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FAQ-Ecuador

Clothes
Although Ecuador lies on the equator and received its name from this North-South dividing line (Ecuador is the Spanish word for equator), this does not mean that Ecuador only has a tropical climate. In the Andean highlands, mornings and evenings are pretty chilly. It can be really hot during the day when the sun is shining, but once it gets cloudy, it is chilly again. In the Andean mountain range, you are at an average altitude of 2800m, too high for a tropical climate. At the coast or in the jungle you will find a tropical climate with high temperatures. This means that in Ecuador you will need different kinds of clothing, varying from summer clothes to warm sweaters/jackets and long trousers. Due to big temperature differences during the day we advice to use layer.

Clothes

Mobile phones
Only mobile phones that have a quad band are working in Ecuador. If you have a mobile phone that doesn’t have a SIM-lock you can buy an Ecuadorian SIM-card so that you can receive calls way cheaper than when people are calling you on your national SIM-card.

 Mobile phones
Recharging electronic devices
Ecuador uses the two flat point US plugs and has electricity of 110 volt instead of 220 volt. Do not forget to bring your plug converter. If you don’t have it, you can buy one at the office of Ecole Travel for $3,00.
 Electronic devices
Bank facilities
In larger cities like Quito, Otavalo, Baños, Riobamba, Cuenca and Guayaquil you can withdraw money with your bank card, if it has a cirrus or maestro sign. A credit card will only be accepted in the more expensive first-class restaurants and hotels. Traveler cheques can be exchanged in the bank, always adding a 5% commission. You can also exchange traveler cheques at Ecole Travel for a commission of 1% percent.
 Bank facilities

Safety
In Ecuador about 50% of the population earns more or less 2 USD a day, which means that many people live below the poverty line. Tourists are therefore a favorite target for pickpockets and luggage-thieves. Always keep an eye on your luggage, especially when traveling with public transport and/or when visiting markets. 
Your big bag (backpack or suitcase) will never be a problem with public transport but mind your small bag or daypack. Never put it below your chair or on top of the luggage rack and keep it on your lap. Divide your money amongst the people you are travelling with and hide part of it in your purse below your clothes: in your bra (for the ladies) or shoes, not in your trousers’ pocket. Wear your backpack on your belly and not on your back! It is advisable to take copies of your passport and flight ticket(s) and to keep them separately. In big cities you better not walk through the streets at night. You can call one of the many 24h taxi companies. If you just use your common sense, Ecuador is a safe country for travelling!

 Safety

Food
Ecuadorian cooking might not be the most refined, but food surely is tasty. The almuerzo (lunch) is the main course in Ecuador. Everywhere in the country you will find almuerzo restaurants where you can have lunch for about 3,00 USD. An almuerzo consists of soup, a warm principal dish with rice, meat and beans or corn, and most often a desert and a fruitjuice.

Furthermore the local dishes are worth a try: aji (a hot sauce of Spanish peppers you will find on every Ecuadorian restaurant’s table), ceviche (fish, shrimps or shellfishes marinated in lemon juice), cuy (or guinea pig, a traditional Inca dish), empanadas (dough moulds filled with for example cheese, vegetables and/or meat), locro (potato, onion and cheese soup mostly served with avocado. The same dish is called yaguarlocro (after adding dried blood), patacones (flattened fried green bananas) and yuca (alternative for the rather expensive potato). We should not forget the wide variety of fruits. But if you are more into international cuisine, you will not be disappointed here. All sorts of restaurants can be found in the cities and larger villages.
 Food
Weather
Keep in mind that Ecuador is not as warm a country as you might think. In spite of the country’s location on the equator, it can be pretty cold on cloudy days and in the evenings, especially in cities like Quito where the altitude is 2850 meters above sea level. The best thing to do is to put on several layers of clothes.  Bring your sweater but also your summer clothes for the coastal region and the jungle.
Weather Chimborazo

Ecuador’s currency
Since 2000 the national currency is the American dollar, which means that everything can be paid with American dollars. Coins are issued in Ecuador so you can not use them in other countries. Notes however, are issued in the USA and can be used anywhere. Make sure that you only bring notes of $20 and smaller.

 American dollars
Vaccinations
In general, hepatitis A and DTP and yellow fever are recommended but if you wish to stay longer than 3 months, more vaccinations are advisable. For more actualized information, also about malaria, please contact the Public Health Department in your home country.
 Vaccinations

Best time to travel
The country’s multifaceted features are reflected on the climate. Climate in Ecuador differs depending on the region. Still every region has two seasons, the wet and the dry season, winter and summer. However, Ecuador’s climate is unpredictable which implies that you can travel in Ecuador at any time of the year. Whatever period you choose to travel to Ecuador, you will always have some sun and some rain.

 Best time to travel

 


 

 

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