If you are looking for a South American adventure, you should make time for Ecuador. Ecuador is a diverse country as far as nature and wildlife is concerned, from its vast and diverse rainforest to the beautiful sandy beaches of the Pacific coast, Ecuador has much to offer, this country is also home to Cotopaxi, which the highest active volcano in the world, but there is more, this small but very diverse country is the gateway to the much-secluded Galapagos Islands, which are located around 1000 kms away from the mainland on the Pacific ocean.
Below are 7 tips for visiting Ecuador for the first time.
- Go for a custom tour. There are many travel services that offer custom Ecuador tours, and you can expect to get an itinerary that’s completely tailored for you. There are classic tours and also adventure tours. Depending on what your interests are, be sure that in Ecuador you have plenty of options to choose from, since the country is small still quite diverse, the easiest way to cover the main parts is by having your own Ecuador customized tour, this will allow you to just relax and enjoy every day of your adventure, instead of having to lose time planning the next bus ride or missing out on one of the country’s highlights, if you are already coming to this unique and amazing highlight of South America, make sure to do it the right way!
- Check the costs. Ecuador is not a cheap destination as per global standards, and you can expect to pay more than $600 for a complete four-five days tour, it is important to make sure of what you are paying for and working together with an Ecuadorian travel specialist, who can help you better find the best activities and places to visit for your precise interests. We also recommend booking in advance your Ecuador custom tour as this way you can normally select from a wider range of options for accommodation as well as for activities.
- Always book in advance for the Galapagos Islands. The Galapagos Islands have become an obvious and luxury choice for wildlife lovers. The best way to visit the islands is by taking a cruise, which can cost upwards of $2000 for a five or six day trip. Due to the high demand for trips to these amazing islands and due to the restrictions set by the local authorities in an effort to contribute to its conservation, availability might be an issue, so, it is best to check your options in advance if you want to make sure you will get the right trip for you. If a Galapagos cruise tour is not preferred way to visit, you can always look for hotel based tours which still offer you amazing opportunities to explore and encounter lots of wildlife and incredible Galapagos landscapes, whichever way you prefer to visit the Galapagos, do make sure to include this destination in your Ecuador custom tour!
- Keep a Spanish-to-English dictionary handy. Spanish is the official language of Ecuador and most of the countries in South America, and although you can find people that speak and understand English in the big cities like Quito or Guayaquil, you might to learn some of the basics in Spanish, especially if you will be wandering up in the Andes or to the villages in the Pacific coast, most locals are fond of foreigners, who can speak Spanish, so they will for sure be pleased to hear you practicing your skills! Muy bien!
- Set some money aside. Ecuador offers a good range of hotels and cruises, but the prices vary from one place to another. The best and most comfortable way to travel is by having your own custom Ecuador tour designed together with the assistance of a specialized local travel agency, however, it is also possible for some areas of the country to make your own arrangements and venture by yourself, in this case, you might want to check for accommodation in advance, and if you intend to travel to the interiors, do consider keeping some hard cash with you as credit cards are not widely accepted in most areas of the country outside of the capital and main cities, a fact you maybe did not know is that Ecuador’s official currency is the US dollar.
- Pack right. If you are traveling to the Ecuadorian jungle or going to the Galapagos, you need to keep comfortable and loose-fitting clothes with you, the weather can be quite humid especially at the Amazon region and because of the country’s position right on the Equator, the weather is also quite unpredictable.
It is also good to have your basic travel essentials, including stomach-pain medicine, sunscreen and a flashlight. Some people do suffer from sea-sickness, so keep these medicines handy if this type of ride is on your list.
- Get a personalized itinerary from a local based Agency. If you want to explore the lesser known areas of Ecuador, you need to keep a guide with you, the best way to arrange not only for the right guide but also for your accommodation and activities and allow you to just enjoy your time in Ecuador without having to lose time, is to get an organized trip with a trusted tour operator, for a tailored made trip including all of your areas of interest, get in touch with the guys at Ecuador and Galapagos Insiders, local expert guides that offer the best Ecuador custom tours they can completely personalize your trip in Ecuador and the Galapagos islands providing top-notch service and first hand advice to make your trip to Ecuador memorable!
Explore and fall in love with Ecuador and the Galapagos islands! Book your trip now!