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You are here:1.6 Useful Traveling Information for when visiting Ecuador

1.6 Useful Traveling Information for when visiting Ecuador

1.6.1 Passport and Visas.

Ecuador requires visitors of all nationalities to have a valid passport with an expiration date at least 6 months after the date of departure from Ecuador.  Visas are not required for USA or British tourists. Tourists from other nations should check with their nearest Ecuadorian Embassy or consulate to enquire whether visas are necessary.

1.6.2 Vaccinations and medical precautions.

Before you travel visit either your personal physician or a travel clinic at least six to eight weeks prior to travel to ensure enough time to get the necessary immunizations.
Malaria: Prophylaxis with Lariam, Malarone, or doxycycline is recommended for all areas except the cities of Cuenca and Quito, the central highland tourist areas, the Galapagos Islands, and altitudes greater than 1500 m (5,000 ft).   IMPORTANT: before taking any drugs or vaccination CONSULT YOUR PHYSICIAN. Vaccinations.

Hepatitis A: Recommended for all travelers
Yellow fever: Recommended for all areas east of the Andes mountains. This does not include the cities of Quito and Guayaquil or the Galapagos Islands. Required for travelers arriving from a yellow-fever-infected area in Africa or the Americas.
Hepatitis B: For travelers who may have intimate contact with local residents, especially if visiting for more than 6 months
Measles, mumps, rubella: Two doses recommended for all travelers born after 1956, if not previously given.
Tetanus-diphtheria: Revaccination recommended every 10 years
Altitude sickness may occur in travelers flying to Quito, which is 2800 meters above sea level. Acetazolamide is the drug of choice to prevent altitude sickness. The usual dosage is 125 or 250 mg two or three times daily starting 24 hours before ascent and continuing for 48 hours after arrival at altitude. Possible side-effects include increased urinary volume, numbness, tingling, nausea, drowsiness, myopia and temporary impotence. Acetazolamide should not be given to pregnant women or those with a history of sulfa allergy. For those who cannot tolerate acetazolamide, the preferred alternative is dexamethasone 4 mg taken four times daily. Unlike acetazolamide, dexamethasone must be tapered off gradually upon arrival at altitude, since there is a risk that altitude sickness will occur as the dosage is reduced.
Travel to high altitudes is generally not recommended for those with a history of heart disease, lung disease, or sickle cell disease.

1.6.3 Antimalarial drugs

 I should begin by saying that I have birded, led bird tours, and been part of scientific expeditions for 23 years all over Ecuador.   Even though I have visited lowland forest almost on a monthly basis, I have never taken anti-malarial drugs. I have never suffered from malaria.  I have, however, been very careful to protect myself from malaria by choosing proper clothing and making proper use of insect repellants in mosquito infested areas.  It is also important to avoid times of the day when mosquitoes are most active.  On the other hand, some relatives and friends living in tropical areas in Ecuador have suffered from malaria.  Because of this, I suggest that travelers visiting lowland rainforest should consider taking anti-malarial drugs, especially if planning to visit areas below 1,500 m (5,000 feet) on either side of the Andes.  Certainly anti-malarial drugs should be used when visiting marshes, mangrove areas and other humid places during the rainy season.  IMPORTANT: before taking any drugs or vaccination CONSULT YOUR PHYSICIAN.

Further Anti-malarial drug information can be obtained at:
Gale Encyclopedia of Medicine, Published December, 2002 by the Gale Group. The Essay Author is Nancy Ross-Flanigan.

1.6.4 Cuts and abrasions
In the Ecuadorian tropical regions and especially in humid and warm areas, even small cuts and abrasions can easily become infected.   The use of a topical antibiotic ointment to fight infection in case of minor wounds is highly recommended.  Topical antibiotic ointments are easily obtained at a pharmacy before you travel.  Minor cuts or punctures from thorns should not be covered with band-aids or other materials.  Humid and warm areas are the habitat for the developing Staphylococcus bacteria.   These minor wounds should be washed with soap (preferably antibacterial) and water.   After washing they should be disinfected with alcohol and antibiotic ointment and left uncovered to breathe.  Wounds should only be covered if they might be subject to further injury,   e.g. a blister.

1.6.5 Sun Protection

The sun in Ecuador can be very intense particularly around midday.  Intensity is greatest near large bodies of water such as ocean, rivers and lakes.   At high elevations the effect of the sun's rays are more intense, especially when reflected by snow, water, or sand. You can get serious sunburn in less than an hour even under misty conditions or overcast skies.
To avoid skin damage caused by the sun, it is wise to wear clothing that covers your skin.  To avoid eye damage use a hat with a wide brim and sunglasses with polarization and UV protection.
Apply a sunscreen with a SPF (sun protection factor) of 30 or more about 15 to 30 minutes before going out into the sun.

