Carrying to much cash to Ecuador

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Bigfish
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Carrying to much cash to Ecuador

Post by Bigfish » Fri Jan 10, 2020 8:40 am

DW and I are going to the Galapagos next month. Aside for the payment for the trip this is the other costs that are required and suggested by the tour company we are using: (for each)
Park Fees $100 (required)
Gratuity for naturalist $150 (suggested)
Gratuity for staff $250 (suggested)
Misc. (cab fees, alcohol on board, other tips) $200
Total cash needed for both:$1400
The tour company wants us to pay in cash with small bills -$20
Is this usual and customary?
I would rather not carry that much cash. I was told not to count on ATM machines.

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tc101
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Re: Carrying to much cash to Ecuador

Post by tc101 » Fri Jan 10, 2020 8:52 am

I never had problems with ATMs in Guatemala or Costa Rica, but I carried travelers checks just in case. Never had a problem cashing travelers checks.
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Luckywon
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Re: Carrying to much cash to Ecuador

Post by Luckywon » Fri Jan 10, 2020 8:56 am

Not sure what different arrangements you are seeking. If you have cash expenses on a trip and ATMs are not reliable, then of course it's only practical to bring cash.

$800 of the $1400 you mention is gratuities which you could give in $100 bills. The rest in $20 bills. Between two people that's not a lot to carry.

By the way the official currency of Ecuador is the American dollar. Usually on travel abroad I do use ATMs because that is the cheapest way to get local currency. It's a somewhat high risk for ATM fraud in some countries, but worth it to me. In this case since you don't need to exchange currency I agree with your company bringing cash makes the most sense.

Personally, I would carry at least twice that amount, divided between two people, in case one person loses their cash or you have extra expenses.
Last edited by Luckywon on Fri Jan 10, 2020 9:02 am, edited 1 time in total.

Gill
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Re: Carrying to much cash to Ecuador

Post by Gill » Fri Jan 10, 2020 8:58 am

I’d change tour companies. We went to the Galapagos with Celebrity and there was no cash needed. Who are you with?
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CCD
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Re: Carrying to much cash to Ecuador

Post by CCD » Fri Jan 10, 2020 9:01 am

I was there last may, not in a cruise like you seem to be. But I did not have any issues using multiple bank ATMs on the main town in the islands, I also used credit cards for most large expenses at hotels, restaurants, tour operators without any issues.

Have fun and enjoy the islands :)

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Cyclesafe
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Re: Carrying to much cash to Ecuador

Post by Cyclesafe » Fri Jan 10, 2020 9:15 am

Been twice to Galapagos. The ATM's in San Cristobal, which dispense US$, worked fine.

In my experience, traveler's checks are no longer widely accepted. Credit cards are better, but I've had clerks insist that my card was rejected in order for them to have me cough up some of my cash. When they see you walking, the card miraculously functions properly. Alert the CC company that you will be in Ecuador.

You'll be safe from street crime in Galapagos. Not so in Quito.

Unsurprisingly, clean and new Benjamins are eagerly accepted. Distribute (and keep track of) your stash. Keep it on you in unusual places, but keep a donation to a thief in an obvious place, like a money belt. Also, be sure to use the room safes.

If you are on a tour and will not be wandering about by yourselves to sample local "culture" $1400 split among two persons is not so outrageous and is about what one beginning one's trip would be likely to have. If this makes you (understandably) uncomfortable, depend on the ATM's as the local population puts extraordinary pressure on the banks to reliably provide liquidity to gringos.
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cadreamer2015
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Re: Carrying to much cash to Ecuador

Post by cadreamer2015 » Fri Jan 10, 2020 9:30 am

On our cruise in the Galapagos we were able put gratuities on our charge card just like any other purchase. You might inquire with your cruise company.
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nesta
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Re: Carrying to much cash to Ecuador

Post by nesta » Fri Jan 10, 2020 9:42 am

Not sure if Ecuador could be similar to Peru but the daily ATM withdrawal limits were extremely low compared to what we were used to. We had to pay for some of our tours/gratuities with cash and it was very annoying that each day we had to hunt down an ATM and take out the max. We would have been much better off bringing more USD with us.

