Traveller’s guide to Ecuador

Traveller's guide to Ecuador

Keep things polite when in Ecuador – especially being careful to begin conversations, even short questions, with a polite “good morning”, “good afternoon” or “good evening”. Also, be careful with your hands as you speak as pointing is considered rude. An intriguing part of Ecuadorian culture is la hora ecuatoriana or “Ecuadorian time”, which is basically means that Ecuadorians will often arrive late for social meetings. The general rule of thumb is that up to an hour late is still well within the bounds of politeness.

Tipping is becoming normal for foreigners in Ecuador but not so much for locals, and many restaurants will add a service charge to the bill, in which case, unless the service was exemplary, there’s no need to leave a tip. When using taxis – always negotiate the fare and agree on a price before getting inside the cab, as prices can fluctuate wildly, especially if you’re obviously a tourist.

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