1.6.6 Animal bites

Mosquitoes will probably be the most annoying biting creatures you will encounter in  Ecuador.  Though they are not a severe problem in most of Ecuador, there are places where they are present in large numbers.  These areas are mangroves, swamps and certain other humid areas primarily during the rainy season.   Mosquitoes are always most active at dusk.
Tiny sand flies, or “No See Ems” known in Spanish as “arenilla”  (little sand), can be a pest along the shores of many rivers and lakes in the eastern lowlands and on some Pacific coastal beaches.  In highland temperate forests and grasslands, a sporadic hatch of different kind of sand flies occurs during the months of October through December.  One should be aware of them when going to the highlands where we are normally unprepared for biting insects.
 During the dry seasons of many lowland rainforest, on both side of the Andes, biting horseflies can be a major nuisance.
Ticks are common in areas with a high density of mammals, especially in pasture areas where livestock is present. Ticks are more common in the dry season. Recently hatched ticks nearly require a magnifying glass to see them.  They wait on the tip ends of overhanging vegetation and climb aboard when one brushes past their spot.   They then walk around looking for a dark and warm spot to embed their mouth parts and start sucking on blood.   Only after they have been embedded for a day or more do they begin to itch.  They can be removed with a gentle tug and only rarely does a tick bite get infected.  If the bite becomes infected it can be treated with a topical antibiotic ointment.  Ticks in Ecuador carry NO diseases.   After walking in areas where ticks are expected, check yourself over carefully and remove them before they get embedded.   To deal with them, you can further read in Insect and tick protection.
    Chiggers are smaller than the tiny size ticks and are barely visible to the naked eye.  They are particularly common in grassy areas below 1,500 m (5,000 ft) in humid and warm places.   When they get on you they go for dark warm spots and particularly in areas where clothes are tied close to the skin.  These places are beltlines, bra straps and sock tops around the ankles.  Chiggers dig in your skin with their mouth parts and their saliva causes the formation of a persistent inflamed spot that itches intensely mainly during the night.   Avoid scratching since you may risk injuring your skin causing an infection.   Cortisone lotions helps stop itching while they suffocate and the discomfort fades away.  Application of sulphur powder on your pants is a good way to repel them.
    Wasps and escaped honey bees could be a problem when the hive gets disturbed by a non-attentive birder.  If attacked by wasps, avoid killing them as this will trigger an alarm scent to have their hive mates attack.   If attacked run as fast and far as possible.   If by chance a lonely wasp or bee lands on you it will also sting you when slapped or squeezed.  To avoid such behavior, gently brush them off.
    In the lowland warm habitats you may find biting and stinging ants. The worst of them by far is the Bullet Ant (Paraponera) whose sting can cause fever.    You should be careful where you sit down, where you put your hands, and where you stand, particularly if you find small dirt mount scattered around.
    Snakes are rarely seen in Ecuador for they are shy animals that will avoid contact with a noisy creature like a human.   Nevertheless you should be careful where you place your feet for there are poisonous snakes in warm habitats below1,500 m (5,000 ft).   The most dangerous are the pit vipers, particularly the common Fer-de-lance (Bothrops), and the rare Bushmaster (Lachesis).  The small Eyelash Viper is dangerous due its habit of resting in vegetation.   Fortunately these vipers are active mainly at night and are asleep during the day.  Coral snakes are brightly patterned, with black and red bands around their bodies.  Coral snakes are not aggressive but should be also avoided.
 If someone has been bitten by a snake, the best course is to find medical assistance as soon as possible and make sure you can describe the snake type to the physicians.

1.6.7 Insect and tick protection

The best protection from troublesome insects and ticks is choosing proper clothing.  The birder should wear long sleeve shirts, long pants, a hat and shoes as opposed to sandals.  In tick and chigger areas tuck your pants inside your socks.
Apply insect repellents containing 25-50% DEET (N, N-diethyl-3-methylbenzamide) or 20% picaridin (Bayrepel) to exposed skin (but not to the eyes, mouth, or open wounds). DEET may also be applied to clothing. Products with a lower concentration of either type of repellent need to be reapplied more frequently. Products with a higher concentration of DEET carry an increased risk of neurologic toxicity, especially in children, without any additional benefit. Do not use either DEET or picaridin on children less than two years of age.
For additional protection, apply permethrin-containing compounds to clothing, shoes, and bed nets. Permethrin-treated clothing appears to have little toxicity. Do not sleep with the window open unless there is a screen. If sleeping outdoors or in an accommodation that allows entry to mosquitoes, use mosquito netting, preferably impregnated with insect repellent, with edges tucked in under the mattress. The mesh size should be less than 1.5 mm. If the sleeping area is not otherwise protected, use a mosquito coil, which fills the room with insecticide through the night. To prevent sandfly bites follow the same precautions as for mosquito bites, it is necessary, however, to use finer-mesh netting (at least 18 holes to the linear inch) because sandflies are smaller.

1.6.8 Currency

The Ecuadorian currency is the U.S. American dollar which replaced the former Sucre in year 2000.  All commercial and economic transactions are made with US dollars. The most widely used notes are the 1, 5, 10 and 20 while the 50 and 100 bills are mainly for big transactions.   You should try to take small denomination bills or coin and be aware that some businesses (gas stations, some restaurants and even some shops) do not accept 100 dollar bills.  On the other hand, it is generally very easy to pay with all major credit cards, most commonly Visa and MasterCard, but only in the more important towns.  Traveler´s checks are only easily cashed in the major cities and with a 5% surcharge. For a birding trip it is strongly recommended not to use traveler checks because the traveler will be primarily in remote places where cashing those checks could prove to be difficult, if not impossible.  
The unit money in Ecuador is the USA one dollar bill or the USA one dollar coin (also known as the Sacagawea dollar); both are widely used.  Ecuador mints its own 1 cent, 5 cent, 10 cent, 25 cent and 50 cent coins and they have the same size, shape and weight of the USA coins.  Ecuadorian coins feature different designs than those of the US American coins, and are of no value outside Ecuador.  US coins can be used in Ecuador
Tourist could exchange any other currency without difficulty in the various money exchange agencies in all major cities.

1.6.9 Travel Insurance

It is important for all travelers to buy a fully covered personal travel insurance to protect against financial loss due to 1) Trip Cancellation 2) In country Emergency Medical and Dental assistance 3)  Emergency Medical Transportation 4)  Missed Connection/Travel / Trip Delay  5)  Baggage lost, stolen, damaged or delayed coverage.

1.6.10 Safety

Most of Ecuador is safe to travelers, but beware that in all major cities in Ecuador, as in any metropolitan area of the world, there are poorer areas where crime is a problem.   A traveler should be aware of these areas and strictly avoid travel in unsafe areas.
In general the Ecuadorian countryside is safe and it is usually safe to leave your car unattended.  Do make sure, however, not to leave tempting and expensive items in plain view in the vehicle.  If you leave your vehicle take your expensive items with you if you plan to be away for a protracted period of time.  If you are near a house make sure that your vehicle is under the watch of local people while you are away.
    There are a few areas in Ecuador that might be dangerous because of the actions of local bandits.  Tourists should be warned that before going to all sites they should obtain information from Tour Companies or local police before attempting independent travel.      
    Other safety travel advice includes:
-Do not travel by yourself at night.
-When going to remote areas always check by asking the locals if the route and roads to take are clear and safe to go.
-Consider hiring the services of a local guide, as they know best about road conditions and safety issues in places they regularly visit.

1.6.11 Customs

Each traveler is allowed to import one liter of alcoholic beverages, 300 cigarettes and a reasonable quantity of perfume. All of these articles are free from taxes. There is no problem in bringing personal equipment; however, if you wish to enter the country with something that may not be considered to be a “personal object”, the Ecuadorian consulate should be consulted before entry. This could be the case for the equipment necessary for professional photographers or movie making.
All archeological pieces are protected by law; therefore it is prohibited to remove them from as they are considered part of the cultural heritage of the country.

