Ecuador Travel Guide - Travel Insights and Tips

Traveling to Ecuador? Our detailed Ecuador insights, blogs and travel tips will help you plan the best trip.

Ecuador is famous for its amazing biodiversity at the Galapagos Islands, stunning surf beaches like Tortuga Bay and Mompiche, and culturally rich cities like Cuenca and Quito. With so many beautiful and exciting places to visit in Ecuador, it can be difficult to narrow down your Ecuador trip to just a few key stops. If you want to find out the best things to do in Ecuador on your next trip, keep reading this complete Ecuador travel guide!

Whether you want to trek in Cotopaxi, get your adrenaline pumping in Banos, or explore the Amazon rainforest in Tena, there are plenty of Ecuador itineraries of different lengths that you can check out and a whole host of different Ecuador tours to choose from.

Not sure when the best time to visit Ecuador is for your trip? If whale-watching is top of your list, the summer months in Ecuador might be best. If you’re looking for top surf conditions, head to Ecuador in December. In the mood for Ecuadorian festivals? Book your trip to Ecuador in September. Let’s dive in and find out more about creating your dream trip to Ecuador.

Top Destinations in Ecuador

Discover the highlights of Ecuador.

City sightseeing in Quito

City sightseeing in Quito

Spend the day exploring the beautiful Ecuadorian capital, checking out sites like the Middle of the World monument and the impressive Basílica del Voto Nacional. Shop until you drop at the various markets and boutiques, stare in awe at some of the amazing architecture, or join a food tour.

Hiking trip in Cotopaxi

Hiking trip in Cotopaxi

Whether you want to spend a couple of days hiking and climbing up the mighty Cotopaxi itself or prefer a five-day adventure along the picturesque Quilatoa Loop, there are so many multi-day hiking tours all around the Cotopaxi area. Cotopaxi is a volcano and there are also plenty of hot springs in the area.

Wildlife-watch in the Galapagos Islands

Wildlife-watch in the Galapagos Islands

The Galapagos Islands is a true bucket-list destination thanks to its abundance of rare wildlife including giant tortoises, whales, marine iguanas, and many more. The best way to see all of these amazing creatures is on a multi-day boat tour around the different islands with a local guide!

Ecuador at a Glance

Quick facts about Ecuador.

CAPITAL CITY

The capital city of Ecuador is Quito, and it is also the oldest capital city in South America. With the city’s heritage stretching back to the 16th century, it’s full of amazing architecture, churches, and culture.

SIZE

256,370 square kilometers. Despite sounding like a large country, Ecuador is one of the smallest countries in South America, making it a great place to visit if you’re short on time.

COUNTRY CODE

+593. You need to add city codes after this, such as 4 for Guayaquil.

CURRENCY

Since 2000, Ecuador has used the US Dollar as its official currency. Although ATMs are pretty common in most towns and cities, as well as tourist hubs like the Galapagos, it’s best to bring cash with you, especially small bills for tipping.

MAIN AIRPORT

The main airport in Ecuador is Mariscal Sucre International Airport (UIO) which is located around 40 kilometers from the capital city, Quito. CODE: UIO CLOSEST CITY: Quito

VISAS

Visas: For most overseas visitors including US and UK citizens, you can travel to Ecuador and stay for up to 90 days without a visa. Of course, always check for any travel advisories with your local embassy before you book.

LANGUAGE

The official language of Ecuador is Spanish, and it is spoken widely across the country, but Quichua, (the Incan language) is spoken by many of the indigenous people. Nine additional indigenous languages are also spoken in Ecuador. Remember to be polite; gracias means thank you in Spanish.

EMERGENCY CONTACT

The correct local emergency contact numbers for police, fire and ambulance in Ecuador will vary based on your location. If you’re in Quito and Ibarra you should call 911. If you’re in Guayaquil, Cuenca, or Loja you need to call 112. If you’re anywhere else, call 101.

WHAT'S UNIQUE

Ecuador was the first country to recognize that nature has constitutional rights. The Galapagos, Cotopaxi, and the Amazon Rainforest are all part of the natural environment and have the right to “exist, persist, maintain and regenerate its vital cycles, structure, functions and its processes in evolution”.

