go to content go to search box go to global site navigation

Money and costs

Daily Costs
Budget (up to)
  • Dorm beds: $7–10; budget guesthouses: $10–15 per person
  • Set lunches: $2.50–3.50
  • One-day bike rental for DIY trip from Baños to Puyo: $10
  • Double room in midrange hotel: $40–60
  • Dinner for two in a good restaurant: $18–30
  • Climbing, cycling and bird-watching tours: $60–80 per day
  • Jungle lodges: from $250 for four days
Top end (more than)
  • Galápagos tour with a reputable operator: from $300 per day
  • Top Amazon lodges: around $250 per day
  • Haciendas on Cotopaxi: from $100 per day

Ecuador’s official currency is the US dollar. Aside from Euros, Peruvian soles and Colombian nuevos soles, it’s very difficult to change foreign currencies in Ecuador. Western Union offices are in most big cities.


Better restaurants add a 12% tax and a 10% service charge to the bill. If the service has been satisfactory, add another 5% for the waiter. Cheaper places don’t include a tax or service charge.

To tip your server, do so directly – don’t just leave the money on the table.

Taxi drivers are not normally tipped, but you can leave them the small change from a metered ride.

Guides are usually paid low wages, and tips are greatly appreciated. If you go on a guided tour, a tip is expected. If you are in a group, tip a top-notch guide about $5 per person per day. Tip the driver about half that. If you hire a private guide, tip about $10 per day.

For Galápagos cruises, tips range from $10 to $20 per client per day. At jungle lodges, $5 to $10 per person per day is more common.