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We promote sustainable practices within tourism in order to maintain Ecuador’s environmental diversity, as well as support local social structures and economies. We hope to be an inspiration for more conscious travelling in Ecuador and beyond and hope you join us with this mission. Beneath, we want to share some ideas with you to be a traveller who makes a difference.

 

Guidelines to responsible travelling:

  1. Support community-run facilities. Stay in homestays or take public busses.

  2. Be a global citizen and change discriminative paradigms! Be sensible to cultural differences and treat people as equals.

  3. The history of each country shapes its culture today. Understanding its past helps to be more sensible for the people and their struggles.

  4. Buy products from local artisans. Prevent buying illegal products such aspieces of wildlife or national heritage.

  5. Inform yourself in advance about local price standards. Don’t pay more and avoid bargaining to an undignified value for the seller.

  6. Avoid giving money to people on the streets. Contributions to local NGO’s and social projects help people more.

  7. Reduce the amount of trash. Don’t litter and try to use reusable objects to give a good example.

  8. Don’t support local crimes. Avoid bribing or being bribed by local officials.

  9. Support our fight against child abuse. Notify us in case of crimes as child abuse or sex tourism related to children!

  10. You can always help. Contact us! We will find a social or ecological project of your interest:

  11. Learn some Spanish to dive into the local culture. We offer Spanish classes with a cultural touch! 

Greetings In Ecuador you must always be courteous and say “hello” and “how are you?”. You shouldn’t worry about making mistakes when trying to speak Spanish. Ecuadorians will try their utmost to understand you and to make sure you understand them. Just try your best and they will be so happy with your effort.

Good morning – Buenos días (bway nos  dee ahs) Good afternoon – Buenas tardes (bway nahs  tar days) Good evening – Buenas noches (bway nahs  noh chayss)

Hola (oh  lah) is “hi” and you can say that with people you know.

¿Cómo está? (coh moh  es tah) is “how are you?” if you don’t know someone and ¿Cómo estás? ( coh moh  es tahs) if you do know them.

If they ask you how you are, you can say “good, thank you” – “bien, gracias” (bee ayn, grah cee ahs) because you, too, are a polite person.

Don’t ever forget:  Please – Por favor (por  fah vohr) – and Thank you – Gracias (grah cee ahs ).  These are VERY IMPORTANT words in Spanish.

When you are introduced to someone, you say “Mucho gusto” (moo choh goos toh) and they will say the same thing back to you.  It means, “nice to meet you.”

 

¿Habla inglés? (ahblah  een glays)? – Do you speak English?  While it is never correct to assume that someone speaks English, you can ask if they do and they will like you so much better for asking in Spanish.

 

Basic vocabulary for many uses You can go far with some very easy-to-remember words and phrases. You can always use “I want,” “I like,” “Do you have…?” and if you don’t know the noun, you can simply point at the object.

I want, I don’t want – Yo quiero, yo no quiero (yoh  kee ayr oh,  yoh noh  kee ayr oh ) I would like (more polite) – Me gustaría (may goo stah ree ah)

Where is – ¿Dónde está? (dohn des tah)

How much does it cost – ¿Cuánto cuesta? (cwahn toh cways tah)?

What time is it? – ¿Qué hora es? (kay orah ess)? Do you have? – ¿Tiene? (tee ayn ay)?

I have, I don’t have – Yo tengo, yo no tengo (yoh  tayn goh,  yoh  noh tayn goh)

I understand, I don’t understand – Yo entiendo, yo no entiendo (yoh  ayn tee ayn doh,  yoh  noh ayn tee ayn doh) Do you understand? – ¿Entiende? (ayn tee ayn day )?

Simple Verbs: Where is, I want and I need! You can say a lot of things with very simple verbs. I want a hotel, I want a taxi, I need pesos. Where is the train station? The bathroom? The airport? The fact of the matter is that you can say a lot using” I want,” “I need,” “I can,” “I may,” or “where is,” and then you just need to supply a noun. It may not be the sophisticated way you speak in English, but you will be understood.

I want a ticket, a hotel, a taxi – Yo quiero un boleto, un hotel, un taxi (yoh kee ayr oh oon boh lay toh, oon oh tayl, oon tahk see)

Directions: How do I get there from here? If you get a bit lost or unsure of how to get somewhere, you need some simple ways of finding how to find your way. “Where is” is the simplest way of asking. The phrase is “¿dónde está?” (dohn des tah) and here are some examples

Where is the bus train station (or bus station) – ¿Dónde está la estación de ferrocarril? (dohn des tah  la  ays ta see ohn  day  fay roh cahr reel) or “autobuses” (ow toe boos ehs).

