Practical information about Ecuador & Galapagos
Weather statistics for Quito:
Weather statistics for Galapagos:
- International departure tax of USD 40.80 per person. This tax can only be paid locally.
- Admission charge to the Galápagos Islands of USD 120 per person. This admission fee can only be paid locally.
- Meals except those specifically mentioned
- Cancellation and travel insurance
Excursions and transfers are conducted in small, international groups led by an English-speaking guide.
The peak seasons are from June to August and from December to January, but it is a pleasure to visit Ecuador all year round. From September to May, it tends to rain quite often in the lowland areas, while the weather remains dry in the mountains during the same period. The Galápagos Islands are a perfect all-year destination as the weather is always good, with only a minimum of rain.
Please read our booking terms and conditions carefully. These terms and conditions constitute the basis of your package purchased from Llamatours.co.uk. Click here to read our terms and conditions.
All the flights and flight-inclusive holidays on this website are financially protected by the ATOL scheme. When you pay you will be supplied with an ATOL Certificate. Please ask for it and check to ensure that everything you booked (flights, hotels and other services) is listed on it. Please see our booking conditions for further information or for more information about financial protection and the ATOL Certificate go to:www.atol.org.uk/ATOLCertificate
Upon arrival into Ecuador, travelers must be able to provide a certificate or insurance certificate indicating travel insurance cover. Travel insurance must be valid throughout the stay in Ecuador.
We are an ATOL protected agency giving you complete peace of mind. It is a condition of booking that the sole responsibility lies with the guest to ensure that they carry the correct comprehensive travel and medical insurance to cover themselves, as well as any dependants/traveling companions for the duration of their trip.
In cooperation with our partner we can offer advantageous travel insurances. Learn more here.
Spanish is the language spoken in Ecuador, but the people are very helpful and love the chance to use the English words they know. In more rural regions, however, English speakers may be few and far between, which is why we use bilingual (English/Spanish) guides. It is a good idea to end questions and queries with the words ‘por favor’, which mean ‘please’. Another good word to know is ‘gracias’ – which means ‘thank you’ and is sure to prove useful in many situations.
We recommend that you contact a medical specialist, your GP or an authorised vaccination clinic.
Visit the CDC website at wwwnc.cdc.gov/travel/destinations/list for more information about vaccinations in Ecuador and Galapagos.
UK citizens do not need a visa for visits of up to 90 days, although you must be in possession of a valid passport – in the same way as for other international travel. The requirements on the validity of the passport may vary, but as a rule of thumb your passport must be valid for at least six months after you return home. However, as these regulations may change from time to time, we recommend that you visit the World Travel Guide website at www.worldtravelguide.net and study the visa information presented there. Of course, you are also welcome to ask us for advice.
If you are travelling via the US, the following applies to British citizens:
To travel via the United States, you must apply for an ESTA (Electronic System for Travel Authorization). Without ESTA, you will not be allowed to travel through the United States. Apply for the travel authorization in good time at least 72 hours before your departure to the US. ESTA costs 14 USD per person and all travellers must apply, regardless of their age. You can apply via the following link: https://esta.cbp.dhs.gov/esta/. You should have your passport, itinerary, credit card and e-mail address to hand when making your application. The travel authorization is electronically connected to your passport and is valid for 2 years or until your passport expires (whichever is earliest). We recommend that you bring a physical copy of your ESTA with you if, for example, the system is down on your arrival, however this is not a requirement.
If you get a new passport, you must apply for a new ESTA.
If you have you travelled in Iran, Iraq, Sudan or Syria on 1 March 2011 or later, you must apply for a visa at the American Embassy. You cannot apply for ESTA. The same applies if you have dual nationality in Iran, Iraq, Sudan or Syria.
If you are travelling via Canada, the following applies to British citizens:
To travel via Canada, you must apply for an eTA (Electronic Travel Authorization). Without eTA, you will not be allowed to travel through Canada. Apply for the travel authorization in good time. eTA costs 7 CAD per person and all travellers must apply, regardless of their age. You can apply via the following link: http://www.cic.gc.ca/english/visit/eta-start.asp. You should have your passport, itinerary, credit card and e-mail address to hand when making your application. The travel authorization is electronically connected to your passport and is valid for 5 years or until your passport expires (whichever is earliest). We recommend that you bring a physical copy of your eTA with you if, for example, the system is down on your arrival, however this is not a requirement.
If you get a new passport, you must apply for a new eTA.
The unit of currency in Ecuador is the US dollar. Go to www.xe.com/currencyconverter/ to view the currently applicable exchange rate. Also bring a credit card and make sure to memorise your PIN code. NEVER write your PIN code down! There are cashpoint machines (ATMs) almost everywhere. You can also use most common credit cards at hotels and in many shops and restaurants. Once again, however, the farther out into the country you travel, the harder it may be to use your credit card. Please note that you can only use cash for tipping on the cruise ships during the visit to the Galápagos Islands.
