The official language of Ecuador is Spanish. However, English is widely spoken at hotels, restaurants and shops. Almost everyone involved in hosting you during your stay speaks English. If you plan to set out on your ownor simply for convenienceit is good to carry an English / Spanish phrase book. Electronic stores like Radio Shack® sell pocket translators that make it simple to look up words and conjugate verbs for around US $20.
As with any large city, one is advised to take precautions to insure safety and security. Police patrol tourist areas regularly. Even so, you should remain alert to your surroundings and maintain a good grip on your camera and pack if you bring them along. Leave your passport, most of your cash and all but the credit card you plan to use in your hotel lockbox. These are normal precautions for any city you are unfamiliar with. You will find Quito to be a beautiful, friendly and enjoyable place. Your guide will answer any other questions you have regarding security.
Smoking is not permitted inside the yachts but is allowed in designated areas on the outside decks. Park rules forbid smoking on the islands of the Galápagos.
We are often asked what gratuity is appropriate to leave the guide and the crew while in the Galápagos. Of course the quality of service should determine the extent of any gratuity. As a recommendation: if the service received has been excellent, US$40 per person for your guide and US$100 per person for the rest of the crew is considered appropriate for a one week cruise in the Galápagos. This is only a suggestion.
For the rest of your stay we offer the following as a guideline only for excellent service:
Private tours in mainland Ecuador (per person):