World Travel Guide > Guides > South America > Ecuador

Money and duty free for Ecuador

Currency and Money

Currency information

US Dollar (USD; symbol US$) = 100 cents. Notes are in denominations of US$100, 50, 20, 10, 5, 2 and 1. Coins are in denominations of US$1 and 50, 25, 10, 5 and 1 cents. Some coins are usual US cents and some are Ecuadorean centavos. They have the same value.

Credit cards

Major credit/debit cards are accepted in most businesses. ATMs are available at most banks in urban areas. On the Galápagos Islands, currently only Mastercard is accepted.


ATMs are available at most banks in urban areas. Note that dirty or torn notes will not be accepted. Try to keep cash in smaller denominations; shopkeepers tend to refuse $50 and $100 bills as forgeries of these notes are common.

Travellers cheques

Traveller's cheques are generally accepted in the larger cities and can be exchanged into currency at most banks and casas de cambio.

Banking hours

Generally Mon-Fri 0830-1600; Sat mornings.

Currency restrictions

There are no restrictions on the import or export of local or foreign currency. However, amounts exceeding US$10,000 must be declared.

Currency exchange

Foreign currencies can be exchanged at banks and at casas de cambio (exchange houses), the latter being generally the best option. It may be difficult to exchange money in the Oriente. The rate of commission varies between 1 to 4%, so it is worth shopping around.

Ecuador duty free


The following goods may be imported into Ecuador without incurring customs duty:
• Alcoholic beverages: maximum 3L for those above 18 years old.
• Tobacco: 20 packs of cigarettes of 20 units, 1 pound of tobacco and 25 units of cigars.
• Perfume: maximum 300ml per passenger or 600ml per family.
• Creams, lotions and similar items in new packaging: maximum 1,250ml per passenger or 3,000ml per family.
• Personal effects up to US$500.

Please refer to the border control list for other items.

Banned Imports

Prior permission is required for the import of fresh or dry meat, uncanned meat products and all plants and vegetables.

Banned Exports

Gold bars, antiques, narcotics, and wild animals and their parts.

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