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Re: Carrying to much cash to Ecuador

Post by Nicolas » Fri Jan 10, 2020 10:42 am

If I have to shell out $800 in gratuities I’m never going to the Galapagos.

quantAndHold
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Re: Carrying to much cash to Ecuador

Post by quantAndHold » Fri Jan 10, 2020 11:31 am

Nicolas wrote:
Fri Jan 10, 2020 10:42 am
If I have to shell out $800 in gratuities I’m never going to the Galapagos.
Then you’re never going. You realize that’s how cruise ship employees and tour guides get paid, right? That’s worldwide, not just the Galapagos. You have to factor it into the cost of the trip.

As far as OP’s question. We’ve always paid cruise ship gratuities and bar charges and the like with plastic. Some land tours we’ve needed to pay gratuities with cash. Get a money belt or two, and split the cash between people.

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Doom&Gloom
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Re: Carrying to much cash to Ecuador

Post by Doom&Gloom » Fri Jan 10, 2020 12:24 pm

$1400 does not take up much space in a wallet--certainly not if divided between two wallets.

If I were afraid of going somewhere with $1400 in cash, I would avoid that location even if penniless. Worst case scenario: having $1400 stolen is inconvenient but not the end of the world. I would certainly be more concerned about bodily harm.

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dm200
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Re: Carrying to much cash to Ecuador

Post by dm200 » Fri Jan 10, 2020 12:28 pm

Doom&Gloom wrote:
Fri Jan 10, 2020 12:24 pm
$1400 does not take up much space in a wallet--certainly not if divided between two wallets.
If I were afraid of going somewhere with $1400 in cash, I would avoid that location even if penniless. Worst case scenario: having $1400 stolen is inconvenient but not the end of the world. I would certainly be more concerned about bodily harm.
Suggest:

Split cash between both of you
On/with each person, split some in wallet(s), and some in waist pocket separate holders.

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dm200
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Re: Carrying to much cash to Ecuador

Post by dm200 » Fri Jan 10, 2020 12:29 pm

Bigfish wrote:
Fri Jan 10, 2020 8:40 am
DW and I are going to the Galapagos next month. Aside for the payment for the trip this is the other costs that are required and suggested by the tour company we are using: (for each)
Park Fees $100 (required)
Gratuity for naturalist $150 (suggested)
Gratuity for staff $250 (suggested)
Misc. (cab fees, alcohol on board, other tips) $200
Total cash needed for both:$1400
The tour company wants us to pay in cash with small bills -$20
Is this usual and customary?
I would rather not carry that much cash. I was told not to count on ATM machines.
Can any of these required expenses be prepaid before you leave on the trip?

ponyboy
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Re: Carrying to much cash to Ecuador

Post by ponyboy » Fri Jan 10, 2020 12:56 pm

Nicolas wrote:
Fri Jan 10, 2020 10:42 am
If I have to shell out $800 in gratuities I’m never going to the Galapagos.
Agreed. I wouldnt consider it a "gratuity" if its a requirement.

Hikes_With_Dogs
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Re: Carrying to much cash to Ecuador

Post by Hikes_With_Dogs » Fri Jan 10, 2020 1:04 pm

ATMs work just fine in Ecuador. You'll have no problem pulling out your cash.

When you leave for the islands, maybe split the places where you are carrying it or divvy it up between individuals.

Bad things do happen, but the worst thing that happened to me in the weeks I spent in Ecuador was that my umbrella was stolen (probably by tourist).
Just be smart and you'll be ok.

DarthSage
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Re: Carrying to much cash to Ecuador

Post by DarthSage » Fri Jan 10, 2020 3:32 pm

My DD spent a semester in Ecuador. They like American money, but shy away from large bills. I would NOT bring $100 bills. $20 bills is the biggest they normally process. When DD left, I had given her a $100 ill as a going away little "extra"--she had to go to a bank to cash it, and it was a huge hassle.

I'm kind of surprised you can't prepay gratuities with a credit card, given that it's a tour company (kind of like you would do on a regular cruise ship or other tour). But, maybe you'll be tipping the individuals, so I would do what the tour company suggests.

