Search this site:
- At the bottom of each page
is a search box that you can use to find specific items.
- Other headings:
- Travel -getting to Ecuador and
around in the country.
- Sightseeing -places to visit in Ecxuador.
- Activities -things to do from mountain
biking to Spanish classes
- Accommodation -places to stay in Ecuador
from simple hostels to beautiful haciendas.
- Restaurants -also sports, theatre and
|My-Quito.com : useful
We have reviewed and categorised
many hundreds of Quito and Ecuador weblinks in this site -everything
from trekking to hostels -you can navigate around by following
the coloured subject headings at the top of each page and the
sub-headings on the left. Go to our home
page for a full list of pages in this site.
- Some Ecuador facts:
- Ecuador straddles the equator
on the west coast of South America. There are three distinct
geographic regions on the mainland, the dense jungle of the Oriente,
the high Andes and the coastal lowlands, plus the Galapagos Islands
out in the Pacific.
- Population: around 13 million
inhabitants, mestizo 40%, Indian 40%, white 15%, black 5%.
- Area: 270.000 square km.
- Map of Ecuador
-basic map of the mainland with major cities -opens in a new
- List of Provinces in Ecuador:
Azuay Bolivar Canar Carchi
Chimborazo Cotopaxi El Oro Esmeraldas
Galapagos Guayas Imbabura Loja
Los Rios Manabi Morona-Santiago Napo
Orellana Pastaza Pichincha Sucumbios
- The currency is the dollar, but you will get local
coins in your change. Take small denomination notes -there is
a shortage of small change and you will not be popular if you
try to present $50 dollar bills everywhere. You can easily use
credit cards in the towns and cities, but do not rely on this
in rural areas. Travellers cheques can be difficult and time
consuming to cash so make arrangements in the big cities. In
fact allow good time when changing money and take particular
care when leaving banks with large amounts of cash. The easiest
way is to use ATM machines at Quito banks, but there is generally
a daily limt of $100 or $200.
- Prices are on the whole lower
than the United States and Europe, but it is aso possible to
find luxury goods at international prices. Bargaining is expected
in markets but not at shops. Hotel and restaurant bills are subject
to a 22% tax/service surcharge -ask when booking your room whether
these are included in the price given.
restaurants a tip of 5-10% is appropriate for waiters (although
I must admit to resenting giving this if 10% has been added to
the bill for 'service'). Hotel porters might get up to 50c per
bag and you should give 25c to parking attendants and guards
who look after your car (most streets in the centre of town have
such guards -they will make themselves known by blowing their
whistle and help you by motioning or waving a flag while you
park your car). Taxi drivers don't expect tips, although somehow
rarely seem to have the right change.
- Take particular care of your
money and vauables -Ecuador is largely a safe environment but
there are varying degrees of wealth, and what you regard as small
change might be a small fortune to someone else. In particular
look after your belongings in popular public spaces where pickpockets
may operate, and do not leave valuables around in your hotel
-use the safe provided. Take taxis after dark, even if you are
going only a few blocks. If you decide to travel in a remote
area, I suggest you let someone know where you intend to go and
when you plan to return.
Emergency phone numbers:
- General emergencies: 111
- Ambulance: 131
- Fire: 102
- Police: 101
- Hospital Metropolitano (Av.
Mariana de Jesús at Av. Occidental, Quito, Ecuador. PHONE:
02/243-1457), west of the city.
- Hospital Voz Andes (Calle Juan
Villalengue 267, at Av. 10 de Agosto, Quito, Ecuador. Phone:
- Pharmacies: try Farmacia Americana
- The electric current used is
110 volts. Plugs are two pronged but the type is changing to
a type where the prongs are different. The supply is much more
reliable than it used to be but there can be occasional outages.
- There are cabins offering telephone
services in the towns and cities and it is normally fairly straightforward
to make international calls -ask at the desk and they will direct
you to a cabin. You pay on exit for the time you have used. Calls
from hotels can be expensive.
- To call Quito from abroad use
the international dialling code followed by 5932 and the number
of the person you are calling.