1.6.12 International Airports in Ecuador

The Mariscal Antonio Jose de Sucre airport in Quito currently handles about 3.9 million passengers and 125,000 metric tons of freight per year. The airport, one of the highest in the world (at 2800 m) is located within 5 minutes of Quito's financial center.
The terminals are located at the intersection of Amazonas and La Prensa avenues.  Due to its location mid city surrounded by mountains, the current airport cannot be expanded to accommodate any larger aircraft or an increase in air traffic. A new airport is being built in the Tababela parish, about 90 km east of the city. As of this writing (2010), it is not known when it will begin operation..  The airport departure tax is already paid on your ticket.  The Jose Joaquin de Olmedo airport in Guayaquil is located 5 km north of Guayaquil's centre on the Avenida de las Américas at an elevation of 5m above sea level.  It was named "Best Airport in Latin America 2008" by Business Week Magazine.
The departure tax from José Joaquín de Olmedo is US $26.20 as of April 8th, 2010. It is important for visitors to have this in cash upon departure. International Airlines flying to Ecuador

Aces (Colombia)
Av. Naciones Unidas with Amazonas.
Edif. Bco. La Previsora Torre B, Ofic. 411
Ph:               (593-2) 2466461       
Ph. Airpt:               (593-2) 2253131       

Aerocontinente (Peru)
Av. Amazonas N22-118 with Veintimilla
Ph:               (593-2) 2902868       
Ph. Airpt:               (593-2) 2273853       

Boyacá 1014 with P. Icaza
Ph:               (593-4) 2302900       
Ph. Airpt:               (593-4) 2282080       

Aeroflot (Russia)
Rep. de El Salvador 836
Edif. Prisma Norte Ofic. 34
Ph:               (593-2) 2268672       

Aerolíneas Argentinas (Argentina)
Quisquís 1502 with Tulcán, of. 202
Ph:               (593-4) 2690012       

Aeropostal Alas de Venezuela (Venezuela)
Av. Eloy Alfaro 32564 with Bélgica
Edif. Lovaina
Ph:               (593-2) 2268936       
Ph. Airpt:               (593-2) 2272163       

Av. Fco. de Orellana, mz 111
Hotel Hilton Colón.
Ph:               (593-4) 2692855       
Ph. Airpt:               (593-4) 2280217       

Aerorepública (Colombia)
Av. Eloy Alfaro 266 with 10 de Agosto, Ofic. 111.
Ph:               (593-2) 2506815       

Victor Manuel Rendón 301 with Pedro Carbo
Ph:               (593-4) 2566929       

Aerosur (Bolivia)
Portugal 448
Ph:               (593-2) 2465350       

Air Canada (Canada)
Av. S. Jorge 308 with la 3ª
Ph: (593-4) 2690539

Air Europa (Spain)
Reina Victoria 1539 with Av. Colón
Ed. Bco. de Guayaquil, of. 1507
Ph:               (593-2) 2567646       

Air France (France)
Av. 12 de Octubre N24-562 with L. Cordero
Edif. World Trade Center, Torre A, of. 710
Ph:               (593-2) 2524201       
Ph. Airpt:               (593-2) 2240444       

Av. Miguel H Alcívar
Edif. Torres del Norte B, mz 506, of. 701
Ph:               (593-4) 2687149       

Alitalia (Italy)
Av. Eloy Alfaro N32-541 7 Shyris
Edif. Nuevolar, of. 11W
Ph:               (593-2) 2272802       

P. Icaza 407 with Córdova
Ph:               (593-4) 2302050       

American Airlines (United States of America)
Av. Amazonas 4545 with Pereira
Ph:               (593-2) 2260900       
Ph. Airpt:               (593-2) 2434610       

Córdova 1021 with Av. 9 de Octubre
Edif. San Francisco 300
Ph:               (593-4) 2564111       
Ph. Airpt:               (593-4) 2282082       

Avensa-Servivensa (Venezuela)
Portugal 794 with Rep. de El Salvador
Ph:               (593-2) 2253972       
Ph. Airpt:               (593-2) 2250321       

Aguirre 116 with Pichincha
Ph:               (593-4) 2327082       

Avianca (Colombia)
Rep. de El Salvador 780
Edif. Twin Towers, mezz.
Ph:               (593-2) 2264392       
Ph. Airpt:               (593-2) 2448342       

Av. Francisco de Orellana, mz 111
Hotel Hilton Colón
Ph:               (593-4) 2287850       
Ph. Airpt:               (593-4) 2284282       

Continental Airlines (United States of America)
Av. 12 de Octubre with L. Cordero
Ed. World Trade Center, of 1108
Ph:               (593-2) 2557170       
Ph. Airpt:               (593-2) 2263497       

9 de Octubre 100 with Malecón
Edif. Bco. La Previsora
Ph:               (593-4) 2567241       
Ph. Airpt:               (593-4) 2287311       

Copa (Panama)
Rep. de El Salvador 361 with Moscú
Edif. Aeguradora del Sur, planta baja
Ph:               (593-2) 2273082       
Ph. Airpt:               (593-2) 2253240       

9 de Octubre 100 with Malecón
Edif. Bco. La Previsora
Ph:               (593-4) 2303227       
Ph. Airpt:               (593-4) 2286336       

Cubana de Aviación (Cuba)
Av. de los Shyris with 6 de Diciembre
Edif. Torre Nova
Ph:               (593-2) 2902369       

Centro Comercial Las Vitrinas, loc 61
Ph:               (593-4) 2390727       

Ecuatoriana de Aviación (Ecuador)
Av. Colón with Reina Victoria
Ed. Torres de Almagro
Ph:               (593-2) 2561157       
Ph. Airpt:               (593-2) 2920500       

Galerías Colón, Hotel Hilton Colón
Ph:               (593-4) 2692850       
Ph. Airpt:               (593-4) 2283200       

El Al (Israel)
Juan León Mera 453 with Roca
Ph:               (593-2) 2525354       

Av. Primera 607 with Las Monjas
Ph:               (593-4) 2385108       

Eva Air (China)
Av. Eloy Alfaro 531 with Alemania
Ph:               (593-2) 2288344       

Grupo Taca (Central and South America)
Rep. de El Salvador N35-67 with Portugal
Ph:               (593-2) 2923170        - 1800-TACA-EC
Ph. Airpt:               (593-2) 2452657       