I know my DD visited the Galapagos while she was in Ecuador--not sure how much she spent (or how), but I can't imagine a poor, jobless college student shelled out $800. OTOH, it's probably where my $100 bill went--I didn't get it back, that's for sure. I'm fine with that, though. She's more of an "experiences" versus a "material things" kind of girl.

travelnut11
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Re: Carrying to much cash to Ecuador

Post by travelnut11 » Fri Jan 10, 2020 3:49 pm

Definitely do not bring anything over a $20 as it will be a huge hassle to get rid of and make sure the cash you do bring is in pristine condition. I spent several months in Ecuador and never had an issue with the ATMs. Just make sure before you leave that you notify your bank that you're going to Ecuador and check the daily limit on your card. I think mine was just under $500 though as noted above the limit in Ecuador could be smaller. If it were me I'd take about half of the needed cash on my person and pull the rest out of ATMs when I got there.

I also travel with something like this. You can squeeze a few hundred dollars worth of folded up 20s and as long as the money is in good condition no one gave me any grief about it.

https://www.beltoutlet.com/collections/ ... 7477837908

I got mine at Sportsman's Guide though they appear to be out of stock there. Note: I'm female but used the men's belts no problem.

In a pinch you can also get a cash advance on a credit card at any bank with your passport. Yes it's expensive and a method of last resort but doable if needed.
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Capsu78
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Re: Carrying to much cash to Ecuador

Post by Capsu78 » Fri Jan 10, 2020 3:52 pm

I also brought some new fresh rolled $1 coins, which are very common in Ecuador as change you get back. A bit heavy but 4 rolls went a long way.
I would also caution you to always put your daypack in the center of the taxi you are riding in... lots of "reach in at red light" crime. Also be aware the police don't need a reason to pull you over- I say this not to panic you but only to caution you that it is very common in Quito for the police to just pull over the next available vehicle for trunk inspection. I watch one guy in a business suit never interrupt his business phone call while the police tossed his trunk- just stood out on the curb talking. They said "OK, good to go" and he jumped back into his car and drove off!

Oh, and don't eat the guinea pig...It's guinea pig!

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dm200
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Re: Carrying to much cash to Ecuador

Post by dm200 » Fri Jan 10, 2020 4:18 pm

Capsu78 wrote:
Fri Jan 10, 2020 3:52 pm
I also brought some new fresh rolled $1 coins, which are very common in Ecuador as change you get back. A bit heavy but 4 rolls went a long way.
I would also caution you to always put your daypack in the center of the taxi you are riding in... lots of "reach in at red light" crime. Also be aware the police don't need a reason to pull you over- I say this not to panic you but only to caution you that it is very common in Quito for the police to just pull over the next available vehicle for trunk inspection. I watch one guy in a business suit never interrupt his business phone call while the police tossed his trunk- just stood out on the curb talking. They said "OK, good to go" and he jumped back into his car and drove off!
Oh, and don't eat the guinea pig...It's guinea pig!
Sounds like dollar US coins are more popular in Ecuador than in the US?

Yes! getting change in dollars is difficult/impossible outside the US.

I also agree with most or all bills no greater than $20.
Oh, and don't eat the guinea pig...It's guinea pig!
I suppose that could be "OK", but not my preferred meal! Probably one or two steps better than cat or dog!

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Bigfish
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Re: Carrying to much cash to Ecuador

Post by Bigfish » Fri Jan 10, 2020 4:39 pm

The tour company is owned and run by locals. It is a small boat, 14 guests, and is a modestly priced trip. The gratuities mentioned are suggestions only, as with most tipping could be more or less depending on how one feels about the service. They suggest cash only and did not mention credit cards. I'm not particularity nervous about bring that much cash not having carried that much in the past I was interested others opinions.

quantAndHold
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Re: Carrying to much cash to Ecuador

Post by quantAndHold » Fri Jan 10, 2020 8:16 pm

I carried that much cash in Africa without issues. Split it between people, carry some in your wallet and some in a money belt, so that if someone steals something they don’t get it all.

My impression of Ecuador was that is was one of the safer places in Latin America, certainly safer than our African trip. Leave your jewelry and fancy luggage at home, so you look like less of a target, but I would just take the cash and not worry about it.

And enjoy the trip! Sounds fabulous.

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Re: Carrying to much cash to Ecuador

Post by Grogs » Fri Jan 10, 2020 10:12 pm

Congrats! I just went in November and it was fantastic. I did an 8-day cruise, plus about 5 days around Quito before/after the cruise. I spent around $900 in cash on the trip. Maybe $250 was souvenirs and gifts. Most of the places are small shops that aren't set up for CCs, or if they are they probably add a hefty fee like 10% on the purchase. Same with most restaurants. You can use plastic at the Charles Darwin Research Center on Santa Cruz for nicer gifts.

