Is Ecuador Safe? What are some things I need to worry about?
Ecuador has changed in leaps and bounds, but like anywhere you go, you need to take care of yourself. Don’t leave your possessions unattended or put yourself in bad situations. Petty theft can be a problem in heavily populated areas. Areas our tours avoid.
I want to bring my kids on the trip. Can I do that?
Our Discovery and Culture tours are the only tours we offer that are child friendly. You would need to contact us before booking and we will give you a different rate for children. We may only have specific dates available for travelling with children. So please contact us.
Paying and booking seats for the trip, what is the process and is it safe?
The best way for secure payment is through Paypal. So we offer this service to our clients. When paying for your trip, you will be directed to Paypal. You dont even need a paypal account, just a credit card. Paypal is the safest payment option available today. If this option does not work for you, you will need to contact us directly and we can look into possible other options, but Paypal offers the most secure way for our clients and us.
Once you have found the tour that suits you, check the dates we offer the tour. Find yourself airline seats to get you to Quito the night before the tour starts. You dont need to panic about seats with us. We do limit seats but never would turn away a customer if they have airline travel arranged. If you need assistance with anything, we welcome you to contact us. We respond to all our clients within 24 hours.
How do I find a good flight to Ecuador? Where will you meet me/us?
if coming from Canada, there are a few choices. United Arilines, Delta and American Airlines all fly into Quito. American and European guests have access to other discount airlines. You can use Expedia and other online discount sites to find flights. You need to book your arrival for the day before. So if your tour starts on the 15th, you need to arrive on the 14th. You just need to confirm with us your arrival date and we will be waiting for you at the airport arrivals. Remember that most of our clients arrive on the same day as you, so depending on our group, we may have to wait a little to collect the others.
Does my cell phone work in Ecuador?
Most likely not. The carriers are different and its not easy to find a way around it. However, wifi is readily available and you can still send messages via Facebook, Whats app or email. Our contacts will be provided to you when you book. In case you need to contact us, you can still use wifi.
What if my flight is delayed? What can I do?
You can try to notify us if you know ahead of time or send us a message via wifi to our email, facebook or whats app. Always we will wait until the last passengers clear from your arriving flight. From there we will try to track your progress. If the tour leaves before you arrive, we will make other arrangements to catch you up to the group.
What do I need to bring with me?
Each tour page has a list of things we recommend to bring. You can find that list by searching under trip details.
I know the Tour is all inclusive, but do I need more money? How much should I bring?
The tour price does cover all the essentials. However does not cover alcohol or extra drinks. Also you may want extra money for souvenir or for other purchases you may want to make. Each individual is different but having $300 for extras is an average amount.
What if I need money in Ecuador?
Ecuador is more modern than most people think. Visa and MC is widely accepted. There are many banks that accept bank card withdrawals at the ATM machines. Traveller cheques are not easy to deal with. Having cash is the best way, in smaller bills
What currency does Ecuador use?
They use the U.S. dollar. They produce their own coins but these coins are not accepted in the U.S. Paper bills are universal.
What if something happens to me? What if I get hurt or sick while on a tour?
Our guides are trained in first aid and carry at all times a first aid kit for small cuts and wounds. More serious illness or treatment must be done at the hospital. Minor treatment to a visitor is without charge in Ecuador, but we still recommend you travel with medical insurance as you would on any trip. Also in your contract form we will ask for an emergency contact in the event something happens.
Altitude Sickness, how will it affect me?
Quito is the second highest capital in the world. Just under 10,000 feet above sea level. Altitude can affect everyone differently. Physical fitness or age plays no role in how you will feel. It can also change from one time to the next. Most common is a dull headache, shortness of breath when doing something physical. We realize you need time to adjust and our tours are designed to get us travelling to lower elevation the next day. If you do feel anything, we have coco candies and tea which both help to alleviate altitude sickness.
Do I need any vaccinations? What illnesses do I need to worry for?
All the areas we travel to are not known areas for various mosquito born disease. Yellow Fever, Denque and Malaria are extremely uncommon but not unheard of. If you wish to vaccinate yourself for yellow fever, it would be a wise precaution but is not known in the areas we travel. We advise more to take precaution against mosquito bites. Full clothing and repellent are usefull for this. However, you must check with your local health advisor for any vaccinations required.
