Shopping in Ecuador

Shopping in Ecuador

Southern America



The following articles can be imported into Ecuador duty-free (people aged 18+):
20 cigarette packets of 20 cigarettes and 25 cigars / cigarillos and 500 g tobacco;
3 l alcoholic beverages;
300 ml of perfume;
Gifts and items for personal use valued at up to US $ 500.

Import regulations

Weapons and ammunition only with the approval of the Ministry of Defense. Fresh or dried meat, non-canned meat products, plants and vegetables require an import permit.

Prohibited exports

Gold bars, narcotics, antiques, live wildlife, souvenirs made from protected species (black coral, tortoiseshell).



Nice souvenirs are wood carvings, colorful tiles, wool rugs, hand-woven blankets and other textiles, baskets, leather goods and shigras (shoulder bags). Mazápan are painted and varnished figures made of bread dough, which family members traditionally gave to their deceased as food for the hungry soul in the grave. Today the figures are used all year round for various celebrations and sold as souvenirs.

In Cuenca and Gualaceo in the province of Azuay you can find a large selection of handicrafts and handicrafts on the ferias or market days. The best weekly markets are probably in Ambato, Latacunga, Saquisili and Riobamba, with excellent brightly colored Indian textiles and silverware. The Quito market is known for its silver shops.

The Otavalo market, held every Saturday morning, is the largest and most popular indigenous craft market in all of South America. Textile goods are offered to tourists in the Plaza de Ponchos. There are numerous stalls in the surrounding streets selling handicrafts and antiques from across the country. It is quieter on the Saquisili market, which is mostly frequented by locals. Colorfully dressed Andean people in traditional clothing come every Thursday from the surrounding communities to buy and sell everyday objects and textiles, bags and decorative art items.

Minimarkets (small grocery stores), which can be found both in the cities on the busy streets and in smaller towns, are reasonably priced and offer a selection of local products.

Opening hours

There are no officially regulated shop opening times. Most shops are open Mon-Fri 9 a.m.-1 p.m. and 3 p.m.-7 p.m., Sat 10 a.m.-8 p.m. smaller shops are often open until midnight. Some shops are also open on Sundays.


You can bargain reasonably in smaller shops where the prices are not excellent, as well as in markets. Most of the time the price can be negotiated down by 10 to 20%. In some shops near the larger hotels and in the tourist shops, prices are fixed.



The nightlife in Ecuador is rather calm. The evening entertainment mostly takes place in private homes. But if you are lucky enough to be invited to a private party, you will get to know the warmth and joie de vivre of Ecuadorians.

For more entertainment, the cities of Quito and Guayaquil have some excellent events and restaurants. The food in the restaurants is varied, excellent and elegant, but also affordable. Events are announced in the monthly Quito Cultura magazine.

Quito has a wide range of different restaurants for all tastes. There are also a few cozy bars and nightclubs here, with parties from Thursday to Saturday. The nightlife focuses on the legendary party district La Mariscal, which because of the many tourists also Gringolandia is called (as gringos are referred to North Americans, in this case, but all tourists are meant). With the many bars and clubs there is always something going on here and the area is considered safe even at night. Bars are usually open from 8 p.m. to 2 a.m. and clubs until 3 a.m. But one should be careful: the word nightclub can also mean brothel in Ecuador.

In Guayaquil, nightlife takes place mainly in the area around the Malecon 2000 waterfront. Those who prefer it quiet will find numerous bars and pubs in Cerro Santa Ana. It’s livelier in the Zona Rosa, an area between Avenida Rocafuerte to the west, Calle Juan Montalvo to the north and Calle Manuel Luzarraga to the south, where live music is often played and danced in the bars. Locals are especially drawn to the clubs and discos in the Kennedy Norte district.



Spanish is the official language in Ecuador, a country located in South America according to ehistorylib. Kichwa (also Quichua or Quechua) is widespread, especially in the Sierra. In addition, be Chibcha and various other indigenous languages spoken, such as Awapit (language of the Awá), A’ingae (language of the Cofan), Achuar-Shiwiar (language of the Achuar and the Shiwiar), Cha’palaachi (language Chachi) Tsa’fiki (language of the Tsáchila), Paicoca (language of the Sionaand the Secoya) and Wao Tededeo (language of the Waorani). Of these languages, the Shuar spoken in the southern Orient is the most widespread with around 100,000 speakers. A total of around 23 different languages and idioms are spoken.

Tourism industry employees sometimes speak some English, otherwise the language is generally not understood. English is also often not understood at airports and hotels.

The Ecuadorians are very happy when you speak to them in Spanish. Often you get into a conversation afterwards, even if this then involves hands and gestures.


  • Eight = Ocho
  • Eighty = ochenta
  • Goodbye = Chau
  • Exit = Salida
  • Beer = Cerveza
  • Please = Por favor
  • Thank you very much = Gracias
  • Tuesday = Martes
  • Thursday = Jueves
  • Doctor = Médico
  • Thirty = Treinta
  • Three = Tres
  • One = Un / uno / una
  • Entrance = Entrada
  • One hundred = cien
  • One thousand = mil
  • Friday = Viernes
  • Five = Cinco
  • Fifty = cincuenta
  • Danger = Peligro
  • Open = Abierto
  • Closed = Cerrado
  • Good morning = Buenos Dias
  • Hello = Buenas Tardes’
  • Good evening = Buenas Noches
  • Hello = hola
  • Today = Hoy
  • Hotel = hotel
  • I do not understand that. = No entiendo
  • I feel sick = Me encuentro times
  • Yes = Sí
  • My name is…?? = Me llamo…
  • I’m fine. = Estoy muy bien
  • Wednesday = Miércoles
  • Monday = Lunes
  • Tomorrow = Mañana
  • Nine = Nueve
  • Ninety = noventa
  • No = no
  • Restaurant = restaurants
  • Saturday = Sábado
  • Six = Seis
  • Sixty = Sesenta
  • Seven = pages
  • Seventy = setenta
  • Sunday = Domingo
  • Menu = Carta
  • Do you speak German / English? = ¿Habla alemán / inglés?
  • Excellent! = Chevere!
  • Toilets = servicios
  • Forty = Cuarenta
  • Four = Cuatro
  • Wine = vino
  • How are you? = ¿Qué tal estás?
  • How much is it? = ¿Cuánto it?
  • Where is …? = ¿Dónde está?
  • Ten = Diez
  • Twenty = United
  • Two = Dos

Shopping in Ecuador