what we spent in ecuador

budget: £2280 / $3496

total spent: £1902 / $2901

# of days: 76

avg. daily spend: £25 / $38.2

all costs for two people in average exchange rate at time of travel - currencies are £GBP / $USD

days on budget: 9.2%

days under budget: 67.1%

   days over budget: 23.7%

Oh, Ecuador - you're one of our favourites, and we're both pretty sure we could have spent much longer lazing on your beautiful beaches, enjoying your delicious seafood and hiking through your slice of the Andes.

We'll put our hands up and say that we didn't make it to the Galapagos as it was just too much money for us. In fact, just to put it in perspective, a week for the two of us there was likely to have comprised about 2/3 of what we actually spent for the entire ten-week stay in the country.

We don't regret the decision. We still ate well, drank well, were extremely active, got a lovely tan and saw some stunning places - all for an average daily spend of £12.5/$19 each - what a life!

What we spent in Ecuador

total spend: £663 / $1014

average cost of double £11.4 / $17.5

Accommodation prices in Ecuador vary wildly. From the over-priced hostels of Quito to the basic but perfectly adequate huts on the coast - there is something to make, and break, every budget out there.

We were hugely fortunate during our time in Ecuador that we were able to work with a number of hostels across the country which equated to 17 nights of comped accommodation.

Top tip: Even in the perennially expensive Quito, cheaper accommodation can be found - you really do just have to look around rather than book on-line.

Top tip: If you're part of a couple, this is a great place to upgrade to a double as it rarely costs much more than two dorm beds.

accommodation: 35%

total spend: £192 / $294

As a rule of thumb, one hour of bus travel here should cost you around $1 - but this has been known to vary considerably, with a local bus towards Montañita for a little less than an hour costing $3 each but a 7 hour bus from Quito to the coast costing as little as $8.

If you've spent some time in Central America, the buses here will feel like pure luxury, but if you're coming from Peru you'll likely be left a little disappointed.

top tip: We definitely felt that there was a little 'gringo tax' added on the bus prices so make sure you know how much your ticket should cost before boarding. Also, never leave your bag under your seat or in the rack above in Ecuador - keep it on your person at all times.

transport: 10%

total spend: £378 / $579

The daily 'almuerzo' provides exceptionally good value, especially along the coast. For between $1.50  - $3.50 you will be given a great soup and filling main, plus some sort of fresh fruit juice. 

We absolutely fell in love with the combo of shrimp soup and fresh fish, and content that we would never be able to cook something that great at that cost, proceeded to eat it almost every day during our seven weeks on the coast.

top tip: For veggies, if you look around a bit, you'll usually find a restaurant offering a meat-free soup and staff were almost always happy to swap out the meat of the main dish for an egg or extra rice or lentils.

eating out: 20%

total spend: £194 / $297

We know that Ecuador is smallish by South American standards, but should we really have spent the same amount on alcohol as we did on transport?

Bloody sunset beers and Motañita's cocktail alley.

top tip: You can find a litre of rum for as little as $6/£4 - and it's really not bad!

alcohol: 10%

total spend: £247 / $378

Small beach town shops are incredibly over-priced (not shocking news, we know). Thankfully outgoings were minimised by the daily almuerzo and the strategic buying of supplies in big towns. 

top tip: Large supermarkets are pretty hard to locate in Ecuador, with the chain 'Tia' being your best bet for cheaper grocery items - just make sure you visit the vegetable/fruit seller down the road for these items to save considerable cash!

groceries: 13%

total spend: £106 / $162

If you've read many of our Colombian posts, you may recall mention of a slight bakery addiction (or more precisely,the deliciousness that is arequipe). Well, you can imagine how happy we both were to discover that Ecuadorians love it just as much as us!

Add in ice creams, ice-cold soft drinks and the occasional all out post-hangover binge fest and £100 goes quite quickly.

top tip: If you fancy an ice-cream, try and find someone selling scoops and cones, it usually worked out significantly cheaper than a generic cornetto or the like.

sweets & treats: 5.5%

total spend: £54 / $83

Sun screen and bug spray. Neither is very cheap in Ecuador and so these two items pretty much account for the majority of this. 

Thankfully, being a delightfully hot country all year round, it is possible to wash your clothes almost exclusively by hand in a number of places.

top tip: If you find sunscreen cheap ANYWHERE, buy it. If you wait until you run out in a small town, you will pay through the nose. We saved a bundle doing this.

top tip: 'Deltan' bug repellant is the best non-DEET alternative that we have ever tried, and is available across Ecuador.

toiletries: 3%

total spend: £68 / $104

This really is a teeny, tiny figure - but we were actually incredibly active during our time in Ecuador; we just did it on the cheap. From night time dips with bio-luminous plankton and surfing on the coast to hiking the Quilotoa Loop and cycling into the Amazon

Granted, we took a couple of great tours with companies we worked with (including an unforgettable experience up Cotopaxi and a visit to the Poor Man's Galapagos), but true to form, most of our adventures were undertaken with little more than our own two feet, the odd bit of public transport and occasional bicycle rental.

top tip: Surf board rental can be a little pricy within certain beach towns, but you can always secure a better deal if you hire one for a few days.

activities: 3.5%

total spend: £0 /$0

Although we didn't technically spend any of the joint budget on clothing this month, a much needed new bikini was purchased from Emily's personal cash stash, at a cost of $48.

top tip: We did note that Ecuador can be pretty costly for clothes, often with prices not that dissimilar from the States, even for poorly made tat. If you're desperate for new swimwear for the beach or need a warm jumper for the Quilotoa Loop, just make sure you shop around!

clothes: 0%

total spend: £0/$0

Another country where us Brits pay no entry or exit fee!

crossing borders: 0%

We've been on the road for a while now, and that's a whole lot of countries! Click here to find out what we've spent in the rest of Latin America.

heading to ecuador? check out some of our top posts!