More common can be slight reaction to a different diet. The meals that are provided are choices made with the traveller in mind. We highly discourage food from street vendors or unknown sources.
How do I get back to the airport after the tour?
We take all our clients to where ever they need to go after the tour has ended. If you have a half day or many hours to wait for your next connection, we will guide you on options. If you need to set that up before your tour, please discuss that with us and we will look at options for you and make suggestions.
What if something looks dangerous? What if I don’t want to do something the rest of the group is doing?
On all tours there are always more than one guide present. If you don’t want to do something, always you have that choice. Never we will push you to do something you don’t want to do. Just let us know and without question we will find a better option for you to relax and enjoy.
Is the water safe to drink?
We recommend only drinking bottled water or water that has been boiled properly. Always bottled water will be available to you. All your meals and any liquids you consume are made with purified water.
I don’t speak any Spanish, is that a problem?
That’s what we are for!! Our guides are bilingual and will translate everything for you. Most people in Ecuador, if they can speak some English or other language, they will try their best to communicate. We do ask that you do speak some basic English at the least in order to get the most out of the tour.
Whats the best time to visit Ecuador?
Ecuador really just has dry season and wet season. There is a bit of of a pattern but the weather is unpredictable. Just keep in mind, if your tour involves a visit to jungle areas, it didn’t earn the name “rainforest” for nothing. The mountain regions can cool off during the night. At lower elevation it can be quite warm.
What about the sun? How do I protect myself?
Ecuador is located on the equator, where the sun is the strongest. Even though the UV index can be lower than where you are from, you can still get a sunburn. Best protection…cover up, with clothes. Secondary you can use sunblock. We recommend minimum 30 spf sunblock. We also recommend sunglasses to protect your eyes from sunglare, which can be very strong at times.
Snakes, Spiders, Animals, Bugs?
You can find them all in Ecuador if you look hard enough. You wont find much in the Mountain areas. In the jungle areas we visit all the resorts are cleaned daily and is very very rare to find anything harmful. Our guides are well trained and keep you safe. You may even find interesting the information they share with you. We always recommend bug repellent.
What if something bites me?
It is very very unlikely but bug repellent and long sleeves and pants help stop bug bites. We carry a first aid kit with us for insect bites. We avoid touring in the worst mosquito areas.
What about tips? Do I need to leave a tip for every service?
Because all our tours are all inclusive, all restaurants, hotels and activities are paid for on your behalf, of which gratuities are included. Giving someone a tip is always a personal thing for showing your satisfaction of someones extra effort. We do however ask that at the end of your tour, if you feel an extra effort was given by your driver or any of the guides, that enhanced your experience, please give according to how you feel. Never is tipping mandatory.
What if while on the trip I don’t like something? What can I do?
Our business is you, our client. If there is something bothering you or something you don’t like, you can always speak with our guide. If you wish to speak only with management, then ask our guide and arrangements can be made. With smaller issues, our guides are always willing to help. Communication is key, don’t let something small bother you, just ask us and we will do our best to fix it.
I don’t like travelling in groups. What if someone is bothering me?
Our business is too make sure all our clients are comfortable. You must use your judgement in handling yourself and treating others with respect, including people native to Ecuador. All our tour packages are for small groups. We don’t offer individual tours. If problems arise, is always best to notify your guide.
I paid to do a certain activity and we didn’t do it, why?
Climate and weather patterns are out of our control, sometimes after heavy rains, some activities can change. One example would be rafting. Our co-tour operators deem what is safe and we do not question their judgement. We endeavour to not put any of our clients in harms way. We always search for alternatives and decide as a group on replacement activities.
I want to wander off on my own, can I do that?
We don’t recommend it. Not that its unsafe to do so, but in all places we visit, you will have free time to explore. You will get a quick explanation of the area and your guides will be close. You are provided with contact information in the beginning of your tour should you become separated from the tour.
I have food Alergies? What do I do?
You will need to let us know in advance. In all the meals provided you will have choices. If you need to take medications or have special needs, please always inform us in advance. We are happy to help in any way we can.