Foreigners traveling with children are still a curiosity in Ecuador (especially if they are gringos), and a crying or laughing child at your side can quickly break down barriers between you and locals. Parents will likely be met with extra-friendly attention: people in Ecuador love children. Lonely Planet’s Travel with Children is an excellent resource.

Practicalities

Children pay full fare on buses if they occupy a seat, but they often ride for free if they sit on a parent’s lap. The fare for children under 12 years is halved for domestic flights (and they get a seat), while infants under two cost 10% of the fare (but they don’t get a seat). In hotels, the general rule is simply to bargain.

While kids’ meals are not normally offered in restaurants, it is perfectly acceptable to order a meal to split between two children or an adult and a child.

Changing facilities are rarities in all but the best restaurants. Breastfeeding is acceptable in public. Formula foods can be difficult to come by outside the large big-city supermarkets, but disposable diapers are sold at most markets throughout the country.

Safety seats are generally hard to come by in rental cars (be sure to arrange one ahead of time), and in taxis they’re unheard of. This is, after all, a country where a family of four can blaze across town on a motorcycle.

Sights & Activities

Ecuador is not a country that’s big on fun parks, children’s rides and organized spectacles for kids. That said, there’s plenty of real-world excitement here, whether it’s tramping through rainforest, canoeing down a river or playing in the waves.

Whale-watching is a must while in Puerto López. Older children are likely to enjoy the snorkeling and animal-watching in the Galápagos. Quito has a healthy number of activities that the young ones will enjoy, including a reptile zoo, a theme park and good museums. A few of the newer malecóns (waterfront walkways) on the coast have family and kid-themed attractions.