Welcome to Ecuador Travel Guide

Ecuador has some of the most impressive historical legacies, stunning colonial architecture, astounding biodiverse landscape mixed with some of the most ethnic mosaics.

Over 32% of Ecuador’s land is protected under a national program to preserve the Amazon rainforest. Ecuador was once the cacao export leader, climbing to the top as its best chocolate producer.

Although this country is small in size, it is full of unique places to visit. Known for the equator, which runs through the country, this nation is packed with unique and exciting places to visit.  Mainly known for the Galapagos Islands, so much of the other regions are brimming with lush greenery, volcanoes, sandy beaches, beautiful architecture, and friendly natives.

Things to See and Do in Ecuador

Cruising the Galapagos
Climb Cotopaxi Mountain
Hike in the Amazon
Surf at Montanita
Attend the Corpus Christi Festival
Visit the New Cathedral of Cuenca

Typical Costs When Travelling

Accommodation – Hostels are about $8 per night, which are dorm-like rooms with a shared bathroom and free WiFi. If you request a private room, expect to pay $12+ a night. Budget hotels with limited amenities can start around $20 – $50 per night. Airbnb is also available, typically like small apartments ranging between $25-$90 per night. You will find several great small boutique hotels that provide breakfast and free WiFi, along with excellent concierge services to help make your vacation very pleasant.

(To locate the boutique hotel, search on

Food – Meals are unbelievably cheap, ranging between $3-$8 for local food. You will find street food around $2-$4. For a nice sit-down restaurant, you can expect to pay $20 per person. You can shop at a local grocery store or market for snacks, drinks, or lunch food items and pay about $2 each. Alcohol is a bit expensive.

(Use when trying to locate a restaurant within your budget range)

Transportation – Traveling across Ecuador is not an easy task by car as it requires to travel around mountains. Flights between major cities are very reasonable, $50 one way. Local taxis are cheap and cost $3-$5 for a 20-minute ride. Long-distance buses typically cost from $1-$2 per hour. To look at various routes, visit Local city buses are also a great way to get around the city and are very inexpensive, costing $.25. We hired a private shuttle from Guayaquil to Cuenca costing $90 (a 4-hour drive with a few stops along the way). Ecuador’s train system isn’t the best way to travel. The most popular train route is The Devil’s Nose trip, which costs $35 and can be planned at

Suggested daily budget – Average daily budget should be approximately $42 per person, including hotel, transportation, meals, and sightseeing. A two-week vacation for two people costs roughly $1,185, staying at mid-range hotels.

Money Saving Tips

Family-run guesthouses called Hospedajes are great places to stay for a few dollars a night.
Look for Almuerzos, which are cheap lunches from a set menu that cost a couple of dollars.
Always carry small bills as riding the bus costs $.25 in Cuenca.
Nearly everything is negotiable, so always offer 30% less than the price marked. Requesting a discount of more than 40% is considered rude.
Tipping is not expected in Ecuador but is highly appreciated.
Learn a few phrases in Spanish, as many of the locals do not speak English.

What can I expect from Ecuador?

Ecuador has a diverse landscape, from its rolling alpine hills to thick Amazon jungles, jagged coastline, and the biodiverse Galapagos Islands. It is a nature lover’s paradise with a dense population of over 400 species of mammals and 1,600 birds.


South America is the most densely populated country, having over 15 million inhabitants. Ecuadorians are a mix of ethnic backgrounds, Amerindian, and Spanish heritage warm and welcoming, always smiling on their faces. Whether you are in one of the three regions-Costa, Sierra or Oriente – Ecuador offers visitors a world-class cultural experience.


Ecuador technically has two seasons: a wet and dry season. Depending on the region you plan to visit will depend on the time of year to plan your vacation. The high season is typical during the dry season, from June to the end of September.

  • Language: The official language is Spanish.
  • Currency: The currency is the United States dollar (USD).  Major credit cards are accepted.
  • Plugs: The plugs are type A and B, the standard voltage of 120 V, and the frequency is 60Hz. I suggest bringing a universal adapter.
  • Safety: Ecuador has its fair share of crime, and visitors should exercise caution when visiting. Due to drug and human trafficking issues and high theft, be aware of those areas in Ecuador.

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