Galapagos & Ecuador
Flight Time: The flight times may vary depending on your chosen route, but will last approximately 12 hours.
Time Zone: GMT -6 hours (Wintertime), BST -7 hours (Summertime)
Passport and visa: Your passport needs to be valid for a minimum of 90 days following your departure date from Ecuador and most nationalities will not need any visa to enter the country, as long as it's for a period of 90 days or less.
Language: Spanish is the official language, but English is widely spoken in the touristic areas. Other Amerindian dialects are spoken in a few places.
Currency: U$ paper money is the currency used and the coins used are the U$ coins and Ecuadorian Centavo coins. The approximate exchange rate is $1.59 USD for £1 GBP (Nov 2012). Most major credit cards are widely accepted, however additional fees are charged for the use of credit cards.
Electricity: The voltage is 120-127 volts and they use two types of plugs: the most common is the plug with 2 parallel flat pins and you will sometimes find the plug that has 2 parallel flat pins with a third round one.
Telephone: Ecuador has a relatively good mobile phone coverage, but the signal can be very spotty in the Andes and in smaller villages and cities. You will also have coverage on the main inhabited islands in the Galapagos, but once at sea, the signal will be much weaker. The country code is +593 or 00593. Dial +44 or 0044 and remove the first 0 from the area code of the number required to direct dial the UK.
Weather: Ecuador has a tropical climate along its coasts and it becomes cooler once you head inland and as the terrain gets to higher levels. There are only two seasons: the dry & the rainy, but most days, even during the rainy season, most days are sunny until the afternoon.
At the Galapagos, the weather and temperature will vary throughout the year. From January until May, the outside temperatures are between 27C and 32C with a possibility of rain, while between June and September, they drop to about 15-21C with still a chance of showers. October through December is considered the dry season with temperatures varying between 21C and 27C.
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