Where is a restaurant? – ¿Dónde está un restaurante?  (dohn days tah  oon rays tore rahn tay)?

A train? – ¿Un tren? (oon trayn)?

The street … ? – ¿La calle … ? (lah cah yay )?

A bank? – ¿Un banco? (oon bahn coh)?

Where is the bathroom? – ¿Dónde está el baño? – (dohn days tah  ayl  ban yoh )?

I want a hotel, I want a hotel with a bathroom – Yo quiero un hotel, yo quiero un hotel con baño (yoh kee ayr oh oon  oh tel, yo kee ayr oh oon ohtel cohn bahn yoh)

I need – Yo necesito (yoh nay say see toh ). Very useful, and you can supply the noun.

Yo necesito un hotel, un cuarto, un cuarto con baño – (yoh nay say see toh oon oh tayl, oon cwar toh, oon cwar toh cohn ban yoh)

Where is the exchange? ; Where is a bank? – ¿Dónde está una casa de cambio? (dohn days  tah  oon ah  cah sah day  cahm bee oh) ;

¿Dónde está el banco? (dohn  days tah  ayl bahn coh)? Money – Dinero (dee nayr oh).

Understanding their directions Once you have asked a question, someone will answer you in Spanish. Here are some simple directions that someone may give you, to turn right, to turn justify, or to go straight ahead. Listen for these key words:

Right – A la derecha a  lah day ray chah)

Left – A la izquierda (ah  lah eez kee ayr dah ) Straight ahead – Derecho (Day ray choh)

At the corner – En la esquina (a lah ays kee nah )

In one, two, three, four blocks – A una cuadra, a dos, tres, cuatro cuadras –  ( a oona dohss, trayss, cwah troh cwah drahs)

At a restaurant — What do you want to eat or drink? Probably the most useful phrases you will need are in a restaurant. Ask for anything by using “quiero” (kee ayr oh) or

“quisiera” (kee see ayr oh) – “I want” or “I would like.” And remember to say “por favor” and “gracias”! A table – Una mesa (oona may sah)

A table for two, three, four – Una mesa para dos tres, cuatro (oona may sah pah rah dohss, trays, kwah troh)

A menu – Un menú (oon may noo) Soup – Sopa (soh pah)

Salad – Ensalada (ayn sah lah dah)

Hamburger (Another necessity!) – Hamburguesa (ahm boor gay sah )

With ketchup, mustard, tomato, lettuce – Con salsa de tomate, mostaza, tomate, lechuga – ( cohn sahl sah day toh mah tay, mohs tah sah, toh mah tay, lay choo gah)

An appetizer – Una entrada (oona ayn trah dah) Dessert – Un postre (oon pohs tray)

A drink – Una bebida (oona bay bee dah) Water – Agua (ah gwah)

Red wine, white whine – Vino tinto (vee noh teen toh), vino blanco (vee noh blahn coh) Beer – Cerveza (sayr vay sah)

Coffee – Un café (oon cah fay)

Calling a waiter or waitress  – ¡Señor! or ¡Señorita! (say nyor, say nyor eetah) The check – La cuenta (lah cwayn tah)

Below you’ll find a list with common travel expenses in Ecuador.  

Taxis

  • Minimum ride in the city: USD $1,45

  • A ride from the hotel to any touristic place in the city won’t cost more than USD $5,00

  • Registered taxis in big cities are obligated to put their taximeter on.

  Public transport
  • Bus ride within the city: USD $0,25-0,50

  • Long distance buses from city to city: USD $1,50 per hour

  • Quito – Baños: USD $4,50

  • Quito – Guayaquil: USD $13,00

  Food
  • Main course in standard tourist restaurant: USD $15

  • Typical lunch in local restaurants:USD $3,00-7,00

  Drinks
  • Juices, coffee, sodas: USD $2,00-$4,00

  • Local beers (0,6 liter): USD $2,50-$5,00

  • Glass of wine: USD $5,00-$10,00

 

Import taxes

Ecuador is facing a difficult situation with the falling global oil prices and a strong dollar. In response to this, the government tremendously rose the import taxes on many customer goods. In 2015 a tariff surcharge of between 5% and 45% for consumer goods was fixed and in 2016 there was another big surcharge on imported alcoholic beverages, sugary drinks and cigarettes.