Spanish is the official language in Ecuador and the Galapagos, although Quichua is still spoken by many indigenous people in the Andes. Nevertheless most people working in tourism like hotel and cruise staff as well as most guides speak English.
Mainland Ecuador (Quito and Guayaquil) is GMT -5 hours. The Galapagos Islands are GMT -6 hours.
The Galapagos is on Central Standard Time.
Since the year 2000 U.S. dollar is the standard currency in Ecuador and Galapagos.
For travels to Quito and the Galapagos Islands, there are no vaccinations required. However, if you intend to visit mainland Ecuador, especially the Amazon or coastal regions, we recommend you to consult with your family doctor. Please do this well ahead of time since some vaccinations need to be administered three months prior to your trip!
We strongly recommend purchasing insurance for trip cancellation as well as a travel and medical insurance in order to be protected in the event of any unforeseen situations. Please contact your local travel agent or flight dealer for the best offer.
You need to purchase a TCT-Card (Transit Card) at the mainland airport in either Quito or Guayaquil before flying to the Galapagos Islands. The TCT costs currently $20,- per person (subject to change). Upon arrival in Galapagos you will need to pay the Galapagos National Park entrance fee which for most visitors is $100,- per person while children younger than 12 pay $50,- per person. For detailed information on the National Park fee as well as on special rates for visitors coming from one of the countries of the Andean Community please see under the link Galapagos National Park entry tax
Usually the luggage for all national flights in Ecuador is restricted to one suitcase/bag/backpack of max. 20kg and one piece of hand luggage of max. 6 kg. Please also note that international security rules apply concerning e.g. sharp items, explosive and flammable items and generally all dangerous items. If in doubt whether a certain item is allowed to bring and where to put it please check the following link as a reference:
Ecuador, the country that the Galapagos Islands belong to, welcomes tourists and travelers from every country. Visitors from the US, Canada, Australia and most countries of Europe traveling to Ecuador for tourism, business or studies do not require a visa unless they expect to stay in Ecuador for more than 90 days in one calendar year (that is, 90 days adding every entry in one year) or if they are drawing income from an Ecuadorian source. Visitors from these countries will receive a tourist visa of maximum 90 days at the entrance port.
Nevertheless please note that your passport must be valid for at least another 6 months at the entrance day.
Please find below a list of countries that do require obtaining a Visa before coming to Ecuador (subject to change):
List of Nationalities that require a visa to enter Ecuador
If you are in doubt whether or not to obtain a Visa before your travel to Ecuador please confirm with the nearest Ecuadorian Embassy.