Information before a student internship in Ecuador

Ecuador

Republic of Ecuador is divided into 24 provinces each of them has its own administrative capital. Ecuador shares borders with Colombia to the North and with Peru to the South on the West and has access to the Pacific Ocean where are the Galapagos Islands belonging to this country.

Population

16,385,068 inhabitants in year 2016 (ranked 65th)

Area

283,561 km2

Capital

Quito

Currency

Since 2000 the official currency is U.S. dollar. Ecuadorian coins have different symbols but have the same value as U.S. cents – nickels, dimes, quarters and half dollars. The VAT, or Impuesto de valor agregado, is 12% in Ecuador. Many exclusive or chain restaurants do include a 10% of the service charge, in this case it is not mandatory to leave the tip for the staff. It is common that small and local restaurants do not include a service charge, so if you wish you can leave 10% on top of the bill which is always appreciated.

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Weather

It has an equatorial climate, in the Andes there is a mountainous climate with the climate levels, in the altitude of 3000 to 4500 m, there is a moderate mountain climate, the average annual temperature is 4 ℃ to 8 ℃. The coastal zone has a tropical climate, with an average annual temperature from 23℃ to 26℃ with the influence of the cold Peruvian current. The Ecuadorian weather can change at any time and anywhere in the country. In Ecuador there are two seasons: rainy and dry. However, in every region of Ecuador, these seasons differ significantly. The best time to travel is between May and September.

When it comes to the weather, the best times to go to Quito is in the months of January, May, June, July, August, September and October. Between June and September the climate is good and the average maximum temperature 18℃. The rainy season is during the months of March, April, November and December. The worst weather is in October and December, when the rainfall level reaches 609mm per month.

The best times for going to Ecuador

The climate in Ecuador is tropical equatorial. On the coast and the Galapagos Islands it depends on the Ocean’s currents. Traveling in this area from January to April may be quite bothersome, due to the hot rainy season prevailing there, characterized by heat, which is interrupted by heavy rainfall. A good time to travel to these areas is the period from May to December, then the rainfall occurs less often although the sky is often cloudy and the temperature is lower. Another advantage of this period may be the lack of crowds, because most Ecuadorians rest on the coast during the hot and rainy season.

In the Amazon region called – Oriente, a good time to travel, is the time from January to April. To travel in this region, it is recommended to travel by waterway. Hiking in the mountain invites you to visit throughout the year. The dry season prevails there from June to September. Differences between seasons are usually not very noticeable.

Tourist Seasons in Ecuador:

  • Low Season: May, June and November.
  • High Season: February, March, April, October.
  • Very high Season: early January, mid-June, July, August, September and December.

Time difference

Ecuador has only one standard time zone: UTC / GMT -5 hours. There is no summer time. The time difference between i.e. Quito and London is 6h and between Quito and Central European countries it is a 7h difference.

Phone and Internet

It is possible to use your mobile phone in Ecuador. From the main phone providers Claro, Movistar, CNT, you can purchase a SIM Card for less than 4 € 42 and you can easily communicate via WhatsApp, Facetime, Messenger etc.

For international calls:

– From the UK to Ecuador 00 + 593 + city code + number of the correspondent.
– From Ecuador to the UK: 00 + 44 + number of the correspondent.

The main access for citizens to casualty and emergency assistance is through the 24 hours Single Emergency Number: 911. To contact the national police throughout the country dial 101.

The Hotspots in Ecuador which you cannot miss

Discover all the must-see Travel destinations in Ecuador

Entry Requirements for Ecuador

Ecuador allows tourists to stay in the country for 90 days without a VISA. It is sufficient to hold a European Passport which must be valid min. 6 months at the arrival day. To see if you require a VISA, contact the Embassy of Ecuador in your country or visit Ecuadorian’s immigration and naturalization office. Tourists who are willing to stay longer than 90 days must apply for a tourist extension called a prórroga de turista. In order to apply for prórroga de turista you need to go to the immigration office. Who is eligible for an extension, however, is also debatable. It’s also a hassle to get an extension. Nevertheless, when entering Ecuador as a tourist you are not allowed to undertake a paid activity. When immigrating as a tourist without a working Visa you can only do an unpaid internship. For all paid activities/remunerated internships a Visa is mandatory. The Visa must be requested from the Ecuadorian Embassy in your country prior to your departure.

Warning: In case of entering Ecuador through the US it is mandatory to have an ESTA (Electronic System for Travel Authorization). The registration for the Travel Authorization can be made online via their website. The ESTA registration costs 14USD (11€71) and is valid for 2 years. It is recommended to register for the ESTA at least 72h before the departure (Minimum response time). If purchasing the ESTA at the airport through an agency the costs amount to 50 Euros.

Useful contacts

British embassy
Edificio Citiplaza
Av. Naciones Unidas y Av. República de El Salvador,
Piso 14
PO Box 17-17-830
Quito
Ecuador

Tel: (593) (2) 3972 200
Website: https://www.gov.uk/world/organisations/british-embassy-in-ecuador.es-419

Local information

Stay tuned about exhibitions, concerts and events, local restaurants and transportation and start feeling like a local in no time through these helpful and free apps :Foursquare, EasyTaxi, Quito Map and City Walk Description. For more information about these apps follow the link.

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