On behalf of Rebecca Adventure Travel, we want to welcome you and open the doors to an amazing experience in Ecuador. On our Ecuador Welcome Package page, you will find important information about Ecuador that will help you to prepare for your trip and get the best out of this experience.
Ecuador is located in the northwestern part of the South American continent. It is one of the smaller countries in South America. The country can be divided into four marked regions: the coastal region (La Costa), the Andes (La Sierra), the Amazon region (La Amazonía), and the Galapagos Islands.
There are approximately 16.8 million people living in Ecuador. The official language in Ecuador is Spanish, but Quichua, and other native languages, are still spoken by indigenous people. About ten native languages are spoken in Ecuador.
There are two seasons in Ecuador, rainy and dry. The temperature ranges between regions and its altitude. You can travel to Ecuador all year round, but the weather will change depending on the region you are in. Continuing with our Ecuador Welcome Package, we will tell you a bit more about the weather in each region.
In the Amazon region, there is rain during the whole year. Two relatively drier periods can be distinguished in the months January-February and August-September. The western part of the Amazon region is rainier than the eastern part. The temperatures vary mostly between 23 °C and 27 °C.
The Ecuadorian Andes is a mountain range between 1.500 meters and 6.310 meters high. Most of the cities in the Andes are located at an altitude between 2.000 and 3.000 meters. The temperature in the cities varies mostly between 15 °C and 20 °C. The drier season in the Andes is in the months of June, July, August and September.
Along the Ecuadorian coast, rainfall drops from north to south. The northwest coast of Ecuador has a wet tropical seasonal climate. To the south, the climate becomes increasingly drier. There is a rainy season in the Pacific Coast is in the first months of the year, from December through May, and an almost dry season from June to November. The temperatures vary from 25 °C to 31 °C.
The climate of the Galapagos Islands is subtropical. There is a warm season from December through May and a cool season from June through November. The warm season is characterized by a mixture of warmth, rain, and sun. In the cooler season, it is a mixture of cloudy, cool and dry weather. This variation is caused by ocean currents. The sea is choppy and the cooler season, and it is recommended to use wetsuits for snorkeling. The temperatures vary from 21 °C in August and September to 28 °C in March and April.
What to Bring
It is recommended to take light clothing, long sleeve shirts, raincoats, comfortable pants, plastic bags to protect the camera and documents, and a hat. Usually, the lodges would provide rubber boots. If you have a shoe size larger than 43, check with your sales agent to see if the lodge can provide your size.
It is recommended to use layers as it can get hot with the sun in the mornings, and colder in the afternoon with winds and sometimes rain. The temperature decreases when you get to higher altitudes. It is important to bring warm, light and comfortable clothing, sunblock, and sunglasses.
Galapagos and the Coast
It is recommended to bring small luggage/bags, especially for the Galapagos Islands, since public transportation is quite small. It is also recommended to take seasickness pills, layers of light and comfortable clothing, sunblock, and sunglasses.
Greetings are very important to the people in Ecuador, so as part of our Ecuador Welcome Package, we will give you some tips. You always say hi when you enter a shop, restaurant, taxi etc. In the morning you say ‘Buenos Dias‘, in the afternoon you say ‘Buenas Tardes‘ and in the evening you say ‘Buenas Noches‘. Generally, for greetings, men shake hands, and women kiss on one cheek. For greetings between men and women, they do it with a kiss on the cheek as well.
Ecuador is mostly Catholic. In the last few years, other religions have increased the numbers of believers. Most towns have magnificent churches from colonial times.
Vegetables, rice, potatoes, and meat or chicken compose most of the Ecuadorian meals. Fresh fruits are consumed daily as well as freshly prepared soups. Lunch is the most important meal of the day. You can find “almuerzo” menus in the local restaurants, which are composed of soup, a main course, and a drink, generally made of fruit. Keep in mind that tap water in Ecuador might not be clean enough for foreigners. Much of the water has not been purified, so rather buy closed bottles, and be careful when eating street food.
The official currency in Ecuador is the US dollar. Bills are the same as in the US. There are US coins and Ecuadorian coins as well. Before you leave Ecuador, make sure you use the Ecuadorian coins, as these will not be accepted anywhere else. Most shops and restaurants will not accept bills over $20, so it is worth having small currency denominations with you. You can also use ATMs; the daily limit is usually $300 per card. It is advised to inform your bank that you will be traveling and check for any extra fees for card use abroad.
