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Traveling to Ecuador? What You Need to Know

Home » Traveling to Ecuador? What You Need to Know

Over the past 10 years we have gone from never traveling out of the country, to traveling to 26 countries.  At first the thought of traveling to Ecuador was scary, as we didn’t know what to expect.  We’ve now written some posts based on our travels, which will hopefully ease some anxiety for other travelers.

This post will cover the basics you need to know before going to Ecuador.  Check out our other posts to learn more about our travels in Ecuador to Quito and Banos.

Traveling to Ecuador?:  What you need to know

  1. What to Pack for an Ecuador Trip
  2. How much did our Trip to Banos Ecuador Cost?
  3. Getting from the Quito Airport to Quito City Center
  4. Traveling from Quito to Banos Ecuador
  5. Top 8 Things to do in Banos Ecuador
  6. Bike Ride from Banos to Puyo Ecuador
  7. Hike from Banos to Casa del Arbol
  8. Amazon Jungle Trek – Day One
  9. Amazon Jungle Trek – Day Two
  10. How to get from Quito to Mitad del Mundo – “The Center of the World”

Arrival in Ecuador

traveling to Ecuador

Quito, the capital, is the most populous city in Ecuador and your most likely entry point into Ecuador, via Mariscal Sucre International Airport (UIO).  You can then either fly elsewhere in Ecuador or travel to Quito city center.


Be aware that much of Ecuador is at altitude.  Obviously places along the coast, and the Galapagos, are at sea level.  However Quito is at 2,850m (9,350 feet) and Baños, the adventure capitol of Ecuador, is at 1,820 m (5,971 feet).

Currency/Credit Cards

american dollar is used in Ecuador

The main form of currency in Ecuador is the American dollar.  Bring small bills and small change as getting change for large bills can be difficult.

Be aware that many places do not accept credit cards, so be prepared by carrying enough cash with you.


American 120 volt power electricity plugs

Electricity in Ecuador is 120 volts, using the standard plugs used in the United States.  Two-prong plugs are most common.  Three-prong plugs are often available in newer buildings, such as large chain hotels.  If you have a standard European or British plug, you will need an adaptor. Consider bringing a portable charger for extra battery use.


The main language spoken in Ecuador is Spanish. Though in many tourist areas, many people also speak and understand English.


There are very few Marriotts and Hiltons, but lodging can be very inexpensive.  You can get a room in a hostel for under $10 and you can get a single room for about $20.  See our post How Much Did Our Trip to Banos Ecuador Cost? to see where we stayed.


Be prepared to pay $.15 to use the toilet.  Pay the attendant and in return you will get a square of toilet paper.  Bring your own toilet paper everywhere you go!  Note that for men it costs $.05 if you only want to use a urinal

Visa Requirements

Citizens of the United States, Canada, and most South American and European nations do not require a visa if the stay is less than 90 days.


Tap water is non-potable.  Buy bottled water or bring something like a life-straw.

Hopefully, this has given you some helpful tips to make your trip to Ecuador less stressful and more enjoyable.

If you have any questions, please ask.

Disclosure: We receive referral credit for some of the links in our blog.  You don’t have to use our links, but we certainly appreciate if you do.  It costs you nothing, but helps us out.  Thank you.

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