Ecuador FAQ’s

Ecuador FAQ's

Where is Ecuador?

Ecuador is located in South America, its limits are: to the North with Colombia, East-south with Peru, and West the Pacific Ocean.

What type of visa is required to come to Ecuador?

A valid passport is required to enter and depart Ecuador. Tourists from Europe or North America do not need a visa for a stay of 90 days or less. Those planning a longer visit must obtain a visa in advance. Your passport must be valid for at least 6 months after your arrival date in Ecuador, otherwise you will be denied entry. Always carry with you a color copy of your passport while you are travelling in Ecuador.


It is the responsibility of every traveler that he/she is adequately insured against personal accidents and medical expenses during their trip to Ecuador as well as having travel trip cancellation and baggage insurance to protect your travel investment.

What is the weather like in Ecuador?

Quito is about 9,200 feet (2,820 meters) above sea level. This high altitude results in colder weather (even on the equator) and more intense UV radiation. The average temperature year-round in Quito is about 64ºF (15ºC), with daily highs up to 78ºF (26ºC) and nightly lows reaching 55ºF (7ºC). There are two seasons, dry (considered summer) from June-September and wet (also called winter) from October-May. Solar radiation is more intense along the equator than in other latitudes, so wear sun block with a high SPF even on cloudy days.

Ecuador’s weather is characterized by being very variable. It is often best to dress in layers, as you may experience strong changes in temperature.

How can I avoid altitude sickness? 

Abrupt changes in elevation sometimes have ill effects on travelers. Altitude sickness usually manifests itself in insomnia, headaches, and/or nausea. To prevent altitude sickness, or to at least stave off some of its effects, ascend gradually (when possible) to provide your body with time to adjust to the change. In the event that you do experience symptoms of altitude sickness, in most cases, they can be remedied by drinking lots of water, getting extra rest, and taking aspirin. Skip alcoholic beverages and rich foods the first night. Symptoms usually don’t last more than two days.

What should I wear/bring with me?

In Quito and the highlands: Wear spring attire during June, July, and August. During the rest of the months, use warmer clothing like what you would wear during the fall. Dress in layers so that you’re ready for temperature changes throughout the day. A raincoat or jacket is useful at night since it gets pretty chilly. An umbrella will be especially useful during the wet season (October-May).

Guayaquil and other coastal cities: Wear summer clothing all year round. During the rainy months, December to May, the weather is still very warm. During the months of June to November the weather is cloudy and a little bit colder. Bring along a light jacket.

Galapagos: Wear comfortable walking shoes and casual clothing. Shorts, t-shirts, and summer clothing will be just fine. Don’t forget a hat, a camera, sun block, and a bathing suit. During the months of June to November the weather is cloudy and a bit colder. Bring along a light jacket.

Amazon or jungle: Wear clothing adequate for rain. If you can get yourself a raincoat (poncho), take it with you, as well as several sets of light pants and short and long sleeve shirts. Shorts are less useful because of the insects and abundant vegetation you will walk through on your excursions. A hat and insect repellent are a must. Rubber boots are usually provided.

What is Ecuador’s currency?

Since 2000 the Ecuadorian currency is the US Dollar. Other currencies, like the Euro, Yen, Canadian dollars, etc. can only be changed in some banks or Exchange offices in Quito or Guayaquil with a commission. All bills in circulation are US-minted currency, while coins include US and Ecuadorian versions, which are different but equally accepted. Many locations will be wary of accepting bills of denominations larger than $20, so you may want to try to change your $50 and $100 bills before arriving or at a bank.

Can I pay with credit and/or debit cards?

Most places will accept international credit cards (VISA, America Express and Master Card) There are numerous ATM machines (called cajeros in Ecuador) that will work with international credit and debit cards. Cash in small denominations is almost always needed.

When do we have to pay for our trips?

When you confirm your trip with us a 20% deposit is required, and the balance is due 60 days prior departure.

What form of payment does Alma Ecuador accept?

Payment may be made by bank transfer to our bank account in the Bank of America in the United States.

Business Hours

Banks 09:00-15:00 Mon-Fri (some agencies until 20.00)

Offices 08:00-17:00Shops 09:30-19.30 Mon-Sat (Shopping Malls open Sun)

National Police:

Phone: 101

Emergencies: 911

Time differences:West Europe (France, Germany, Italy, Netherlands, Poland) -6 hrs

Great Britain (Greenwich Mean Time) -5 hrs

Eastern Time USA (New York) 0 hrs

Pacific Time USA (Los Ángeles) +3 hrs

Japan +10 hrs


There are a lot of places around the cities where you make international phone calls. Most of the restaurants, cafes and hotels will offer free Wi-Fi connection. There is effective cell phone coverage throughout the entire country, although some companies work better in more remote areas than others. Porta has the most extensive coverage network in the Galapagos Islands and most places in the coast, while Movistar is more prevalent in the Highlands.  

Voltage Requirements: 110 volts.

Are there foods or drinks I should avoid? Can I drink the tap water?

Only eat food that has been cooked, or fruits/vegetables that you have washed. Avoid food from street vendor. Drink bottled water only. Avoid tap water, fountain drinks and ice cubes.  As Ecuador´s tap water is not drinkable. Make sure that fresh juices are prepared with bottled water as well.

What are the best modes of transportation elsewhere?

Buses and taxis are quite cheap.  Bus fare is $ 0.25 in the city. The Trolley and Ecovia buses in Quito are the most modern and efficient public transportation in the country. Their routes are clearly published on maps and at the bus stops. There are also numerous private buses that traverse the city, but their routes are not published other than on the buses themselves, and they are complicated to navigate. It’s better to use taxis, as they are relatively inexpensive.

Taxis use meters to calculate the cost of your ride. In Quito, the cost begins at US $1 and goes up based on time and distance. An average ride will be between US $2.50 to US $5. During the day, be sure to ask that the taxi driver set the meter at the beginning of your trip. At night, all the taxis stop using meters and the fare may be almost double the price of the day fare. It is important that you establish the price before getting into the taxi. We don’t tip the taxis in Ecuador.

Where are the Galapagos Islands and how do i get there?

The Galapagos Islands or (Archipelago de Colon) is a province of Ecuador, located 600 miles (1000 km) west of the Ecuadorian continent on the Pacific Ocean. You have daily flights from Quito and Guayaquil.

How many kilos of luggage can I bring to the Galapagos Islands?

You can only check 20 kilos of luggage per person on board the flight to the Galapagos Islands. Notice that you can always leave some extra luggage at the hotel you are staying or at our office.

What level of guides will we have in Ecuador and the Galapagos Islands?

We work with tour guides authorized and licensed by the Ecuador’s Ministry of Tourism, with many years of experience in cultural and adventure activities.

For the Galapagos trips we have Naturalist guides highly experienced trained by the Ecuador’s Ministry of Agriculture and the Charles Darwin Station. They are all fluent in English and Spanish (Other languages under request).

If you have any question before you start your trip to Ecuador don’t hesitate to CONTACT US we will more than happy to answer your questions