Travel to Ecuador

Ready to travel to Ecuador? Here are a few Ecuador travel tips to help you get ready.

If you aren't quite convinced that Ecuador is right for you, check out this page for some good reasons to visit Ecuador.

Before You Travel to Ecuador

  • Check with your doctor about recommended vaccinations.  I personally have never had any of the vaccinations, and thankfully never been sick. But there are the possibilities of certain illnesses depending on where you plan to travel. So it's worth looking in to, especially Hepatitis A/B and yellow fever. 
  • Plan out where you would like to go. There is so much to see in this small country that it is helpful to have a plan.  Leave a few extra days open, because you'll be sure to find a place you absolutely love and may want to stay an extra day or two.  This will also help you decide which airport will be most convenient to fly in to. For some ideas on where to go see our "Travel Guide" section.

  • Pack light.  Whether you plan to backpack around or travel from a home base, you will want extra room in your bags for interesting little souvenirs that you pick up along the way. Also, if you are planning to use the bus as your main mode of travel, you won't want to have huge bags to lug from one terminal to the next.

A lot of life's necessities are easily accessible throughout the country, but here are a couple must haves from home that you may want to include on your packing list: 

  1. An umbrella. You can buy one in Ecuador, but if you want one that fits in you bag easily I suggest one from home. The smaller ones sold here often break after only a few uses. And the better made ones tend to be heavy and bulky. A waterproof poncho or jacket also is handy to have.

  2. Sunscreen! Also for sale in the coutry, but you can get it cheaper at home and in larger quantities. Believe me you'll need it! A hat and sunglasses are good to have too.

  3. Insect repellent. If you don't like stinky repellent, I've found Tea Tree oil to be a good option. Yes it has a strong smell too, but at least it's natural. I like to sprinkle it over my sheets at night. You never know if you may have brought a flea or two home on your clothes. The Tea Tree sends them packing.

  4. A good book or two. Helps pass the time on long bus rides.  And don't worry about running out of reading material; bring at least one book you don't mind trading in.  Almost every touristy town has a good book exchange.

  5. A jar of peanut butter or marmite. These staples of western culture aren't that easy to find in Ecuador. Most of the big supermarkets do sell peanut butter, but it's expensive and once you get away from the big city it's almost impossible to find. I like to bring some for a quick and easy snack. Just make sure to pack these items in your checked luggage. The airport screeners consider them to be liquids. ?!?

  6. A small flashlight. Rechargeable ones are handy. Power outages do occur from time to time and always when you least expect it.

Forgot your charger? Oops...what could be worse? It's happened to me...too many times (ahhhh!). Ask at your hotel. Many have a stash of chargers that have been left behind. If that fails, check out the nearest cell phone/computer shop. If anything you should be able to find a universal battery charger that can get you through your trip.

Flying to Ecuador

Flying to South America is often a full day affair, unless you live in a city with direct flights such as Miami, Houston or Atlanta.  For the rest of us who travel to Ecuador, getting there usually means multiple flights with long layovers in between. Most flights into Quito or Guayaquil arrive in the evening.

Not sure which airport to fly into? Click here.

Arriving in Ecuador

Getting through the airport and customs is usually very uncomplicated. Unless you have another visa, you'll be issued a 90 day tourist visa when you enter the country. If you want to stay longer than the 90 days there are options that allow you to stay longer. See more info on extended tourist stays here.

Are you planning to stay long-term? Click here for more visa options. 

Note: Citizens of certain countries need to get a visa for any length visit to Ecuador. If on the list, you need to contact the nearest Ecuadorian Consulate or Embassy for visa requirements.

Leaving the Airport

The airport provides carts for your baggage for $1. And there are men that work for the airport that will help with your bags.  You should tip them for their assistance, so if you don't need their help or don't have money to tip them, let them know.  No gracias!  (No thank you!)

Don't speak any Spanish? Click here. 

Taxis are readily available as you leave.  When giving a taxi driver directions it's good to include the nearest intersecting streets. Sometimes a hotel name isn't familiar to the driver, but he'll be able to find anything with the street names.

Most hotels can arrange for airport pick-up. If you've made arrangements beforehand with your hotel, look for a sign with you name on it as you leave Customs.

Now, with the travel to Ecuador behind you, get ready for the adventure to begin...

Welcome to Quito, EcuadorWelcome to Quito, Ecuador

As You Travel in Ecuador

Here are a few topics of interest for those planning to travel to Ecuador:

Click here for health concerns. Stay healthy while in Ecuador. See some precautions to take and what you should avoid.

Tips for women. Whether traveling alone or with friends, Ecuador offers some unique experiences for women.

Take your kids on an Ecuador vacation. Tips for travel to Ecuador with small children and teenagers.

How to handle your money. Should you bring travelers checks? Cash? Which currency do you need? What about ATMs or money wiring services?

Culture Shock! Be prepared for a few things you probably aren't used to.

Bathrooms. What? Yeah, you might want to know how things work in Ecuador bathrooms. Includes: "How to get hot water when showering?"

Medical tourism. Some have taken advantage of cost effective medical care while in Ecuador. Is quality health care available in Ecuador?

Traveling within Ecuador. Getting around by plane, car and bus.

Here are a few topics of interest for those planning to travel to Ecuador:

› Travel to Ecuador

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