Ecuador Essential Tools
A land of contrasts you will never forget, Ecuador is divided by nature, yet solidly held together by a common cultural heritage. It is a four-in-one deal offering an awesome wealth of cultural and natural diversity; trek through the Andes, swim along a tropical coast, and explore the mysteries of the jungle and the Galapagos Islands, all in one trip!
Entry requirements: Ecuador requires a valid passport. The traveler must also hold proof of return or onward journey.
Health: No vaccinations are required for entry but we recommend to check with your physician before departure. Additionally, because of the high altitudes in parts of Ecuador, travelers with heart conditions or high blood pressure should also consult with their doctors.
Departure tax: None.
Local time: Eastern standard on GMT-5. In the Galápagos Islands it is GMT-6.
Money: The national monetary denomination is the Sucre. There are US dollars bills and also 5, 10, 25 and 50 cents of sucre and us dollars coins.
Banking hours: Monday through Friday. 09H00 to 18H00.
Electricity: 110 volts. 60 cycles (Hertz) AC.
Language: Spanish is the official language; Quechua is spoken by a large percentage of the native people. English, French and German are spoken in hotels, tourist shops and in major visitor centers.
Population: Approximately 12.5 million inhabitants. There are more than ten Indian nationalities, each one with its distinctive language and customs, making Ecuador a fascinating multicultural land.
Climate: The weather is stable most of the year, although somewhat colder in the winter months from December to April. The weather in the mountains varies from east to west. The eastern mountains, especially Antisana, El Altar and Sangay, and to lesser extent Cayambe and Tungurahua are influenced by air from the Amazonian lowlands. The wettest months are June through August. December and January are the best for El Altar. February for climbing Antisana and October-January for Cayambe. In the western mountains, the dry season is late June-September, with a short dry spell in December-January. The wettest months here are February-May. During the dry season temperatures tend to be very low at night and high winds can be a problem, particularly in August. The weather in October and November tends to be variable. In the Galapagos Islands, in general, December-June are the warmest mounths, also the most lush and green at this time.
July-November is the coolest time. In the Amazon region the climate is humid and warm with frequent rains (rainforest).