Av. 9 de Octubre 100 with Malecón
Edif. Bco. La Previsora
Ph:               (593-4) 2562950       
Ph. Airpt:               (593-4) 2293880       

Iberia (Spain)
Av. Eloy Alfaro with Amazonas
Edif. Finandes piso 5
Ph:               (593-2) 2566009       
Ph. Airpt:               (593-2) 2431708       

Av. 9 de Octubre 101 with Malecón
Ph:               (593-4) 2329558       
Ph. Airpt:               (593-4) 2284151       

Icelandair (Iceland)
Diego de Almagro 1822 with Alpallana
Ph:               (593-2) 2561820       

Malecón 1203 with Av. 9 de Octubre
Ph:               (593-4) 2531210       

Japan Airlines (Japan)
Juan León Mera 453 with Roca
Ph:               (593-2) 2525354       

Av. Primera 607 with Las Monjas
Ph:               (593-4) 2385108       

KLM (Netherlands)
Av. 12 de Octubre with Lincoln
Edif. Torre 1492
Ph:               (593-2) 2986820       
Ph. Airpt:               (593-2) 2432089       

Galerías Colón, Hotel Hilton Colón
Ph:               (593-4) 2692876       

Lan Chile (Chile)
Psje. Río Guayas E3-131 with Av. Amazonas
Edif. Rumiñahui
Ph: (593-2) 2458168 - 1800 LAN-ECU
Ph. Airpt:               (593-2) 2920500       

Galerías Colón, Hotel Hilton Colón
Ph:               (593-4) 2692850       
Ph. Airpt:               (593-4) 2283200       

Lloyd Aéreo Boliviano (Bolivia)
Av. Naciones Unidas with Av. Amazonas
Ed. Bco. La Previsora, torre B, piso 4
Ph:               (593-2) 2253123       

Lufthansa (Germany)
18 de Septiembre 238 with Reina Victoria
Ph:               (593-2) 2508396       

Malecón 1401 e Illingworth
Ph:               (593-4) 2324360       

Mexicana de Aviación (Mexico)
Av. Naciones Unidas with Amazonas
Edif. Bco. La Previsora, torre B, piso 4
Ph:               (593-2) 2253042       

SAM (France)
Rep. de El Salvador 780
Edif. Twin Towers, mezz.
Ph:               (593-2) 2264392       
Ph. Airpt:               (593-2) 2468586       

Aguirre 106 with Malecón
Ph:               (593-4) 2320313       

Taesa (Mexico)
Av. Eloy Alfaro 266 with 10 de Agosto
Ph:               (593-2) 2506815       

Victor Manuel Rendón 301 with P. Carbo
Ph:               (593-4) 2566929       

Tame (Ecuador)
Av. Amazonas 13-54 with Colón
Ph:               (593-2) 2509375       
Ph. Airpt:               (593-2) 2257693       

Av. 9 de Octubre 424
Ph:               (593-4) 2560776       
Ph. Airpt:               (593-4) 2281182       

United Airlines (United States of America)
Rep. de El Salvador 361 with Moscú
Edif. Aeguradora del Sur
Ph:               (593-2) 2269741       

Av. Justino Cornejo with Luis Orrantía
Edif. Torres Altas
Ph:               (593-4) 2690318       

Varig (Brazil)
Portugal 794 with Rep. de El Salvador
Ph:               (593-2) 2250126       

Aguirre 116 with Pichincha
Ph:               (593-4) 2327082  Internal Flights

There are several internal carriers (see the list below) which connect all major cities; the main airlines are TAME, LAN Ecuador, AEROGAL and ICARO (in that order) Tame has the bigger fleet and services broadly throughout the country, second is LAN. Flights can be booked in advance through airline desks and offices or through travel agents. It is possible to book on a day and fly the next (not the case for Galápagos flights) but to avoid disappointment book as early as possible, especially around National Holidays and Major Festivals. There is little difference in price between airlines. Flights in Andes can be delayed due to weather conditions, especially in the rainy season. For further information see Climate and Seasons 1.1.4.
For further information regarding destinations, flight schedules and prices visit the web-pages provided in the list of domestic carriers or search, which provides updated information about airlines flying in and to Ecuador. There are no local flight taxes when using a local airport in Ecuador.


Av. Amazonas 7797 with Juan Holguín
Ph:               (593-2) 2257202       

Av. de las Américas next to the airport
Ph:               (593-4) 2280864       
Ph. Airpt:               (593-4) 2282080       

Austro Aéreo
Calle Hno. Miguel 5-42 with Honorato Vásquez
Ph: (593-7) 832677
Ph. Airpt: (593-7) 860639

Av. Amazonas with Río Curaray
Ph:               (593-4) 2271536       

Palora 124 with Av. Amazonas
Ph:               (593-2) 2450928       

Ph. Airpt:               (593-4) 2294265       

Rep. de El Salvador 880
Edif. Almirante Colón
Ph:               (593-2) 2253088       

Carlos Julio Arosemena Km. 2,5
Ph:               (593-4) 2203993       

Tame (Ecuador)
Av. Amazonas 13-54 with Colón
Ph:               (593-2) 2509375       
Ph. Airpt:               (593-2) 2257693       

Av. 9 de Octubre 424
Ph:               (593-4) 2560776       
Ph. Airpt:               (593-4) 2281182       

Vip Ec      
Av. 9 de Octubre 424
Av. Amazonas N49-161 y Juan Holguín
Teléfono:               (593 -2) 330 4621       

Aeropuerto José Joaquín de Olmedo
Oficinas de Aerolíneas - Tercer Piso
Telf.:               (593-4) 390 5050        

1.6.13 Electricity

Ecuador electricity is 110 V A.C. 60 Hz and the outlets are type A
Flat blade attachment plug      
Two-blade plugs are often polarized, with one blade larger than the other.  Most outlets are designed to handle these. The larger blade is the neutral side of the current.  This is a safety feature intended so the plug can be inserted one way only to reduce the chance of accidental shock.  If you try to plug a modern plug into an old-style receptacle for equal size blades, it won't go in unless you file down the larger blade to the older plug size.  Outside the US, many countries with Type A use the old style plugs, and a newer US plug with unequal pins might pose a problem.  This can be bypassed using an adapter (found in many travel kits) which converts the newer Type A plug to the older model with equal-sized blades.  Be aware, though, that you might also be bypassing the protection that polarization provides.
The more recent electrical outlets in the newer and more modern buildings are type B
Flat blades with round a grounding pin

1.6.14 Time

Mainland Ecuadorian time is GMT -5 hours, which is the same as US Eastern Standar Time Zone (ET). Ecuador does not use daylight savings time.

