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Plaza de San Francisco in old town Quito, Ecuador

Ecuador and Galapagos Travel Guide

What are the things to keep in mind while planning a private Ecuador and Galapagos tour? From visas to vaccinations, currency and language, find expert tips in our Ecuador Travel Guide.

ecuador vacation
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Entry and visa for Ecuador and Galapagos

US, Canadian, UK, Australian and EU citizens do not need a visa to enter Ecuador for tourism. You must have a passport that is valid for six months from the date of entry with at least two blank pages remaining, return tickets and proof of sufficient funds for your trip on arrival into Ecuador. 

Galapagos Islands: You will need a SICGAL tourist card at the airport in mainland Ecuador which is USD $ 20. The Galapagos Islands National Park fee is USD $ 100. These must be paid in cash US Dollars.

Guests visiting the Galapagos must provide proof of medical insurance coverage that is valid for the duration of the stay, otherwise entry may be denied. This process started from July 22, 2018. Please send us a scanned copy of the medical insurance certificate before the start of your trip and carry it along with your passport in case you are asked for it during immigration.

Vaccinations, health and safety

Health Information

Vaccinations

A yellow fever vaccination and malaria tablets are recommended for travelers visiting jungles. For visiting the Quito region in Ecuador, you do not need any vaccinations.

Your country’s government may have its own vaccination regulations and recommendations. Be sure your routine vaccinations are up-to-date: influenza, chickenpox (or varicella), polio, measles/mumps/ rubella (MMR) and diphtheria/pertussis/tetanus (DPT). 

Important information: The Zika virus and dengue fever are spread by mosquito bites from the Aedes mosquito found in tropical and sub-tropical areas of Ecuador. Symptoms may include mild fever, rashes, conjunctivitis, muscle or joint pain, and general feeling of illness that begins 2-7 days after infection. It’s reported that four out of five people infected show no symptoms at all. There’s no vaccination for Zika. The best protection is preventing bites by using mosquito repellent (preferably with DEET), wearing long-sleeve shirts, long pants and a hat while in affected areas. We recommend that you consult your doctor before traveling.

High altitudes

Since Quito is located at an altitude of 2,850 m (9,359 ft), altitude sickness can be an issue if you ascend too quickly. It’s difficult to determine who may be affected since there are no specific factors (age, gender or physical condition) correlated with susceptibility. Acclimation generally takes 1-2 days. Our tailor-made trips are planned in a way to guard against this. We also recommend that you take it slow so that your body can adapt to the height gradually without causing strain.

Insurance

We highly encourage you to purchase travel insurance for your trip. We also advise you to purchase international travel health insurance, should you fall ill during your trip or require medical help or hospitalization. For more information on insurance, visit travelguard.com.

Languages spoken in Ecuador and Galapagos

Owing to its long colonial history, Spanish is the most commonly spoken and official language in Ecuador and Galapagos. However, visitors will find that English too is spoken nearly everywhere in the country. The Indian population of Ecuador speak Quichua, and there are also ten other native languages spoken throughout the country.

Please note that during your vacation, we will ensure that you have access to English-spoken guides everywhere. Your personal Trip Coordinator will be available to assist you around the clock throughout, should you need anything during your vacation with us.

Cashless payment.

Tipping, money exchange and currency in Ecuador and Galapagos

Currency

US dollar is the official currency of Ecuador and Galapagos, adopted as the national currency by the government in the year 2000.

Cash and cards

While only a few merchants and vendors accept debit cards, you can always use to withdraw money from ATMs which are available everywhere in larger cities. In rural areas however, ATMs may not easily available. Please note that most ATMs have a maximum daily withdrawal of USD $ 200 – 400, depending on the bank. Your Enchanting Travels guide or chauffeur will be able to direct you to trusted withdrawal facilities and help you exchange currency should you need to do this.

All major credit cards are accepted, although Mastercard and Visa are most widely accepted while Diners Club and American Express are accepted in only a few establishments.

Tipping

Please note that it is not mandatory to tip in Ecuador and is entirely up to you. Should you wish to tip however, 10% of the bill is perfect alright at restaurants while USD 6 – 10 is acceptable for your chauffeur or guide.

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WHAT OUR GUESTs SAY

This was our first experience with Enchanting Travels, chosen by our search on the web. We are very pleased with the overall services.

Rating 5/5


Mehdi Moghaddas
USA

What a great team Olivia, Our Travel Consultant, and Nancy, our Trip Coordinator, made for our Galapagos trip. All our accommodations and transportation were taken care of and we had a worry free vacation.

Rating 5/5
Galapagos sea lions (Zalophus californianus wollebacki) on the beach, Galapagos Islands

Pamela Bevington USA

Our trip to The Galápagos was booked through Enchanting Travels. We cannot fault them. Everything was organized to the last detail. We will certainly be looking to them for any future travel.

Rating 5/5

Doreen JenksUSA

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