Ecuador is a paradise for animal and nature lovers – in fact for everyone! This small country proudly presents the majestic Andes, the deep Amazon jungle, the beautiful coast and not to mention the stunning Galapagos Islands.
On this page you will find practical information and facts about Ecuador.
PRACTICAL INFORMATION ABOUT TRAVELING IN ECUADOR
Climate and best travel time
It is possible to travel in Ecuador all year round. In the coastal areas and on the Galapagos Islands, January to May is the wet and warm period with temperatures around 30 degrees. June to December is drier and a little cooler. In July and August it is often cloudy with daytime temperatures between 20-25 degrees. In the highlands, the drier period is from June to September. In the Amazon, it can rain all year round, not every day though and even during the drier season from September to December, always bring rainwear for safety.
Our recommendations on when it is best to travel in Ecuador are based on how the climate has been last year. The weather in Ecuador can be very changeable and unpredictable and therefore our recommendations should only be seen as an indication.
In 2000, the US dollar (USD) became the official currency of Ecuador. Bring a credit card and possibly some USD in cash. Both Visa and Mastercard are accepted
at hotels and restaurants. In the Galapagos, there are only ATMs in Puerto Ayora on the island of Santa Cruz and in Puerto Baquerizo Moreno on the island of San Cristobal. Keep in mind that many stores etc. charge a fee for purchases with credit cards.
NOTE! The visa rules can be changed at short notice, so We recommend that you check the current conditions at the country’s embassy or on the Ministry of Foreign Affairs’ website.
The following information may change.
Swedish citizens receive a tourist card on arrival which is valid for a stay of up to 90 days. Please note that your passport must be valid for at least six months after departure.
The infrastructure is very good in Ecuador. it is cheap to fly domestic flights, in addition it is time-saving and convenient and it is a great experience to see volcanoes and rainforest from above. The bus transport system is extremely efficient, covers basically the whole country and it is cheap. In most cities, all buses gather at the “Terminal Terrestre”. The local buses are not always the best but a good way to look healthy in a city. If you also become friends with the driver or your fellow passengers, you may get a guided tour of the highest quality! On the coast there are so-called “rancheros” – small tin boxes with wooden seats and in sparsely populated areas you will find small trucks instead of buses. It’s not very comfortable but a very good way to meet the locals – and you often get to see things you otherwise would not have seen.
In most countries, tips are part of the salaries of employees in the service industry. Therefore, it is good practice (and sometimes directly necessary) to give tips to, for example, cleaning staff, waiters, guides, drivers, etc. depending on the country you are visiting. Therefore, we recommend that you familiarize yourself with how much is normally given in tips and to whom before you embark on your journey. Find information on tips in Lonely Planet’s guidebooks.
LANGUAGE: SPANISH AND NATIVE AMERICAN LANGUAGES - MAINLY QUECHUA
CURRENCY: US DOLLAR
Ecuador – a gem for the adventurous animal and nature lover, but also with a unique cultural heritage. The country cuts through the majestic Andes, the deep Amazon jungle and the beautiful coast with the Galapagos Islands outside, giving the country a varied climate to say the least. On the coast and the Amazon it is a tropical climate, against the Peruvian desert a high temperature and dry climate and up in the mountains colder. The best time to visit Ecuador is between December and February, but it is a very popular destination all year round. The capital Quito, located 2,800 meters above sea level, has a comfortable temperature of 21-22 degrees all year round. Visit insidewatch.net for central America geography.
The Galapagos is known for its rich and unique wildlife with, among other things, giant turtles, sea lions, penguins, exotic animals and over 1,600 bird species. Here you can go on a cruise or easier island-jumping if you want, there is an infinite amount to experience for the nature lover. If you want to stay on the mainland, there are miles of beaches along the coast and many nice holiday resorts to visit. For the adventurous, stay at a lodge in the Amazon jungle and do expeditions in the rainforest with experienced, local guides. You can choose to go on a jungle walk or take a boat trip along the river and meet monkeys, butterflies, birds, lizards, giant otters and other exotic animals, not to mention the huge fauna with hundreds of different trees and plants. There are also snow-capped mountain peaks and hot volcanoes,
In the capital Quito, which is considered one of the most beautiful cities in South America, there are many beautiful colonial buildings and churches from the 16th and 17th centuries that are today classified as a World Heritage Site. In addition to fantastic architecture, the city has many cozy restaurants and cafes. In the middle of the city is La Mitad, del Mundo, which means the center of the world, a monument to the city being in the middle of the equator. Outside Quito is one of South America’s most interesting Native American lands, Otavalo, also an exciting excursion.
Wherever you are in Ecuador, you will meet the proud Ecuadorian people. This pride is found both among hard-working people on Cuenca’s old colonial streets, reminiscent of the time of the Spaniards in this country to the Indians in the colorful markets where they trade in strange mixtures of goods such as fruit, household utensils and wool sweaters.
Great experiences in a small country
Ecuador is one of the smallest countries in South America, with what you lack in size, you weigh up in experiences. Ecuador has an incredible wealth of nature with an incredibly rich and varied flora and fauna. Along the coast you can experience both mangrove swamps and beautiful sandy beaches where relaxation, sun and music are the key words. In the grassy slopes of the highlands, the harsh climate is wise for the highland Indians and the Andes’ needle needles. Inside the deepest Amazon you see caimans, piranhas and bathing waterfalls. Ecuador’s fabulous landscapes also include violent and active volcanoes, glaciers and countless activities for those who can not get enough of adrenaline rushes. Here you can try rafting, mountaineering, glacier hikes and swimming with celery, but prepare to go home again with a happy but maybe a little sore body.
Ecuador’s hotspot – Galapagos The Galapagos
Islands are one of the world’s largest natural history treasures and once you have experienced the islands’ unforgettable richness of animals and nature, you will never forget it. The beaches are so white that it almost stings the eyes, the birds are so fun and ingenious and the huge and ancient land turtles bring to mind the great lizards of antiquity. In the Galapagos, you can look iguanas straight in the eye, have a discussion with the roaring sea lions and snorkel with harmless sharks, diving among rays with enormous wing width.