Huasquila Lodge 3 Days B

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Ecuador

Neighbouring Colombia and Peru, Ecuador is a relatively small country that nevertheless offers an enticing array of scenic landscapes, diverse wildlife species and interesting cities. Dense Amazon rainforest, towering Andean mountain peaks, palm-fringed Pacific Coast beaches and fascinating historical sites are all part and parcel of Ecuador’s prolific charms. The former Inca town of Cuenca is the nation’s third-largest city and a Unesco World Heritage Site. This alluring city, with its cobbled streets, beautiful architecture and photogenic plazas, boasts a huge variety of museums and art galleries. The vibrant capital city of Quito is also worth a visit. Arguably the most dazzling jewel in Ecuador’s crown is the Galapagos Archipelago in the Pacific, about 1000 kilometres west of the mainland. Their magnificent, pristine landscapes and prolific wildlife, which inspired Charles Darwin, have made this cluster of islands a world-famous travel destination.


Banking and Currency

Currency 

Local currency: United States Dollar 
Symbol: $ 
ISO code: USD 
Subunit: Cent 
Banknotes: $1, $5, $10, $20, $50, $100 
Coins: 1¢, 5¢, 10¢, 25¢ 

Banking 

Card Transactions: Yes 
ATMs: Yes 
Mastercard: Yes 
Visa: Yes 
American Express: Yes 
Diner’s club: Yes 

Banking Hours: 
Weekdays: 9:00 AM - 4:00 PM 
Weekends: Closed 
Public Holidays: Yes 
Foreign exchange services: Yes 


Travel, Transport and Getting Around

Ecuador is a small country and internal flight times are usually less than one hour, making air travel a quick and easy way to get around. Most flights operate out of Quito although Guayaquil also has direct services to main centers. 

Galapagos Islands: There are daily flights to the Galapagos Islands from both Quito and Guayaquil; note that airfares to Galapagos are much higher than to any other domestic destinations. There is also a national park admission charge, payable in cash only. 

Since getting around by public transport is so easy, few people rent cars in Ecuador. Nonetheless, there are international and local car hire companies operating in Ecuador, with cities such as Quito, Guayaquil, and Cuenca the places to arrange pick-up and drop off. It may be difficult to hire a vehicle in smaller towns and even in main cities, you should arrange your vehicle hire in advance. 4-wheel drive is necessary for some areas.

Drivers need to be at least 25 years old and have a major credit card for the deposit. Some companies will hire cars to those aged 21-25 but the surcharges are much higher. Check for existing damage and make sure the car comes with a spare tire and a jack. Drive carefully, make sure the car is always secure and check what the car rental insurance policy covers.

The national speed limit is 100kph (63mph) on highways and around 50kph (30mph) in urban areas unless otherwise indicated. There are strong penalties for even the most minor driving offenses. An International Driving Permit is not required, but insurance is.

Taxis are widely available, particularly in larger cities and towns. Fares tend to be low but should be negotiated in advance. Taxis are metered in Quito, but rarely elsewhere. Taxis may be hired for a whole day. Drivers do not expect tips. All licensed taxis have a registration number prominently displayed.

Increasingly popular, cycling is a good, if somewhat strenuous way of seeing Ecuador. Mountain bikes are recommended and you should ideally bring your own as bike hire services are scarce outside of Quito. Bring your own spares too. Bikes can also be taken on buses, canoes and almost every other type of transport if you find you’ve run out of energy. Organized bike tours in Ecuador tend to be one-day trips, and mostly downhill, having been ferried to the top of the descent in a car by the company you book with.

Ecuador’s bus and coach service is extensive and affordable. Taking a bus can be an exhilarating, exciting way to see the country although it can also be cramped and scary too given the recklessness with which some drivers tackle corners and overtake. There are a number of different companies throughout the country and services to almost anywhere that you might want to go. Some of the most established have their own bus stations separate from the main terminals (terminal terrestres) and operate air-conditioned, comfortable buses, ideal for longer distance journeys.


Food, Drink and Cuisine Advice

Food and water safety: 

Can you drink the tap water: No 
Fresh fruit and veg: Yes 
Ice: Yes 
Meat: Yes 
Street food: Yes 

Local cuisine: 

Ecuadorian cuisine is diverse, featuring a mix of indigenous, Spanish, and African influences. Highlights include ceviche (marinated seafood), llapingachos (potato patties), and locro de papa (potato soup). Notable local drinks include canelazo (spiced alcoholic drink) and horchata (sweet rice drink). 
Tipping: 10% 


Climate and Weather

Annual rainfall: Varies by region 
Average temperature: 22°C 

Summer: 

Average highs: 26°C 
Average lows: 16°C 

Winter: 

Average highs: 24°C 
Average lows: 15°C 

Best time to visit: 

The best time to visit Ecuador is during the dry season, from June to September, when the weather is generally sunny and pleasant. 


Clothing and Dress Recommendations

Spring and Summer 

Cool, light, breathable and comfortable: Yes 
Lightweight warm clothes: Yes 

Winter and Autumn 

Jerseys, cardigans, sweaters, jackets: Recommended 
Heavyweight clothing and boots: No 

General 

Umbrella and raincoat: Yes 
Warm gloves, hat and scarf: No 
Swimming costume (bathing suit): Yes 
Hat, sunglasses and sunblock: Yes 
Walking shoes: Yes 
Casual: Yes 
Smart-casual attire: Yes 

 


Internet Availability

Internet cafes: Yes 
Accommodation options: Yes 
Restaurants: Yes 
Cafes: Yes 
Shopping malls: Yes 
Public parks: Yes 
Libraries: Yes 


Electricity and Plug Standards

Plug Type: Type A, Type B 
Voltage (V): 120V 
Frequency Hertz (Hz): 60Hz 

*Travel plug adapter and voltage converter might be necessary depending on your appliances.


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