Travel in Ecuador
A bus in rural Ecuador with passengers travelling on the roof
Train in Alausi, Ecuador
A llama with its young in the Sierra region of Ecuador

Useful Spanish Vocabulary:
viaje: journey
viajar: to travel
: ticket

clima: weather

Open-sided bus in Ecuador
Bright green and black striped frog in Ecuador
Red orchid, Ecuador

Travel in Ecuador 

Travel in Ecuador is incredibly rewarding.  As a developing country, it can also be frustrating at times and information is not always as freely available as you might like it to be.  The Ecuador Travel Site has put together a few travel tips to help you make the most of your time in Ecuador and see the best of this beautiful country.  Start with visa information and Ecuador flights, then an overview of the country on a map of Ecuador.  Plan ahead if you want to participate in the wide range of adventure sports and outdoor pursuits.
Ecuador has perhaps the highest level of biodiversity on earth, in some of the most beautiful, fragile and scientifically important ecosystems.  It's important to make sure that tourism in Ecuador is sustainable and you can play your part in this by being a responsible tourist.  Think about where you choose to stay, how you choose to travel (see tips on bus travel in Ecuador) and what you spend your money on - it all has an impact.  Visit our Ecotourism in Ecuador page for more information and ideas.  To take a more active role, you could volunteer in Ecuador or try birdwatching if you prefer to observe.
Mainland Ecuador is in a time zone five hours behind GMT.  The Galapagos Islands, which are an Ecuadorian province, nearly a thousand kilometres off the coast, are a further hour behind, i.e. GMT minus 6 hours.  The international dialling code to call Ecuador is +593.  Phone numbers starting with 09 or 08 are mobile phones. 
The electricity supply in Ecuador is theoretically at 110 volts.  In practice it fluctuates wildly, especially in rural areas, and power spikes may damage electrical equipment.  There are different types of sockets - some with two flat pins, others with two flat pins and a round pin, and others with two round pins, so you need the type of travel adapter that can be configured in various different ways.  Be prepared for the power supply to be off completely for hours if not days at a time in remote areas.
The currency in Ecuador is straightfoward - the US dollar - but sending money to Ecuador is often not easy.  The international departure tax which used to have to be paid in cash now is usually included in your flight ticket - see the Ecuador Flights page for more info.
Security can be an issue in Ecuador, as in any developing country.  Minimise the risks by leaving valuables at home, not flaunting cameras / jewellry / expensive clothes and by paying attention to your surroundings.  Don't carry any more cash that you need to, and divide your money up between different pockets and / or money belts.  Keep notes safely tucked out of sight and carry a small coin purse with a just few dollars in it to pay for small purchases.  Check with your embassy or the South American Explorers' Club for the latest safety advice and warnings. 
Your travels in Ecuador will be more enjoyable if you can communicate effectively, both in terms of asking for travel information and in being able to converse with local people and make new friends.  It is strongly recommended that you learn Spanish before you go.  If possible try to study Latin American Spanish, which is slightly different to that spoken in Spain - try Linguaphone for a good Latin American Spanish self-study course.  Once you get to Ecuador, Quito is one of the best places to learn Spanish as the local accent is clear and people speak relatively slowly.  There are many language schools in Quito where you can take some Spanish lessons. 
For more travel information, see what to take to Ecuador and what not to take.  Take a look at the food facts section for information about eating out, traditional dishes of Ecuador, an introduction to some of the more unusual exotic fruits you might sample here and tips for finding vegan and vegetarian food in Ecuador.
We're developing a section on Ecuador's climate, how the weather might affect your trip and when is best to visit Ecuador.  Information will follow about communications.  There'll be ideas for long-stay travellers and useful information for business travellers to Ecuador.  Watch this section for more travel information on an ongoing basis because the Ecuador Travel Site is growing all the time.

Travel in Ecuador
Tourist tips and travel information for Ecuador, including the Galapagos Islands.  Ecuador time zone and currency information.  International dialling code for Ecuador.  No responsibility can be taken for information given here in good faith, you should contact the relevant authorities for visa and other information appropriate to your situation.