Prices are typically lower in Ecuador than in the UK and many other European countries. It is usually cheaper to eat out, although you can naturally find drinks and meals in all price classes. Prices are generally also lower outside the large towns and cities.
It is customary to tip hotel and restaurant staff and other people who provide a service. So make sure to have some small denomination notes or coins with you at all times.
On the Galápagos Islands, you are expected to tip both the guide and the crew of the ship at the end of the cruise. The customary amount is USD 10–20 per person per day. The usual procedure is that an envelope is passed around and a tip amount recommended. You can then put what you consider to be an appropriate tip in the envelope.
The difference between Central European Time (CET) and the time in Ecuador varies, depending on whether Europe is on summer or winter time.
Summer time: Ecuador: – 7 hours. The Galápagos Islands: – 8 hours. This means that when it is noon CET, it is 05.00 in Ecuador and 04.00 in the Galápagos Islands.
Winter time: Ecuador: – 6 hours. The Galápagos Islands: – 7 hours.
Mains electricity in Ecuador is 110 V, and the local plugs have two flat pins. This means you will need to take a travel adapter with you.
The international dialling code for Ecuador is +593. It can be expensive to call home to Europe from Ecuador. Ask your own mobile service provider about coverage and call charges.
There are Internet cafés in most large towns and cities.
Whenever you travel to a poor country anywhere in the world, it is important to be discreet. It is not a good idea to flaunt your valuables or to leave them unattended. We work exclusively with properly trained, experienced and certified travel guides, who can always provide you with good advice about safety, and know precisely where it is safe for you to walk/visit. If you follow your travel guide’s instructions you should always be able to stay out of trouble.
The cuisine of Ecuador features a good deal of fish and seafood. One of the local delicacies is ‘ceviche’ – raw fish marinated in lime juice. Many places also serve Guinea pig, which has been considered a delicacy since Inca times. There are all kinds of fresh and tasty fruit juices to try as well.
We will send you your flight reservation as soon as you book your trip. You can see times and routes on the itinerary. It is important to check your name for spelling mistakes. The name on the reservation must be exactly as in your passport. If you have any comments on the itinerary or find mistakes in the names, please contact us immediately.
Today, there are only electronic airline tickets (e-tickets), so you do not receive a physical ticket for use at the airport check-in. When you check in at the airport, you use your passport and a booking reference. The booking reference is on your itinerary.
Once you have purchased a tour through us, you will receive our service letter before your departure. The service letter contains important information about online check-in, what to do in the event of a delay, our agreed guidelines for tips, etc. In addition, you will find important telephone numbers for our local agents as well as our emergency telephone number.
So it is important that you print out the service letter and bring it with you.
We recommend that you make a seat reservation on the plane. Many airlines also offer to upgrade reserved tickets for seats with extra space and comfort, e.g. Economy Comfort at KLM and Premium Voyageur at Air France. You can do this through the airline’s website. Most airlines have a point in the menu called “manage my booking”. Please note that many airlines require payment for seat reservation, so you should have your credit/debit card to hand when you get started.
Unfortunately, rules differ as to when seat reservation is opened. We recommend that you try to make a seat reservation as early as possible and you will then know when you can make a seat reservation if it cannot be done right away. It is very common for seat reservation to be opened between 72 and 24 hours before departure.
We work with many different airlines to Ecuador, so there may be variations in the amount of luggage you are allowed to bring with you as both checked luggage and hand luggage. Check the information about this on your airline ticket, and contact us if you have any questions.
You and your travel companion should pack your luggage so that you can both make do with one item of luggage if the other is lost or delayed. While it is unlikely to happen, the problem may arise. If it does, it may take a few days before your luggage is delivered to the hotel where you are staying.
So make sure to carry all your important, indispensable items in your hand luggage: passport, visa, plane tickets, insurance papers, credit card(s), cash, prescriptions, information about any special medical conditions you may have along with essential medicine (insulin, etc.), allergy medicine, treatments for sudden stomach problems (such as Imodium) and painkillers (Panodil and/or Ipren, for example). You should also carry your camera, binoculars and other valuables in your hand luggage.
You may find yourself sitting in a draught from the air conditioning in the plane, so make sure to pack a warm jumper or jacket in your hand luggage.
On arrival at the different airports in Ecuador and the Galápagos Islands, you will be met by our local representative who will be waiting for you in the arrival hall with a sign bearing your name. You will naturally also be driven to the airport on departure. You will be informed of your pick-up time when you arrive in Ecuador.