Ecuador welcomes travelers from around the world. If you plan to stay within the 90-day limit, you do not need a visa to come to Ecuador. If you wish to stay longer, you can apply for an additional 90-day extension. Make sure your passport is valid for six months or longer.
Ecuador is considered one of the safest countries in Latin America, and Cuenca is regarded as the safest city. You will find your way quickly and safely around town and feel at home. However, it is always good to be cautious during your travels, especially in Guayaquil and Quito. Use your common sense as you would traveling in any foreign country. Download our SAFETY TIPS.
There is no compulsory requirement to enter Ecuador. Speak to your travel doctor before your Latin American trip and give plenty of time to allow for any immunizations or preventive medications you may need. Let them know if you plan to visit the Amazon and the coastal region. Check with the CDC
Even though Cuenca has the safest water in Ecuador, for travelers, it is NOT advisable to drink directly from the tap, even in the hotel. We recommend filtered or bottled water. Wash fruits and vegetables thoroughly before eating, and wash your hands often. Avoid eating salads in local restaurants and ice cubes in drinks. The school provides filtered bottled water. Remember to bring a water bottle.
Banks and ATM machines are available in the center of town in major cities (Quito, Cuenca, Guayaquil) and will accept your international debit card. ATM fees vary. In Cuenca, Banco Guayaquil is the lowest at $1.50 per withdrawal. ATM machines ask for your 4-digit PIN number, no letters. Before you leave home, notify your bank that you will be traveling to Ecuador or any other destinations.
Ecuador uses the US Dollar and is very much a cash society. Bring lowest denominations $1, $5, $10, $20. Anything over $20 may not be accepted.
Most first-class restaurants, hotels, travel agencies and gift shops accept major credit cards. In smaller towns and the Amazon eco-lodges, they may only accept cash. Check with your hotel in advance.
Tourist guides, porters, waiters and other people in the tourist industry will expect a tip of 10%. Generally, tipping is not practiced by locals.
Avoid street food stands because they often sell undercooked or reheated food, such as eggs, meat, fish or uncooked vegetables and salads. If you buy fruit, always peel your own. Ceviche is a popular dish of shrimp and raw fish marinated in lime juice sold at the beach and on city streets. Best to avoid unless dining in a fine restaurant.
In Cuenca

Cuenca is a great walking city. Public transportation via bus, taxi, bike and electric scooter rental network or the Tranvia, a European-style light rail system

A helpful interactive website for bus schedules, Tranvia, ATMs, Parks and Hospitals.

In Quito

The Trolley and Ecoway is a modern and efficient urban transport system with large articulated buses that run through exclusive lanes and bus stops across the city for $0.25 ($0.12 for students and the elderly. You can also use the integrated bus service (units that work exclusively for the trolley and the ecoway). Buses are new, and the bus stops are well distributed in the city. This service operates only in Quito from 6 a.m. to 10 p.m. Try to avoid rush hours!

There are fights from Quito and Guayaquil to Cuenca and The Galapagos and other local destinations. Twelve cities have airports served by local companies. Check with local airlines for flight schedules and costs.

The easiest and cheapest way to travel inside Ecuador is by bus. You can get anywhere in the country by taking one or two buses. Costs vary according to distance and the quality of service. There are some express buses, which means they do not stop anywhere until you reach your destination. Many transport companies have new vehicles with a bathroom, TV and comfortable seats. To find out more contact the ground (bus) terminals in each city or the private bus companies direct.



Electricity is 110 volt, 60 cycles the same as in the United States as well as plugs and outlets. If you are coming from other countries you will need an adapter or voltage converter.



Internet and cell phone communications are widely available in Ecuador with the exception of the Amazon basin and very rural areas. The school provides free WiFi access as well as parks and restaurants in the city.



We offer “Homestay” accommodations for students studying Spanish who want the full immersion benefit of staying with a family, including a private room, two meals per day and a weekly laundry service. In Cuenca,  $147 per week ($21 per night).

There are many hostels around the country at various prices depending on location and services, from $12 per night. In Cuenca, a 3-star hotel with breakfast from $50 per night. Contact us for recommendations at



If you don’t find what you’re looking for, contact us.