Ecuador by the Numbers

Like Colombia, Ecuador was another country we ended up staying in far longer than we had planned. While relatively small (about the same size as the State of Colorado), there is a lot to see and do in Ecuador, and we can certainly imagine ourselves returning some day in the future to see even more.

Note that the numbers presented in this post exclude our cruise through the Galapagos, which was not representative of the costs and activities we encountered in the rest of the country.

Favorite/Least Favorite

Favorite Place: Vilcabamba
Least Favorite Place: Guayaquil

Favorite Food: Locro (hearty potato soup with cheese and avocado)
Least Favorite Food: Sidewalk café in Montañita where street dogs kept using our table like a fire hydrant

Favorite Alcohol: Canelazo (warm rum or aguardiente with spices)
Least Favorite Alcohol: None! There’s not a huge variety of available options, and we liked what we tried.

Favorite Accommodations: Charo’s Hostal, Montañita
Least Favorite Accommodations: Hostal America, Loja

Favorite Sight: Waterfall Tour, Baños
Biggest Disappointment: Ingapirca Ruins near Cuenca

Offbeat Must-Do: Climbing the Basilica Towers, Quito
Must-See: Mitad del Mundo Equator Monument, Quito

Other Numbers

Days in Ecuador: 21
Distance Traveled: 809 miles
Cities/Towns Visited: 7 (Quito, Banos, Montañita, Guayaquil, Cuenca, Vilcabamba, Loja)
Long Distance Buses: 12
Local Buses: 7
Tourist Buses: 2
Taxis: 7
Cable Cars (Tarabitas): 2
Horse Rides: 1
Boat trips: 2
Planes: 1 (Medellin, Colombia to Quito)
Beds slept in: 7
Rooms with A/C: 1
Nights under mosquito net: 0
Hot Springs: 2
Hot Tubs: 1
Ruins: 1
Islands: 1
Traveler’s stomach incidents: 2
Days on antibiotics: 21
Churches/Cathedrals: 6
Museums: 1
Massages: 2
Restaurants: 36 (1.7 times per day, on average)
Sunburns: 0
Attempted Political Coups: 1
Pictures Taken: 1,592 (Ecuador) / 12,469 (Total, trip thus far)


Ecuador was one of the cheapest countries we have visited thus far (second only to Guatemala) and a much better value than neighboring Colombia. Some of the low costs really floored us – such as the $2.50/ea we paid for a 4 hour bus ride or the delicious chicken dinner we had in Quito for $2 each (which included soup, a huge platter of chicken, salad, rice, beans, fries, and even a soft drink).

Here were our daily expenditures:

Food $24
Drinks $4
Lodging $24
Transportation $7
Activities $13
Other $7
Total $79/day

Most/Least Expensive

Most Expensive Lodging: $30 (Hostal America, Loja)
Least Expensive Lodging: $19 (Hostal Planta y Blanca, Baños)

Most Expensive Meal: $27 (Dinner at Tiestos, Cuenca)
Least Expensive Meal: $4.20 (Chicke a la Brasa Dinner, Quito)

Most Expensive Drinks: $2.50/ea (Beer at a club in Montañita)
Least Expensive Drinks: $1/ea (Vilcabamba)

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