Ecuador is one of the smallest countries in South America, and yet, it’s a must-visit on many people’s bucket lists. It’s not only home to Andean peaks, the Amazon rainforest and picturesque mountain villages, but there’s also the Galapagos Islands – a treasure trove of nature’s finest wildlife.
This country is situated on the west coast of South America, so it’s not exactly a hop, skip and a jump away from Australia! Ecuador is still a developing country, so responsible travel will ensure that you have the best experience possible. Here are some travel tips for your expedition to Ecuador.
Tip 1 – Learn some Spanish!
You’ll happen across a rich diversity of tribal languages among Ecuador’s locals, but one thing most of them have in common is their national language, Spanish. It’s more prevalent than English, so knowing a few phrases could make things much easier.
If you have any specific food or health requirements, knowing the word or sentence to explain it will definitely help to avoid any awkward or tricky situations.
It will also add a flavour of authenticity to your Ecuadorian trip if you embrace the local culture and language. You’ll definitely impress your friends when you’re back home!
Tip 2 – Carry small change
You probably weren’t aware, but in Ecuador, their currency is U.S. dollars. Back in the year 2000, a financial crisis saw the market crash. In panic, the population rushed to save their money as dollars, making their own currency redundant. The government then went on to adopt the U.S. dollar officially, replacing the former currency, sucre.
When you get your Australian dollars exchanged in American, however, it’s a wise idea to get out lower denominations only – even a $20 dollar bill can be hard to break! Most of the places you’ll stop at will be small restaurants and stalls, in cosy towns, which aren’t likely to have too much change.
Both food and accommodation will be very affordable, so you won’t need much cash anyway.
Tip 3 – Get the required injections/immunisations
Whenever you go overseas, it’s a good idea to get a doctors check before you set off. The same goes for Ecuador, just to make sure your vaccines are all up to date.
Yellow fever and malaria aren’t issues of any significance, however, but mosquito bites can still be a pain!
If you’re looking to travel up to places of high altitudes, make sure you know what the safest practices are. High altitude sickness can be a serious ailment, not to mention an unwanted part of your trip.
- 6 things you didn’t know about Ecuador
- Wildlife Fact File: The Blue-Footed Booby
- Read: Amazon Wildlife
Tip 4 – Embrace the street food
Forget fine dining! Get your walking shoes on and explore the street’s best food stalls. They run rampant around Ecuador, offering morsels of delectable foods that are lovingly crafted locally. It’s the best way to get in touch with the cultural cuisine. Whilst you shouldn’t drink any water but that from a bottle, the majority of street food will be fine to consume, not to mention light on your wallet!
Some popular street food dishes are:
- Ceviche de chochos – a vegetarian ceviche made from a bean-tomato mixture, served with hot chips.
- Empanadas – a true classic you can’t skip, whether cheese with sugar or cheese with meat.
- Carne en palito – skewers of meat seasoned with a mouth-watering citrus herb dressing.
Tip 5 – Pack thin clothes that can be layered
You’ll want to explore the terrain on the Galapagos Islands, so good hiking clothes and shoes are a must. However, if you’re going to venture up into the mountains of Ecuador, the temperature can quickly drop. Light layers mean you can dress up or down, depending on the climate, which is usually quite warm, but can get chilly during nights based on your location.
Ecuador is a lovely place to visit. At Aurora Expeditions have a few Ecuadorian choices for you – join our Galapagos Odyssey, trek through the Amazonia, Cloud Forests and Galapagos, or even build your own adventure.
The options are plentiful, so make sure you contact our team today to sort everything out.