You likely won’t have to exchange money when traveling to Ecuador. If you have U.S. dollars, you are all set to go.

What is the official currency of Ecuador?

The official currency of Ecuador is the U.S. dollar.

Can I use U.S. dollars in Ecuador?

Yes! You can use U.S. dollars in Ecuador. The official currency of Ecuador is the U.S. dollar. This makes it easier for American travelers as they don’t have to exchange money. 

Periods replace commas 

When you are shopping, pay close attention to the prices, as in Ecuador; periods may replace commas when it comes to numbers. For example, the price 8.50 may be displayed as $8,50. 

What denominations of U.S. dollars should I bring when traveling to Ecuador?

When traveling to Ecuador, bring smaller bills like $1, $5, and $10. Prices are slightly different than in the U.S. I also recommend getting coins.

What is currency exchange?

A currency exchange is a legal and legitimate company that helps people exchange money from one country for money from another country.

Exchange rates vary depending on many reasons, including political and economic factors. While exchange rates change daily and sometimes by the hour, you can get an idea of what to expect by checking online or at your local bank.

Should you exchange money before you get to Ecuador?

That depends on where you are coming from. If you are traveling from the U.S. and have U.S. dollars, you will not need to exchange money. Citizens of countries with other currencies will have to exchange for U.S. dollars. Before traveling to any foreign country, I like to exchange a small amount of money at my local bank. Over years of traveling, I have learned that travel day can be chaotic and could include a lot of unexpected situations. So, by exchanging a small amount beforehand, I can be sure to have cash in case I don’t get a chance to exchange money right away. Then, I can exchange more once I am settled in the new country.  

What do I need to exchange money?

To exchange money, you will need cash and a form of identification. Alternatively, you can use your ATM card to withdraw cash from an ATM. The ATM will figure out the current exchange rate, but you will probably have to pay fees for using the card overseas. So it’s worth checking with your bank before you go. 

Where can I exchange money in Ecuador?

Most tourists feel more comfortable exchanging money at the airport or hotel. Although they are safe locations to exchange money, the exchange rates tend to be higher due to the convenience offered to the traveler. In big cities, it is easy to find exchange offices at local attractions, tourist spots, etc., where you can exchange your money comfortably. They often offer better rates. In addition, you may find people approaching you to exchange money for you, but I would avoid those situations. Counterfeit bills can be an issue, or you may not get a fair exchange rate. 

Can I use my debit/credit card in Ecuador?

Yes, most credit cards are accepted in big cities and are in most major stores. However, having said that small towns and small stores may not accept credit cards. In addition, you must reach out to your credit card company beforehand to understand any traveling fees and alert them that you will be out of the country so they allow the transactions to go through. 

One of the credit cards I prefer to take while traveling is my Capital One Credit Card. Capital One does not charge extra foreign transaction fees. This is something worth considering. 

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