Requirements for travel to Ecuador
Planning a trip to Ecuador? Let's get you prepared with all of the international entry requirements for travel to Ecuador before jumping in to book your tickets. It's much better to invest just a little time now, to travel with peace of mind later.
The good news is that Ecuador is open for travel to citizens of all major international countries with minimum fuss or documentation. But, of course, knowing what to expect before you go will make the process smoother, and avoid any last-minute panic.
Keep reading to learn more about the requirements for travel to Ecuador. We'll cover everything from passports and visas to vaccinations.
What do I need to travel to Ecuador?
The last thing you want is the stress and expense of being declined entry to Ecuador.
If your travel documentation is not in order, your airline is likely to turn you back at check-in, or Ecuadorian Immigration officials could deny you entry on arrival. Either way will result in a vacation disaster to be avoided at all costs.
On the positive side, the worst-case Ecuador travel scenario is easily avoidable. A quick and careful check of the following Ecuador travel requirements and you'll be covered. Once you have all the necessary documentation and requirements in place, you can travel with peace of mind knowing that you are well-prepared for your trip to Ecuador.
1. Passport Requirements for Travel to Ecuador
Let's begin with the most obvious Ecuador travel requirement. As is the case for any overseas trip, you're going to need a valid passport.
What counts as valid? Your passport must have at least six months of validity remaining at the time of travel. So, for example, if your trip starts in June 2024, and your passport expiry date is in November 2024, then you need to apply for a new passport ASAP before you travel.
What happens if you break the 6-month passport validity rule? Most likely the airline will prevent you from boarding your flight in the first step of your journey. It all sounds pretty obvious, but, believe me, we do see a few unfortunate cases each and every year. So, make that quick passport check now, just in case.
Another important passport travel requirement is to have enough space on the pages for your entry and exit stamps. Although there is no hard and fast rule here, it's a good idea to apply for a new passport if you have fewer than 4 full empty pages left.
There is one notable exception to needing a passport to enter Ecuador. Residents of some neighboring Andean countries including Peru, Colombia, Chile, and Bolivia may be able to enter Ecuador using just their local Cedula ID card. Always check with an Ecuadorian embassy in those countries to ensure that this is the case at the time of travel.
2. Visa Requirements for Travel to Ecuador
Next step, do you need a Visa to visit Ecuador?
For tourists from the United States, Canada, most European countries, and other Western countries the answer is NO. On arrival, tourists and businessmen will be issued with a T3 passport stamp for up to 90 days per calendar year without a visa.
Need to stay longer? No worries. Additional 90-day extensions can be requested locally from withEcuador Government Site, or visit one of the listed migration offices in person with your passport and completed application form. The cost is $150 per applicant, no appointment is usually required.. Either apply online via the
Don't leave the extension process to the last minute as wheels often turn slowly in Ecuador. Also, the old trick of skipping across the border into Colombia or Peru and then returning is not recommended. This used to be a popular method but is no longer guaranteed to work.
Above all, don't avoid the extension process altogether. Ecuador's immigration rules are easy to follow, but also strict in their application. Those who do overstay will usually receive a hefty fine and be barred from future visits, as well as running the risk of forced deportation if discovered.
For stays of longer than 180 days in Ecuador, a special visa should be organized before travel through the Ecuador Consulate General Office in your home country.
Which countries currently require a tourist visa for entry to Ecuador? At the time of writing the international country list includes citizens of Afghanistan, Angola, Bangladesh, Cameroon, Cuba, Egypt, Eritrea, Ethiopia, Philippines, Gambia, Ghana, Guinea, Kenya, India, Iraq, Iran, Libya, Nigeria, Pakistan, Nepal, Democratic Republic of Congo, Democratic People's Republic of Korea, Senegal, Syria, Sri Lanka, Somalia, Venezuela, Vietnam, Yemen, Haiti, Republic of Congo, Mali, Ivory Coast, and Myanmar. Citizens of these countries are recommended to make an Ecuador visa application with the authorities in advance.
Visa requirements for travel to Ecuador are subject to change. We always, therefore, recommend that travelers should check with the Ecuadorian Consulate in their home country for up-to-date visa travel requirements.
3. Medical Insurance Ecuador Entry Requirement
One of the more confusing Ecuador entry requirements is that of Medical Insurance.
Is medical insurance really required? Strictly speaking, yes. On 1st May 2018, the Ecuador Tourism Ministry announced the new requirement that all visitors to Ecuador and/or Galapagos must travel with medical insurance coverage.
However, in reality, this requirement is almost never checked upon arrival at Ecuador's immigration counters.
Yes, it's very confusing, so, what's a traveler to do?
We always strongly recommend traveling with Medical Insurance, whether or not it is an official entry requirement or is likely to be checked. Getting seriously ill or injured in a foreign country is never fun, and insurance will provide cover for quality international medical coverage to quickly get you on the mend. You'll also have peace of mind that any potentially hefty hospital tab will be picked up by your insurer.
