Ecuador with its perfect spring weather throughout the year and endless golden beaches, is the ideal tourist destination for probably thousands of reasons, including amazing food and vibrant city life.
Ecuador is perfect for those who want more than a simple vacation but for those who want to enjoy their life to the fullest. If you fit into this category, you are probably wondering what kind of place Ecuador is, what to expect of it, and what you should bring. So here are a few things to consider.
Prices & Currency
If you’re from the USA, you don’t have to worry about confusing conversions, since one of the official currencies is the United States dollar. Even with a low budget, Ecuador can be an amazing place for budget backpackers since the prices are not too high.
You can easily find good quality double rooms for 20 to 30 USD a night and a good meal like, for example, a two-course seafood dish, for just 3 bucks.
A great idea that will save you some trouble is to always carry a good amount of small dollar bills since street foods, daily items and transportation are usually really cheap and people often don´t have change.
Another recommendation; be prepared to battle some ATM machines. Some machines won’t accept your card at all while some ATM machines cannot issue more than 100 USD at a time. On top of that, smaller cities and villages usually don’t have ATMs, so prepare your wallet before you go anywhere.
Being perfectly fluent in English is always a good thing, but in Ecuador it might not be that helpful since local people speak many different indigenous languages. Most of the local people don’t speak English that well or at all, but everyone speaks and understands Spanish perfectly, so it would be wise to learn at least some basic phrases before booking your flight to this amazing country.
For those who don’t like to experiment too much, Ecuador offers standard western cuisine or different variants of rice dishes with vegetables, meat, and fish, but western food is usually more expensive and, besides that, it would be a sin to miss some of the wonders of the traditional Ecuadorian kitchen. You can get a taste of Ecuadorian cuisine right on the streets or in fancy restaurants.
One of the most popular choices for indecisive and hungry tourists is usually the “almuerzo” – lunch special. These dishes usually include a soup, a main dish, a soda and they cost around 2.50 to 3 USD. Here you’re always guaranteed to get enough food of amazing taste for an affordable price, so be sure to explore the many different choices this place has to offer.
It is a great idea to pre-book some transportation to your hotel when you arrive there for the first time, but even if you haven´t, you can still use the taxi. Getting around in bigger cities is not a problem since taxi services are not expensive because fuel is cheap.
In most situations you won’t have to spend more than 3 to 5 USD per ride, but if you want to save up on that, you can still catch a local bus. Local bus fares are usually no more than 50 cents, but traveling routes can be confusing, so check twice if you are in the right bus before it starts going anywhere.
For cross-country traveling, your best options are still buses since they are really easy to use. Just make sure you hold on to any bus ticket receipts you get since you might need them later on. If you are traveling for more than a few hours, be sure to check for different bus companies’ fares and routes since prices and time spent on the road can vary.
While Ecuador is notorious for being a place where you can easily “lose” your wallet, these rumors are often exaggerated. Having said this, it is important to note that some visitors as in all countries worldwide have had negative experiences so is a good idea to keep your eyes open and always check your belongings.
If you are going somewhere is better to be accompanied by some friends so you can look after each other. Inform yourself of common scams, how to notice them, and how to avoid them before your trip and you should be just fine.
As the name itself suggests, Ecuador is located on the equator, which means it’s much closer to the sun than any other place north or south of it. This means that you’re going to need some serious UV protection. In case you forgot to bring sunscreen you can easily find local stores where this kind of products can be found.
Ecuador is a destination that is guaranteed to give you the adventure of a lifetime just make sure you are adequately prepared and well informed!0