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Practical information on our trips to Ecuador

Galapagos Islands
Galapagos Cruise
Floreana Island
Galapagos Island Cruise
Isabela Island
South Plaza Island


H Here you find basic facts and information for your journey in Ecuador. Everything from suggestions on the best time of year for your trip to information about Ecuador's history and culture, which gives you an idea of the country you will be visiting and to be well prepared.

We at Sierra Tours often get questions from our travelers; When is it best to go to Ecuador & the Galapagos?

- The question we get often and it is very difficult to answer. The best thing about Ecuador & Galapagos is that you can travel all year round and it happens intresting things all the time. For this reason, it is up to you or anyone to choose the time that suits you the best. To make it easier for you, we have written a small list of what is good to know.

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About Ecuador

Ecuador takes its name from the Equator crossing the north. The country is one of the smallest in South America with an area slightly larger than Norrland. Despite its relatively small area as Ecuador has an astonishing variety of geographic regions and habitats. Andes is the region of La Sierra, which cuts through the country from north to south with two parallel ridges and highlands of up to 3000 m. There are twenty volcanoes, with altitudes around 5000 m, of which several are temporarily active. The beautiful cone volcano Cotopaxi at nearly 6000 m is the world's highest active volcano. East of the Andes stretches the lowlands of El Oriente out on a third of the country's area. Here begins the western part of the Amazon Basin and the large rainforest area. West of the Andes to the Pacific lowlands is La Costa. Here it is much drier than in El Oriente and in the far south on the vegetation to desert. Galapagos is located 100 mil west in the Pacific. Although Ecuador lies on both sides of the equator, it is not one of the warmest countries in South America. A large part of the country is at a high altitude with moderate precipitation. In El Oriente and the coast is the tropical heat. In the Amazon and in the north of La Costa rains often sharply. Ecuador suffer, just like the other areas in the South American Pacific coasts, the warm current El Nino. It appears periodically and causes large changes in the weather.

Climate and environment

The climate in Ecuador is extremely varied. In the lowlands on the Pacific coast and in the Amazon basin, the climate is tropical. The highlands are temperate. The temperature in the capital, Quito (2,800 m asl) moves, year round, from 10 degrees at night and 21-22 degrees at the most, on the day. On the coast, the climate is humid in the north, towards the Colombian border, and becomes drier the further south you move, heading for the Peruvian desert.

Among Ecuador's environmental problems can be mentioned that deforestation causes soil erosion, the water is polluted, and that pollution from the oil industry threatens environmentally sensitive areas in the Amazon region. The Galapagos Islands are also suffering from different kinds of environmental problems due to the growing local population (immigration from the mainland) and pressure from tourism.

Passports and Visas

Nordic citizens can travel to Ecuador and stay for 90 days without a visa. Check that your passport is valid for at least 6 months at the date of the return trip and contains 2 unstamped pages. The passport must not be cracked or broken somewhere.


Remember to have a comprehensive travel and medical insurance and the necessary vaccinations. Also note any immunization requirements when traveling from Peru to another country. Dengue fever, hepatitis A, malaria and yellow fever are present in different parts of Ecuador.

Those who travel to high-altitude tourist destination that Quito should consider the risk of altitude sickness. This can be prevented and treated with medication. Do not drink tap water, buy water in bottles. Avoid ice cubes in drinks and other beverages. Eat well-cooked and cooked food. Please bring your family medicine. Do not forget to bring your any prescription medication. In the Andes can be altitude sickness. Symptoms are headache and nausea. For acclimatization, avoid physical activity on the first day and avoid alcoholic beverages. Eat light meals and drink plenty of water. Contact your doctor about any medication for altitude sickness. In larger cities there is access to private health care to European standard.


When traveling to Ecuador you should know that the country has strict customs regulations on archaeological and historical objects, and these must not be taken out of the country. Drug smuggling severely punished. You must have your eyes open at the airport so that no one put anything in your luggage before departure. Pickpockets are common in crowds. If someone is suspicious pleasant or assertive can be a pickpocket. Never leave your bag from you. Changing money at a bank or at a casa de cambio - an exchange office.

Currency and exchange

The currency of Ecuador is the US dollar. In Quito and Otavalo, and even in most other cities, you can use Euros or US Dollars. ATM machines, known as ATMs, are almost everywhere. The usual known credit cards can be used at hotels, many restaurants and shops. The further out in the country you go, the harder it can be to use credit cards. Gratuities can only be paid in cash on the Galapagos cruise boats.

We recommend that you switch to US dollars before your trip to Ecuador when this currency is walkable throughout Ecuador. Credit cards can be used to withdraw money from ATMs in Ecuador.

Food and drinks

You can eat internationally all over the country, but try some domestic specialties: humitas and tamales that are made of corn and wrapped in leaves. Llapingachos, fried potato cakes with cheese. Räkceviche and Locro, a soup made of stewed potatoes and cheese and topped by an avocado. There are many fine restaurants in the major cities.


Handicrafts, leather goods and textiles can usefully be bought. The famous Panama hat from Ecuador, perhaps a fitting and practical souvenir? Please ask the local guide for the purchase and shopping.

Receipt of air tickets

We will send your itinerary as soon as the flight is booked. Here you can see how the itinerary will look like. We use electronic tickets, which you will printing before your trip. At the same time, you get a e-mail letter with more information about the trip, including a phone number so that you can always get in touch with one of us on SIERRA TOURS, even outside office hours.

Upgrade flight seats

Today, many airlines are upgrading reserved tickets for seats with extra space and comfort, including Economy Comfort, KLM and the Premium Voyageur Air France. We can not upgrade to these seats, but it can often doing yourself through the airline's website. We're not reserve seats with extra benplats, such as those at the emergency exit in flight. If you need extra space, we recommend that you check in at the airport as early as possible on the date of departure and ask for help there.

Transfers to and from airports

Upon arrival at various airports in Ecuador you will be picked up by our local representative who will stand at the arrival hall with a sign with your name on it. Upon departure to your next trip we will assist you to the airport. You will know when you are going to be collected at the hotel.


Make sure you are up-to-date on routine vaccines before every trip. These vaccines include measles-mumps-rubella (MMR) vaccine, diphtheria-tetanus-pertussis vaccine, varicella (chickenpox) vaccine, polio vaccine, and your yearly flu shot. Remember to bring documentation regarding travel / medical insurance.

Ask your doctor what vaccines and medicines you need based on where you are going, how long you are staying, what you will be doing, and if you are traveling from a country other than the US or EU.

Other information
  • Local time: Ecuador has Swedish time minus 7 hours. When the time is 12:00 on the day of Sweden's 5 in the morning in Quito.
  • Electricity: In Ecuador, comes to 110 volts. You need an adapter that can be purchased on the technical-shop anywhere. At the hotel portion can borrow adapter.
  • Luggage: We use many different airlines to your travel destination, therefore it can vary how much and how many kilos you can bring in both checked and carry-on baggage. See details on your ticket or contact us if you have questions. It happens occasionally checked luggage goes astray. Unpack therefore essential medicines with a certificate from your doctor in your hand luggage. The same applies for you personal property and valuables.
  • Tipping: Sometimes include bars and restaurants, automatic 10% gratuity to the bill. It is not customary to tip taxi drivers.
  • Language: Spanish is the official language, but the traditional Kichwa language used by the majority of the Indian population. English works well in larger cities and tourist attractions throughout Ecuador.
  • Travel Insurance: Check what your insurance or your insurance card cover when traveling to Ecuador. It is recommended to have a comprehensive medical and travel insurance in Ecuador.
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