- Internet cafés are now
commonplace in the towns and cities, and fairly cheap too. They
are the fastest and most effective way to correspond with your
home. If you plan to do bank transactions over the internet,
I suggest you make sure you are confident of security at your
- Post offices in Ecuador are
open normal working hours, ie 9.00-5.00 on weekdays. It will
take a couple of weeks for mail to get to North America, Europe
or Asia. Security is not that great on sending mail to Ecuador,
so if you are sending something valuable, I suggest you use recorded
delivery or send by DHL
(República Dominicana 433).
- Quito's main Post Office
can be found at Av. Eloy Alfaro 354, and Av. 9 de Octubre. There
are a number others and you can usually send mail from your hotel
- Food and drink: In the cities
food is generally ok in the more upmarket restaurants.
Indeed in the big Quito supermarkets
you can buy food as good as anywhere. In rural areas I would
suggest using bottled water rather than tapwater -ask for it
without ice (sin hielo). You should also use bottled water for
brushing your teeth in budget hotels. Avoid by food from street
vendors, especially meat dishes or prepared fruit and vegetables.
- Altitude sickness: do get acclimatised
before you do any strenuous activity at altitude. This applies
just as much to the young and fit, as the old -altitude sickness
is very unpleasant and can be dangerous. If you do suffer, stop
and rest or better still get someone to drive you to a lower
altitude. Rember too that the sun can be unexpectedly fierce
on the equator and at altitude.
- Travelling around the Galapagos
by boat can be difficult if you suffer from sea-sickness.
- Diseases and other illnesses:
In the jungle and tropical coasts there is a risk of malaria.
Speak to your doctor before travelling and bring any necessary
medicines with you.
- Remember to let someone know
if you are going somewhere even halfway remote, -even something
as minor as a sprained ankle can result in a long wait until
help passes. Do not rely on a mobile phone -the reception cannot
be guaranteed in mountainous areas.
- More information from
for Disease Control,
- Fit For Travel
-detailed health advice regarding specific countries provided
by the Scottish Center for Infection and Environmental Health.
World Health Organization www.who.int/ith/
Society for Tropical Medicine and Hygiene -
- Travel Pharm -malaria risk areas and preventative measures.
Visas and Embassies:
- I suggest you check any visa
requirements with the Ecuadorian Consulate in you own country.
You wil be given an immigration form and customs form to complete
on entry -you should retain the .with your passport until you
leave. Do not forget that there is an exit tax, to be paid in
(at last count was just over $40 per person). If you are travelling
to the Galapagos Islands, then there is a $100 Island Tax.
of Ecuador to the United States -located in Washington -give
official information on visiting the country.
- British Embassy in Quito -Naciones Unidas Ave. and Republica de El Salvador.
- Canadian Embassy in Quito -Av. 6 de Diciembre 2816 y Paul Rivet.
- Royal Netherlands Embassy in Quito - Av. 12 de Octubre 1942 y Cordero
- French Embassy in Quito -Calle General Leonidas Plaza 107y Patria
- German Embassy in Ecuador -Avenida Naciones Unidas y Republica de El Salvador.
Embassy in Ecuador -Calle
La Isla 111 y Humberto Albornoz.
Embassy in Quito -located
at Av. Patria y Av. 12 de Octubre (near El Ejido)
- Click here for other Embassies and Consulates.
Holidays in Ecuador:
- Jan 1st: New Year
Jan 6th: Día de Reyes y Día de los Inocentes
Feb 27th: Día del Civismo
February or March: Carnaval (lunes y martes antes de la Cuaresma)
March: Semana Santa (jueves, viernes, sábado y domingo)
May 1st: Labour Day
May 24th: Battle of Pichincha/Day of Independence
June: Corpus Christi
August 10th: Primer Grito de la Independencia
Octobre 9th: Independence of Guayaquil
- October 12th: Discovery of América
November 1st: All Saints Day
November 2nd: Day of the Dead
November 3rd: Independence of Cuenca
December 6th: Foundation of Quito
December 25th: Christmas
- Here are a few government and
other miscellaneous sites giving good background information
on the country:
-Country profile of Ecuador.
