Money and duty free for Ecuador
Currency and Money
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.
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.
Traveller's cheques are generally accepted in the larger cities and can be exchanged into currency at most banks and casas de cambio.
Generally Mon-Fri 0830-1600; Sat mornings.
There are no restrictions on the import or export of local or foreign currency. However, amounts exceeding US$10,000 must be declared.
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:
• 400 cigarettes or 25 cigars or 500g of tobacco (if arriving by air) or 60 cigarettes (if arriving overland).
• 3L of alcoholic drinks (no alcohol allowance if arriving overland).
• 300ml of perfume or 600ml per family.
• Gifts and personal effects up to US$500.
Prior permission is required for the import of fresh or dry meat, uncanned meat products and all plants and vegetables.
Gold bars, antiques, narcotics, and wild animals and their parts.