Being near the equator you can expect approximately 12 hours of daylight each day.  It is dark by 6:30 pm.
Galápagos Islands time is GMT -6 hours, which is the same as Central Standard Time.

1.6.15 Weather

The weather in Ecuador is exceptionally difficult to predict. There are countless microclimates due to extremely varied topography causing highly varied weather in neighboring geographical locations.  Weather patterns are different west and east of the Continental Divide. It is important to  remember that Ecuador is located right on the Equator and therefore it does not  have four  seasons but two rather different climate periods during the year, a rainy and a dry season.   Generally the western side is dominated by the influence of the Pacific Ocean and its rainy season goes from late December to early May.  The rainy season for the eastern side is usually from May to November with the rainiest months being June and July. For further information go to Climate and Seasons.

1.6.16 Phones and Internet Phones

Public phone booths are common only in big cities and are not available in remote areas.   Most of the phone booths are provided by PORTA and MOVISTAR cellular phone service and they accept pre-paid phone cards available from vendors on the street. These cards can be purchased in many small grocery stores and in the cell phone stores themselves.
    Public places to make phone calls are very common in any major city and sometimes in quite remote areas.   These businesses are run by the regular telephone companies, ANDINATEL, PACIFICTEL, and also by the cell phone companies of PORTA and MOVISTAR.   When you enter and use a phone at a public call center, known as “Locutorios”, the phone will have a small screen which will always show you the current cost of your call.  
These “locutorios” are open from 8:00 AM to 8:00 PM
    Cellular phone service has become widespread throughout the country and the local cellular phone companies often have partnerships with other companies in the world.   It is well worth it to check with your local cellular phone provider to see if you can use your cell phone in Ecuador and how this service can be applied to your phone.
Calling from your hotel room can be quite expensive, so always ask for the price before using your room phone. Calling internationally to Ecuador

The country code for Ecuador is 593, home telephone numbers are 7 digits and there are provincial codes:

(2)  Pichincha and Santo Domingo de los Tsáchilas
(3)  Tungurahua, Chimborazo, Bolívar and Cotopaxi.
(4)  Guayas and Santa Elena.
(5)  Manabí, Galápagos and Los Ríos.
(6)  Esmeraldas, Imbabura, Carchi, Napo, Orellana and Sucumbíos
(7)  Azuay, El Oro, Loja, Zamora Chinchipe, Pastaza, Cañar and Morona Santiago.

If you have any doubt about the area code for the city you are intending to call go to
Here is an example of an international call TO a home telephone number in Ecuador.
International call prefix for the country of origin+ Ecuador country code + provincial code + 7 digits home number.
011 (if calling from USA) + 593 + 2 (Pichincha province) + 7 digits home number
    There are three major cellular phone companies working in Ecuador; CLARO, MOVISTAR AND ALEGRO. The cell phone numbers in Ecuador have 9 digits; regardless of the company all the cell phone numbers start with ZERO, e.g. 087654321.    The first zero is omitted when making an international call to an Ecuadorian cell phone.
-Example of an international call TO a cellular telephone number in Ecuador.
International call prefix for the country of origin+ Ecuador country code + 8 digits cellular telephone number.
 011 (if calling from USA) + 593 + 87654321. Calling internationally from Ecuador.

If you are using a public call center “locutorio” ask the cashier which booth to use, for the proper booth may depend if your call is international or local and if TO a home phone or cellular phone.
- Example of an international call FROM a home telephone or cell phone number in Ecuador:
International call prefix for Ecuador which is 00 + Country code + area code + phone number.
00 + 1 (calling to USA) + area code + phone number Calling locally from Ecuador.

-To make a local call using a home number TO a home phone number which shares the same provincial code e.g. calls within the city:
ONLY dial the 7 digits number.
-To make a call using a home number TO a home phone number which is outside the province you are calling from:
Dial the two digit provincial code (05 for Guayas province) and then the 7 digits.
-To make a local call using a home number TO a cell phone within Ecuador:
ONLY dial the 9 digits cell phone number (including the ZERO) e.g. 087654321
-To make a call from an Ecuadorian cell phone TO ANY home number phone.
Always dial the provincial code number (regardless of where in Ecuador you are calling from) + the 7 digit number e.g. 02 + 2345678 Internet

Many mid-range and most high-end hotels have internet service available. Most of these have business centers that provide free internet service. If you are a guest in these hotels you may be able to use their broadband services free, but some do charge for such services.  Internet cafes are commonly available, and can be found in most major towns and tourist areas; the cost is usually US$0.50 - $1.00 per hour.

1.6.17 Road System

Ecuador´s topography and regional climate extremes make for constant changes in road conditions within the country.  Road conditions also depend on the level of maintenance the current government will be giving them. Always expect changes in road conditions in within Ecuador as they can easily change from year to year.  The rainy season may cause road damage due heavy rains and possible mudslides.   Unless the damage is really severe, blockages are normally cleared out in within the day of occurrence.   This does not apply to remote areas with little traffic.  Here repairs may take weeks or even months.

Other concerns while driving are:
1.  Heavy fog is common in mountainous areas.  
2.  Many roads are unmarked and do not have signs indicating destinations.
3.   Road safety features such as crash barriers and guardrails along steep mountainsides are rare.  
4.  In the countryside livestock are often herded along roads or graze on roadsides.  
5.  Many roads are used for pedestrian and animal traffic as well as vehicular traffic.

1.6.18 Border crossings

There is a single border crossing with Colombia and three border crossings with Peru.  As of July 2010 no visas are required, and all foreign travelers are of course required to have a valid passport with an expiration date at least 6 months beyond the set date of arrival in Ecuador.
     It is not permitted to take rental cars between Ecuador and Colombia, or between Ecuador and Perú.   If you take your own vehicle you will be asked to fill out a form and will be given a permit to drive through the visiting country.  You will also have to fill out a form to leave the country from which you have traveled.
    You will have to fill out a customs, “Aduanas” form to declare that you are not taking any merchandise to sell in the country to be visited.  After visiting Aduanas (customs) office you pass next to the Immigration office.  There you will present your passport to get the stamped “Entry” or “Exit” accordingly.  This is the same general immigration procedure practiced at airports around the world.

