Mainland Ecuador falls within one time zone, GMT -5 (Eastern Standard Time zone). The Galapagos Islands are GMT -6 (Central Standard Time zone).
The main language spoken is Spanish.
Ecuador uses the US dollar, so any conversion from your home currency will be on that basis. The US dollar is accepted everywhere and the prices are generally quite low.
You may exchange money in Guayaquil and Quito’s airport.
ATMs are available at most banks in Ecuador. Check with your bank before leaving home for bank names and locations participating in your ATM system. Also, if your “PIN” number is longer than 4 digits check with your bank to see if you need a new “PIN” code to use overseas. Amounts available for withdrawal in one transaction in Ecuador may vary from the amount your bank allows you to withdrawal in one day and several transactions may be necessary for larger amounts.
Some shops and restaurants in the Galapagos do take credit cards, but not all of them. There are ATM’s on Santa Cruz and San Cristobal.
If you are doing a cruise, the boat may accept credit cards, but they will probably charge a fee. All meals are included, so you will not need extra money for that, but you will need money for tips, drinks, non-included services (kayaks, wet suits, Internet), and shopping.
If you are doing a land-based island-hopping tour, budget $15-20/person/dinner. There are NO ATM’s on Isabela. There isn’t much shopping there, but you will want to budget some extra cash for dinners just in case your preferred restaurants do not take credit cards.
Only global cell phones will work and only in the bigger towns. You may want to consider renting one or getting a satellite phone.
You may want to rent a cell phone in Ecuador.
Ecuador uses 120 volt current and its outlets take theplug with two flat parallel prongs (type A). You can use a 110 volt plug, like those used in North America, as long as the plug doesn’t have the third grounding plug.