MONEY AND TAXES
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.
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$.
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.
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.