Airport guide

Airports in Ecuador

After the flight to Ecuador, most visitors head straight to Quito, one of the oldest cities in both North and South America. Bring an extra suitcase on your Ecuador flight – the highest active volcano in the world is in Quito and at the top is the one of the largest and most colourful open markets in South America. Guayaquil is the country's most populous city. Some travellers who made the Ecuador flight to Guayaquil say it’s one of the more up-and-coming cities in South America. A walk along the river boardwalk, the Malecon 2000, treats travellers to new and stylish galleries, museums, and restaurants. For the adventurous traveller, hop an Ecuador flight to the jungle and take in one of the most diverse tropical rainforests in the world.

If your Ecuador flights only allow enough time to visit the Galapagos Islands, rest assured it’s an experience worth having. Formed five million years ago by volcanic eruptions the islands are home to some of the world's most fascinating wildlife. Like most tourists, it’s likely that after a visit to the islands additional flights to Ecuador are in the near future.

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Ecuador climate

Ecuador has many different little climates. At the coast you’ll deal with heat and humidity all year round. The rainy season lasts from December to May. When you’re in the mountains, you’ll get cooler the higher you get. In the Amazon, the weather is hot, humid and wet, but the Galapagos Islands are dry all year with an average temperature of 25 degrees.

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When to fly to Ecuador

Peak season:

Peak season for visiting mainland Ecuador is June through September and December through January. However, even in the rainy season, conditions are good and travel is still enjoyable. Quito especially is a year-round destination, though be prepared for temperatures to become chilly due to its altitude during the dry season, June through September.

The Galapagos Islands remain relatively dry even in the wet season, so are a good year-round destination. Official peak season is June through August and again December through January; though this is based more on holiday seasons of travellers arriving from the United States and Europe.

Off season:

December through April is the rainiest season in the jungle.

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Ecuador insider information

  • Colonial Quito is a Unesco World Heritage Site and a must-see spot for any tourist. Start at the Plaza de la Independencia and visit the cathedral and Presidential Palace. In modern Quito, take a walk down Avenida Amazonas for some shopping, people watching or a drink at one of the many cafés.
  • The Galapagos Islands are a major touristic draw for their wildlife. The marine iguana, native to the islands, is a large black iguana which can live in the sea. Charles Darwin wrote of it, “The black Lava rocks on the beach are frequented by large (2-3ft) most disgusting clumsy Lizards […] I call them the imps of darkness.” You may find the giant galapagos tortoises, after which the islands were named, more appealing. The Charles Darwin Research Centre, in Puerto Ayora was founded for conservation of the islands' natural habitat and is the best place to get up close and personal with the tortoises.
  • There is also excellent swimming and snorkelling on the islands. The sea life is relatively tame: swim with sea lions, turtles and penguins. The sea lions, and their pups if you visit at the right time of year, are especially fond of divers and will approach and play with them.
  • Guayaquil is the largest city in the country and it has the biggest population. The town has been through extensive renovation recently and, though not yet a major tourist spot, its natural beauty and fantastic views are starting to be recognised. For a view of the city, take a walk up the 444 steps at the end of Malecon 2000.
  • Ecuador has some culinary delights, and local dishes specific to almost every region. Favourites include lemon-marinated shrimp, corn pancakes and lechon – roasted suckling pig. However, it is for eating cuy, the humble guinea pig, that the Ecuadorians are best known to us.

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Ecuador airports

There are two main airports for flights to Ecuador:

Mariscal Sucre Airport(UIO) is located in the north of Quito, close to the financial district.

Jose Joaquin de Olmedo International Airport (GYE) is located 5km north of Guayaquil's centre.

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Passport/Visa

Visitors need a valid passport that has at least six months before expiration. You don’t need a visa as long as you are travelling for tourism or business for 90 days or fewer.

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Entry requirements

UK citizens need a valid passport that has at least six months before expiration. You don’t need a visa as long as you are travelling for tourism or business for 90 days or fewer.

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Oonagh Shiel
Content Manager at Cheapflights whose travel life can be best summed up as BC (before children) and PC (post children). We only travel during the school holidays so short-haul trips and staycations are our specialities!
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    In-flight reading

    Fire from the Andes, Short Fiction by Women from Bolivia, Ecuador, and Peru

    Edited by Susan E. BennerShort stories from female authors of the region.

    The Saddest Pleasure: A Journey on Two Rivers

    Moritz ThomsenTravelogue by an expat American who lives on a farm in Ecuador, decides to travel the Amazon River to Brazil. At the age of 63.

    The Boy on the Back of the Turtle: Seeking God, Quince Marmalade, and the Fabled Albatross on Darwin's Islands

    Paul QuarringtonRetracing the footsteps of Darwin in the Galapagos Islands.

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