Straddling the equator, Ecuador is one of the smaller South American countries and can be found on the continent’s west coast. It may be small, but it is packed full of charming colonial towns, Amazon jungle, Andean peaks, a famous chain of volcanic islands teeming with unique wildlife, and a kind-hearted, friendly people. Its capital, Quito, is renowned for its well-preserved Spanish colonial centre populated by grand palaces and ornate churches, while nature lovers are spoiled for choice whether to explore the depths of the Amazon jungle or visit the unparalleled Galapagos Islands, renowned for their rich wildlife which inspired Darwin’s theory of evolution.
Key facts before you go:
- Capital: Quito
- Currency: US Dollars
- Time Difference: Daylight saving time is not observed in Ecuador, meaning that Ecuador has the same time zone all year. However, there are two time zones between mainland Ecuador and the Galapagos Islands. There is an hour difference between mainland Ecuador and the Galapagos Islands.
Mainland Ecuador is 6 hours BEHIND BST, 5 hours BEHIND GMT.
Galapagos is 7 hours BEHIND BST, and 6 hours BEHIND GMT.
- Flight time: 14 hours (indirect) to Quito. Most flights to Galapagos are from Quito (1 hour) or Guayaquil (1 hour 45 minutes). Flights from London to Galapagos are over 16 hours, via Miami or Bogota.
- Official language: Spanish
- Entry Requirements: Visa not required for stays up to 90 days. Passport must have a minimum of six months' validity from date of entry
- Vaccinations: For up-to-date information, please check this website (as recommended by the Foreign Office): https://travelhealthpro.org.uk/country/70/ecuador#Vaccine_recommendations
General information on travel vaccinations can be found on the NHS website: https://www.nhs.uk/conditions/travel-vaccinations/
Parts of Ecuador - including Quito - are at high altitude. Be aware of higher exposure to UV radiation. Use high factor sunblock and keep well hydrated. If you plan to travel to altitudes over 2,500 metres discuss the health risks associated with travelling to high altitude with your GP before you travel. More information about altitude sickness can be found here: https://travelhealthpro.org.uk/factsheet/26/altitude-illness
To find out more, and for the most up-to-date advice: https://www.gov.uk/foreign-travel-advice/ecuador
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