Ecuador

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Overview

Ecuador packs a huge amount into its borders. It is by comparison a tiny South American country, but with a huge amount on offer, often billed as four worlds in one place. Starting in the west there are the amazing Galapagos Islands, the stunning Pacific Coast and the towering Andes mountains, which drop down into the limitless bio-diversity of the Amzaon basin.

There is a wealth of ancient and vibrant indigenous cultures alongside the remnants of a colonial administration with its faded architecture. You really can try it all in an adventure travel trip to Ecuador, with so much close at hand - one minute you could be at a chilly altitude in a village in the Andean mountains and the next thing you are gliding silently through the Amazon rainforest in a dugout canoe.

A real draw to an Ecuador visit is of course the Galapagos Islands. It was here that Darwin visited and formulated his theory of evolution and natural selection, noticing the differences in finches from island to island. The wildlife in the oceans around these islands is boundless - snokel with giant whale sharks, watch marine iguanas and scuba dive with thousands of rays and sharks.

The incredible Amazon rainforest is a very different world, home to monkeys, sloths and river dolphins as well as a wealth of birds such as toucans, macaws and tanagers. Just 79kms from Quito is Mindo, a birders paradise, where you can find up to 120 species of hummingbirds. 

With a huge range of amazing outdoor adventures, from sea based marine adventures and birding in the Andes to expedition camping adventures in the Amazon and a myriad of activities on offer such as trekking, horseback riding, biking, and whitewater rafting, Ecuador has something to suit every safari goer. 

 

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Quick Facts - Ecuador

Travel Seasons

  • Dec - Apr - High Season on the coast, warm temperatures and some showers
  • Jan - May - High Season in the Galapagos, hot and humid, with frequent afternoon showers
  • Jun - Sep - Sunny, clear days in the highlands, best time to visit the mainland, less rain in the Oriente
  • Dec - May - Cooler, rainier days in the highlands.
  • Jun - Dec - Low Season in the Galapagos, with cooler, drier weather and mist (Sep-Oct seas are roughest)
  • Apr - Jul - Low Season in the Oriente (eastern Ecuador) with heavy rains 


General Information

  • Captial city - Quito
  • Currency - USD
  • Languages - Spanish, English
  • Size - 285,000 sq kms – United Kingdom combined with Belgium
  • Population - 16.39 million (2016)


Health and Safety

  • Travel insurance is essential for all international travel. Ecuador's Ministry of Tourism has recently confirmed that from 01/05/18 it is mandatory for all foreigners visiting Ecuador to have health insurance. Click below to find out more:

  • The CDC recommends the following vaccinations for Ecuador: hepatitis A and typhoid. Check with your doctor which other vaccinations you might need and make sure your routine vaccinations are all up-to-date.
  • Malaria is present in Ecuador - get medical advice on which prophylaxis to take.
  • It is best to stick to bottled water.


Tourist Information

Pros & Cons

Pros

  • Incredible landscapes - Galapagos Islands, Andes mountains, Amazon rainforest
  • Remarkable wildlife
  • Architectural gems
  • Vibrant cities and cultures
  • Huge range of activities

Cons

  • High deforestation
  • Crime in some cities

Travel Info

Arriving in Ecuador

  • Most travellers arrive by air, usually through the main airports at Quito and Guayaquil
  • Regular services from Miami, Houston and Atlanta and in Europe from Madrid and Amsterdam
  • Regional connections are available for destinations in Central and South America


Getting Around

  • There are plenty of taxis in the urban centres, but ensure you use a registered one
  • If you are feeling adventurous you can use the extensive and reliable local bus service
  • Most safari itineraries include all transport arrangements


Visas

  • Visas are not required for visitors of trips up to 90 days, but check before you travel Ecuador Visas >>

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