Here you will find practical information in connection with trips to Ecuador.
Language: Spanish and Quechua
Population: 15, 8 million
Religion: Roman Catholic Church
Currency: US dollar
Surface: 283,561 km2
The time difference between Sweden and Ecuador / Galápagos varies depending on whether Sweden has summer or winter time:
Summer time –7 hours (Galápagos –8 hours)
Winter time –6 hours (Galápagos –7 hours)
Transport in Ecuador and the Galapagos
The buses in Ecuador do not quite meet the standard we are used to from Europe. We have of course chosen the best category with air conditioning where this has been possible.
On the rivers in the Amazon region, we travel in good local canoes, both with and without a motor.
The price level in Ecuador
When it comes to pocket money, in our experience, people usually manage with a minimum of SEK 130-150 per day. Such an amount can cover drinks, food and gratuities when this is not included in the price of the trip.
Expect to put 10-15 percent tips on the bill, depending on how satisfied you have been.
For cruises, other rules apply, see the special program for your trip.
We want to emphasize that it is of course voluntary to tip.
Currency and credit cards
Ecuador has a dollar economy – the currency used here is the US dollar (USD) (1 dollar = 100 cents). Please make sure to change before departure.
In Quito you can use MasterCard, Visa and American Express to pay at larger hotels and in some shops, but outside the capital you have no major use for the cards. In several places, 12 percent is added to the price for card payments. In Quito, it is relatively easy to withdraw money by credit card, but this works less well in the smaller cities.
NOTE: Credit cards cannot be used to pay national park fees upon entry into the Galápagos.
Ecuador has 110 volts and flat “spikes” (as in the US). Therefore, be sure to bring an adapter set if you want to use your own electronic equipment.
Telephone and internet
According to allcitycodes, Ecuador’s international country code is +593. Internet cafés are becoming more common and offer simple and affordable services in e.g. Quito. At these internet cafes you can often call via the internet – normally it costs less than 1 SEK / min to call Sweden. Some hotels offer internet for a fee.
Drinking water and hygiene
In hotels and larger restaurants, the toilets are modern. In public toilets or in the country, the standard can be relatively primitive and it can happen that toilet paper and the like. is missing. Bring your own toilet paper or a package of intimate napkins and perhaps hand sanitizer (available at Swedish pharmacies, for example), so you will not be as dependent on access to water.
We recommend that you only drink bottled water and avoid tap water.
Customs and traditions
Ecuador has a rapidly growing tourism industry, which today accounts for a significant part of the country’s total economy. Even if we create employment for many people, we must always keep in mind that we are guests in another country and of course respect the population and its culture. There are e.g. still many Indians who do not want to be photographed.
It is also important to keep in mind that the nature areas we visit are completely protected reserves that are intended to protect animals, plants and ecosystems. It is strictly forbidden to collect or damage plants, disturb animals or travel off marked paths. All forms of waste must be collected and taken back.
When visiting museums or churches, keep your arms and legs covered to show respect.
During flight and transport, there is an absolute ban on smoking. Ecuador does not have exactly the same smoking policy as Sweden. Smoking is free in bars and clubs. If a restaurant has a sign for a non-smoking area, this is mostly respected.
Passport and visa Ecuador
Your passport must be valid for at least six months from the date of return from Ecuador. If you are a Swedish citizen, you do not need a visa to Ecuador for stays of 90 days. If you are not a Swedish citizen, you must investigate which rules apply to you. It is your own responsibility to ensure that you have the right travel documents with you to the airport.
On some of our trips to Ecuador, you must send us a copy of the photo page in your passport. This will be stated on your invoice. In Ecuador, by law, you must always bring valid identification, ie. the passport for tourists (a photocopy is sufficient, but the original passport MUST be taken to the Galápagos). If you lose an important document, such as the passport, it is also smart to have a copy of the original, as it may then be easier to get a new passport issued on the spot. Do not store the copies in the same place as the original.