Visas and Preparing for your Trip
– Do I Need a Visa to Enter Ecuador?
– How do I extend my visa to stay longer than 3 months?
– Can someone pick me up from the airport?
– What clothes should I pack?
Money & Volunteer Costs
Why do I have to pay to volunteer?
Most but not all of the voluteer programs listed on Ecuador Eco Volunteer charge a small fee in exchage for accommodation which keeps them sustainable. Ecuador Eco Volunteer itself does not receive any money from voluteers or from the volunteer programs listed and is purely a free service to help good causes get a little extra traffic.
Do I have to pay extra for accommodation?
All accommodation is included in the price of the Volunteer Programs between Sunday Night to Friday. On the weekend Volunteers get free time to travel Ecuador which is not included. Fortunately Ecuador is very cheap and accommodation will cost you between $5 to $10 per night in your average hostel.
Is Food Included in the volunteer price?
Unless otherwise stated Food is not included. Fortunately however food is very very cheap in Ecuador and an average lunch which comes with a soup, a plate of rice, chicken, and vegetables, and fresh juice costs between $1.50 and $3.00 depending on the city.
The volunteer programs do have kitchen facilities available where you can prepare your own food which can be found very cheap in the supermarkets scattered around the country. You will be given advice on where and what to buy when you get to Ecuador.
Is Ecuador vegetarian friendly?
While Ecuador is not the holy grail for vegetarians like India you will love all of the fresh, organic fruits and vegetables available from the local markets. As most of the volunteer work programs do not include food you should have no problem preparing nutritious vegetarian meals in the kitchen facilities provided.
Am I required to volunteer on the weekends as well?
As mentioned above the volunteer work programs normally run between Monday to Friday so you get the weekends free for leisure and travel time to explore Ecuador. Working on the weekend is to the discretion of the program coordinator.
What can I do on the weekend?
What can’t you do?! The great thing about Ecuador is that its small size and incredible geographic biodiversity means its easy to travel around the country. You can wake up in the morning deep inside the Amazon rainforest and after a five hour bus ride later be climbing 6,000 meter volcano in the Andes.
Getting Around Ecuador
Is Transport Provided While Volunteering?
Volunteers have to make their own way to the volunteer programs which are located around the country. Fortunately travel in Ecuador is very cheap and it is a relatively small country compared to Argentina, Brazil, or Colombia.
How much does it cost to travel around Ecuador?
Traveling around Ecuador is easy and very cheap because of the government petrol subsidies. As a rule of thumb a one hour bus ride in Ecuador costs $1 USD. The three and an half hour bus ride from Quito to Riobamba for example costs $3.75.
Language and Learning
What is the best way to learn Spanish?
Ideally you should learn basic Spanish before you come to Ecuador to increase your ability to interact with locals once you get here. There is a fantastic free online community where you can learn Spanish (and many other languages) called www.livemocha.com. Audiobooks like the Pimsleurs Essential Spanish are also fantastic ways to learn in your home country.
Another highly recommended Spanish School in Quito is La Lengua. The administrators at this school also help out with the fantastic volunteer program at Foundation ASONIC (Asociation of Parents Whose Children Have Cancer)
Visas and Preparing for your Trip
Do I Need a Visa to Enter Ecuador?
Ecuador gives the most nationalities an automatic 90 day visa when they enter the country without having to apply. Check out the blog for more advice on Visas and Immigration in Ecuador
How do I extend my visa to stay longer than 3 months?
If you wish to stay for longer you can renew your visa in Quito or Guayaquil by getting either the 12×9 Tourist Visa which costs $200 which allows multiple entries and an extra six months to stay in Ecuador. Check out this blog post for a step by step guide to getting a tourist visa in Ecuador.
What clothes should I pack?
Ecuador is one of those amazing countries where you be surfing on the beach in the morning and walking on snow in the afternoon. Make sure you pack warm clothes for winter along with summer and beach clothes for when you are in the hot humid Amazon or chilling out on the beach.