Ecuador is absolutely amazing country but there are a few things you need to know before traveling to Ecuador.
To make sure your trip goes smooth, here are 5 things you need to consider:
Make sure you have booked a return ticket
Watch out for stray dogs
Be careful with the thieves on the buses
Everything takes time
Don't rely purely on the information online
The best month to visit Ecuador
Return tickets and entry rules
There are a few things you need to do even before entering Ecuador.
Firstly, make sure you have booked tickets out of Ecuador within 90 days of entering. This might be more for those traveling through South America without set dates. To get on the plane to Ecuador from your destination, proof of ticket out will be required.
Secondly, you have to fill in the health declaration form. It is nothing majorly complicated, just a standard procedure. Make sure you have filled it within 72 hours before departing. Here is the link to the form: https://declaracionsalud-viajero.msp.gob.ec/
Both documents can be saved and used electronically.
Also, of course, currently, you need to make sure you follow all Covid-related restrictions. Here are the latest updates on entry requirements: https://www.turismo.gob.ec/udate-of-the-entry-requirements-to-ecuador/
It is a big problem in Ecuador and it can affect you. Stray dogs are a common thing all over the country and unfortunately, some of them are aggressive. So please be careful when around stray dogs. They might carry rabies so if they attack you, you need to go to the hospital.
Thieves on the buses
I mention this specifically because they have a whole system in Ecuador. They hide at the end of the bus and then under the seats they cut your bag and take everything they can without you even noticing. Then they get out and you will never catch them as you haven't even seen them.
It is a real thing and almost happened to us! Luckily bus driver checked the bus before we left and kicked the thief out. But we heard many stories where people say that it happened so seamlessly they don't even know when exactly it happened.
The main advice I can give regarding this is to keep your bag in your lap. Do not put it above or between your legs. Just hold on tight to it in your lap.
I traveled to Colombia and though the service is slow there Ecuador is just on another level! Without over-exaggerating, I promise, once we waited for food for one and a half hours and it was a completely normal day in the restaurant, no rush hour or anything. Supermarkets are nightmares, each person takes at least 10 minutes. So just be patient or if you are in a hurry, do not order! Get some quick street food as an option.
Online does not always match the reality
This I faced on several occasions. Mostly regarding buses and their timelines but also there were services I looked up according to pricing but in the end ended up paying different anyway.
So for example, online it says that the bus leaves at 11am, 2pm and 5pm, once we arrive at the bus stop there is a bus every 30 minutes or only 2 buses per day. Also, I looked up hot springs in Cuenca and picked one based on the offer. Once we arrived there the pricing was completely different and no offers.
So just be aware of this!
The best month to visit Ecuador
You want to be traveling to Ecuador during the dry season, which is from June to September. Although, said that, the coast is lovely all year round because during the rainy season the beach time is much fresher. Also, their dry season is winter so the dry season is actually colder than the wet season. So the hottest month is January and the coldest is June. The wettest month is April.