I think I tipped $350 on the ship, maybe a little more because we had 3 guides and they were all really good. I was able to settle my bar tab on the ship with plastic, but I had to wait until the last night when we were in the San Cristobol harbor and had an internet connection for the card reader. A lot of ships will let you prepurchase an open bar package, although unless you think you'll drink a lot (like more than 3 drinks/day) they're not usually a good deal.

mkatz
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Re: Carrying to much cash to Ecuador

Post by mkatz » Sat Jan 11, 2020 2:39 am

Bigfish, care to share the name of the local tour company? I'd prefer visiting Equador and Galapagos with a small group...

ScubaHogg
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Re: Carrying to much cash to Ecuador

Post by ScubaHogg » Sat Jan 11, 2020 3:36 am

That doesn't seem like too much cash to carry, especially since you don't need it on you all the time (the hotel room probably has a safe). We carried a similar amount on a trip to Africa for similar reasons. Just split it between the two of you when you do have to carry it.

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kramer
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Re: Carrying to much cash to Ecuador

Post by kramer » Sat Jan 11, 2020 4:25 am

I was recently reading about going to Galapagos, and it was common to request cash payments in 20 dollar bills or under. Someone even wrote something like 100 dollar bills can't be processed or something like that.

When I was in Ecuador 14 years ago, I got cursed at for buying a $2.50 Shawarma with a 10 dollar bill in a sit down restaurant in Quito. My 20 dollar bills were so useless that I had to go to the bank to get all 5's and 1's. I was able to spend a 20 dollar bill at a fancy restaurant but when I asked them to break another 20 dollar bill they said no way.

There is an old story about a guy traveling in Asia who got upset when a vendor didn't have change for the bill he tendered. To which the vendor replied: "Sir, if I had change for that bill, I wouldn't be working today!" :happy

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Bigfish
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Re: Carrying to much cash to Ecuador

Post by Bigfish » Sat Jan 11, 2020 2:52 pm

mkatz wrote:
Sat Jan 11, 2020 2:39 am
Bigfish, care to share the name of the local tour company? I'd prefer visiting Equador and Galapagos with a small group...
The company is CNH Tours https://www.cnhtours.com/ which I found on this site and was highly recommended by one of our members. The ship is the Samba which is locally owned and operated. We also were only interested in a small group, there are 14 guests along with the crew and a naturalist.
If you log onto the site click on active tours. If you have any specific questions send me a pm, I'll be happy to give you a full report when we return in late February.
BF

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whodidntante
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Re: Carrying to much cash to Ecuador

Post by whodidntante » Sat Jan 11, 2020 3:14 pm

I would be very surprised if the ATMs didn't work at all, especially if you bring multiple ATM cards and inform the issuers of your travel plans. But you probably will not be able to get a large amount of cash each day. You can go to a bank and do a debit card cash advance if you like, odds are good for $1,400 all in one shot. Maybe you want to do this in America first if you have never done it.

Losing $1,400 would be annoying, though not really a major life event, so it would be reasonable to bring it all. If it were me, I would bring ~$800 and reload as I go. I would expect traveler's checks are useless because 1980 was 40 years ago.

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Re: Carrying to much cash to Ecuador

Post by Cycle » Sat Jan 11, 2020 3:28 pm

Banco del Pacifico always has cash in their ATMs in Puerto Ayora. Many other ATMs do run out tho.

Don't count on ATMs on smaller islands, like Isabella

Galapagos is very reasonable, if u want it to be, but diving is $150-180 per day. I did ten ten days there with 4 dive and 1 snorkel days plus land stuff and airfare from Quito for $1880 two years ago.

Meals are $5 in town. $25 for nice air-conditioned private rooms.

I planned my trip and booked my flight 12hrs before departure bc my mountain climbing trip was not happening due to snow conditions. It was silly bc I had a bunch of winter mountain climbing gear in paradise.
Last edited by Cycle on Sat Jan 11, 2020 3:31 pm, edited 1 time in total.
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TomatoTomahto
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Re: Carrying to much cash to Ecuador

Post by TomatoTomahto » Sat Jan 11, 2020 3:31 pm

ponyboy wrote:
Fri Jan 10, 2020 12:56 pm
Nicolas wrote:
Fri Jan 10, 2020 10:42 am
If I have to shell out $800 in gratuities I’m never going to the Galapagos.
Agreed. I wouldnt consider it a "gratuity" if its a requirement.
When we went, we were on a small ship. 5 in our family and iirc another 5 passengers. Crew of 8. The naturalist walked with us, swam with us, always happy to share his knowledge. The “gratuities” is how he feeds his family.

