With its diverse landscape and rich culture, Ecuador is definitely a hidden gem in South America that you don’t want to miss. Ecuador boasts amazing terrains, including the Amazon jungle, Andean highlands and the wildlife-rich Galapagos Islands. Following, are some traveling tips that might be useful for your trip, if you do decide to check it out.
English is rarely spoken in Ecuador, except at very popular and touristy places, such as the Galapagos Islands. It is best to have a translation tool handy or learn a bit of Spanish ahead. In fact, many travelers take Spanish lessons in Quito before heading out. As Spanish schools in Quito often offer very flexible programs and many of them provide traveling-while-learning options; the experience can be really fun.
Other than in the Galapagos islands, food is very cheap and delicious in Ecuador. Even an upscale meal won’t cost you more than 20 dollars in general. As Ecuadorians don’t use hormones to farm animals other than chickens, all your non-chicken meals are going to be organic at a very affordable price. What’s more, the variety and taste of fruits in Ecuador are also unbelievably amazing. There is no doubt that you should take the opportunity and eat your way throughout the country. You won’t regret it.
Lodging in Ecuador is very affordable. For 20-50 dollars, you can get a decent place to stay.
Eucador uses U.S dollars and ATMs are everywhere; it’s very convenient. However, credit cards are not widely accepted. Even if a business accepts your credit card, a high convenience fee will be charged.
In Quito, it is not wise to go out at night. However, it is safe to go out during the daytime. With some common sense, you should be fine. At touristy places, especially the Galapagos islands and Baños, safety is not really a concern, and you can just relax and enjoy.
If you take a bus to other cities, it is best to exercise caution and keep your luggage close to yourself.
The Health System
Although Ecuador is not a particularly rich country, its health service is pretty good and available to everyone, including travelers, at no cost.
For whatever reason, toilets in Ecuador can be easily clogged. Avoid throwing anything in them, including toilet paper.
Booking A Galapagos Cruise
1. Exploring the Galapagos Islands by cruise is a very rewarding experience, though it is quite expensive. There are normally last-minute deals if you are a hardcore deal seeker.
2. Since for most of the day you will be either on islands, swimming, or on a boat , it is not necessary to spend a lot on an “upscale” cabin just for the night. Of course, if you don’t care about spending more money, a more expensive cabin does offer a bigger space then basic ones.
3. Due to government regulations, huge cruises are not allowed in the region. So, an average Galapagos cruise is small, can normally hold only 20-30 people in total, and is occasionally very bumpy. It is a good idea to pack some seasick pills for the trip. Plus, the pills can help you get a good night’s sleep, which is essential for the next day’s activities.
4. When you choose the cruise line, make sure to check their route first. Since a cruise needs to renew its licence every year, their permission to certain areas can be alternated during the renew process, so the reputation of a cruise should go second after the itinerary.
For more ideas of what to do in Ecuador, download the LeafCanoe app to check out Daijie’s leaf and explore other leafs.