110 V A.C. 60 Hz. This applies to Galapagos, the mainland and to the supply on the boat. The sockets are two-pin American style.
Banking hours and Currency
Since 1998, Ecuador has been using the US$ as its currency.
Banks are open to the public from 9.00am to 3.30pm during the normal working week.
It is probably best to bring most of your money as cash (small bills recommended as larger ones seem to be regarded with suspicion or change can never be found), with traveler’s cheques as emergency back-up only. The Hotel Quito is only willing to change $50 of traveler’s cheques on any given day per person.
Other opportunities for changing traveler’s cheques are limited. The bank in Puerto Ayora (Galapagos) will only change $200 worth per person and the queue is long. You can often buy things with traveler’s cheques but usually pay a surcharge.
Credit cards are not as widely used as back home although Mastercard is more useful than Visa in Puerto Ayora.
“Jan 1; Carnaval/Shrove Tuesday; Easter Friday; May 1, 24; July 24; Aug 10; Oct 9, 12; Nov 2, 3; Dec 25.”
Shops are usually open from 9am to 1pm and from 3pm to 8pm. Few shops stay open at lunchtime. There are a rich variety of handicrafts to buy in Ecuador, including cotton articles, shawls, blankets, rugs, slippers, belts and wooden sculptures. Leather is very good value, and jackets, boots and bags will be found at much less than European prices. Panama hats are actually made in Ecuador and the panpipes, ponchos and llama wool jumpers are haggled over in Otavalo. Books and maps on Ecuador and the Galapagos are not easily obtained in this country, but a wide selection, including many excellent volumes of photographs, can be found in Libri Mundi, on Juan Léon Mera.
Gift shops tend to charge for using credit cards.
There are many launderettes in Quito and Puerto Ayora and the hotels will do laundry too. On board some of the yachts in Galapagos, if you want to wash as you go along, it’s down to a bucket (which can be borrowed) and soap. Other boats will offer a laundry service. You can hang things up on lines around the boat where they dry quite quickly.
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