Ecuador Travel Guide – 10 Great Things You Need to Know

Over the past 10 years we have gone from never traveling out of the country, to traveling to 31 countries. So we decided to make an Ecuador travel guide. At first the thought of traveling to Ecuador was scary, as we didn’t know what to expect.  We’ve now written some posts based on our travels, which will hopefully ease some anxiety for other travelers.

This post will cover the basics you need to know before going to Ecuador.  Check out our other posts to learn more about our travels in Ecuador to Quito and Banos.

The Complete Ecuador Travel Guide

  1. What to Pack for an Ecuador Trip – 
  2. How much did our Trip to Banos Ecuador Cost?
  3. Getting from the Quito Airport to Quito City Center 
  4. Traveling from Quito to Banos Ecuador
  5. Top 8 Things to do in Banos Ecuador 
  6. Bike Ride from Banos to Puyo Ecuador 
  7. Hike from Banos to Casa del Arbol 
  8. Amazon Jungle Tour – Day One 
  9. Amazon Jungle Tour – Day Two 
  10. How to get from Quito to Mitad del Mundo – “The Center of the World” 

Arrival in Ecuador

Ecuador Travel Guide

Quito, the capital, is the most populous city in Ecuador and your most likely entry point into Ecuador, via Mariscal Sucre International Airport (UIO).  You can then either fly elsewhere in Ecuador or travel to Quito city center.


Be aware that much of Ecuador is at altitude.  Obviously places along the coast, and the Galapagos, are at sea level.  However Quito is at 2,850m (9,350 feet) and Baños, the adventure capitol of Ecuador, is at 1,820 m (5,971 feet).

Currency/Credit Cards

The main form of currency in Ecuador is the American dollar. Bring small bills and small change as getting change for large bills can be difficult. Note that they use dollar coins not dollar bills so go to the bank and get a roll.

Be aware that many places do not accept credit cards, so be prepared by carrying enough cash with you.


Electricity in Ecuador is 120 volts, using the standard plugs used in the United States.  Two-pro plugs are most common.  Three-prong plugs are often available in newer buildings, such as large chain hotels.  If you have a standard European or British plug, you will need an adaptor. Consider bringing a portable charger for extra battery use.


The main language spoken in Ecuador is Spanish. Though in many tourist areas, many people also speak and understand English.


There are very few Marriotts and Hiltons, but lodging can be very inexpensive.  You can get a room in a hostel for under $10 and you can get a single room for about $20.  See our post How Much Did Our Trip to Banos Ecuador Cost? to see where we stayed.


Be prepared to pay $.15 to use the toilet.  Pay the attendant and in return you will get a square of toilet paper. Yes, a square, so bring your own toilet paper everywhere you go!  Note that for men it costs $.05 if you only want to use a urinal

Visa Requirements

Citizens of the United States, Canada, and most South American and European nations do not require a visa if the stay is less than 90 days.


Tap water is non-potable.  Buy bottled water or bring something like a life-straw

Something like Lifestraw gives you peace of mind when abroad. LifeStraw removes bacteria and parasites (including Salmonella, E-coli, Giardia) and chemicals. Reliable and effective, LifeStraw products are the perfect accessory for international travel.

Summary: Ecuador Travel Guide

Hopefully, this has given you some helpful tips to make your trip to Ecuador less stressful and more enjoyable.

Listed above you’ll find a complete guide to traveling in Ecuador and more ways to learn about what to expect in Ecuador.

Here you can find a great article on Ecuador Trip Cost!

If you have any questions, please ask in the comments below.


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