Ecuador & Galapagos Islands FAQs

When is the best time to visit Ecuador and Galapagos?

The country is an all-year-round destination. The highlands, at about 2,800m but astride the Equator, have a permanent spring-like climate. Most days have a sunny morning but there may be rain in the afternoon. The coast is very hot (30°C) and humid from Jan-Apr. It’s a bit cooler and drier from May-Dec. The jungle is hot and humid all year.

For more detailed information visit our When To Go section.

What is the official language of Ecuador and Galapagos?

The official language in Ecuador and the Galapagos Islands is Spanish.

What is the official currency in Ecuador and Galapagos?

The official currency of Ecuador is the US dollar. Notes can be withdrawn from the many ATMs in larger towns and cities using a UK credit or debit card.

What is the time difference between Ecuador and Galapagos and UK?

The time difference between the UK and Ecuador and the Galapagos Islands is GMT-5 hours.

What places combine well with Ecuador and Galapagos?

The Galápagos Islands, (1.5 - 3 hours by air from Guayaquil of Quito); a tour in Colombia to the north, with daily flights from Bogotá to Quito taking just 1.5 hours; the Inca archaeological sites of Peru (daily flights Lima to Quito take 2 hours 20mins).

What are the festivals and cultural events in Ecuador?

There are carnivals throughout the country, usually around February-March. Be warned that the boisterous festivities include water fights from which no visitor is safe.

Semana Santa (Easter) takes place throughout the country usually between March-April. There will be religious processions throughout this period.

Todos los Santos (all souls day, day of the dead) is also celebrated throughout the country on the 2nd November. Flower laying ceremonies in will take place in cemeteries. These are particularly striking in rural areas.

How do I adapt to the altitude in Ecuador?

Ecuador’s high Andean spine is bookended by the Pacific coast and Amazon Rainforest, with Quito at 2,850m. Travel to high altitude can cause mountain sickness and even if you feel fighting fit it’s important to take things easy and stay hydrated (drink plenty of water, avoiding alcohol and caffeine) as you get used to the thin, dry air. You may initially notice a headache, dizziness or breathlessness and this usually improves with acclimatisation. If you are pregnant or taking the contraceptive pill, have a medical condition such as heart or lung condition, anaemia, asthma, high blood pressure you should seek the advice of your GP before booking.  We also recommend you check your travel insurance covers travel to high altitude.  If you’re taking the family, remember small children may be less capable of communicating altitude-related symptoms effectively: keep an eye on them too. Rest assured we will plan your itinerary carefully, taking into account any time spent at altitude.  If you have any questions or concerns about altitude please speak to your travel expert.

Further advice on travel to altitude is available on www.travelhealthpro.org.uk

If you still have questions, please contact us and one of our Travel Experts will be happy to help.

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  • Heloise
    Heloise Buxton - Travel Expert

    Heloise started her Latin American journey as an exchange student in Santiago, Chile. With extended summer holidays this was the perfect opportunity to backpack through Bolivia, Peru, Argentina and Brazil.

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    Carrie Gallagher - Travel Expert

    A former JLA tour leader, Carrie brings a wealth of on-the-ground experience to our London-based Tailor-made and Group Tours department.

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    Having caught the travel bug as a child, Millie has travelled all over Latin America before making her home in Buenos Aires for 3 years.

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    Alex Walker - Travel Expert

    A globetrotter since her childhood, Alex spent a year studying abroad in Guadalajara and has returned to Latin America countless times since then.

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    Charlotte Daubeney - Travel Expert

    Charlotte's fascination with Latin America began with a family holiday to Belize. She went on to study Spanish in school and at university before spending a year living in Santiago, Chile.

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    Kathryn backpacked across Argentina, Chile, Bolivia and Peru before joining us. She has a degree in Philosophy and French and is a keen netball player.

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