As throughout South America, Ecuadorian plumbing has very low pressure, and putting toilet paper into the bowl is a serious no-no anywhere except in the fanciest hotels and in Quito airport. Always put your used toilet paper in the basket (it’s better than a clogged and overflowing toilet!). A well-run cheap hotel will ensure that the receptacle is emptied and the toilet cleaned daily.

Public toilets are limited mainly to bus terminals, airports and restaurants. Lavatories are called servicios higiénicos and are usually marked ‘SS.HH.’ – there's often an attendant, whom you will pay about $0.10 or $0.15, for which you will receive a ration of toilet paper (5 cents extra, usually). You can simply ask to use the baño (bathroom) in a restaurant. Toilet paper is not always available, so the experienced traveler always carries a personal supply. Remember ‘M’ on the door means mujeres (women) not ‘men’ – though it might also be 'D' for damas (ladies). Men’s toilets are signed with an ‘H’ for hombres (men) or a ‘C’ for caballeros (gentlemen).