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What a Trip to Ecuador Costs in 2024 | Average Prices

What a Trip to Ecuador Costs in 2024 | Average Prices

Few cultures are as colorful, vibrant, and happy as Ecuador. We’re not just saying that, either.

Despite the fact that “97% of Ecuadorians polled said they do not trust the political establishment because of corruption scandals,” studies show that “81% of Ecuadorians declared themselves to be happy: it seems they are happier than most of their regional neighbors, and indeed beyond.”

There must be some magic in the country that’s making this happen. It’s not that hard to figure out, though. With a nice climate, beautiful jungles, stunning beaches, and scrumptious eats, it doesn’t look half bad to be a resident there.

The same goes for a traveler. In just a week, you can see Incan and Cañari ruins, tour the Amazon rainforest, view jaw-dropping colonial architecture, sun yourself, and eat some of the world’s best ceviche. (And then eat some more … and some more.)

Travel costs money, though, which is why we’re here with a comprehensive guide to help you budget appropriately for your Ecuador trip. We’ve got everything you need to know to stop dreaming and start doing!

Average Trip to Ecuador Cost in 2024

Average Ecuador Trip Cost Table

An average one-week trip to Ecuador for two people will cost around $3,300:

  • Average Accommodation Cost: $75 per night
  • Average Flight Cost: $600 per person
  • Food, Drink & Activities: $100 per person, per day – TIMES 14
  • Transportation: $100 total
  • Total Cost: $3,300

How much you spend in Ecuador depends on a variety of factors. If you’re traveling with more people, for instance, accommodations tend to be cheaper because you can rent homes or large suites that cost less per person.

As a solo traveler, however, you can sleep in hostel beds without missing your partner, which is a definite money-saver. When traveling as a couple, one of the best ways to save money is to avail yourself of online deals.

Watch the prices for rooms and flights over a period of a few months.

If you’re not traveling for more than a year, it pays to keep an eye on seasonal variation and have a much better idea of when ticket prices are lower (both at the time of departure and at the time of purchase).

Your trip will also be cheaper if you book activities ahead of time online, make your hotel reservations well in advance, and plan to eat smart.

We will take a look at more cost-saving measures below, specifically considering budget categories such as lodging, flights, food and drink, activities, and transportation.

Without further ado …

Ecuador Trip Cost: Average by Item

A unique building architecture, with spiral pattern, built on the side of the river photographed from a boardwalk during sunset for a piece on an article about trip to Ecuador.

GUAYAQUIL, ECUADOR, FEBRUARY – 2017. View of the Malecon and the Guayas River in Guayaquil, Ecuador, 11 February, 2017/sunsinger/Shutterstock

It is, of course, hard to predict exactly what you’ll spend on any trip. There are too many factors to juggle to offer one comprehensive price.

Who you travel with, what you do, when you go, how many places you stay, and what kinds of deals you were able to land will all factor into the final cost. The smartest way to plan a vacation, though, is to have a good idea of what you’ll need to budget upfront.

Accommodation Costs

Don’t plan to pay much for lodging in Ecuador. An average hotel in Quito will only cost you about $40, with nicer options at about $75 to $100. If you’re down with a hostel, that will run you less than $10.

Pro tip: If you’re traveling with a friend or as a group and are booking more than one room, take advantage of referral codes from travel websites. When you send a link and the other person books, you can both save money.

Do this throughout your trip, exchanging links for each place you stay, to save significant funds. This won’t work with a single room, but if you know anyone who travels a lot, it’s still a good thing to know about.

If you and your partner are staying at more than one hotel and booking through the same website, you can send a code to your partner and have them book the next one. This will also net you a small savings.

Budget $75 per night overall, and you’ll do fine in Ecuador. The only exception is if you opt to visit the Galapagos, in which case you’re looking at more like $100 to $200.

Flight Costs

Flights to Ecuador from the United States are very affordable. From LA to Ecuador’s capital, Quito, will cost you about $400. From New York City, you’re looking at roughly the same price.

If you live in a small city and will have to fly to a hub, you should increase this amount by $100-$200, depending on where you are. Now let’s discuss the Galapagos Islands, which are technically part of Ecuador and are about a 2-hour flight away.

The good news is, they’re relatively easy to reach from Ecuador, so you don’t need to plan a bunch of extra time in to see them.

The bad news is, setting foot in the Galapagos is not the same as truly seeing these famed islands, so by cramming them into the week-long Ecuador trip, you may miss out on the full experience.

It’s up to you whether or not you want to make it happen, but just in case, let’s take a look at the flight costs. A domestic flight from Quito to the islands will cost about $200 round trip.

It does not cost more to book straight from the US to the Galapagos, however, so if you really want to go, you may benefit from flying into the islands and out of Quito, with a domestic transfer mid-trip.

That’s up to you, but it will mean one less travel day in the middle of your vacation. Overall, plan to spend about $500 on flights if you don’t go to the Galapagos and $700 if you do, for an average of $600 per person, per round-trip ticket.

Food, Drink & Activity Costs

A restaurant on the side of the street with outdoor dining covered with green umbrellas, an image for a travel guide about trip cost to Ecuador.

QUITO, ECUADOR NOVEMBER, 28, 2017: Beautiful outdoor view of a restaurant with green huge umbrellas and chairs located in the historical center of old town Quito in northern Ecuador in the Andes/Fotos593/Shutterstock

Food in Ecuador is not expensive, per se, but it can still require a large budget if you’re not careful about it and only go to nice restaurants. Look for restaurants that offer complimentary breakfast, and shop at the grocery store to save money versus eating out.

