LiveTheLifeinEcuador | January 28, 2016
All good things in life are free, some say, but you can’t deny the fact that you have to spend some money here and there to enjoy little luxuries and attractions. When it comes to money in Ecuador, here are some things you need to keep in mind.
1. Ecuador’s official currency is the U.S. dollar. 15 years ago, Ecuador underwent a dollarization process which resulted to the elimination of the sucre.
2. ATMS are usually found at major banks, larger cities, airports, malls, and luxury hotels. However, a word of caution. In Ecuador, ATMs are usually offline more frequently compared to machines in other countries. Charges on withdrawals from foreign banks can be quite expensive, as well.
3. Carry some bills, but don’t forget your ATM card. Confirm with your bank to make sure your ATM card/s will work in Ecuador. Cash transactions are easiest, but if ever you run out of bills, you don’t need to worry. All you need to do is head to the nearest ATM to withdraw cash.
Always bring with you 1, 5, 10, and 20 dollar bills as they’re easier to accept than larger bills, even in banks.
4. Change your foreign currencies in Quito, Guayaquil, and Cuenca. While you’re in Cuenca, Quito, and Guayaquil, take advantage of its variety of banks and other facilities and have your foreign currency changed. Once you go out of these cities, it will be harder to spot a casas de cambioor money changing houses, as well as money transfer facilities.
Most banks in the cities are open Monday to Friday, from 9 am to 6 pm. Some banks in Quito and Guayaquil, however, stay open until 8 pm. Meanwhile, casas de cambioare open on weekdays, from 9 am to 6pm.
5. Diner’s Club is the most widely accepted credit card in Ecuador, but you can still use your card from American Express, VISA, and Mastercard. Before you get on the plane to Ecuador, consider raising the limit on your cards in case of emergencies.
Got any questions? Email me at email@example.com. See you in paradise!