There are many insurance companies out there to choose from. Try to find coverage that includes all medical costs, emergency evacuation, repatriation, and repatriation of mortal remains.
For complete trip cover why not take a look at comprehensive travel insurance? As well as medical and repatriation coverage, travel insurance can also provide financial protection against lost or stolen luggage, flight cancellations, and other unexpected costs. It is also important to make sure that your travel insurance policy covers any adventure activities that you plan to do while in Ecuador. If you are planning to participate in any extreme sports, engage in any hazardous activities, or visit any areas of risk, you should make sure that your policy covers it.
4. Proof of Onward Travel & Accommodation to Enter Ecuador
For most visitors from Western countries, this is another Ecuador Travel Requirement that is rarely asked for or checked by immigration officials when entering the country. But, it's always advised to have the paperwork ready just in case, or it could result in being denied entry to Ecuador.
What is proof of onward travel? Basically, proof that you intend to leave Ecuador within the stated 90 days tourist visa stamp period. The most common forms of proof of onward travel include return plane tickets, bus tickets, or ferry tickets.
Proof of accommodation is an easy one too. Keep handy a copy of your hotel or Airbnb reservation, with the address and phone number of the accommodation. You'll only need this for your first night's accommodation, not for every different hotel that you plan to use on your trip,
For those traveling to the Galapagos Islands, you'll need to pay extra careful attention to the onward travel rule. Proof of Galapagos cruise or hotel is almost always requested when you emit your Transit Control Card immigration permission to fly to the islands. You'll also need to show your return ticket from Galapagos back to mainland Ecuador. We'll discuss this in more detail in point 6 below. Without a Transit Control Card, tourists will be denied check-in for flights to Galapagos.
5. Vaccine Requirements for Travel to Ecuador
The only vaccine requirement to enter Ecuador is a certificate of Yellow Fever vaccination, and it's only actually mandatory for anyone arriving from regions where the disease is prevalent, such as Brazil, the Democratic Republic of Congo, and Uganda.
Note that this doesn't mean that you need no other vaccination protection to travel here. We always recommend that you speak to a doctor or vaccination specialist before traveling. Other commonly recommended vaccinations for travelers to Ecuador may include Polio, Meningococcal disease, Measles, Mumps and Rubella (MMR), Diphtheria, Hepatitis A, Typhoid fever, Rabies, and Japanese encephalitis. Malaria medication may also be recommended by your doctor if you plan to travel to Ecuador's Amazon or coastal region. But, none of these vaccinations are actually a requirement for entry into Ecuador.
6. Ecuador Health Declaration Form Online
During the Covid Pandemic, an additional health entry requirement was required. All visitors had to complete a copy of Ecuador's Health Declaration Form.
Since May 23rd, 2023 this is no longer necessary unless you are specifically feeling symptoms of general malaise or illness. Here's a link to Ecuador's Online Health Declaration Form should you need it.
The Covid-19 vaccination or negative PCR-test requirement has also been dropped for entry to Ecuador.
What Do I Need to Travel to Galapagos?
You'll already be inside Ecuador, so your passport is correctly in order, and you have your Ecuadorian visa entry stamp sorted. The 90 days stay entitlement in Ecuador includes days in both mainland and the Galapagos, so be careful not to overstay your welcome.
The other important Galapagos travel requirement is the emission of a Transit Control Card (TCT card). This is a special immigration control for visitors to the Galapagos Archipelago. Don't worry, it's a fairly easy hoop to jump through, and is organized directly at the airport before check-in for your Galapagos flight.
What documentation is required for the Galapagos Transit Control Card? You'll need to show: Passport or cedula ID card, a return flight ticket (as proof of onward travel back to mainland Ecuador), and proof of accommodation in Galapagos (either cruise yacht or hotel). Sometimes you might also be asked to show a copy of insurance covering potential medical costs. The TCT card fee is $20 per visitor. Don't lose this card; you'll need to present it again when you leave the Galapagos Islands.
Travel insurance that includes medical cover and repatriation is highly recommended for travelers to the islands. Once in a while, there is trouble in paradise, mostly from common accidents to illness. Either way, you'll want your health to be properly covered.
So, that's all of the requirements for travel to Ecuador & Galapagos covered. We hope you've found the post useful.
One last piece of advice for you: Please don't forget that international travel requirements are always subject to change. Requirements can and do change overnight on occasion. While we make every effort to maintain this blog post current & up to date, we also recommend that you double-check Ecuador travel requirements with the nearest Ecuarodian embassy to your home town.
In conclusion, for most travelers, the requirements for travel to Ecuador are easy to tick off. With the right documentation, visitors will be able to enjoy the country’s many attractions without any hassle. Yet, every year, there are a few tourists who forget to check their passports or don't realize that they may need a travel visa. Don't be that person. Simply invest a small amount of time to pre-check the travel requirements in the early stages of trip planning. A few simple documentation checks before you travel are all that's needed for a stress-free Ecuadorian vacation.