galapagos Islands alone, with your partner, family or friends, we are happy to help you with this.
We have a few strong assets for this: a very wide range of cruises, hotels, guides and drivers and, moreover, we know the country very well. Our Dutch-speaking employees in Quito ensure that the information about our trips is permanently updated.
If you travel with us, you can count on support from Quito in the event of an emergency and permanent (telephone) information during your trip.
Our tours in Ecuador are usually made up of different components:
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