PLANNING YOUR TRAVEL BUDGET
The things you need to consider when planning your travel budget:
-Travel fees: Buses, trains, taxis, ferries, flights
-Possible visa fees and airport taxes
-Food and drinks
-Shopping and souvenirs
HOW ARE THE PRICES IN ECUADOR
Ecuador is relatively cheap country to travel. Surely you can manage with a daily budget of 30$ if you sleep in dorms and eat at the local restaurants. If you put a little bit more on your daily budget you can enjoy from the luxury of a private room in a hostel and do some fun activities too.
The accommodation options are plentiful. You can find cheaper hostels, with dormitories and private rooms, or luxury hotels and everything in the between. Booking ahead is not necessary unless you have some specific place to stay in mind. You can find hotels for example from Booking.com, where you can compare the prices and make an online reservations.
Travelling with a long distance bus is about 1$/hour, for example Quito – Lago Agrio is about 6-8hours and costs 8$. The busses usually stop somewhere on the way, for lunch or dinner. Most of the buses in Quito leave from Quitumbe terminal which is quite far from the centrum. Take a taxi (8-10$ from the centrum) or a bus (bus stop near to the park el Elejido).
If your budget allows you can also travel around the country by plane, the country has many domestic flight routes. I would recommend to book flights directly from internet because usually the flights are more expensive when booked from a travel agency. LAN has many domestic and international routes and they fly for example to the Galapagos Islands.
Taxi is an inexpensive way to travel short distances. Starting prices for taxis are 1$ or 1, 25$. From Quito airport the price to the centrum by taxi is about 30$ or under. Taxis usually have a taximeter, but the drivers don’t like to use them much, so negotiating the price beforehand to avoid getting ripped off.
Continental or American breakfast usually cost 2, 50$ including eggs, toast, juice, coffee or tea and maybe some fruits. If you are really hungry in the mornings you can ask for a completo which comes like continental + rice and meat.
Typical lunch is about 3$ and that usually includes a soup, rice with some meat and a juice. In the touristic areas you can find more restaurants, but the prices are always much higher too. Cevicherias offer fresh seafood and a plate usually cost something between 8-10$.
Beer and fizzy drinks are cheap, expect to pay under 1, 50$ for a large (local) beer in a restaurant. If beer is inexpensive other alcohols aren’t because of the high taxes, for example a bottle of imported Whisky is about 60$ bought from a supermarket.
If you like activities, remember to keep some money for those too. Ecuador is full of nice things to do with a quite low price. For example we paid 60$ each for paragliding, rappelling is about 25-30$ and bungee jump around 30$. Other activities are for example surfing, rafting, jungle and cloud forest tours, biking, hiking and mountain climbing.
If your budget allows you should think about travelling to the Galapagos Islands, since it’s truly a unique and magnificent place on earth. To the Galapagos Islands you can travel only by plane since it’s far from the mainland. The park entrance fee is 100$ and the islands are more expensive than the mainland, about the double price. You can book a cruise in advance from the internet or from Quito or if you have time you can try to find a last minute deal from the island.
Since the year 2000 the official currency of Ecuador has been US$. When changing money always ask for small bills, even 20$ can be difficult to change if you are buying something inexpensive. For taxis try to keep some coins.