Ecuador Basic Tips

This page is a summary of the Basic Tips about Ecuador I share in my Blogs at Footprints in Ecuador: An American Woman’s Life Changing Journey. .

1. Driving a Car in Ecuador: Just. Don’t. Do. It.

2. Always bring a wad of your own toilet paper and keep it in your pocket or purse. Many places that you would expect have toilet paper do not – like gas stations or park bathrooms. And in The Mall bathrooms, look for one large roll of toilet paper in the very front or outside the bathroom stalls as you go in. Toilet paper at the main bus stations is sold to you as you go in and you pay $.25 to use the toilets. In Ecuador, toilet paper is rarely in the individual bathroom stalls except at the airport.

3. The Ecuadorian food is really good and really inexpensive. Try it! You’ll like it!

4.  Celebrations in Ecuador: There are many celebrations in Ecuador throughout the year. So far I have participated in the following- November 2: Day of The Dead, December 12: Our Lady of Guadalupe, December 31: New Years Eve and the Burning of The Monigotes for Ano Viejo

5. Don’t miss the Artisan Markets in Quito and Otavalo and other places in Ecuador. They are a feast for the eyes and a treat for the soul.

6. The doctor clinics in Ecuador are full of everything you might expect in any modern city hospital. It costs on average $25.00 to enter plus any tests or procedures that you might need or choose to have performed. If you have insurance, the costs are less.

7. Buses cost $1.00 per hour anywhere in Ecuador. so you pay based on how long it takes you to where you travel. Note: If you are 65 or older, buses are 1/2 price for you.

8. If you are 65 or older you are considered “Terceridad” or in your “third period of life.” You get into movies and buses for 1/2 price. Airfare is 1/2 price. And you got o the front of any bank or official government office line. Nice.

9. If you come into the country of Ecuador, you get exactly 30 days on your Visa. Do not overstay your Visa as it could land you in serious trouble here. And possibly a trip to jail in the your country of your home passport.

10. If you are thinking of moving here, be sure to get a good local and trustworthy lawyer here to handle both your Permanent Residency Visa stamp in your passport and your National ID card called a “Cedula.” Trust me on this one. It may cost you some money for a lawyer to walk you though the whole process but it also will save you huge amounts of frustration and time. This is especially true if you don’t speak Spanish.

11. So where do you find a book in English? I have only seen books in English at book trades in hotels and restaurants that cater to “Gringos” and at one used book store in Quito.

My advice?

If you want a book in English, be sure to bring your iPad or Kindle and be sure you stay in a place that has a working internet connection.

11. If you want to send documents from Ecuador to anywhere in the world, the best service we found of all of them, (and where the documents were not lost and actually arrived!) was DHL.

Here is the DHL office we used in Manta, Ecuador on the coast.


Avenida 7 Entre Calles 13 y 14

Manta, Ecuador



12. More Tips To Come!


If you came here to learn more about Ecuador, in  my  new book, Words To Thrive By for World Travelers: Footprints in Ecuador. I talk more specifically about All. Things. Ecuador. 

Feel free to purchase my new bookWords To Thrive By for World Travelers: Footprints in Ecuadoravailable both on Kindle and Paperback formats. 

Personally, I prefer the kindle version as all my photos are in color in that version. However if you like a traditional paperback in your hands where you can make your own notes, feel free to purchase that version where the photos are in black and white.

Words To Thrive By for World Travelers: Footprints in Ecuador


Additional Links:

  • For More on the Life and Work of Mary Anne Dorward, please go to:
  • For Professional Speaking Coaching and Speech Writing, please go to: or for video
  • To Learn more about my book, “Words To Thrive By: Powerful Stories of Courage and Hope,” please go to: or  for video
  • To Buy The Book, go to Amazon:
  • Note: All photos in “Footprints in Ecuador: An American Woman’s Life Changing Journey” have been taken by Mary Anne Dorward. All photos and writing on this blog are protected under the U.S. Trademark: Words To Thrive By.  For more information, to schedule an inspirational speech or interview, please contact Mary Anne at

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in: Logo

You are commenting using your account. Log Out /  Change )

Google photo

You are commenting using your Google account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s