There is only one border crossing with Colombia. “El Puente Internacional de Rumichaca” located in the northern end of the Ecuadorean Panamerican Highway in the Carchi provinces along the inter-Andean valley north of Tulcán, Ecuador. Ipiales, Colombia is just north of this border in Colombia.  

There are three border crossings with Peru:
- “El Puente Internacional Huaquillas-Aguas Verdes” along the southern Ecuadorian end of the Panamerican Highway in El Oro province.  This border is between the towns of Huaquillas in Ecuador and Aguas Verdes in Perú.
- “El Puente Internacional Macará-La Tina” on the south side of Macará in Ecuador’s  Loja Province.   The roads here are in good shape and connect the cities of Sullana and Chiclayo in Peru with Macará and Loja in Ecuador.
- “El Puente Internacional La Balsa” is located the Zamora Chinchipe province some 28.8 km (17.9 miles) South-Southeast from the Zumba city, Ecuador.  At the present time the road is in bad shape and could it take 6-8 hours to go from Zumba to Jaen, but road improvements are promised for the near future.

1.6.19 Driving in Ecuador

Driving in Ecuador particularly in the cities and especially in Cuenca and Guayaquil could be quite unnerving as drivers can be very aggressive. It is recommended to drive defensively and to take special notice of bus and taxi drivers. Pedestrians are imprudent and seem to be always trying their good luck. During rush hours (7:00-9:00 AM and 5:00-8:00 PM) and around noontime traffic jams are common, especially on Fridays. You should try to leave or arrive in big cities avoiding the rush hours noted above.
    Driving in the countryside is not nearly so stressful except along the highways climbing or descending the Andes. Drivers are very impatient and take to many chances and risks when passing.  Often these drivers pass slower moving traffic by attempting to pass on curves. Accidents, some serious, are all too frequent. In rural areas, roads may be shared with motor bikers, bicyclists, inattentive pedestrians, and roaming live stock.
    Driving habits vary from region to region.  In general, drivers in Quito, the mountain areas, and the Oriente (eastern lowlands) drive more slowly, observe traffic signals, and slow down for speed bumps.  Vehicles are reasonably well maintained.  On the coast, drivers have a more lax approach to vehicle maintenance and traffic regulations.  In all areas both intra-city and inter-city buses will stop at any point on their route to pick up or drop off passengers.
    If you are involved in an accident, do not move the cars and stay on the scene until the road police arrive. They will fill out a report and will require the respective driving licenses and tell you what to do. Contact your rental-car companies as soon as possible.  It is a good idea to have the contact number of your embassy on hand while traveling.
     A good idea is to brush up on traffic signs and driving laws for the country, even though in Spanish you can study them at Maps

Excellent maps of Ecuador are available from the IGM (Instituto Geográfico Militar) in Quito.  They are also carried by major map dealers outside the country. The 1:1,000,000 map of the whole country is particularly good for general use, as are the harder to obtain 1:250,000 maps. Detailed maps down to 1:25,000 scale are available for much of Ecuador. There are also foldout street maps for all major cities. Gas Stations

Fuel is inexpensive in Ecuador. Not that because it is more expensive in Perú and Colombia and because contraband is frequent, gasoline near the border can sometimes be hard to find. It is widely available throughout the country even at night.    Smaller towns may run out or not sell it at all, so keep your tank full. Unleaded gas is available at US$ 1.90 per gallon, January 2009, and diesel is cheap and easy to obtain at US$ 1.50 per gallon, in January 2009. Many rented vehicles run on diesel.

1.6.20 Rental Cars

Besides knowing how long your visit to Ecuador is going to be, it is important to have a rough plan of the routes and areas to be visited with your rental vehicle.  Calculate the driving and sightseeing time so that you only have the car when you need it.  With the same thought in mind, road conditions and areas to be visited should be a consideration.   Many birding sites require high clearance 4 wheel drive to visit.  It is also important for you to know what location you are planning to drop off the auto rental.  If this location is different than where you are picked it up, there will be an extra fee depending on the vehicle type of your choice.
You should make sure that your current driver’s license is valid during the period you will be driving any car rental.  You must be 21 to rent a car and have an international credit card. You may pay cash, which is cheaper and may allow you to bargain, but a credit card will be required for security.  You may be asked to sign two blank credit card vouchers, one for the rental fee and the other as a security deposit.  An authorization for a charge of as much as US$5,000 may be requested on your credit card account. The unused vouchers will be returned to you when you return the car. You should be careful when dealing with some smaller agencies and always check the amount of the deductible on the insurance which may be up to US$4,000.  Be sure to check the car’s condition and ground clearance. Always make sure the car is securely garaged at night.
Renting a car in Ecuador has become a little safer in the past few years.   You still have to check the amount of insurance given and whether there is a kilometer limitation on the rental vehicle.  It is wise to stick with the main companies that you have heard of in your home country. Remember driving here in Ecuador is very different from either the US or Europe, people are very aggressive and often take little notice of the law.  If you don’t have any experience of third world driving now may not be the time to start!
There are number of car rental companies in Ecuador, the main companies are:

Avis Rent-a-Car
Phone: 2255 890 (Quito Airport),               (042) 395 554        (Guayaquil Airport)
Address: Office in Quito’s Mariscal Sucre Airport
Cost: Small cars $50 a day, 4x4, $70 – 95
Open: 06.30 to 23.30     Budget Rent-a-Car
Phone: 2237 026 (Quito), 3300 979 (Quito Airport)
Address: Av Colon E4/387 y Amazonas, also at Quito’s Mariscal Sucre Airport
Cost: Small cars $50 a day, 4x4 $95
Open: Mon to Sat 07.00 to 22.00, Sun 08.00 to 22.00
Expo Rent a Car
Phone: 2228 688, 2562 743, 1800 736822
Address: Av. América 21-66 y Bolivia
Email: This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.
Cost:Small cars from $40 a day, 4x4 $55 - $80 a day.     Hertz Rent-a-Car
Phone: 2 254 257/258
Address: Office in Quito’s Mariscal Sucre Airport
Costs: Small Cars $ 65 a day, 4x4 $98 a day
Open: Mon-Sun 0700-2300
A great alternative you should consider is renting a 4 wheel drive vehicle and driver from one of the Ecuadorian Tour Companies.   They can assist you in renting a 4X4 car with a driver for a fair price.   Most all the drivers for the Tour companies are very responsible and conscientious drivers that will safely take care of the driving and the vehicle while on your birding trip to Ecuador.