I don’t know how it works on cruise ships, but I didn’t feel ripped off.
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quantAndHold
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Re: Carrying to much cash to Ecuador

Post by quantAndHold » Sat Jan 11, 2020 3:37 pm

Oh, and guinea pig (cuy) is actually pretty tasty. It’s a traditional dish there.

Cycle
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Re: Carrying to much cash to Ecuador

Post by Cycle » Sat Jan 11, 2020 3:42 pm

I absolutely would bring the $1400 tho in cash. U will save a lot of atm fees. Just don't check it in your luggage.

I was having to do multiple withdrawals per day bc they limit per transaction, and the fee is not trivial.

Many of the tour groups and dive operators only take cash. Ferries only take cash. some dive shops take card.

For the $5 dinner, street food is at Isla floreana and Jose joaquin De olmedo in Puerto ayora
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dm200
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Re: Carrying to much cash to Ecuador

Post by dm200 » Sat Jan 11, 2020 3:45 pm

quantAndHold wrote:
Sat Jan 11, 2020 3:37 pm
Oh, and guinea pig (cuy) is actually pretty tasty. It’s a traditional dish there.
I think I would just "pass".

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Re: Carrying to much cash to Ecuador

Post by Cycle » Sat Jan 11, 2020 3:47 pm

If u dive, be sure to do Gordon rocks and kicker rock. If u don't dive, be sure to snorkel tunneles.land stuff is meh
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Re: Carrying to much cash to Ecuador

Post by mkatz » Sat Jan 11, 2020 4:11 pm

dm200 wrote:
Sat Jan 11, 2020 3:45 pm
quantAndHold wrote:
Sat Jan 11, 2020 3:37 pm
Oh, and guinea pig (cuy) is actually pretty tasty. It’s a traditional dish there.
I think I would just "pass".
But they're so cute when seated on the serving platter!

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Re: Carrying to much cash to Ecuador

Post by Cycle » Sat Jan 11, 2020 4:31 pm

mkatz wrote:
Sat Jan 11, 2020 4:11 pm
dm200 wrote:
Sat Jan 11, 2020 3:45 pm
quantAndHold wrote:
Sat Jan 11, 2020 3:37 pm
Oh, and guinea pig (cuy) is actually pretty tasty. It’s a traditional dish there.
I think I would just "pass".
But they're so cute when seated on the serving platter!
At a market in yungay Peru, I saw a guy with a net full of dozens of coy thrown over his shoulder. My initial thought was pet store, until I saw many were dead. It was very cute and horrifying at the same time.
Last edited by Cycle on Sat Jan 11, 2020 4:33 pm, edited 1 time in total.
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Doom&Gloom
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Re: Carrying to much cash to Ecuador

Post by Doom&Gloom » Sat Jan 11, 2020 4:33 pm

I have heard and read some horror stories about hotel safes. If at all feasible, I avoid them.

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Re: Carrying to much cash to Ecuador

Post by mkatz » Sat Jan 11, 2020 4:37 pm

Cycle wrote:
Sat Jan 11, 2020 4:31 pm
mkatz wrote:
Sat Jan 11, 2020 4:11 pm
dm200 wrote:
Sat Jan 11, 2020 3:45 pm
quantAndHold wrote:
Sat Jan 11, 2020 3:37 pm
Oh, and guinea pig (cuy) is actually pretty tasty. It’s a traditional dish there.
I think I would just "pass".
But they're so cute when seated on the serving platter!
At a market in yungay Peru, I saw a guy with a net full of dozens of coy thrown over his shoulder. My initial thought was pet store, until I saw many were dead. It was very cute and horrifying at the same time.
To be honest, my wife was grossed out by the fact that our roasted guy appeared to be staring at her... and not smiling.