When to visit Ecuador

Read the below travel guides to find the best time to visit Ecuador.

°C°F
  • Excellent
  • Good
  • Fair
  • Poor
  • JanAvg Daily: 18 ° CAvg Nightly: 8 ° C
  • FebAvg Daily: 17 ° CAvg Nightly: 8 ° C
  • MarAvg Daily: 17 ° CAvg Nightly: 9 ° C
  • AprAvg Daily: 17 ° CAvg Nightly: 9 ° C
  • MayAvg Daily: 17 ° CAvg Nightly: 9 ° C
  • JunAvg Daily: 18 ° CAvg Nightly: 8 ° C
  • JulAvg Daily: 18 ° CAvg Nightly: 8 ° C
  • AugAvg Daily: 19 ° CAvg Nightly: 8 ° C
  • SepAvg Daily: 19 ° CAvg Nightly: 8 ° C
  • OctAvg Daily: 18 ° CAvg Nightly: 8 ° C
  • NovAvg Daily: 18 ° CAvg Nightly: 8 ° C
  • DecAvg Daily: 18 ° CAvg Nightly: 8 ° C
Best Time to Visit Ecuador

Best Time to Visit Ecuador

Ecuador, a lush Amazonian paradise of a country in the heart of Central America, is a country that may not need any introduction. This may be the taste of Latin and Central America that you may have been craving. Rife with cultural heritage and rich histo...Read more

Ecuador in January: Weather and Wildlife

Ecuador in January: Weather and Wildlife

Ecuador in January offers warm sunny days in its coastal regions — perfect for a relaxing beach holiday. Meanwhile, most parts of the Amazon also see drier days and low water levels in the river, creating a perfect condition for spotting caimans, pi...Read more

Ecuador in February: Weather and Travel Tips

Ecuador in February: Weather and Travel Tips

The streets are alive in Ecuador in February, as the carnival festivities begin. Join the locals in one of their biggest celebrations of the year. Exploring Ecuador’s coast is the thing to do this month. Crowds flock to the beaches to surf and soak...Read more

Ecuador in March: Weather Tips and Wildlife Viewing

Ecuador in March: Weather Tips and Wildlife Viewing

The start of the Amazon rainy season offers fantastic opportunities to spot wildlife that are more elusive in the dry season, as abundant food supply draws them into the forest canopy. Hot, sunny days on the coast are perfect for beach lovers, while surfe...Read more

Ecuador in April: Weather Tips and Indoor Activities

Ecuador in April: Weather Tips and Indoor Activities

When the equator runs straight through the country, it is hard to distinguish between summer and winter. Ecuador in April is typically characterized by lots of rain in the highlands and warm weather on the coast. Weather-wise, it might be one of the worst...Read more

Ecuador in May: Green Landscapes and Changing Weather

Ecuador in May: Green Landscapes and Changing Weather

Seasons are changing in Ecuador in May, with crowds set to roll in from next month, meaning you can still enjoy low season prices without the queues. With luscious green landscapes and a chance to see blue-footed boobies displaying their famous mating dan...Read more

How long to stay in Ecuador

Read about the ideal duration to stay in Ecuador.

One Week in Ecuador: Top 3 Recommendations

One Week in Ecuador: Top 3 Recommendations

A stunning country with beautiful landscapes and lush rainforests, Ecuador is also full of history and adventure. Be it the historic capital of Quito or Cotopaxi and Cajas National Parks, the country is full of gems waiting to be explored. Trying to soak...Read more

Great Ecuador Itineraries: How Many Days to Spend?

Great Ecuador Itineraries: How Many Days to Spend?

