The Republic of Ecuador is a South American country that’s named due to its location on the Equator. It is one of only 17 megadiverse countries on earth, playing host to towering mountains and volcanoes, fertile agricultural land, dense jungles, and tropical islands. The country is well-known for both the famous Galapagos Islands, as well as its capital and largest city, Quito.
A visit to Ecuador is sure to be an exciting and culturally enlightening experience. To make sure you can enjoy that experience with maximum peace of mind, get travel medical insurance or travel insurance before you go.
Travel Medical Insurance for Travelers in Ecuador – FAQs
Ecuador has both public and private healthcare systems. Foreign tourists in Ecuador are not eligible to use their public healthcare system. In any case, the public healthcare system is very basic, lacks adequate facilities, and has very long wait times. Therefore, having private health insurance is a necessity for Ecuador tourists.
Even though private healthcare facilities are adequate in major cities, their standards may not be up to the same standards as those in Western countries. In case of serious illness or injury where local treatment cannot be given adequately, travel medical insurance is very useful, as it may cover emergency medical evacuation if necessary, which is transportation to the nearest place where adequate care can be given.
Do I need travel medical insurance for Ecuador?
You will be required to present proof of proper Ecuador travel health insurance only if you plan to visit the Galapagos Islands, which are a part of Ecuador. Fortunately, there are many travel health insurance plans available to meet this Galapagos Islands travel insurance requirement. The requirement for health insurance to visit other parts of Ecuador was abolished by the Ecuadorian Congress in 2021.
Why buy travel medical insurance before traveling to Ecuador?
Despite travel medical insurance not being legally required outside of the Galapagos Islands, all visitors to Ecuador should have it. Without travel medical insurance, you will be solely responsible for any and all medical costs you incur during your Ecuador trip. These amounts may prove unaffordable if you do not have insurance, so it only makes sense to get covered.
Trip Cancellation Insurance for Travelers in Ecuador – FAQs
If you’re traveling to Ecuador, you’re going to need to book a flight, at least one hotel, and maybe a tour or two. To get the best deals, booking them all in advance is usually necessary. The trouble is, these prepaid bookings are typically nonrefundable. This can put you in a bind if you’re forced to cancel your travel plans. Fortunately, trip cancellation insurance can relieve the financial stress.
Why should I get trip cancellation insurance for my Ecuador travel?
About 2% of trips get cancelled annually. That might sound like a small percentage, but if one of those trips is yours, the amount of money you could stand to lose would be anything but small. That’s why the relatively minor investment in trip cancellation insurance is so important. It can help you get reimbursed for your prepaid, nonrefundable travel expenses if you have to cancel your trip for a reason that’s covered by the policy.
What can be covered by trip cancellation insurance for Ecuador?
Trip cancellation coverage is essential, but when you buy a travel insurance plan for Ecuador, you can get more than just that. Depending upon the policy you purchase, you can receive coverage for things like emergency medical treatment, travel delays, trip interruption, and lost baggage. Some plans will even offer you the option to cancel your trip for any reason, if such flexibility is important to you.
Ecuador’s Most Popular Places for Travel
With so many diverse landscapes and sights to be seen, you won’t find yourself lacking for things to do while in Ecuador. When putting together your itinerary, we suggest you consider the following.
The Galapagos Islands
Though they’re located more than 500 miles west of Ecuador, this Ecuadorian archipelago remains a top tourist attraction, and for good reason. While there, you can see unique animals found nowhere else in the world. These include the Islands’ namesake, the Galapagos tortoise, as well as Galapagos penguins, and waved albatrosses. You can also spend some time swimming, surfing, or snorkeling from one of the many beaches. However, if you want to see all that the Galapagos Islands have to offer, you really should book a guided tour in advance.
Ecuador’s capital city is a thriving urban center of 2.8 million that’s cradled by the Andes Mountains. While there, visit the Virgin of El Pancecillo, the city’s most iconic statue, or take in a bird’s eye view of the skyline from the Basilica of the National Vow. End your day in La Floresta, a hip entertainment district with art galleries, cafes, and a brewery.
Mitad del Mundo
Want to journey to the center of the earth? At Mitad del Mundo, you can do just that, in a sense. This monument to the Equator marks the exact location where the northern and southern hemispheres meet. There are several museums here, including one that’s dedicated to the indigenous peoples of the country.
Volcanoes of the Andes
The Andes Mountain Range runs throughout the western edge of South America, and there are several volcanoes that are accessible from Ecuador and Chile. Numerous hiking trails lead to craters, calderas, and jaw-dropping views. However, keep in mind that the Andes are at extremely high altitudes, rising up beyond 20,000 feet in Ecuador. You will need ample time to acclimate, plenty of physical endurance, and an experienced guide for many of these treks.
Yasuní National Park
Want to visit the most biologically diverse place on the planet? Yasuní National Park is it. Located where the Andes Mountains, Amazon rainforest, and the Equator come together, this 6,100-square-mile expanse has a larger array of plants and animals than almost anywhere else on earth. See giant otters, over 100 species of bats, many species of monkeys, and some of the richest forests in the Western Hemisphere.
Key Guidelines for Travelers in Ecuador
Most parts of Ecuador, with the exception of those bordering Colombia, are considered generally safe for tourists. Still, you should familiarize yourself with some of the risks and peculiarities of visiting the country.
Ecuador has tropical weather, and along with it has mosquitoes that can potentially carry diseases like dengue fever, malaria, and zika. Additionally, typhoid and yellow fever are still prevalent in some parts of Ecuador. Visit your doctor before your trip and make sure you have the appropriate vaccines and medications.
Carry Your Identification
Carrying identification at all times is the law in Ecuador. To avoid potentially losing your ID, make a photocopy of your passport, including the page with your photograph, and the page with your Ecuadorian entry stamp.
In Ecuador, you are at risk of experiencing an earthquake, tsunami, or volcanic eruption. Pay attention to weather forecasts prior to travel. Once you arrive at your accommodation, take time to understand the emergency procedures and evacuation routes. Don’t hesitate to ask hotel staff or law enforcement if you need additional assistance.
Both mugging and pickpocketing are possible in Ecuador, with the greatest risk occurring for individuals walking alone in desolate areas, or after dark. Travel with a group if possible, do not wear flashy jewelry, and never let go of your belongings while on public transport.
In the year 2000, Ecuador ended its use of the Ecuadorian sucre, and adopted the United States dollar as its official currency. You may occasionally receive Ecuadorian-minted coins as change, but most transactions will solely be with US currency. Be advised that if you attempt to leave Ecuador with more than $1,200 in cash, you will be required to pay a 5% tax on any amount over that limit.
Before You Travel to Ecuador – Do This
- You must fill out an Ecuador Health Declaration Form prior to traveling to Ecuador.
- Test yourself for COVID-19 – Although there are no longer any vaccination or quarantine requirements, you may be administered a rapid test upon arrival if you show COVID symptoms. If you test positive, you will be instructed to wear a mask during your stay.
- Buy travel medical insurance or travel insurance – Since we can’t be sure exactly what risks we’ll come across during an international trip, the smart decision is to purchase the right insurance to protect ourselves.