Ecuador Travel Facts

By | April 8, 2022

Based on map by DigoPaul, Ecuador is located in northwestern South America, bordering Colombia and Peru. The country is considered relatively safe and is a popular travel destination, mainly because of the Galápagos Islands. With a very varied landscape, visitors will find a wide range of possibilities, from dreamlike beaches to the high mountains in the Andes.

Capital City Quito
Size 283,561 km²
Resident 16 million
Official Language Spanish
Currency U.S. dollar
Time Zone UTC-5
Telephone Area Code +593

Fast facts to know

  • Below 1,500 m altitude in Ecuador there is a low risk of malaria all year round.
  • Drinking water should not be drunk untreated by travelers.
  • Ecuador is a third world country.
  • Vaccinations are not mandatory, but yellow fever, hepatitis A and B, and depending on the destination, malaria prophylactics are recommended.
  • A passport that is valid for 6 months is sufficient for entry.
  • The official currency in Ecuador is the American dollar.
  • Ecuador is considered a safe travel destination.
  • Galápagos Islands belong to Ecuador (1000 km off the coast).
  • Paradise for outdoor fans.

Exciting cities in Ecuador

  • Quito
  • Puerto Lopez
  • Latacunga
  • Guayaquil
  • Cuenca
  • Otavalo
  • Riobamba
  • Vilcabamba

History of Ecuador

  • Already 9000 BC settled by the Las Vegas culture.
  • Inhabited by several independent peoples until the 15th century.
  • 1530 – 1820 Spanish colony.
  • 1810 – 1830 War of Independence.
  • Became part of Greater Colombia and then independent state.
  • 1925 – 1947 marked by political chaos.
  • Oil production has determined the country’s economic and political stability since 1973.

Climate & travel weather in Ecuador

  • North coast: monsoon climate with rainy season December – May.
  • Mountains: cooler, humid all year round with rainy seasons February – May & October – November.
  • High mountains: alpine tundra climate.
  • Oriente: humid, tropical climate.
  • Recommended travel time:
    • Highlands: May to October
    • Coastal Region: December to June
    • Amazon Region: May to September
    • Galápagos Islands: good all year round

Ideas for excursions in Ecuador

  • Biggest market in South America in Otavalo.
  • Galapagos Islands.
  • Valley of the Ancients – Vilcabamba.
  • Swimming in Baños.
  • Surfing in Montañita.
  • Train ride at the rock formation known as Devil’s Nose in the highlands of the Andes.
  • Inca ruins Ingapirca.

Eating & Drinking in Ecuador

  • Simple but diverse and varied with Spanish, indigenous and African influences.
  • Corn is the basis of almost all dishes.
  • In the Andean dishes, potatoes are the most important side dish.
  • Plantains and bananas play a major role in all coastal dishes.
  • Yucca root is also an important food.
  • Soups and stews are widespread and very popular.
  • Meat suppliers such as guinea pigs and llamas have largely been replaced by pork and beef.
  • Enormous range of delicious, freshly squeezed juices.
  • Typical dishes:
    • Ceviche (seafood with lemon and onions).
    • Lechón (suckling pig).
    • Llapingachos (potato pancakes with cheese).
    • Cuy (roast or grilled guinea pig).
    • Sopa de bolas verde (thick peanut soup with plantain dumplings).
    • Caldo de gallina (chicken soup).
    • Lenteja (lentil stew).
    • Encebollado (broth with onions, fish and yuca).
    • Sanchocho (soup made from meat, cassava, peas and plantains).
    • Fanesca (soup made with fish, legumes, peas and corn).
    • Sopa Marinera (seafood soup).
    • Corviche (plantain dumpling filled with fish, shrimp or chicken on a skewer).
    • Fritada (fried pork, choclo, llapingachos, avocado).
    • Locro (potato and corn soup with avocado and cheese).
    • Humitas (sweet corn and egg batter wrapped in a banana leaf).
    • Corvina (sea bass).
    • Ají (hot sauce made from chili peppers, used for seasoning and to kill germs in the stomach).
    • Trucha (trout).
    • Menestra (grilled piece of meat with lentils, rice and small, mashed fried banana pancakes).
    • Churrasco (large portion of white-peeled rice under a piece of meat with two fried eggs on top, French fries, fried onion rings, vegetable salad).

Particularly scenic

  • Cotopaxi Volcano.
  • Lagoon Quilatoa.
  • Ecador rainforest.
  • Cajas National Park near Cuenca.
  • Mountains, waterfalls and hot springs at Baños.
  • Fantastically beautiful beaches.

Ecuador Travel Facts