How to Plan a Trip to Mainland Ecuador - AdventureTripr

How to Plan a Trip to Mainland Ecuador

Team AdventureTripr · January 19, 2023
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Why go to Ecuador?

We believe Ecuador is a highly underrated destination. In just this one country you will find the most beautiful landscapes, adventures and cultures that we can guarantee are hard to come by. Learn how to plan and be fully prepared to go to Ecuador. 

When is the best time to go?

Ecuador has two main seasons, the wet and the dry season. That said Ecuador has varying altitudes therefore, it really depends on where and when you visit.

January - May is the coolest and wettest time of year for most of the country. Navigating the Amazon can be difficult during this time due to road closures and flooding while in most other places rainfall is typically in the form of afternoon showers. Temperatures along the coast are milder, and it’s actually quite pleasant in the Galapagos as the ocean waters are calm and warm and so many people still visit Ecuador during this time.

June - September is very dry, and you’ll also experience some of the warmest temperatures in Ecuador. This is peak season, so you can expect higher prices for flights and accommodations. Still, the weather is always nice and the entire country has a fun, upbeat atmosphere. Temperatures near the coast hover around 77°F (25°C), while in Quito the daily average is around  70°F (21°C).

Flying to Ecuador

Aerial Panorama of Quito Ecuador
Aerial Panorama of Quito Ecuador

Ecuador has several international airports, including Quito Mariscal Sucre International Airport and Guayaquil's José Joaquín de Olmedo International Airport. There are also several domestic airports that offer flights between major cities and tourist destinations. Flying is definitely the best way to get to the Galapagos.

Another way of getting into Ecuador is by crossing the border from either Colombia or Peru. It’s pretty straightforward and safe, but consider the time as waiting, queues and the general journey is much longer than anticipated.

Getting around Ecuador

Bus - Bus travel is a popular and inexpensive way to get around Ecuador. There are several companies that operate long-distance buses between major cities and tourist destinations. Costs are around $1-$1.50 per hour. For the 7-hour ride from Quito to Guayaquil, expect to pay between $11-28 USD for a one-way ticket. Typically you can just show up at the bus station to get your ticket, but you can also use to look up routes and prices.

Car - Renting a car is a good option for those who want more flexibility and independence when traveling around Ecuador. You can rent a car at the airport or in major cities. Just be aware that traffic can be heavy in major cities and road conditions may be poor outside of urban areas.

Train - Ecuador's main train line is the Tren Ecuador, which runs from Quito to Guayaquil. The train is a scenic and comfortable way to travel, but it can be slower than other forms of transportation. Due to the pandemic, the railway company has been affected therefore, be sure to check times and routes.

Hitchhiking - Hitchhiking is possible here if you have experience and don’t mind long waits. Use Hitchwiki for the most up-to-date tips and information.

Currency & costs in Ecuador

The local currency is the US dollar. Ecuador is generally a very affordable country to visit. We have listed a few costs to bear in mind. Luckily our trips include really lovely hotels from 3 to 5 stars for your entire stay.  

Where to stay in Ecuador

Ecuador has various types of accommodations:

Hostel - Prices start around $6 USD per night, while a private room ranges from $10-50 USD. 

Camping - This is also a really cool option, as there are campsites available across the country, even close to some national parks! Prices start from $5 USD.

Hotels - There is a wide range of hotels from budget to luxury hotels, with prices starting from $25 per night! Free Wi-Fi and free breakfast are common. 

Airbnbs - You can find shared accommodation, or private. Some Airbnb’s that even have pools!

Food and drink

One of the best parts of traveling is the local food! You can find street food at really affordable prices starting as low as $3 USD  and the average price for restaurants is around $20 USD. Must-try food in Ecuador includes ilapinchagos (fried potato cakes stuffed with cheese), ceviche, empanadas, arroz con pollo (chicken with rice), and cuy (roasted guinea pig). Seafood is common, owing to its location on the ocean. Potatoes with a roasted pig is a popular dish in the mountainous regions, while cassava (also known as yuca) is a common staple near the jungle.

Traditional Food in Ecuador
Traditional Food in Ecuador

Beer is just $2.50 USD while a latte/cappuccino is $2.34 USD. Bottled water is $0.60 USD.

How to stay safe in Ecuador

Ecuador is generally a safe place to travel around, even if you’re traveling alone or as a solo female traveler. Always trust your gut instinct and use general common sense.

- Petty theft is widespread, keep your valuables in sight and locked.

- Taxi crimes are a danger in places like Quito, Guayaquil, Manta, and Playas. Did you know that the US consulate in Guayaquil even forbids its staff from hailing cabs in the street because of the risk. Ask your accommodation to order you a cab in these cities.

- Standard precautions always apply, don’t leave your drink unattended, never walk home alone intoxicated and be wary of your surroundings.

- When hiking check the weather beforehand and bring appropriate clothing, as well as water, a hat, and sunblock. 

- Remember, if you feel uncomfortable always leave the situation whether that be a taxi, hotel, or restaurant. 

- Make copies of your personal documents and ID.

- Get travel insurance, it is always better to be safe than sorry.

Have we inspired you to plan a trip to Ecuador yet? If you have an adventurous soul or want to dip your toe into your adventurous side Ecuador is the country for you. This is a paradise for people and travelers who seek adventure, new experiences, and oneness with the great outdoors. If you want to learn more about what to see whilst in Ecuador then check out our blog ‘Top 13 things to do and see in Mainland Ecuador’

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