Traveling to Ecuador: 5 Things You Need To Bring

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Known as a land of adventure and fascination, Ecuador is visited by multitudes of tourists every year. With its wonders of the world, interesting culture, historic locations, and charming people, this South American country is a popular destination for travelers. If you plan to visit Ecuador, prepare wisely in advance — and then just enjoy the trip of a lifetime.


5 Things You Need To Bring

  1. Sunscreen

Yes, that seems like a “given,” but people do forget it sometimes — even on trips to the Galápagos. These islands lie across the equator; the sun is hot and can even burn through clothing. Slather on the sunscreen and wear a hat.

  1. An Appropriate, Water-resistant Jacket

Keep in mind, however, that despite the heat, even Ecuador has a cooler season. December to May is the “warm season” (and peak tourist time) in Ecuador. Take a light water-resistant jacket on trips — especially to the Galápagos and the jungle.

Traveling in the Andes highlands after sunset will require a warmer jacket or a light jacket and heavy sweater. Tourists can expect weather changes as they trek through mountains and rainforests. Be prepared for a shower. As well, if you are on a cliff top or boat deck at night, you will need a jacket’s extra warmth.

  1. Motion Sickness Medicine

If you plan to explore Ecuador thoroughly, including its coast, then a boat tour is in your future. The sea adventures off the coast of Ecuador are awesome, but many boaters are bothered by seasickness. If you are inclined to be negatively affected by movement on the ocean, medication for seasickness is a must. Regardless, it is best to carry a dose or more.

Weather forecasts and boating locations can vary and affect people in different ways depending on conditions. For example, certain Galápagos cruises can last between four and eight days. Sometimes boats can encounter rough seas and passages between islands can be as long as 17 hours. Carry medication just in case — and enjoy the trip.

  1. A Compass

Ecuador just begs to be explored; the country seems made for adventure. Even the lesser-known parks and mountains provide unforgettable experiences. Feel free to explore on your own but consult a local guide about a specific area and its conditions (flooded sections, trail difficulty, mud slides, etc.). Always take a compass and let someone know your general whereabouts and expected time of return.

  1. Proper Photography Equipment

Wherever you are in the country, Ecuador provides its share of tremendous photo opportunities. Tourists do not want to miss one of them. Yet if you are not properly equipped for photography in Ecuador, you just might miss that photo of a lifetime.

Consider, for instance, the gloom of the jungle. If using an analogue (film) camera, bring fast film (400 ASA and above) for the darker spots in the jungle and forests. 200 ASA is better for brighter conditions. If possible, bring your own film and batteries — although they are available in the bigger cities.

As well, when hiking through the mountains with a digital camera, take the batteries out and put them under your clothes. Cold batteries lose power in seconds, and you do not want to miss that glorious mountain sunrise.

The most important rule about what to bring to Ecuador is that the list can vary depending on your destination. For example, lots of cotton socks are required on a trek through the jungle during rainy season, but you probably won’t need them while you’re sipping mojitos on the coast.


4 Responses

  1. Items 1 and 3 (suncreen and motion sickness pills) are available in any pharmacy in Ecuador (both the mainland and the Galapagos) so why the writer suggests you bring them is a mystery to me. Recovering from the earthquakes in the north east of Ecuador is costing us millions of dollars and it would be appreciated if you would support our economy by buying these items after you arrive. Thanks!

    Woolen socks are much better in most circumstances as they are warm when wet; cotton socks are cold when wet. There is a reason that ponchos are made from wool be it sheep’s, llama’s or other Andean animal’s.

  2. There’s nothing wrong with supporting the Ecuadorian economy by buying local. If you stay long enough you’ll end up doing that anyway. But there’s nothing wrong with saving money either. So I say if you have room in your suitcase, bring it along. Items that we always bring on our trips back to Ecuador include a couple months supply of toiletries, anything electronic, clothes and footwear, and reading material, whether it be an eBook or a selection of good old fashion paperbacks.

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