Currency: U.S Dollar.
Religion: Roman Catholic.
Main Cities: Quito, Guayaquil, and Cuenca.
Regions Climate: Sierra (15 C), Costa (27 to 33 C),
Amazonia (25 to 29 C), Galapagos Islands (26 to 30 c). .
Local Time: GMT-5 (Ecuador Continental).GMT-6 (Galapagos Islands).
Weight: IS (International System).
Entry Requirements: Valid Passport with a maximum stay of 90 days without visa.
Electricity: 110 AC.
Located on the northwestern coast of South America, Mainland Ecuador is bordered by Colombia to the north and Peru to the south and east. It is crossed by the Equatorial line, from where its name derives. Ecuador also owns the Galapagos Islands, located approximately 970 kilometers westward off the Ecuadorian Coast been one of the smallest countries in South America, with 256,370 square kilometers.
Ecuador has numerous and diverse ecosystems (45 on the Mainland), plus an assortment of landscapes. Because of its privileged location, Ecuador is listed as one of the 17 “mega-diverse “countries of the world, been the smallest of the group.
At the moment, 1340 species of fish are registered, of which more than 800 are fresh water fish; from these, 470 species live on the Napo river basin alone;415 amphibians species, from which 60% are endemic;394 reptilian species and 369 mammalian , 30% are endemic. Each year, many new species are described, especially amphibians.1, 616 bird species, from which 52 are endemic.132 species of hummingbirds, (37% of the world total). Ecuador has more endemic bird species by square kilometer than the rest of South America .The Invertebrate field is the least known in Ecuador. There is an estimate 500,000 registered species but only 45% of these have been identified.
Ecuador has around 16,087 species of plants, from these 15,306 species are native and 4,173 are endemic been the country with the largest diversity of orchids in the world Protected Areas At the moment, 26 protected areas have been established and are part now of the Natural Protected Areas System of Ecuador (besides those privately owned) covering approximately 4’666,871 hectares of terrestrial surface (18.21% of Ecuador's area) and 14’110.000 hectares of marine area.
Ecuador has a large diversity of cultures. We count along with the mestizos about 27 nationalities of indigenous peoples and Afro-Ecuadorians; each one with its own distinctive customs.
The main language in Ecuador is Spanish. The Indian towns of the Sierra and some from the Amazon mostly speak Quechua. Other Indian communities speak 9 different languages. Our guides are fluent in English as well as other languages. If you need a guide in a language other than English or Spanish, please contact us.
To enter Ecuador a valid passport for six months or more from the day of arrival is necessary. Most countries don't require a visa; you can ask for the visa requirements in your country or by filling our contact form. Our tour leader will help you with the paperwork and our agency will take care of the flight reservation as well as any other necessary paperwork.
For a trip to Ecuador you don't need to bring a lot, besides your outdoor clothing, Photographic equipment, and the willing to learn and discover. We will suggest the proper items according to the places you will visit and each activity you will have. The basic recommended equipment can be checked out at Galapagos packing Checklist and Amazon Packing Checklist for these two regions.
Ecuadorian Currency is the US Dollar. In Indian markets and in almost every souvenir stores inside or out of Quito, you can only pay in cash. Traveler’s Checks are quite useful to avoid carrying too much cash, and they can be cashed at any bank. Major credit cards are taken at almost every restaurant, hotel and first class store
- In Galapagos, only Master Card is honored to cash currency, others are accepted at most stores.
They vary from bank to bank. The usual schedule is from 9 am to 5 pm, some are open Saturdays. In bigger towns almost every bank has a cash machine, most of which are also connected to the main credit cards.
Each and every one of the parks and natural reserves has an entrance fee that has to be paid in cash at the time of entry. The amount varies from place to place, can change without previous notice and is not included in any package rate. The highest tax is from The Galapagos National Park, of USD $100, 00 for adults, and USD $50, 00 for those younger than 12 years old.
Tips are common in Ecuador, as well as any touristic country. Every person that gives a personal service, expect always a tip that will be the way of demonstrating satisfaction with the received services. It is also normal to tip the waiter in addition to the 10% charged in the check.
In all of Ecuador's land, the electrical supply is of 110 v. 60 Hz. In all of our Galapagos Ships you will also have 220v and 12v. There are some places that lack electric energy, or have solar electricity of 12v, like our eco-lodges in the Amazon.
Phone communications are possible from and to Ecuador in all major cities and towns. There is no phone service in most Yachts neither in most lodges of the Amazon or other distant places.
Ecuadorian law does not demand a vaccination prior entrance to the country. However we recommend following your own country and doctor instructions. For more information please visit http://wwwn.cdc.gov/travel/destinationEcuador Always drink from a bottle, wear sun-block, sunglasses and a hat in exposed places. The Ecuadorian Sun is always something to be aware of, even on cloudy days. For an adventure trips, it is quite important to be in a good physical state. If you have a medicine prescription, make sure to bring enough for the whole trip, as well as a copy of the prescription. If you wear glasses it's better to bring a reserve pair.
For every traveler to Ecuador, we recommend the acquisition of an insurance against cancellations, accidents, disease and theft. Make sure your insurance covers the risks for every activity you plan on doing, such as hiking, diving, etc