1.6.21 Buses

Within the main cities in the country, taking a bus is relatively easy. Buses are continual and make their routes all day long from 6:00 am to 8:00 pm. To catch a bus, simply find a stop and stick out your hand toward the bus driver. If this doesn’t work, don’t worry, the next time it will. The cost for adults is 25 cents and 12 cents for handicapped, children, students and senior citizens. The Trolley (only in Quito) charges 25 cents for the trip all the way out to Calderon (a neighborhood on the northern outskirts of Quito) to Quitumbe bus terminal in the south. Beware that bus drivers in major cities can be pushy and impatient.
    In Ecuador, buses go almost anywhere that can be reached by road and every city in the country has its bus terminal.
El Cumandá Bus Terminal
Sector El Cumandá.
Tel.               (02) 2 289 047        ext1
Jaime Roldós Aguilera Bus Terminal
Av. de las Américas, northwestern tip of the Airport
Tel.               (04) 2 297 527       
Tel:               (07) 2 858 482       
            If you are in another city in the country, finding the bus terminal could be complicated, just ask someone from the town.

Some of the best bus companies are:
-Flota Imbabura
Quito: Manuel Larrea 1211
Tel:               (02) 2 236 940        /               (02) 2 572 657       
Guayaquil: Luque 1028
Telf:               (02) 2 320 925        /               (02) 2 297 649        
Destinations: Guayaquil, Cuenca, Manta, Tulcán, Ibarra
Times: 7:00 – 23:40
Departure times: Every hour to each of the destinations
Costs: Guayaquil: $7.00, Cuenca: $12.00, Manta: $8.00, Tulcán: $4.80, Ibarra: $2.50
-Transportes Panamericana
Quito: Av. Colón 852
Tel:               (02) 2 551 839        /               (02) 2 570 900       
Guayaquil: Naval MZ 8
Tel:               (02) 2 284 491        /               (02) 2 297 682       
Destinations: This bus service covers all of the important cities in the country. The routes go from the province of El Carchi down to Loja, it also covers the coastal region (no trips to the Ecuadorian jungle however).
Times: Every destination has its specific time but in general, departure times go from 5:00 am to 9:00 pm.
Costs: The most expensive ticket is to Loja and costs $15.00, the cheapest is to Ibarra and costs $2.50.
-Trans Esmeraldas
Quito: Santa María 870 and 9 de Octubre
Tel:               (02) 2 505 099        /               (02) 2 572 996       
Tel:               (02) 2 297 642       
Destinations: Esmeraldas, Atacames, El Coca, Lago Agrio, Manta and Salinas
Times: From 6:00am, buses depart every hour to Esmeraldas. The rest of the destinations depart starting at 8:00 am.
Costs: Costs range between $7.00 and $9.00
-Transportes Ecuador
Quito: Juan L. Mera N21-44
Tel:               (02) 2 503 842 / (02) 2 572 554
Tel:               (04) 2 297 040
Destination: Guayaquil – Quito – Guayaquil and vice versa
Times: Every two hours from 5:30 am – 1:00 am
Costs: $9.00
Approximate time: 8 hours.
-Transportes Occidental
Quito: Manuel Coronado and Rafael García
Tel:               (02) 2 570 429        /               (02) 2 570 042       
Tel:               (04) 2 297 618       
Destinations: Machala, Guayaquil, Guaquillas, Pasaje, Santa Rosa, Esmeraldas (covers the coast of Ecuador)
Costs: All costs range between $6.00 and $8.00
Times: 6:15 – 11:45

    In more remote areas, especially along the hot western and eastern lowlands there are buses with no windows, therefore open sides. You can get on or off the bus from any row of seats where there is a long bench all the way across. There is no middle
aisle and it is called “Ranchera” or Chiva”.

1.6.22 Taxis

Taxis are plentiful and fairly cheap in all major cities of Ecuador.   Taxis in Quito and Guayaquil are metered with the price to pay on display as you move.   The fare cost is the same regardless of the number of people in the cab.  At no time can the number of passengers per cab exceed four. Taxis have a minimum fare of US $ 1.00 even though they begin with a display of US 0.35 cents.  Taxi companies based in the airports of major cities, such as, Quito and Guayaquil, do not use taximeters.   That method is allowed by law, and therefore you should settle on a price before you take the ride.   Taxi-meters are switched off after 8:00 PM and are switched on only after 6:00AM.  When taxi meters are switched off and during national holidays, fares should be agreed upon before entering the cab.  In other cities throughout the country taxis are not metered but the above mentioned general rules are the same.
    Radio-dispatched taxis are also available, and can be handy if you are going someplace very early in the morning.  Your hotel will usually be willing to call one for you.  Special tourist taxis that wait outside major hotels are more expensive. Taxis can also be hired by the hour or the day so negotiate a price in advance.   Do not pay until you are finished for the day. Taxi drivers do not expect tips.  Taxis are yellow in color and have the logo of the company affiliation in a big sticker fixed on the front side door.   Radio-dispatched taxis can be yellow or any other color. Some of the Quito´s taxi companies contact numbers could be found in

1.6.23 Hotels and other accommodations

Accommodations in Ecuador cover a wide range in terms of comfort and price.  The variety of accommodation ranges from extremely cheap hostals, pensiones or residenciales, to very expensive luxury hotels and lodges.
    Every little town, no matter how remote, has a basic place to stay.  Cleanliness and tidiness of these places is quite variable and the numerous inexpensive hotels throughout Ecuador vary considerably in quality.  Often basic accommodations in cities are noisy, especially on weekends and holidays. If you desire hotels of an international standard, the options are more limited because five star luxury accommodations are concentrated in the major cities and the resort areas. Medium range price hotels can be found throughout the country as ecotourism develops all over the country.   This is also the case for many bed and breakfast places around popular tourist destinations. A 10% service tax plus a 12% sales tax is added to hotel bills. Check with the hotel in question for their policies to find out what is or is not included in their prices.
    During the high tourist season from June to September in the highlands, and December to March on the coast, and during certain local festivities, finding accommodation can be difficult.   If your trip is in a high season or holiday period it is worth making a reservation beforehand. There are no campgrounds in Ecuador.  Some national parks have designated camping areas but these are usually primitive and offer very few services.
For a complete guide of hotels throughout the country on the internet, go to ; then choose the Hotel guide inset.   Here you will find telephone numbers and contact e-mail addresses for at least 300 hundred hotels throughout the country that belong to the Ecuador´s Hotels Federation.  