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Re: Carrying to much cash to Ecuador

Post by whodidntante » Sat Jan 11, 2020 9:41 pm

quantAndHold wrote:
Sat Jan 11, 2020 3:37 pm
Oh, and guinea pig (cuy) is actually pretty tasty. It’s a traditional dish there.
Alpaca are adorable and delicious! :happy

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fortfun
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Re: Carrying to much cash to Ecuador

Post by fortfun » Sat Jan 11, 2020 9:52 pm

Bigfish wrote:
Fri Jan 10, 2020 4:39 pm
The tour company is owned and run by locals. It is a small boat, 14 guests, and is a modestly priced trip. The gratuities mentioned are suggestions only, as with most tipping could be more or less depending on how one feels about the service. They suggest cash only and did not mention credit cards. I'm not particularity nervous about bring that much cash not having carried that much in the past I was interested others opinions.
We took our family of 4 there last June. We were also on a small boat that asked for cash tips. I think DW and I took about $400 each. I used my Charles Schwab ATM (all fees reimbursed) card to pull out a bit more at the airport in Quito. No problems. Enjoy the trip! We had an amazing time (7 nights/8 days). Highlight of the trip for me was snorkeling with sea lions, penguins, and marine iguanas.

ATMs in Peru are another story... Are you going there after Galapagos?

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fortfun
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Re: Carrying to much cash to Ecuador

Post by fortfun » Sat Jan 11, 2020 9:55 pm

Cycle wrote:
Sat Jan 11, 2020 3:42 pm
I absolutely would bring the $1400 tho in cash. U will save a lot of atm fees. Just don't check it in your luggage.

I was having to do multiple withdrawals per day bc they limit per transaction, and the fee is not trivial.

Many of the tour groups and dive operators only take cash. Ferries only take cash. some dive shops take card.

For the $5 dinner, street food is at Isla floreana and Jose joaquin De olmedo in Puerto ayora
Get a Charles Schwab ATM card before your next international trip. I've been reimbursed thousands of dollars in ATM fees over the past few years. Plus, I got a $100 bonus just for opening the account. I transfer 5k to it before each international vacation and that's the only time I use it. I keep waiting for CS to close my account...

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fortfun
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Re: Carrying to much cash to Ecuador

Post by fortfun » Sat Jan 11, 2020 9:59 pm

mkatz wrote:
Sat Jan 11, 2020 2:39 am
Bigfish, care to share the name of the local tour company? I'd prefer visiting Equador and Galapagos with a small group...
We went on the Coral 1 last summer. 23 passengers most of the trip. Coral 2 is even smaller. Had a wonderful time. Go Galapagos was the tour company (thru Klein tours).

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watchnerd
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Re: Carrying to much cash to Ecuador

Post by watchnerd » Sun Jan 12, 2020 12:39 am

tc101 wrote:
Fri Jan 10, 2020 8:52 am
I carried travelers checks just in case. Never had a problem cashing travelers checks.
Wow, that's old school.

I haven't seen traveler's checks since my childhood. I'm not even sure where I would get them.
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Capsu78
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Re: Carrying to much cash to Ecuador

Post by Capsu78 » Sun Jan 12, 2020 5:59 pm

I worked with this company to book day tours out of Quito and was happy with his service.

http://luistipan-ecuador.com/en/

He is dialed in with a lot of the private boats and has price points at all levels.

illumination
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Re: Carrying to much cash to Ecuador

Post by illumination » Sun Jan 12, 2020 7:02 pm

I honestly thought travelers checks were something that had been long since abandoned. I remember I worked at a bank in college in the 90's and even then they were an oddity when someone wanted to redeem them.

I would never take one if I was a vendor and I think it would be way too much of a hassle to use them abroad. I never really thought they were all that secure anyway, I'd rather take my chances with a credit card.

Jon H
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Re: Carrying to much cash to Ecuador

Post by Jon H » Sun Jan 12, 2020 10:33 pm

Cycle wrote:
Sat Jan 11, 2020 3:28 pm
Banco del Pacifico always has cash in their ATMs in Puerto Ayora. Many other ATMs do run out tho.

Don't count on ATMs on smaller islands, like Isabella

Galapagos is very reasonable, if u want it to be, but diving is $150-180 per day. I did ten ten days there with 4 dive and 1 snorkel days plus land stuff and airfare from Quito for $1880 two years ago.

Meals are $5 in town. $25 for nice air-conditioned private rooms.

