How Should I Prepare for Traveling to Ecuador?

Ecuador travel requirements

We know you’re about to embark on a journey that will take you for long hours to a region completely unknown to you. Planning a trip to Ecuador is opening the door to a world of natural wonders, cultural marvels, and unforgettable adventures.

This country located on the northwest coast of South America is a destination that captivates travelers from around the world with its geographical diversity, rich history, and warm hospitality. From the heights of the Andes to the depths of the Amazon jungle and the beaches of the Pacific coast, Ecuador offers a unique experience for every type of traveler.

In this article, we will guide you through the essential aspects you need to know to prepare for your trip to Ecuador. An essential guide for solo travelers or those with companions. Let’s get started!

Understanding the various regions of Ecuador: A brief description

The Ecuadorian coast extends along the Pacific coastline, where a succession of golden sandy beaches, mangroves, and tropical forests shape a vibrant and diverse coastal landscape.

Guayaquil, the largest city on the coast, is a significant commercial and cultural center, while the Ruta del Sol winds along the coast, connecting destinations such as Salinas, Montañita, and Puerto López. Visitors can enjoy activities such as surfing, whale watching, diving, and exploring natural reserves like Machalilla National Park.

The Amazon region of Ecuador covers much of the eastern part of the country, where a lush and biodiverse tropical jungle awaits exploration. This vast green lung harbors an incredible variety of flora and fauna, as well as indigenous communities that have inhabited the region for centuries.

Travelers can embark on exciting boat expeditions on the Amazon rivers, hike through the jungle in search of wildlife, and immerse themselves in the rich culture and traditions of local communities.

Perhaps the most favored by our visitors is the Andean region of Ecuador, which extends along the Andes mountain range, an imposing mountain chain that crosses the country from north to south. Here, we encounter a wealth of landscapes, from snow-capped peaks to fertile valleys dotted with charming colonial towns.

Quito, the capital of the country, is located in this region, along with other historic cities such as Cuenca and Riobamba. Cotopaxi and Sangay National Parks are popular destinations for those seeking outdoor adventures, offering opportunities for hiking, mountaineering, and wildlife observation.

Quito Old Town, declared a UNESCO World Heritage Site, is one of the best-preserved in Latin America. Here, visitors can stroll through cobblestone streets surrounded by magnificent colonial buildings, baroque churches, and picturesque squares that evoke centuries of history. In fact, the best hotels in Quito are located in this area.

Essential travel documents: What you need to know

Traveling to a foreign country always requires careful planning in terms of travel documents. To ensure your trip to Ecuador goes smoothly, it’s crucial to be aware of the essential documents you need to bring with you. Here’s a detailed guide on what you need to know:

  • Passport: The most important document you’ll need to enter Ecuador is your valid passport. Make sure your passport has at least six months of validity from the date of entry into the country and enough blank pages for entry and exit stamps.
  • Visa: The need for a visa to enter Ecuador depends on your nationality and the purpose of your visit. Most citizens of North American, European, and South American countries can enter Ecuador without a visa for periods ranging from 90 days to 180 days. However, it’s important to check the specific visa requirements for your country before traveling.
  • Tourist Card: Citizens of most countries do not need a visa to enter Ecuador as tourists, but they do need to obtain a Tourist Card upon arrival in the country. This card can be obtained at the entry airport for a nominal fee and allows a stay of up to 90 days.
  • Travel Insurance: Although not mandatory, it’s highly recommended to purchase travel insurance that includes medical and health coverage in case of emergencies during your stay in Ecuador. This will protect you from unexpected expenses in case of illness, accident, or trip cancellation.
  • Vaccination Certificate: If you plan to travel to certain areas of Ecuador, such as the Amazon region, a yellow fever vaccination certificate may be required. Check specific vaccination requirements before your trip and make sure to carry the necessary documentation if applicable.
  • Other Documents: In addition to the documents mentioned above, it’s important to carry a copy of your travel itinerary, hotel reservations, round-trip flight tickets, as well as any other relevant documents that may be required by immigration authorities during your entry and stay in Ecuador.

How to stay healthy during the journey?

Many visitors wonder: “Is Ecuador safe to visit?” In terms of health, climate change, jet lag, or altitude sickness in Quito. The answer is: absolutely yes. But, like any trip, it requires certain precautions.

As we mentioned earlier, before traveling, consult with a doctor or travel health center to ensure you are up to date with all the vaccines recommended for Ecuador. Additionally, take precautions to prevent mosquito-borne illnesses, such as dengue and malaria, by using insect repellent and wearing appropriate clothing.

Enjoy the delicious Ecuadorian cuisine, but make sure to eat at places that appear clean and follow proper food handling practices. Avoid eating raw or undercooked foods, and wash fruits and vegetables with potable water before consuming them.

The equatorial Ecuador means that the sun can be very strong, especially in coastal and high-altitude regions. Use sunscreen with a high sun protection factor (SPF), wear a hat and sunglasses, and seek shade during the hottest hours of the day to protect yourself from sunburn and heatstroke.

Consider getting travel insurance that includes medical coverage in case of emergencies. This will provide you with peace of mind and protection in case you need medical attention during your trip.