Although a small country, Ecuador has an unparalleled diversity and is, therefore, the perfect destination to get the taste of South America. Its attractions range from an array of colonial monuments, age-old ruins, innumerable indigenous villages and tow...Read more

Ecuador in 5 days or less: Our Recommendations

Ecuador in 5 days or less: Our Recommendations

Although not as popular as its neighbors, Ecuador is a buzzing center of culture, hospitality, and natural beauty, whose striking landscapes and vibrant biodiversity have captivated people for years. This small country straddles the equator and houses lus...Read more

Two Weeks in Galapagos: Top 3 Recommendations

Two Weeks in Galapagos: Top 3 Recommendations

Two weeks' tour to the Galapagos Islands is ample time to savor the magic of this wildlife-rich archipelago. From snorkeling with sea lions to observing rare birds (don’t miss the blue-footed booby!), you’ll experience a plethora of intim...Read more

One week in Galapagos: Top 3 Recommendations

One week in Galapagos: Top 3 Recommendations

With wildlife that you won’t see anywhere else and unparalleled natural beauty, the Galapagos Islands are one of the most fascinating places on Earth. While no time is long enough on this paradise on Earth, we recommend devoting at least one week to...Read more

10 days in Galapagos: Top 3 Recommendations

10 days in Galapagos: Top 3 Recommendations

With 13 major islands and dozens of smaller islets each more unique than the last, 10 days in Galapagos is a perfect amount of time to see everything this diverse natural paradise has to offer. This archipelago in the west coast of Ecuador is famous for i...Read more

FAQs for Ecuador

Read the most frequently asked questions and answers about traveling to Ecuador below.

  • Is Ecuador affordable to travel to?
  • How many days are enough for an Ecuador tour?
  • What is the best month to go to Ecuador?
  • What is the easiest way to travel to Ecuador?

Sustainable travel — How to travel through Ecuador responsibly

In line with Bookmundi’s vision, we wish to provide our travelers with a sustainable travel experience through Ecuador. As part of this effort, we carbon offset any Ecuador tour that you purchase through us. You can read more details about our carbon offsetting efforts.

Here’s what you can do to travel to Ecuador more responsibly:

  • Carbon offset your transport to Ecuador via Fundacion Futuro. The moment your tour starts in Ecuador, and provided that you have purchased your tour through Bookmundi, we will carbon offset your tour from its starting point to its ending point.
  • Cross-contaminating ecosystems in Ecuador can harm the local environment. Make sure you clean your boots or trainers before heading to the Galapagos, and do not bring outside fresh food or plant life (it’s not allowed).
  • Support local conservation efforts and donate money where you can to places like Un Poco del Choco, which actively works to conserve and protect the rainforest habitat and wildlife in Ecuador.

 

Ecuador travel tips and insight

  • The journey from the airport to the city of Quito typically takes around two hours by bus. You can save an hour if you opt for a taxi, which is also a more economical choice for groups of three or more.
  • Ecuadorian chocolate is a culinary experience not to be missed. It is available on nearly every street corner, regardless of the season.
  • Carefully inspect alpaca products for their quality before purchasing. While items like sweaters may contain some alpaca fur, they often consist mostly of acrylic.
  • The coastal regions are popular for parties and surfing. For a more tranquil vacation, venture inland to discover charming and peaceful towns.

Ready to customize your Ecuador Vacation

Book your trip when it is perfectly designed and customized, just for you.

Marion Passier
Marion PassierTravel Expert in Ecuador
Alejandro Jacome
Alejandro JacomeTravel Expert in Ecuador & Colombia
Elisabeth Gschösser
Elisabeth GschösserTravel Expert in Ecuador
Looking for a different destination? Explore here
Customize Tours Bookmundi

Why book with Bookmundi

FINEST SELECTION

Hand-picked selection of the best multiday tours and trip packages globally.

BEST PRICE

We guarantee you the best price. Found a lower price? We will match it.

CUSTOMERS  US

4.8 stars of more than 25,000 trip ratings.

Reviews.io badge

Tour Types

Popular Destinations

Popular Activities

Upcoming Departures

Trips per Duration

COOKIE POLICY

We use cookies to analyze traffic and give you personalized content and ads. It's an essential part of giving you a great site experience. Click on the 'Accept' button if you agree with our use of tracking and analytical cookies. Please refer to our Cookie Policy for more information.