Ecuador has long remained in the wake of digital advancements. Until a few years ago, smartphones weren’t found in abundance around the country, websites were more often than not created by the individuals that they represented, and even Google Maps seemed sluggish to chart the many regions of the country.
While internet speeds and the availability of some services pale in comparison with the world at large, there has been a shift towards digital solutions for travel that make exploring the country easier and more fun. Keep reading for five helpful apps for travelers in Ecuador.
Easy Taxi is one of the many apps used by taxi drivers and collectives in Ecuador’s cities. It has been a game changer for those worried about safety-as drivers are vetted and there is a system for rating and reporting deceptive taxis that clears the way for relaxing rides around town.
Cabify is another option to easy taxi, taking the worry out of having enough cash or the right change by debiting money directly from a credit card or Paypal account.
One tip-GPS in Ecuador is still striving to become an exact science-find a landmark to refer to when ordering a ride to make things clear to the driver.
For those who want to summit the peaks of Ecuador, Gaia GPS is an app that helps plot routes and tracks your progress. It is a paid app that lets you download detailed maps and use them offline with GPS support, a great resource for keeping track of forwarding momentum while tackling some of the country’s challenging peaks.
The Google Translate App has all the features of its desktop counterpart and adds a few that help loads when traveling in a country where the Spanish language rules the land. The app includes a handy camera feature-point and shoot at texts, signs, menus, and schedules and get accurate translations on the fly.
PackPoint is an easy-to-use packing app that helps navigate the perils of deciding what to bring along on a trip to Ecuador. The app checks the weather and lets you make custom lists based on the activities that you are planning on doing. Its simplicity is a major bonus when juggling a handful of destinations with a variety of climates-ranging from hot sun to humid cloud forest, to chilly mountain havens.
The Galapagos Conservancy and the Galapagos National Park have created an app for divers in the archipelago to share their encounters with sharks, sea turtles, and sunfish at different dive sites around the islands. The app shows individual reports from divers at the top twenty sites in the Galapagos and shares the citizen scientist’s sightings with the national park to help create future conservation programs and projects.
This is far from a complete list of apps for travelers in Ecuador. There are new developments around every corner that contribute to making travel in Ecuador an exciting experience. Sign up for email alerts in the right-hand menu to hear more about how your smartphone can add to your experience in Ecuador.
One note-if you plan to bring a phone and want to avoid international roaming charges, there are a few things to consider.
Phones need to be unlocked to access the networks in Ecuador. Most of the country uses a pay as you go system, and you need to buy a special SIM card for travelers in Ecuador at the airport to avoid hassles.
Movistar is one of the networks in the country, and the company offers a travelers SIM card available only at their stores in the country’s international airports in Quito and Guayaquil.
Normally, people who buy SIM cards are asked to provide a cedula number-a national ID that is needed to activate phone services. This system is to keep tabs on theft, and unless you have an Ecuadorian friend who will go with you to buy a card, the travelers SIM is the best bet for travelers in Ecuador.
For more information about discovering the many facets of Ecuador including the Galapagos Islands, the jungle, and the Andes-contact a member of our team through Skype, our toll-free numbers, or by clicking here.