Planning a backpacking trip, particularly to somewhere with so much natural beauty and remote mystery like Ecuador, sounds exciting. It sounds like one of those bucket list, once-in-a-lifetime opportunities, and it can be. Backpacking in Ecuador or anywhere for that matter can be an amazing travel experience.
However, that doesn’t mean you don’t have to do some planning and consider logistics.
Just to give you one example, what if you go over budget during your backpacking trip? Do you have a plan in place for how friends or family will send money to Ecuador? What if your things are lost or stolen, what will you do? These just a couple of the many logistical concerns.
While you can’t plan for everything, having at least somewhat of a game plan can help reduce the risk of things going poorly on your trip.
The following are some tips to keep in mind as you plan your backpacking excursion to Ecuador.
Be Realistic with the Cost of Travel
We mentioned above the potential of running out of money. It’s best not to have that happen of course. Try to budget accordingly based on what it costs day-to-day in Ecuador. If you read travel blogs, you’ll see that many people have made it on around $500 a month in Ecuador, because it is an inexpensive place to travel.
Of course, if you’re staying in hotels more often hostels the costs will go up. Alternatively, maybe you’re spending more time camping than going to hotels or hostels, so your costs may be lower. Overall you can get a meal in a restaurant for around $3, and you can get street food for even cheaper. Public transportation is also very inexpensive, and hostels usually range from $5 to $10 a night.
If you are going backpacking, it may be because you want to save money while you see the country. Some tips for doing this are named above, such as opting for camping or hostels rather than hotels.
There are other options as well. For example, there are options called hospedajes which are guesthouses run by families, and they’re fairly easy to find in Ecuador. These will usually cost even less than a hostel.
Also, if you want to go to the Galapagos Islands, you’re going to likely book a cruise, but these can be pricey. If you wait until the last minute, you may be able to find better deals.
Creating an Itinerary
You want to have a general idea of where you’ll go on your trip. One of the go-to places in Ecuador are the Galapagos Islands. However, this is also going to be one of the most expensive parts of the country, and it’s going to be the most filled with tourists.
There are other areas that are worth a visit as well including Quito, Banos, and Vilcabamba.
Finally, like many other places in Latin America and the rest of the world for that matter, it is important to think about safety. There are specific safety recommendations for travelers, such as to stay away from the Colombia border if possible. Also, there may be theft on buses in Ecuador, and you want to be careful if you’re out alone at night. These are pretty standard recommendations regardless of where you’re traveling.