Country: Ecuador, officially known as the Republic of Ecuador (República del Ecuador), brings to mind the Galapagos Islands, the Andes Mountains, and the Amazon Rainforest. A literal translation of its name is “Republic of the Equator.”
Ecuador is located in northwestern South America. Its neighbors include Peru to its south and east, Colombia to the north, and the Pacific Ocean to the west. The Galapagos Islands are 620 miles west of mainland Ecuador. The country’s capital is Quito.
The population of Ecuador is just over 15 million and the official language is Spanish. Shuar, Kichwa, and other regional languages are also recognized.
To access emergency services: Dial 911 (Quito and Ibarra), Dial 112 (Guayaquil, Cuenca, and Loja), or Dial 101 and 102 for medical emergencies (operators typically speak Spanish)
Currency: United States dollar (USD)
Recommended immunizations and vaccines for travelers: Before traveling to Ecuador, ask your doctor what vaccines are recommended. The U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) and the World Health Organization (WHO) are excellent resources as well.
Insurance: Find out in advance if your insurance plan will make payments directly to providers or reimburse you later for overseas health expenditures.
It is also worth ensuring your travel insurance will cover ambulances or transport either home or to more advanced medical facilities, if needed. Not all insurance covers emergency medical evacuation home or to a hospital in a major city, which may be the only way to receive medical attention in a serious emergency.
Source: International Association for Medical Assistance to Travelers.
What to expect in an Ecuadorian hospital: In Ecuador, satisfactory hospital care is available in major cities. In remote and rural areas, care is well below U.S. standards. On the Galapagos Islands, medical services are very limited.
Hospitals and doctors will expect cash payment for services when rendered. In major cities, doctors will likely speak English. In rural areas that may not be the case.
Should you find yourself in a life-threatening emergency medical situation, evacuate to a country providing state-of-the-art medical care.
Contact your embassy/consulate: When in doubt, your country’s embassy is a good resource to turn to for medical assistance guidance.
JCI-accredited hospitals/clinics in Ecuador: To read about specific facilities which are JCI-accredited, visit the Hospital Search section.
Ecuador-specific helpful health resources:
Travel health notices: Visit the CDC or WHO for up-to-date travel notices.