How to handle ecuadorian currency?

Handling the local currency is a crucial part of any trip, and in Ecuador, knowing how the monetary system works will help you conduct transactions efficiently and smoothly.

Since 2000, Ecuador has adopted the US dollar as its official currency. This means you don’t need to worry about exchanging your currency before traveling; you can use US dollars to make your purchases and transactions throughout the country.

The banknotes in circulation in Ecuador are the same as those in the United States, with denominations ranging from $1 to $100. The coins are also the same as in the US, with values from 1 cent to 1 dollar.


In major cities and tourist destinations in Ecuador, you will find ATMs that accept international debit and credit cards. This will allow you to withdraw cash in US dollars using your bank card.

Most commercial establishments in cities and tourist areas accept international credit and debit cards, especially Visa and Mastercard. However, some smaller places may prefer cash, so make sure you have enough cash on hand for situations where cards are not accepted.

Basic spanish phrases for travelers

Although many people in tourist destinations may speak English, having some basic phrases in Spanish will help you communicate more effectively in everyday situations, such as asking for directions, shopping, ordering food in restaurants, or simply greeting local people.

Greetings and Courtesy:

Hola: Hello

Buenos días: Good morning

Buenas tardes: Good afternoon

Buenas noches: Good evening/night

Por favor: Please

Gracias: Thank you

De nada: You’re welcome

Ask Help:

¿Habla inglés? – Do you speak English?

Necesito ayuda – I need help

¿Puede ayudarme? – Can you help me?

¿Dónde está el baño? – Where is the bathroom?

¿Cuánto cuesta esto? – How much does this cost?

In the Restaurant:

Quisiera una mesa para dos, por favor – I would like a table for two, please

La carta, por favor – The menu, please

¿Tienen menú en inglés? – Do you have a menu in English?

Quisiera ordenar… – I would like to order…

La cuenta, por favor – The bill, please

In the Hotel:

Tengo una reserva a nombre de… – I have a reservation under the name of…

¿Tienen habitaciones disponibles? – Do you have any rooms available?

¿Dónde está mi habitación? – Where is my room?

¿Puede llamar un taxi para mañana a las 7 AM? – Can you call a taxi for tomorrow at 7 AM?

¿A qué hora es el check-out? – What time is check-out?


¿Cómo llego a…? – How do I get to…?

¿Está lejos? – Is it far?

Derecha – Right

Izquierda – Left

Recto – Straight

A Glimpse into Ecuador’s weather throughout the year

Knowing what type of weather to expect helps you pack appropriately. For example, if you expect frequent rain, you can bring a raincoat or umbrella, while if you expect intense heat, you can pack lightweight clothing and sunscreen.

In the Coastal Region:

December – May: Warm and humid weather with temperatures ranging from 25°C to 32°C. Frequent rains, especially in February and March.

June – November: Cooler and drier weather due to the Humboldt cold currents. Temperatures between 22°C and 28°C, with less rainfall.

In the Mountainous Region:

The weather in Quito can help you choose the best time to travel to Ecuador, depending on your preferences.

December – May: Dry and sunny season with daytime temperatures between 15°C and 25°C. Cool nights, especially at higher altitudes.

June – November: Rainy season, with more frequent afternoon showers. Although daytime temperatures remain pleasant, nights can be cooler and humid.

Packing Recommendations: What to Bring?

And we can’t talk about travel advice for Ecuador without helping you pack your luggage.

For the highlands, where nights can be cool, make sure to include warm clothing such as sweaters, jackets, and long pants. Even in the warmest months, temperatures can drop considerably at night, especially in higher altitude areas.

Regardless of the region you visit, bring comfortable and sturdy walking shoes, as you’re likely to explore natural areas and walk on uneven terrain. Also, consider bringing sandals for the beach and closed-toe shoes for outdoor activities.

Don’t forget to include broad-spectrum sunscreen with a high sun protection factor (SPF), as well as hats and sunglasses to protect yourself from the strong sun.

To protect yourself against mosquito and other insect bites, bring insect repellent containing DEET or other ingredients recommended by travel health experts.

If you’re traveling from outside North America, make sure to bring a plug adapter so you can charge your electronic devices.

Are you searching for boutique hotels in Quito Ecuador?

A good portion of tourists arriving in Quito prefer to stay in what we call boutique hotels. What amenities do they offer compared to other establishments?

A boutique hotel in Quito is typically smaller than a traditional hotel, creating an intimate and welcoming atmosphere. The staff can provide more personalized and attentive service, catering to the individual needs of each guest and providing personalized recommendations about local activities and places to visit in Quito.

This is the case with our Hotel-House Ecuatreasures, where we have a privileged location in Quito Old Town. You can stay close to the most emblematic sites to explore: from architectural buildings to gastronomic and entertainment areas.

Find the best hotel rates in City Center of Quito, Ecuador

At our hotel, we understand the importance of offering competitive and affordable rates for our guests. Located in Quito Old Town, we provide excellent value for money so you can enjoy a comfortable and memorable stay without compromising your budget.

Whether you’re visiting Quito for business or pleasure, we offer a comfortable and welcoming retreat in the heart of the city, where you can relax and enjoy everything this destination has to offer.