1.6.24 Restaurants and food Food

Ecuador has a very rich, plentiful and varied gastronomic culture.  Ingredients, seasonings and influences from elsewhere in South America, Europe and other parts of the world have blended to create some unique tastes. Unlike the much spicier Mexican cuisine to the north, Ecuadorians generally do not like highly spiced food. The Ecuadorian “salsa picante” or “Ají” is made of chili peppers and is served in a small side dish.
     There are Ecuadorian cuisines corresponding to the different geographical regions of the country, the Costa, Sierra, Oriente and Galápagos.  There are also economic classes of food. What is available on menus in good restaurants in cities or tourist places is quite different to what most people eat in the country side.
    Coastal and Oriente foods are similar because of the low elevation and tropical climates, where manioc (yucca), cooking plantains called plátanos, bananas or guineos, and fried fish are most often served.   Coastal cuisine has strong Pacific Ocean influence and a lot of sea food is consumed.   The most popular item of the coastal kitchen is “Ceviche” which is raw fish o seafood marinated in lemon juice.   There are many kinds of Ceviche.  These include Ceviche de Mariscos (seafood), de pescado (fish), de camarones (shrimp), de pulpo (octopus), de langostino (prawns).  "Encebollado" is  cooked fish with onions and yucca  is delicious and served in the coastal towns. "Cangrejadas" or crab gatherings are served at family and friend gatherings around a table.   Typically it is served with a small hammer on a board to crack and savour them.  These dishes are accompanied by different hot or spicy sauces.
    The highland cuisine emphasizes potatoes or “papas”, served with every meal and prepared in many different ways.  A typical and most delicious way to serve potatoes is in thick soup with cheese and avocados that is called “Locro de Papas”.   Another tasty potato dish is “Llapingachos”. These are potato pancakes made with mashed potatoes, cheese and onions.  Corn (maíz) is another staple usually served on the cob (Choclo) or boiled large grained corn with a light texture (Mote).   Another traditional meal is cornmeal seasoned and steamed in the corn leaf known as “humitas” which is like a kind of tamale. Cuy is grilled guinea pig served with backed potatoes and salad which is another Ecuadorian specialty. Restaurants

In major cities you can find restaurants representing cuisines from all over the world including the traditional Ecuadorian dishes.  Often in city restaurants English menus are available.  
 For more references go to:   Here you can find information from
restaurants in major cities in Ecuador  Restaurants only in Quito.  Restaurants only in Guayaquil.  For restaurant only in Cuenca.

    For budget birders, food is good and inexpensive throughout Ecuador.  An acceptable meal can be obtained by asking for “El Almuerzo del día” or lunch of the day, and “La Merienda”, daily dinner.  Both of these are a three course, pre-set meal. They normally consist of a bowl of soup followed by a plate of rice and meat and a drink for US$ 2.50, as of July 2010.  For those who pack lunches, I recommend stocking up in the big cities where there are larger stores and supermarkets with a broader variety of food choices.  There are bakeries in every town and local fruit is always abundant and cheap.
    It is highly recommended to drink only bottled water, widely available throughout the country. When eating in a less fancy restaurant in the countryside, stay away from uncooked vegetables or fruits that you haven´t peeled yourself.

1.6.25 National Parks and Protected areas

The parks and protected areas run by the Ecuadorian government have different levels of facilities. Some have visitor centers, nature trails, self-guided trails and camping areas.   Others have no improvements at all, especially those that are remote and difficult to visit.
 All the Ecuadorian Parks and Protected Areas open at 6:00 AM and close at 6:00 PM.  There is a daily use fee of US$ 10 for non-residents and US $ 2 for Ecuadorian residents.  The Galápagos entrance fee is US$100 for non-residents and US$ 6 for residents.  This fee is paid once regardless the length of stay.
    Upon entering a park visitors should stop at the headquarters or the ranger post near the entry to register and pay fees. At times no one may be present to collect the fees, especially at the early hours birders are likely to enter.   In this case they should try to pay upon leaving the park.

List of the National Parks and National Protected Areas
Parque Nacional Machalilla
Parque Nacional Cotopaxi
Parque Nacional Llanganates
Parque Nacional Sangay
Parque Nacional El Cajas
Parque Nacional Podocarpus
Parque Nacional Suamco
Parque Nacional Yasuní
Parque Nacional Galápagos
Parque Nacional Colambo-Yacuri *
Reserva Ecológica Manglares Cayapas- Mataje
Reserva Ecológica Cotacachi – Cayapas
Reserva Ecológica Mache Chindul
Reserva Ecológica Manglares Churute
Reserva Ecológica Arenillas
Reserva Ecológica El Angel
Reserva Ecológica Los Ilinizas
Reserva Ecológica Cofán – Bermejo
Reserva Ecológica Cayambe Coca
Reserva Ecológica Antisana
Reserva Biológica Limoncocha
Reserva Biológica El Quimi *
Reserva Biológica Marina Galápagos
Refugio de Vida Silvestre La Chiquita *
Refugio de Vida Silvestre Manglares Estuardo Río Muisne
Refugio de Vida Silvestre Isla Corazón
Refugio de Vida Silvestre Isla Santa Clara
Refugio de Vida Silvestre Pasochoa
Refugio de Vida Silvestre El Zarza *
Reserva de Producción de Fauna Manglares El Salado
Reserva de Producción Faunística Chimborazo
Reserva Faunística Cuyabeno
Reserva Goebotánica Pululahua
Area Nacional de Recreación Parque – Lago
Area Nacional de Recreación El Boliche
Parque Nacional El Cóndor
* Recently created areas.

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Copyright © 2010 by Lelis Navarrete

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Meet the Author

Lelis Navarrete – Birding tour leader. Lelis has 19 years of experience as a birding guide and naturalist in the field. He has led groups of birders throughout most of Latin America, guiding frequently in countries like his native country of Ecuador and in the Galapagos Islands, Colombia, Peru, Bolivia, Brazil and Panama. A Biology B.Sc. graduate from Universidad Católica in Quito, Lelis has supported Jocotoco Foundation since its founding in 1998 and was an active Board Member until 2010 supporting Ecuadorian bird and wildlife conservation. Lelis divides his time between his two great passions in life: birding and spending time with his wife Solange and son Fabian with whom he lives in Quito.


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