Worried about your next trip to Ecuador or just curious about this beautiful country? Here we tell you 10 things you should know before visiting Ecuador, so you have a strong solid base for your trip.
When I visited Ecuador a while back I was taken by surprise by the absolute natural beauty of this country and the warmth of it’s people. It was the farthest away I have been from home, and the longest time as well. So it will always keep a special place in my wandering heart.
As my first experience outside of my own country everything was new and exciting, and there are a few things I noticed about this country. So here are 10 things you should know before visiting Ecuador, and some tips of things you should try while there.
1) Language & currency
American Dollar is the Ecuadorian currency and Spanish is the official language. It is hard to find someone that actually speaks English if its not at a hotel reception. So I would recommend getting a basic understanding of it with Duolingo before your travels.
Quito is located at 2,850m above sea level. Is high. And you will probably feel this on the first few days walking around. You will get tired faster, might get a bit light headed and out of breath. So make sure to stay hydrated and rest as much as needed. Definitely don’t go hiking anything on the first day.
3) Transportation prices
It is extremely cheap to get around. A taxi ride inside the city costs around 1-5 USD depending on the distance. I never paid more than 7 dollars when moving inside Quito, and that was from one side of the city to the other.
4) Food prices
Food is also really affordable. We had some delicious empanadas and coffee for 3 people on a little stand on the street and it cost around 8 USD total. A weekly grocery shopping trip for 2 people costs us about 25 USD. A box of strawberries costs 90 cents! I had one almost every day.
5) Ya ya
“Ya” means yes, si, oui. You will hear “ya ya” almost at the end of every single sentence.
6) Dry Sunday
You cannot buy alcohol on Sundays. So plan in advance if you want to relax and have a beer or some wine with your dose of Netflix on a Sunday night.
7) Grocery shopping
Whenever you pay for something at a store they will always ask if you want the receipt to actually be an invoice and have all the detailed information. So just say “consumidor final” and you are good to go.
8) Eat. All. The. Chocolate.
Ecuador is famous for its chocolate like no other and is all thanks to their unique Arriba cacao beans. My absolute favorite chocolate comes from the local brand “Republica del cacao”(6-8 USD per chocolate bar). This one is the higher end, but so so good. The chocolate just melts to the touch. I loved the one with coffee nibs.
If you want a cheaper alternative without sacrificing the deliciousness go for Pacari. You can find them in most supermarkets for 2.50USD.
While we are on the chocolate topic, if you like to try different beers definitely look for cerveza Club with Cacao. You are welcome!
10) Quito and beyond
Quito is a beautiful city but there is so much more to see out there in the mountains. Get a taxi and share the fee with some adventurers and go to places like Mindo, Papallacta, Baños, etc. to get a true taste of the natural beauty of Ecuador.
These might also interest you:
The Spectacular Swing At The End Of The World In Ecuador
Fun, Exciting, Relaxing: The 3 Best Day Trips From Quito
5 Things You Need To Do While Visiting Quito, Ecuador