Ecuador is an amazing country—but like anywhere worth traveling to, getting there is about more than just booking a ticket.
If you’re in the middle of planning US travel to Ecuador, let us here at Surtrek, the leader in custom South American travel, help. To get you started, here are a few things you should know:
US citizens do not need a visa to enter Ecuador, but they do need a passport, and it must be valid for at least six months past the planned date of departure. When in Ecuador, make sure you carry your passport with you at all times! You never know when you might need it.
With a US passport alone, travelers can stay in Ecuador for up to 90 days. Should they stay longer without a visa, they could be subject to fines and possible deportation. If you need a visa for a long stay in Ecuador, you can apply for one here. Along with the visa application (which must be submitted prior to departure from the US), visa requirements include: a US passport, a police certificate or background check from the FBI, a copy of travelers’ round–trip airline ticket, financial documents proving their ability to support themselves, and two passport-size photos.
CVS or Walgreens don’t exist in Ecuador; so to make life easier, plan to bring your own medications with you. You’ll definitely want sunscreen, stomach medicine, and if you’re going to high altitudes, Advil. While you’re there, take advantage of coca leaves. They’re natural, can be found everywhere, and are often chewed or turned into tea to help fight the effects of altitude sickness.
The official language of Ecuador is Spanish. In the larger cities, you will find locals who speak English and can help you. Because you can’t rely on that, however, it might be helpful to bring a “cheat sheet,” or an English-Spanish dictionary, with the words and phrases you might need most.
When planning U.S. travel to Ecuador, it’s important to think about money. Ecuadorians do use the U.S. Dollar, but even still, it’s better to take out cash before you leave the United States. It’s not uncommon for ATMs in Ecuador to limit the amount of money you can actually take out, or if you’re in a really small town, to be out of money altogether. Also, always carry coins and small bill amounts with you, since small local vendors might not always have change.
You’ve finished your U.S. travel to Ecuador, so how do you get around the country once you’re there? There are four main options: overland buses, minibuses, trains or domestic flights. Overland buses are easy! They will take you in between towns, and for the most part, all you have to do is hop on and pay the fare once you’re en route. Minibuses and domestic flights connect to larger cities, like Quito. There’s also a train from Quito to Guayaquil, but it’s mainly geared toward tourists and doesn’t operate regularly.