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Tip Top Travel

Lufthansa City Center

Telephone: +593 2 / 2563181
Fax:
+593 2 / 2228520
Email:
info@tiptoptravel.ec

Mariscal Foch E7-81 & Diego de Almagro,
Quito
Ecuador

Opening Hours
9:00 am

Tip Top Travel

FAQ’S ABOUT ECUADOR

Traveling through Ecuador’s small territory will bring you not only thrilling adventures but a touch of fantasy into your life, given by its diverse sceneries which own millenary legends and are home for gentle and friendly people willing to make your stay one of a kind.

Come to Ecuador!!...in this section we present you some important and useful information that will guide you through this wondrous journey

GENERAL INFORMATION
 

NAME: Republic of Ecuador
LANGUAGE: Spanish. Other native languages are spoken as well
CAPITAL: Quito
RELIGION: Catholic (90% of the population)
AREA: 283,520 sq. km
CURRENCY: US dollars
POPULATION: 15,020,092
TIME ZONE: Ecuador Continental GMT -5; Galapagos Islands GMT -6
GOVERMENT: Democratic Republic
ELECTRICITY: 110 AC. 60 HZ

MONEY AND TAXES

Currency
US Dollar is the official currency so you can find bills of 1, 5, 10, 20, 50, and 100, nevertheless, acceptance of high denomination bills – 50 or 100 – is restricted so we recommend you to carry small bills, and coins of 1, 5, 10, 25 and 50 cents are also useful. Traveler checks are not accepted in most places and you’ll find hard to exchange them.

ATM’S
If you don't want to carry a lot of cash or decide not to bring traveler's checks, you can also use cash machines of these major international networks: NEXO, PLUS and CIRRUS. Unfortunately they do not dispense large amounts of money (USD 500 to 600 daily) and there is a service charge of 50¢ to 1.50$.

Local Taxes
With each purchase, you pay a tax of 14% IVA, you can ask this percentage back at the airport when you leave the country at the counter of ISR, just remember to keep all receipts which must have been issued with your name and passport number. For hotels and restaurants services you pay another 10% service tax which is not refundable.

Tipping
The tips are completely to your discretion, but in restaurants and hotels there is a 10% service tax so

most people don't feel the need to tip but if you are pleased with the service, feel free to leave a tip.
Some suggested guidelines:
- Guides on mainland Ecuador US$10, Driver on mainland Ecuador US$ 8, hotel & airport portage

 uS$ 1 p/suitcase.
- Guides in the Galapagos US$ 10, Crew in the Galapagos US$15
-Restaurants and coffee shops 10% of the bill

Banks and Business
General office hours are from 9:00 am to 6:00 PM, Monday to Friday. Shopping centers are open from

10:00 am to 8:00 PM from Monday to Saturday. There are no Banks or cash machine facilities outside

the business areas. Most banks don’t work on weekends only ATM’s would be available.

HEALTH

No vaccinations are required for entering the country. Although as a precaution, it is recommended to get vaccinations for Hepatitis A, Hepatitis B, typhoid, and there is a minor risk of cholera and rabies. Most physicians will recommended you to get a yellow fever vaccination if you plan to visit the rainforest during rainy season, although no cases of this disease have been reported in the last years.
Malaria precautions are more all year round. Although, there is almost no risk in Guayaquil, Quito or Galapagos Islands it’s important to consider a higher risk at the Amazon region, especially on the remote areas at the lower part, the upper part has lower risk (Baeza, Tena, Misahuallí, Puyo, Macas, please check with your physician about medicines you can take.
Because of the high altitudes in certain areas of Ecuador, travelers with particular heart conditions or high blood pressure should consult their doctors.
It is advisable to drink bottled water everywhere.

CLIMATE AND WHAT TO BRING

In the continental part of Ecuador, you’ll find three regions and each one has its own climate. In the Andes (highlands), it is spring-like most of the year, although colder and rainier in the winter months from December to April. Dry months are from May through October when the temperatures are around 70°F (21°-26°C) during the day, but often around 50° F (10°-15°C) during the evening.
On the coast, the average temperature is 83° F (28°C), with the hot, rainy season from November to May and the dry season from June to December.
In the Amazon rain forest the climate is humid, warm and quite rainy most of the year.

As you may see, we have so different climates so a packing list is a must!... please look at our section of what to bring for further useful information

FIND YOUR WAY AROUND THE COUNTRY


Although Ecuador is small, sometimes it’s easier and faster to take a plain in order to take advantage of the time you’ll spend in the country, but if you’re into a low budged trip don’t worry all destinations (but Galapagos) can be reach by bus, here below some helpful information:


Thinking about a flight?
Ecuador has only 2 international airports: Quito (Mariscal Antonio José de Sucre) and Guayaquil (Simon Bolivar). There are other airports used for domestic flights inside the country, while traveling for tourism the most popular ones are:

- To Galapagos.- Baltra and San Cristobal. Flight time from Quito: 1h and 30min
- To the Amazon region.- Coca (to Yasuni National Park); Lago Agrio (to Cuyabeno National Park. Flight time from Quito: 40 min.
- To the Coast.- Guayaquil. Flight time from Quito: 30 min.
Manta (to Isla de la Plata). Flight time from Quito: 30 min.

What about a road trip?
Highways and main tourist destinations are well marked, the road systems will take you

where you want to go but the drivers are a little wild, so be careful!. GPS systems are

available when renting a car but they are not very useful when you are away from the highways and

into the roads.

Can I take a bus?
Bus terminals at the main cities are easy to get to and they have enough signaling so you

reach your destination, nevertheless if you don’t have experience traveling by bus in South

America it may not be as easy as you may think, especially in small town bus stations where

information is hard to get.
However if you really want to take this adventure, be sure to update you’re Spanish lessons

so you increase your chances to have an easy journey.

SAFETY SUGGESTIONS

In general Ecuador is a pretty safe country to travel but as in any destinations there are “red zones” or dangerous areas that you have to avoid, in addition pay attention to the following tips:

- Find out where the unsafe sectors are and avoid them.
- Do not go out alone, you can get lost.
- Be cautious with people who are become very friendly too quickly, or that offer to show you around.
- When going out at night DO NOT carry large sums of cash or all your credit cards, neither your passport.
- Don't wear expensive jewelry or wristwatches.
- Carry shoulder-bag, purses and back packs in front of you to avoid having them snatched or opened.
- Keep all bags and other valuables where you can see them in restaurants and other public places.
- Keep all important documents in a secure place, such as an inner pocket.
- Make copies of your important documents, card numbers, etc., and leave them to a trusted companion or leave them at the hotels safety box.
- Always carry an identification card when sightseeing (passport is not necessary)
- During the hikes, never leave the trails and stay with the group at all times.
- Drink plenty of liquids during the hikes.
- Keep at least one set of dry clothes in the jungle lodge.

RESPONSIBLE TRAVELER

Responsible tourism can apply to any type of holiday, from a luxury beach villa to a volunteering project. Responsible tourism simply means holidays that care about local communities & culture as well as wildlife conservation & the environment.

- Use natural resources sustainably
- Respect social and cultural diversity
- Be sensitive to the host culture
- Do not take any of the flora and fauna
- Do not buy handicrafts made of feathers, animal skins or insects.
- Do not litter
- Do not give money, presents, or sweets to the kid, but educational material (pens, notebooks, colored pencil, etc.) is fine.