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Frequently Asked Questions - About Ecuador

FAQs - About Ecuador

Since Ecuador is located on the Equator, there are very little seasonal variations in the weather. The sun rises and sets at approximately the same times every day, throughout the year. Weather on the Equator is more regulated by elevation than by season. It’s always warm on the coast and in the lowlands, and it can be surprisingly cool in the highlands. It snows year-round in the mountains and can rain up to 500 cm (16.4 feet!) each year in parts of the Oriente. Ecuador is also the only place in the world where the equator passes through snow - on the shoulder of 18,996 foot (5,790m) Cayambe. The temperature in Ecuador varies by altitude and weather conditions. A cloudy day at 6,000 feet (1,800m) can be quite chilly, but down at 1,000 feet (300m) near Tena, it’s warm on rainy days. Normally it’s sunny for part of the day and rainy for part of the day, but an entire week of sun (or rain) is not uncommon. We’ve yet to find any meteorologists with accurate weather predictions for Ecuador!  Do not look at the weather forecasts on the internet!   They will say it is raining every day in Quito, even during times of severe drought and forest fires!  

General weather patterns are as such:

Mid-February - Mid May  - Rainier in the western highlands - dry and sunny  in the Eastern Highlands and Amazon Basin with blazing sunny days on the coast

June- January - The western Andes are generally sunny, with a rainy season in the Amazon basin June and July.  The coast is generally cloudy but relatively dry.

 

For even more information, please see this article.

South America, in general, is a great place to travel. Ecuador is a very peaceful democracy and has a much lower crime rate than most of South America and most cities in North America!  Ecuador has the lowest crime rate in South America.  While traveling on your own in Quito, use whatever precautions you normally would in a big city. Don’t run around alone downtown after the bars are closed, or tour parts of town you don’t know with an expensive camera hanging around your neck. In the smaller cities like Canoa or Banos, we feel pretty darn safe day or night.

Ecuador is now open to tourism and has received the #SafeTravels Certification from the World Travel and Tourism Council.

The #SafeTravels certification is given to destinations that have put in place biosafety protocols and education for their tourist establishments and businesses.  

You may now travel to Ecuador and no quarantines are required.  You will just need to have a negative Covid-19 PCR test in hand when you arrive.  The PCR test must be taken within 10 days of your arrival in Ecuador.

In Ecuador, social distancing and face coverings are required for most public places. You may be screened when entering buildings.  Restaurants, hotels, and most businesses are operating again.

With these biosafety measures in place, you will receive a warm welcome in Ecuador.

The safety and well-being of our guests is, as always, our top priority.  Please let us know if you have any questions or concerns.  Our goal is to be as flexible as possible during these challenging times.

We have done some extensive traveling in Central and South America and we can tell you from our experience that the Ecuadorian police are in general the most honest and free of corruption we have encountered. In other countries such as Peru and Honduras, we find police that will trump up charges in order for you to pay a bribe. This does not occur in Ecuador and Ecuador has an active citizen anti-corruption campaign to prevent this from occurring. The police, we feel, are honestly working for your safety. There are occasional police roadblocks where you will be required to show your rental contract and motorcycle registration as well as your drivers' license and passport. We will provide you with all of the paperwork to clear these roadblocks quickly and easily.

In most other places you travel the advice is usually, "When preparing for your trip, lay out all of your clothes and all of your money. Now bring half the clothes and twice the money!" However, here in Ecuador the advice is the opposite. You will need more clothes than usual because you will be traveling through several climactic zones, but you will probably need less money than you expect. Some things are relatively inexpensive in Ecuador. You can find a decent room in a hotel or hostel in most cities for $10 per person. You can still have a three-course lunch with drink included for about $4-5. Gasoline prices are set by the government at $1.48/gallon for regular unleaded and a maximum of $2.29 a gallon for premium unleaded.

Many items are much more expensive in Ecuador, however. Motorcycles, parts, accessories and gear are about twice the cost as you will find in Europe or North America.  The same is true for most imported goods like televisions, cell phones, cameras, etc.  Do not plan on buying riding gear or boots here, as the cost is much higher.

Ecuador's official currency is the US dollar. There are a number of currency exchanges in Quito if you don't have dollars. It is a good idea, though, to bring small bills. It is said that a man with a hundred dollar bill in Ecuador is a man without money.  You'll have trouble breaking a $20 bill almost anywhere in Ecuador, so be sure to travel with lots of $10s, $5s, and $1s. US coins will work here too, though Ecuador also mints its own version of coins, same size, different presidents on the front. Bank machines that accept credit and debit cards are common in the cities. Credit cards are accepted in some hotels and restaurants, but travelers' checks are basically not accepted anywhere in Ecuador.

United flies out of Houston, American out of Miami, and Delta out of Atlanta to Quito.  JetBlue flies daily out of Fort Lauderdale.  From Europe, KLM and Iberia have direct flights to Quito from Amsterdam and Madrid. There are also numerous Latin airlines that fly from various European and east coast and southern cities as well (Copa, LATAM, and Avianca). For some tips on how to get an inexpensive flight, check out our page that will tell you just what to do.

Ecuador does not require any vaccinations to enter the country.  We do not recommend that you have any special vaccines.  The areas we travel, including areas in the Amazon basin, are known to be free from yellow fever and malaria. 

A negative PCR Covid-19 test is required to enter Ecuador.  No mandatory quarantine is required of visitors who enter with a negative test.

You should check with your physician for recommendations and advice, however, as we are not physicians and do not provide medical advice or diagnosis.

Ecuador is now open to tourism and has received the #SafeTravels Certification from the World Travel and Tourism Council.

The #SafeTravels certification is given to destinations that have put in place biosafety protocols and education for their tourist establishments and businesses.  

You may now travel to Ecuador and no quarantines are required.  You will just need to have a negative Covid-19 PCR or negative antigen test in hand when you arrive.  The PCR test must be taken within72 hours of your arrival in Ecuador.  You may also enter the country with a vaccination certificate showing you have completed both doses of the vaccination.

In Ecuador, social distancing and face coverings are required for most public places. You may be screened when entering buildings.  Restaurants, hotels, and most businesses are operating again.

With these biosafety measures in place, you will receive a warm welcome in Ecuador.

If you have booked a tour with us in 2020 or 2021 and need to change your dates, you may change your dates to any date in the future and we will transfer your deposit to the future tour. There will be no rebooking fee and the payments already made will be valid indefinitely. 

If you are looking to book a tour with us, we know that there is uncertainty.  We have changed the terms and conditions for our reservations so that you have the flexibility to change your reservation.  If your plans change and you are not able to travel for a Covid-19 related reason, you may change the dates of your reservation to any date through December 31, 2022. 

The safety and well-being of our guests are, as always, our top priority.  Please let us know if you have any questions or concerns.  Our goal is to be as flexible as possible during these challenging times.