ecuador info

Trip Preparation for Your Ecuador Adventure

Passports and Visas

Travelers from most countries can visit Ecuador for up to 90 days with a valid passport. Ensure your passport is valid for at least six months beyond your entry date. While an onward or return ticket is typically required, it is rarely checked. Upon arrival, you’ll receive a T-3 tourist permit for a 90-day stay. Carry photocopies of your passport for safety.

Note: To prevent Covid-19 transmission and support environmental sustainability, Surtrek provides digital travel documents. Your guide will manage check-ins, meals, and more.

Travel Insurance

Travel insurance is essential for covering medical expenses, trip interruptions, cancellations, theft, and other losses. Ecuador requires all tourists to have health insurance during their stay. U.S. medical insurance plans often do not cover foreign travel, so consider purchasing travel medical insurance. Canadians should check their provincial health plans, and U.K. travelers can use their European Health Insurance Card (EHIC). Ensure your insurance covers emergency evacuation.

Vaccinations

No mandatory vaccinations are required for entry into Ecuador. However, it is advisable to get vaccinated against Hepatitis A. If visiting the Amazon basin, consider a Yellow Fever vaccination. Check with your healthcare provider for recommended inoculations.

Weather and Best Times to Visit

Ecuador offers diverse climates across its regions:

  • Highlands (La Sierra): Cities like Quito experience cooler subtropical climates with average highs in the mid-60s°F and lows in the upper 40s°F. The dry season is from June to September.
  • Galapagos Islands: From May to December, expect cooler temperatures around 72°F (22°C). January to April brings tropical weather with hot temperatures and occasional rain.
  • Amazon Rainforest: Hot, humid, and wet year-round.
  • Pacific Coast: Hot year-round with temperatures between 77-90°F (25-31°C). The rainy season lasts from December to May.

Packing Tips

Packing for Ecuador requires preparation due to its varying climates:

  • Essential Items:
    • Daypack
    • Sunscreen (SPF 30+)
    • Sun hat and sunglasses (polarized recommended)
    • Passport, credit cards, and airline tickets
    • Money belt
    • Toiletry kit
    • Insect repellent
    • Earplugs
    • Plastic bags (Ziploc recommended)
    • Binoculars
    • Smartphone and charger
    • Camera gear
    • Reading and writing materials
    • Spanish phrasebook (optional)

General Flight and Baggage Information

International Flights: Direct flights to Quito and Guayaquil are available from Miami, Houston, Atlanta, Madrid, and Amsterdam. Flight times vary, with around 4-5 hours from the U.S. and 7-10 hours from Canada.

Domestic Flights: Included in Surtrek tour prices, domestic flights ensure seamless travel. Check with your airline for baggage allowances, typically 50 lbs (23 kg) for checked luggage and 11 lbs (5 kg) for carry-ons.

stopover city for up to two hours.

Airline Security

Refer to the U.S. Transportation Security Administration (TSA) at www.tsa.gov for current regulations and restrictions.

Customs and Immigration

Upon arrival in Quito or Guayaquil, present your passport at customs. You can bring personal items like smartphones, cameras, and up to 3 liters of alcohol. Declare cash over $10,000 USD. Note: A 5% tax applies to cash exceeding $1,080 when leaving Ecuador.

Getting Around

Surtrek Transfer: Surtrek guides will greet you at the airport and assist with your luggage and transportation.

Taxis and Ride-hailing: Taxis are plentiful and affordable in cities. Uber and Cabify operate in Quito, Guayaquil, and Cuenca. Use licensed Yellow Cabs with orange license plates for safety.

Communications

Internet Access: Available in most mid- to high-end hotels and cafes in major cities. Limited access in rural areas.

Telephone Calls: Use international phone apps like WhatsApp, Google Voice, or Skype for free calls. For local calls, use the appropriate dialing format.

Using a Cell Phone: Ensure your phone supports GSM 850 frequency, is unlocked, and accepts a SIM card. Purchase phone refills (recargas) at local stores.

Post Office and Express Mail: Post offices are available in major cities. For guaranteed delivery, use couriers like DHL and FedEx.


For the best travel experience in Ecuador, plan ahead, stay informed, and enjoy the diverse beauty and culture this amazing country offers!