Before You Depart

Spirit of Ecuador & the Galápagos Islands


Our flights to Ecuador and back are on the following airlines with the corresponding schedules. We recommend that you arrive at the airport at least 3 ½ hours before the scheduled departure. If you are planning a connecting flight, please make sure to allow sufficient time for clearing immigration and customs. Flight schedules are subject to change.

Date Airline Airport Depart Return
2024: May 20 LATAM Airlines Miami (MIA) 3:50 PM 2:31 PM
2024: Aug. 26 TBA Miami (MIA) TBA TBA
2024: Oct. 14 N/A N/A N/A N/A



Airlines do not assign seats in advance for group fares – seat assignments are arranged upon check-in at the airport. smarTours is not involved with seat assignments. If you require a specific seat due to a medical condition, please obtain a doctor’s note you can present to the airline at check-in.


Booking your own flights has advantages like flying from your home airport, choosing your own seats, upgrading your seats, and using and collecting airline miles. Tour-only travelers are responsible for arranging their entry and exit flights, as well as their arrival and departure transfers. Unused land services including those caused by air schedule changes and delays are non-refundable and smarTours cannot be held responsible.

When booking your flights, please note that our tour starts in Quito and ends in Quito. We recommend that you:

  • Fly into Mariscal Sucre Quito International Airport (UIO)
  • Fly out of Mariscal Sucre Quito International Airport (UIO)


When and where you’ll meet the rest of the group depends on if you purchased our air-inclusive package with group flights from/returning to the U.S. or our tour-only package.

  • smarTours Group Air Travelers: Upon arrival in destination, please proceed through customs and immigration. Our Tour Director will be waiting for you at the airport upon arrival in the arrivals area near the point you clear customs with a smarTours sign.
  • smarTours Tour-Only Travelers: Due to the late evening arrival of our air-inclusive package, the group welcome briefing will take place after breakfast on Day 2. Hotel check-in is generally not before 4 PM.


The final end point for your tour depends on if you purchased our air-inclusive package with group flights from/returning to the U.S. or our tour-only package.

  • smarTours Group Air Travelers: On our last day, we’ll transfer to the airport for our return flight to the U.S.
  • smarTours Tour-Only Travelers: The tour ends after breakfast on the last day. Generally, hotel check-out is prior to 12 PM (noon).


Travelers must be in possession of a passport valid for at least 6 months after the date of travel. U.S. passport holders do not require a visa for travel to Ecuador for stays less than 90 days in a 12-month period. Ecuador requires that travelers have at least 2 blank visa pages in their passport. Before your trip, review travel requirements and restrictions by country including passport and visa requirements. You can also learn more about passport and visa services. Please remember that it is your responsibility to obtain the necessary travel documents before the trip.


Final instructions, documents, and travel tips will be emailed to you 10–14 days before the scheduled start of your tour. If you have not received your final documents, please check your spam folder or contact smarTours.


Immunizations are not currently required, however, some cities like Quito (altitude of 9,350 feet) may be at a higher altitude than you are used to. Travelers may wish to consult your personal physician or local health authorities about altitude sickness prevention and any other suggestions. The CDC recommends you stay up to date on routine vaccinations, and consult your physician at least one month prior to travel. Learn more about the CDC’s destination-specific recommendations.


Since Ecuador is located near the equator, the weather is temperate with average daytime high temperatures ranging from 60’s to the 80’s. However, in areas of higher elevations (Quito) as well as in the Galápagos Islands, morning, late afternoon and evening temperatures will be considerably cooler (30’s to 50’s).


The official currency in Ecuador is the U.S. dollar ($). Hotels and some stores accept major credit cards. However, for “street shopping” you will need U.S. Dollars. It is recommended that you bring along cash in small denominations.


Ecuador operates on 120 volts/60 Hz and uses plug types A & B. Learn more about plug types, adapters, and converters.


Each passenger may bring one piece of checked-in luggage and one carry-on piece. Please check with the airline for the maximum weight and size for luggage. We recommend that you do not over-pack and that you take a variety of separates with climate and comfort in mind.