is the most rewarding travel destination in South America. The two
main airports in Ecuador are located in Quito and Guayaquil. These are
the only airports which are capable of handling international flights.
There is also a smaller airport in Cuenca and domestic flights in
Ecuador are usually between these three cities.
A number of airlines offer regular international
flights to and from Ecuador. Prices vary wildly. The high season, from
the beginning of July to the beginning of September and December to
mid-January, brings a bump in ticket price and extremely limited
availability. Try to travel outside of these times; but, if you can’t
just be sure to reserve your ticket well in advance. It is essential
to reconfirm your round-trip flights 72 hours in advance or you may
well get bumped off the list. If you are going to be in the boonies,
have a travel agency do this for you.
within Ecuador, with the exception of the Galapagos, is quite
affordable. There is a two-tiered system depending on what city you
are going to; foreigners going to the Galapagos or the Amazon can
expect to pay more than double what nationals pay. You can fly almost
anywhere within the country in about a half-hour. Expect incredible
views, particularly if you are passing over Ecuador's breathtaking
"Avenue of the Volcanoes" on the Quito-Cuenca flight.
The two main domestic airlines in Ecuador are TAME and AEROGAL;
however, there are a number of smaller airlines. It is also fairly
easy to arrange charter flights in Ecuador. Popular among domestic
flights in Ecuador are flights to the Galapagos Islands. Both of the
domestic airlines in Ecuador fly daily to the Galapagos Islands, with
flying time to the islands being around 3 hours. It is also possible
to get international direct flights to Ecuador, which then travel
immediately on to the Galapagos Islands.
Most travelers entering Ecuador as tourists do not
require visas. Citizens of Cuba, a few Asian countries and some
Central American countries currently require a tourist visa. All
travelers who do not wish to enter as tourists require visas.
Nonimmigrant visas are available for diplomats, refugees, students,
laborers, religious workers, business-people, volunteers and
cultural-exchange visitors. Various immigrant visas are also
available. Obtaining a visa is time consuming, so commence the process
as far ahead of your visit as possible. Visas must be obtained from an
Ecuadorian embassy and cannot be arranged within Ecuador. Visa holders
who apply for residency need to get an exit permit from the
immigration authorities in Quito before they leave the country.
Depending on their status, some residents may have to pay an exit tax. continues...