Discover the Enchanting Wonders of Ecuador
Area: 256,370 km2
Currency: US Dollar
Time zone: ECT (UTC -5, -6)
Calling code: +593
«Experience all four seasons in a single day!» This intriguing Ecuadorian saying paints a vivid picture of the country’s ever-changing weather. Ecuador boasts just two seasons: the rainy season and the dry season. In the highlands, cities like Quito, Cuenca, Ibarra, Latacunga, Riobamba, and Ambato see temperatures ranging from a comfortable 16°C (60°F) during the day to a cooler 7°C (45°F) at night. But don’t be fooled by the daytime warmth; always carry a sweater, as temperatures can fluctuate by as much as 5 to 10 degrees throughout the day. On the coast in places like Portoviejo, Manta, and Machala, as well as in the rainforest, temperatures soar from a sizzling 32°C (90°F) down to a balmy 20°C (68°F). Surprisingly, even Santo Domingo, not quite on the coast, shares similar temperatures with Portoviejo and Machala.
Ecuador’s culinary landscape is as diverse as its climate, varying greatly across regions. Yet, regardless of where you are, you’ll find an impressive array of fruits and vegetables. Thanks to this bounty of fruits, homemade juices crafted from a tantalizing array of flavors are a daily delight. Family mealtimes are cherished, with most households enjoying three square meals a day. Breakfast tends to be light, consisting of coffee paired with a pastry or a refreshing glass of juice accompanied by fruits. A popular breakfast item (or anytime snack) is the empanada, a delightful creation of bread dough enveloping various fillings like cheese or savory meats, baked to perfection. In the highlands, don’t miss the chance to savor humitas, corn tamales. Along the coast, your taste buds may be treated to fish, rice, and green bananas! Lunch takes center stage, with a hearty spread of soup, a substantial main course, and refreshing juice. The main dish invariably includes rice and is often paired with a savory meat stew. Dinner can resemble lunch or be a lighter affair, perhaps a simple cheese sandwich. Evening fare is referred to as «merienda.»
Since September 2000, the official currency in Ecuador has been the U.S. dollar. For your financial transactions, we strongly recommend exchanging currency only at authorized money exchange offices or banks, steering clear of street vendors.