If you are in a shared tour, tipping averages $5 per person for an excellent job. For private tour guides, it will average at $10 per day. Drivers usually get half the amount, if you feel they did an excellent job. In tours that involve several days and services, like cruises, jungle programs, it is recommended to tip $50-$60 per client, per week and give it in an envelope provided by them. The crew will divide the amount among personnel. Most restaurants in Ecuador add a 10% service charge to your bill, so no need to leave an additional amount, unless the service was beyond expectations. In this case, $2-$5 is good (depending on the level of the establishment). For hotels, you should tip about $0.50 per bag/suitcase.
The bus or trolley in Quito costs only 25 cents, and a taxi ride is about $2-$5, depending on where you want to go. Never take a taxi that doesn’t have a fare meter. These taxi drivers are unregistered and they may try to rip you off. Be warned that the prices always go up at night, and many taxi drivers won’t use the meters after it gets dark. It is also recommended to use Uber or Cabify for taxi services.
Like in most big cities, heavily loaded wallets and pockets are attractive to theft. Remember to leave your documents and valuables at a safety deposit box in your hotel. You just need to carry the copy of your passport. After 6:00 PM it is best to call a taxi from the hotel or restaurant for evening visits to the city or going out for dinner. Remember to never leave your personal stuff on the tables, and when you are walking around in town, please carry your backpack on the front. It is best to keep your valuable stuff on your body. Small bags that are invisible under clothes are the best.
Usually, unless citizens from China, you do not need to obtain a visa for stays up to 90 days. If you are unsure, please check with our agents and your local Ecuadorian Embassy. If you need to obtain a visa, keep in mind this is your responsibility. For stays longer than 90 days, you must obtain a 6-month Tourist visa (12-IX) at your local Ecuadorian Embassy.
Most of our multiple day tours offer a pick-up service at the airport. We also offer a pick-up service from the airport that can be added to your package, if it does not include it. After you passed immigration and claimed your bags, a driver holding a sign with your name will meet you. From the airport, you will be brought to your accommodation. In case of any delays, please contact us.
In Quito, you can ask for access to the internet in most restaurants and touristic places. Most hotels include Wi-Fi for free. There are also some internet cafés you can use which are located around the Mariscal area. Due to a large amount of competition expect to find prices as low as $0.50 an hour. In fact, the internet is now available in most places in Ecuador, right down to remote villages. It is unlikely to be charged more than $3 an hour wherever you are.
Try the local internet cafes for phones and cheap calls home. In Ecuador, you can purchase an Ecuadorian SIM card for about $5. Your mobile phone might not work with an Ecuadorian SIM unless it is unlocked. Please check with your local telephone provider service prior to the start of your trip. The international dialing code for Ecuador is +593.
The output is 110 volts, 60 cycles (low wattage in most light bulbs). Therefore, some electric devices (e.g. hairdryers) might not work. Outlets in Ecuador generally accept two types of plugs – the American-style plugs with two parallel flat blades above a circular grounding pin, or a Japanese-style plug with just two parallel flat blades.
As part of our Ecuador Welcome Package, we would like to advise our guests on important things to pack before your trip to Ecuador. Please, note that this list is intended to help you plan what you may need to take with you, and therefore, you may not need all of the listed items on your travels.
- Passport, insurance certificates, and personal documentation
- Photocopies of all the above
- Spending money in cash
- Camera, Charger, Adapter
- Sunglasses, sunscreen
- Water bottle
- Day pack/rucksack for everyday use
- Personal enjoyment – books, cards, music, etc.
- Guidebook on Ecuador (e.g. Lonely Planet or Footprints)
- Personal hygiene items (deodorant, soap, shampoo, toothbrush, etc.)
- Spanish dictionary
- Medical kit (e.g. Altitude/sea sickness, Anti-diarrhea tablets, Antihistamines, pain killer)
- Mosquito repellent
- Hat, Sandals
- Comfortable walking shoes
- A pair of thick socks for walking
- Waterproof Jacket
- Long trousers
- Swimwear & Towel (optional)
If you have any questions, please do not hesitate to contact us:
- 24/7 General & Sales Enquiries Phone: +593-(0)980051675
- Office in Quito: +593-(0)2-6007590
We hope this Ecuador Welcome Package page was helpful for you. On behalf of the whole Rebecca Adventure Travel Team, we wish you the happiest, joyful, and beautiful time in Ecuador!