I planned my trip and booked my flight 12hrs before departure bc my mountain climbing trip was not happening due to snow conditions. It was silly bc I had a bunch of winter mountain climbing gear in paradise.
Is it worthwhile to get dive certified before going?
Consider gain and loss, but never be greedy and everything will be alright (fortune cookie)

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kramer
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Location: Philippines

Re: Carrying to much cash to Ecuador

Post by kramer » Mon Jan 13, 2020 4:55 am

watchnerd wrote:
Sun Jan 12, 2020 12:39 am
tc101 wrote:
Fri Jan 10, 2020 8:52 am
I carried travelers checks just in case. Never had a problem cashing travelers checks.
Wow, that's old school.

I haven't seen traveler's checks since my childhood. I'm not even sure where I would get them.
Circa 2010, I couldn't even get the bank that issued me the traveler's checks to cash them in after a trip ... never again. It took me awhile to find a way to liquidate them in the USA, let alone abroad in a developing country ....

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Matahari
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Re: Carrying to much cash to Ecuador

Post by Matahari » Mon Jan 13, 2020 4:45 pm

Jon H wrote:
Sun Jan 12, 2020 10:33 pm
Cycle wrote:
Sat Jan 11, 2020 3:28 pm

Galapagos is very reasonable, if u want it to be, but diving is $150-180 per day. I did ten ten days there with 4 dive and 1 snorkel days plus land stuff and airfare from Quito for $1880 two years ago.

Meals are $5 in town. $25 for nice air-conditioned private rooms.
Is it worthwhile to get dive certified before going?
My daughter just returned from 2 weeks (course-work related) in the Galapagos. Most of her time was spent on Isabela (the largest island) but they landed in Santa Cruz from Ecuador. She is an advanced diver with 80+ dives and she said the currents were strong and challenging. I don't recall the dive site but there were in the SE side of Isabela. A few of her fellow students got certified before going (max 3-4 dives) and they had some difficulty, especially during their first dive. If you plan on getting certified before going, you'll want to make sure you get a good dive master as your guide.

For my daughter, snorkeling and diving was absolutely worth it. She saw what she expected/hoped to see - many turtles, schools of fish, sea lions, sharks and, a highlight for her, sting rays and manta rays. Equally exciting were the tropical penguins, marine iguanas and sea birds. The only fauna she hoped to see that she did not were the flightless cormorants.

Cycle
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Re: Carrying to much cash to Ecuador

Post by Cycle » Mon Jan 13, 2020 10:43 pm

Jon H wrote:
Sun Jan 12, 2020 10:33 pm
Cycle wrote:
Sat Jan 11, 2020 3:28 pm
Banco del Pacifico always has cash in their ATMs in Puerto Ayora. Many other ATMs do run out tho.

Don't count on ATMs on smaller islands, like Isabella

Galapagos is very reasonable, if u want it to be, but diving is $150-180 per day. I did ten ten days there with 4 dive and 1 snorkel days plus land stuff and airfare from Quito for $1880 two years ago.

Meals are $5 in town. $25 for nice air-conditioned private rooms.

I planned my trip and booked my flight 12hrs before departure bc my mountain climbing trip was not happening due to snow conditions. It was silly bc I had a bunch of winter mountain climbing gear in paradise.
Is it worthwhile to get dive certified before going?
Absolutely, or u could do the pool work at home and do your open water dives there to complete the cert

Diving in the Galapagos is arguably the best place to cold water dive in the world. The currents are fairly strong depending on the location so you'd want to have at least a few dives and cert under your belt. I had like 12 dives before. They may recommend 100 dives, but they'll take anyone certified.

That being said there was a guy on one of my dives that was absolutely hammered drunk and kept popping up to the surface, so you don't need to be an expert or anything. I'm sure the hammerheads were wondering if he was lunch.
Never look back unless you are planning to go that way

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dm200
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Re: Carrying to much cash to Ecuador

Post by dm200 » Tue Jan 14, 2020 11:33 am

I just cannot get the guinea pig "delicacies" out of my mind!

I will have to ask my brother about that - since a few years ago, he and his wife went to Ecuador for some kind of celebration related to his step-daughter - whose husband is from Ecuador.

mptfan
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Re: Carrying to much cash to Ecuador

Post by mptfan » Tue Jan 14, 2020 11:37 am

Luckywon wrote:
Fri Jan 10, 2020 8:56 am
$800 of the $1400 you mention is gratuities which you could give in $100 bills. The rest in $20 bills. Between two people that's not a lot to carry.
I agree.

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