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Ecuador Currency Problem

Here is an Ecuador currency problem that never occurred to me.

ecuador currency

Delegates love our tours. Here is a group on our coastal tour looking at real estate with views like this:

ecuador currency

After being in Ecuador for 15 years and bringing over ten thousand people to Ecuador you would think we know it all.

ecuador currency

Here is another tour in the mountains seeing property with views like this:

ecuador currency

Sometimes we learn something new that leaves us amazed such as from…. a reader and export course delegate who just sent me this note about currencies in Ecuador.

My name is Steve Schofield from Australia and I have just been on your April 12 Import/Export tour. Can I firstly extend my thanks to the whole team involved in producing the tour, especially Bonnie who had to put up with a whole lot of different situations with the group and for assisting me with some money problems.

I think your readers ought to know that in Ecuador you cannot exchange Australian Dollars.   The explanation that I got was it is not a commercial currency. I had a problem where I took $2,000 AUD with me,I exchanged $1,000 AUD at the airport in Australia for American dollars, no problems.

I was in Ecuador from the 31st March for a look around before the course started on the 12th April and spent most of the money before I realised my PIN on my credit card wasn´t working.

To cut a long story short, there I was with another $1,000 Australian in my money belt, I tried two major cities and many smaller ones before I asked for help at the Canadian Embassy in Quito. They let me use their phone (by this time I had $20 U.S. left) to contact Master Card who arranged an emergency cash advance to be sent to a Vaz branch in Quito.

Anyway it worked out in the end and I made some good contacts here in Ecuador that I am hoping to follow through with back home in Australia.

Thanks again to everyone for a great experience in Ecuador. I am writing this in Mindo before I go back to Quito then home on Sunday.

Here is the  lesson.   The US dollar is Ecuador’s currency.  Some currencies may be hard or impossible to convert.   You should get your US dollars before you come to Ecuador.

There is another reason to get your US dollars before you come to Ecuador. You will almost assuredly get a better rate of exchange for US dollars in your own country than in Ecuador.   Loonies will buy more US dollars in Canada than in Ecuador. Euro will buy more US dollars in Europe than in Ecuador, etc.

Two more Ecuador currency tips.

Ecuador Currency Tip #1: Travelers checks do not work. Do NOT bring travelers checks.

Ecuador Currency Tip #2: Bring small bills. $100s are extremely hard to cash… especially outside the cities… due to a lot of counterfeit  money that comes in from Colombia.  I only bring 20s, 10s, 5s and lots of $1 bills.

Join us in Ecuador.  Bring your US dollars and we’ll make sure they are spent on good value and spent well.

Gary