INTRODUCTION TO ECUADOR
Ecuador is a country straddling the equator on South America’s west coast. Its diverse landscape encompasses Amazon jungle, Andean highlands and the wildlife-rich Galápagos Islands. In the Andean foothills at an elevation of 2,850m, Quito, the capital, is known for its largely intact Spanish colonial centre, with decorated 16th- and 17th-century palaces and religious sites, like the ornate Compañía de Jesús Church.
Ecuador offers you the unique opportunity to sit back in your seat and take in the magic of the white sand beaches, the Andean Mountains and the rain forest, all within two days. Take a plane from Quito and in 30 minutes you would have crossed over the snow-clad Andes and reached the Amazon basin.
ECUADOR COVID-19 TRAVEL STATUS
Flights to Ecuador have now resumed. Entry restrictions: Flights to Ecuador have now resumed. Special 'travel corridors' exist for tourists visiting the Galapagos. Foreigners wishing to enter the islands must present a negative Polymerase Chain Reaction (PCR) test for COVID-19, taken 96 hours prior to the date of departure to Ecuador. On arrival in Ecuador, tourists may be requested to take another PCR test, at their own expense. Tourists must also present a return flight and a safe passage document (‘salvoconducto’) issued by the Ministry of Tourism to be exempt from doing 14 days of self-isolation on the islands. The tour operators or hotels are responsible for arranging this safe passage document on behalf of tourists, given that visitors are required to have previous contracted travel and accommodation arrangements. The Galapagos Transit Control Card, will need to be filled out online at least 24 hours before the flight. On arrival in Ecuador you will be required to fill in a Health Status Declaration, including a local address. Entry requirements: travellers must present a completed Health Form and a completed Immigration form as well as a negative PCR test for COVID-19 issued within 10 days before arrival. travellers without a qualifying test result will be tested upon arrival. Quarantine requirements: Arriving travellers with a valid test certificate no longer need to enter quarantine unless they present symptoms of coronavirus. Those without one will be tested and sent to quarantine while awaiting results and until receiving a negative testing result. More information is available here. There are currently 13,529 active cases of COVID-19 diagnosed in Ecuador and 13,371 deaths as of Nov 29 2020 https://www. gestionderiesgos. gob. ec/wp-content/uploads/2020/05/Resoluciones-COE-Nacional-28-de-abril-2020. pdfhttps://ec. usembassy. gov/covid-19-information-ecu/https://www. gov. uk/foreign-travel-advice/ecuador/entry-requirements
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ECUADOR QUICK FACTS
- Capital: Quito
- Currency: US dollar ($, USD) / Ecuadorian Centavo coins(Alongside U.S. coins)
- Area: 283,561 km²
- Population: 17,08 million (2018)
- Language: Spanish (official), Amerindian languages (especially Quechua)
- Religion: Roman Catholic 95%
- Electricity: 110-220V/60Hz (USA & European plugs)
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ECUADOR PUBLIC HOLIDAYS
- 1 May, Labour Day
- 24 May, Anniversary of the Battle of Pichincha
- Last Friday in June, Bank Holiday
- 24 July, Simón Bolívar Day
- 10 August, Independence Day
- 9 October, Guayaquil Independence Day
- 12 October, Día de la Raza
- 2 November, Memorial Day/All Souls Day
- 3 November, Independence of Cuenca Day
- 6 December, Independence of Quito Day
- Also, Holy Thursday and Good Friday.
ECUADOR WEATHER SYNOPSIS
Ecuador has two major seasons that are differentiated by the distribution of rainfall (a rainy and a dry season). The coast has a tropical climate and a rainy season that extends from the end of December to May; the temperature scheme is characterised by a 2 to 3°C variation between the hottest and coldest months. The inter-Andean valleys have a temperate climate and rainy season from October to May and a dry season from June to September. Average monthly temperatures are about 14.5°C in the rainy season and 15°C in the dry season. The Amazon Region in the eastern part of the country experiences rainfall throughout the year and the average temperature is around 21°C during most months of the year. The Island region, comprising the Galapagos Islands, has a climate similar to that of the coastal region. Average temperature is about 25-26°C during the rainy season (December to May) and 21-22°C during the dry season (June to November), mainly owing to the influence of the cold Humboldt current.
SPORT & ACTIVITIES
SNOW SPORT IN ECUADOR
Skiing in Ecuador is more of an expedition and not for the fainthearted. Be sure to make use of an accredited expedition company and don't forget to plan for altitude acclimatisation!
HIKING & CYCLING IN ECUADOR
The best time for outdoor activities and climbing in Ecuador is from November to February, although June to August can also be good. Some areas such as Cotopaxi can be climbed year round.
BEACH OPTIONS IN ECUADOR
The best time to visit the beaches of Ecuador is from December to May. June to November can be rather cool as well as cloudy and overcast.
SURFING IN ECUADOR
The best time for surfing in Ecuador is from December to April. During this season Ecuador has world class surf and consistent tropical waves. May to November is a good time for beginner to intermediate surfers just looking for some fun and uncrowded waves.
KITESURF IN ECUADOR
The season with the most consistent wind in Ecuador for kitesurfing is from May / June to November / December, although there is a pretty good chance of usable wind all year round. The main kiting spot is Santa Marianita, where there is also a school and amenities.
For more details on kite surfing in Ecuador expand this section!
HEALTH RISKS IN ECUADOR
Be aware of possible health risks in
Yellow fever - The yellow fever virus is found in tropical and subtropical areas of Africa and South America. The virus is spread to people by the bite of an infected mosquito. There is no medicine to treat or cure an infection. To prevent getting sick from yellow fever, use insect repellent, wear long-sleeved shirts and long pants, and get vaccinated.
Zika Virus - Zika is spread mostly by the bite of an infected Aedes species mosquito. These mosquitoes bite during the day and night. Zika can be passed from a pregnant woman to her fetus. Infection during pregnancy can cause certain birth defects. There is no vaccine or medicine for Zika.
Malaria - Malaria is a serious and sometimes fatal disease caused by a parasite that commonly infects a certain type of mosquito which feeds on humans. People who get malaria are typically very sick with high fevers, shaking chills, and flu-like illness. Although malaria can be a deadly disease, illness and death from malaria can usually be prevented.
LGBTQ IN ECUADOR
Lesbian, gay, bisexual, and transgender (LGBT) people's rights in Ecuador are still not quite equal to others. In 1998, Ecuador became one of the first countries in the world to constitutionally ban discrimination based on sexual orientation. The country has recognised same-sex civil unions since 2008. Same-sex marriage in Ecuador became legal on 8 July 2019, making Ecuador the fifth South American country to allow same-sex couples to marry.
A fairly large gay scene has developed in Quito and Guayaquil, with Ecuador's first gay pride parade held in Quito in 1998. Nevertheless, much of Ecuador has a conservative culture, and homosexuality still tends to be viewed negatively by a large percentage of society.