Do note that while produce is safe to eat in Ecuador, the water is not safe to drink. To avoid contaminants, wash all produce in bottled water before eating.

For lunch, check out the almuerzo choices at local restaurants. These are essentially a prix fixe option, giving you a full meal for a set price. While you don’t have to tip, you still should; many people rely on it.

Overall, eating and drinking in Ecuador is pretty cheap. You can get a good lunch or dinner for less than $10, and bottled water is about $1 per bottle. Plan on eight per person, per day. That, plus food, will bring your total for the day to about $30.

Another way to save money is to show up for activities rather than booking them in advance. In many places, we advise booking online ahead of time to save money and ensure your spot.

In Ecuador, however, activities are often freely available at the time – such as horseback riding – and you can bargain with the guides for a lower price.

Although there’s a chance you might be disappointed, you’re usually safe with this strategy in the shoulder season, or if you show up early even during the high season.

That way you avoid all the unnecessary online booking fees. If there’s an activity you’ll die without doing, though, booking online is probably worth it for the peace of mind.

Activities are generally affordable. A day of horseback riding costs about $85 per person, while a boat tour about $65. If you sign up for about five activities or trips, and eat for the budgeted $30, you can see a lot for only $100 total per person, per day.

Transportation Costs

Getting around Ecuador is cheap and pretty safe. If you stay out of the hazardous areas where crime is high (see FAQs), then you’re fine on buses and in taxis. Bus fare is less than $1 and taxis only cost a few dollars for a ride, so you won’t break the bank getting around.

Just watch out for pickpockets … not just at train stations and terminals, either. They’re likely to jump on the bus with you! The good news? $100 is probably plenty for the entire week.

Things to Consider

Large old church buildings in the heart of a city photographed during a cloudy afternoon photographed for a piece on a travel guide about trip cost to Ecuador.

Mark Pitt Images/Shutterstock

Here are a few other things to consider when planning your trip to Ecuador:

  • Ecuador boasts five UNESCO World Heritage Sites. Can you visit them all?
  • Much of the country is at high altitude, with Quito sitting at 9,350 feet. Make sure to take a day and acclimate slowly to avoid sickness. Drink lots of water too.
  • Ecuador has fabulous chocolate. Don’t leave without trying as much of it as possible!
  • Smoothies and juice are huge in Ecuador, and they’re super delicious to boot. Make a point of sampling the local options wherever you go.

Frequently Asked Questions

A small group of seals enjoying the beach's sand in a hot afternoon, an image for an article about trip cost to Ecuador.


Here are some frequently asked questions about budgeting your trip to Ecuador:

Are the Galapagos Islands worth the cost?

This is a question only you can answer. Many people think the Galapagos are worth it for the stunning variety of wildlife, but you will definitely pay more for food, lodging, activities, and transportation there than you would on mainland Ecuador.

This stands to reason, as the islands must import much of their goods in order to support such a large tourist population, but it still gets passed on to you.

Is it safe in Ecuador?

The US Department of State advises that travelers “Exercise increased caution in Ecuador due to civil unrest, crime, and kidnapping.”

Moreover, “Violent crime, such as murder, assault, kidnapping, and armed robbery, is prevalent and widespread” and “Demonstrations occur frequently throughout the country, usually motivated by political and/or economic factors.

Demonstrators routinely block local roads and major highways, often without prior notice.”

Before you assume that Ecuador travel isn’t for you, note that the State Department only has Ecuador at a Level 2 (Exercise Increased Caution), not a Level 3 (Reconsider Travel), so it’s still safe enough if you stick to the main tourist areas.

It’s wise to stay out of the country, where the US has limited ability to come get you if anything happens, though.

What are the passport requirements?

To travel to Ecuador, you must have 6 months left on your passport. You will require a full page per passport stamp as well. You can enter the country without a visa and stay up to 90 days in any 12-month period without having to get one.

Does Ecuador accept haggling?

Yes! One of the best ways to save money in Ecuador is to haggle. The locals expect it on a variety of goods and services, and unless a price is posted somewhere, you can assume that it’s flexible.

However, don’t go too low, which can offend the vendor, and always be willing to walk away if they don’t come down enough in price. This can even apply to taxis and buses!

What is the currency in Ecuador?

Believe it or not, Ecuador uses the US dollar as its main form of currency. It does mint its own coins, which are interchangeable with US coins in the same amounts, but it gets its paper money from the US Treasury.

That means it’s a very stable and easy-to-use currency if you are a US traveler.

However, Ecuador doesn’t always make it easy to pay for travel necessities.

Many of the smaller towns don’t take plastic, meaning you’ll have to keep a significant amount of cash on hand at all times. You can use Visa and MasterCard in the bigger cities, however.

Wrapping It Up: Over to You!

🛎️ Average Accommodation Cost$75 per night
✈️ Average Flight Cost$600 per person
🍽️ Food, Drink & Activities$100 per person, per day
🚕 Transportation$100 total
💲 Total Cost$3,300

The average cost of a one-week trip to Ecuador is around $3,300 for two people, assuming you don’t go to the Galapagos. If you do, you’ll pay more, but either way, it will be an adventure of a lifetime!