- CIA World Factbook Ecuador -extensive background information on
of Quito -the official
site of the Municipio.
Ministerio del Ambiente
-ministry dealing with environmental issues.
de Relaciones Exterior
-Foreign Ministry (Spanish).
Ecuador -travel information
from the Ministry of Tourism.
- Ecuadorial -the travel experts guide to Ecuador
-writers Dominic Hamilton, Julian Smith, Ron Mader and Carla
- Exploring Ecuador.com-Ecuador Galapagos Islands
Guide -plan your stay,
find ecuador travel information, tours, tour operators, hotels
ans lodging all over ecuador and the galapagos, national parks,
maps, jobs and volunteer opportunities, spanish school.
- GoEcuador.com -travel and general information about
Ecuador and Galapagos Islands and operates South America's only
EarthCam -find hotels, tours, restaurants, handicraft stores
in Ecuador and also read their travel magazine Insid Ecuador.
-loads of information on the geology and volcanos of Ecuador.
- Volcano World -images and facts on the volcanos of Ecuador
- Travel for Kids -fun to do things for young people in Ecuador.
-this site has a whole variety of maps -Ecuador's Provinces,
national parks, touristic maps, city street maps and detailed
maps of each province.
- Ecuador -good map with major towns, roads and
rivers from the University of Texas.
- Ecuador -good Cartographic map in pdf format
from the UN.
- South American Explorers -Ecuador bulletin board from the Quito
office of SAE. Seems to be stuck so that new posts cannot be
made. See also the old SAE
-their travel forum has a specific section on Ecuador and the
- Rough Guides -not so much a discussion forum, but rather a
collection of travel journals from readers.
- Thorn Tree -Ecuador branch of the tree -from Lonely Planet.
- Tripadvisor -discussion forum specifically related to topics
Image Bank -some of our
Stevenson -the website
of the travel writer, with some good images of Ecuador and the
- Bernard Wolf -really beautiful black and white photos of the
indians of Otavalo and the Saturday morning market.
- Ecuador images
-beautiful photos on all aspects of Ecuador by Erich Lehenbauer.
365 -excellent image
library, well organised by subject area.
-travel photos by Tona Costa -mostly of Galapagos.
- Galen Frysinger -photos from a retired scientist who travels the
- Paisverde -photos by Gabriel Eguiguren Peñarreta,
an Ecuadorian from Loja.
-stock photographs on Ecuador.
- The official languages are Spanish
and Quechua, which is spoken by indigenous peoples in the highlands.
There are apparently a total of 23 languages altogether spoken
in the country -see the Ethnologue website. English is widely
spoken in touristic areas but less so in rural parts. Ecuador
offers excellent opportunities for the visitor to undertake an
intensive Spanish course at the beginning of your South American
- Ethnologue -information on the languages of Ecuador.
spanish -learn Spanish
or Quechua in Quito -our listing of spanish schools.
- Google News -the latest on Ecuador.
- El Niño -National Oceanographic and Atmospheric Administration
explanation of the phenomenon.
- UK Foreign and Commonwealth office -up to date travel advice on Ecuador
from the British Government.
- US Department of State -tips for travellers to Ecuador.
information, meeting place and bulletin boards for travel in
South America. The Quito clubhouse is a useful place for meeting
people and getting information when in Quito.
American Travel Association (LATA) -trade association of tourist boards, tour operators,
hotels, wholesalers, media, airlines and overseas members dedicated
to promoting tourism in Latin America.
- Transport -our own pages of travel information
-flights, car hire, buses, trains and Galapagos cruises.
- Places in Ecuador:
Quito -Otavalo, Mindo, Cotopaxi
Andes -Cañar and Azuay
Coast -Guayas, Manabi, Esmeraldas and El Oro
site with Google:
you wish to post a message about Ecuador, or other countries
in South America, then you can easily post messages on the board