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Ecuador

Please make sure your passport is valid for 6 months.
No visa is necessary for U.S. citizens or citizens of most other countries. There are exceptions for some Asian, Central American and European countries. Please check your individual situation with your travel agent, tour operator or local Consulate. We advise you make copies of all your important documents (visa, passport, credit cards, air tickets, etc.). In case they are lost, it will make replacement much easier.

UPON ARRIVAL
Upon arrival you will go through customs and immigration. Be sure your entrance papers are officially stamped showing the number of days allowed for your stay in the country: and you will be given a copy of these papers. Keep them in a safe place, as you will need them to leave the country. 

If they are lost you must phone our office immediately. At least 72 hours notice prior to your departure from the country is needed to process the necessary replacement paperwork. 

If you require assistance with your luggage at the airport, there are porters who can help you. Standard gratuity is US$1 per bag. If you are taking a taxi to your hotel, we suggest you to make sure that it has a taximeter running. If the taxi does not have a taximeter, you should arrange the price before getting in the vehicle. Most of the hotels in Quito and Guayaquil are located in the city, so the price should not be more than 5 US dollars. The rate also depends on the hour. 
For your security, use only taxis bearing the logo of the Airport taxi cooperative. Likewise, use your hotel's taxi cooperative for transport in the cities. Alternatively, you can arrange transfer service with your hotel reservation.

We recommend eating lightly the first day (if arrival city is Quito). Due to altitude you might suffer some digestive problems, as well as light dizziness or headaches.


CUSTOMS

According to Ecuadorian laws, any person that enters the country temporarily is exempt from the payment of any customs duty. This means that you should not pay any taxes or duties for your luggage, new or used articles that you will use during your trip, and portable items such as photo cameras, video cameras, laptops, radios and CD players. 

Aside from the limitations set by each airline, there are no specific customs restrictions concerning the number of pieces of luggage or maximum weight you are allowed to bring into the country.   

TIME ZONE

Ecuador is in the Eastern Standard Time zone. Daylight savings time is not observed. Galapagos is one hour behind Ecuador's continental time. GMT-6 in the Galapagos Islands. GMT-5 in mainland Ecuador.

LANGUAGE

The official language is Spanish, English is spoken by most personnel with whom you will deal if you have contracted services through an agency or operator. Even so, English is widely understood in hotels, restaurants and shops you will visit. It is advisable, if you are the adventurous type, to carry a small Spanish phrase book with you.

CURRENCY

The currency is the US Dollar.

ELECTRICITY

110 volts, 60 cycles AC

INTERNATIONAL FLIGHT

Please be sure to reconfirm your international flight 48 hours before departure.   

HEALTH

As for every trip you take abroad, general good health is required. If you are under medication, be sure to bring enough for the entire length of your trip. If you should become ill during your stay, we can provide for you names of English speaking physicians or telephone of your Consulate or Embassy for advice.    

No immunizations are required for your trip to Ecuador, however, for travel to the rainforest prevention against malaria & yellow fever may be considered. Please consider the following recommendations: 
Do not drink tap water

  1. Avoid ice in your beverages while traveling in Ecuador (Consult with your guide).
  2. You can use ice on board the yachts in Galapagos and in main hotels & restaurants.
  3. Always drink bottled water and soft drinks.
  4. Try to avoid eating raw vegetables and salads or any raw foods while traveling in the continent. Always prefer cooked food.
  5. If you wear prescription glasses, it is advisable to bring an extra pair.
  6. Always use sunscreen lotion even on cloudy days.