The country’s official language is Spanish, but the indigenous people mainly speak Quechua.

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Ecuador’s official currency is the US dollar. Major credit cards are usually accepted in major hotels and tourist areas, but you can be charged a commission. You can find ATMs in the cities.

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Ecuador’s international country code is 593. To call another country, dial 00 followed by the appropriate country code. The cheapest places to make international calls are call centers that can be found in most cities and towns. You can find Internet cafes in main towns. You can also rent a cell phone at the international airports or cell phone shops.

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High-end restaurants and hotels usually add a 10 percent service charge to the bill. You don’t need to tip taxi drivers, but tour guides usually get a discretionary tip.

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Most tourists don’t have any trouble during their visit, but you should keep your belongings close and be aware of your surroundings. Don’t store any of your belongings in overhead bins or under seats on public transportation. Avoid the northeastern borders near Colombia, where kidnappings and armed crime are known to happen, as well as the northern provinces of Sucumbios and Orellana. There are many active volcanoes in the country.

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If you’re traveling from an area infected with yellow fever, you’ll need a yellow fever certificate. The areas below 5,000 feet carry a risk of malaria and dengue fever. The number of dengue fever cases has risen dramatically in the coastal and Amazon regions. Make sure you cover up and use mosquito repellent. Use bottled water and avoid dairy products as they are often unpasteurized. Many visitors are affected by the high altitude, so be careful and aware of the symptoms of altitude sickness. The country’s medical facilities can be quite poor, so be sure you have health insurance.

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Ecuador’s electrical current is 120 volts, 60 Hz and uses flat, two-pinned plugs.

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Melisse Hinkle
A New England native but explorer at heart, Melisse has lived in four U.S. cities, spent a summer in Hawaii, made her way through wine-producing regions in Australia and New Zealand, and traveled around Europe while studying abroad in London. She is the Content Manager for the U.S. and Canada at Cheapflights.
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