Money in Galapagos & Mainland Ecuador - Travel Deals

Ecuador & Galápagos Currency

Ecuador’s official currency is the U.S. dollar, making it easy for American travelers visiting the country. There are no currency restrictions for entry to or exit from Ecuador. However, it is recommended to bring smaller bills as it’s rare that smaller vendors have larger bills in change.

If you’re looking to exchange your currency once you’ve arrived in Ecuador, the other popular currencies that are accepted are Euros, Peruvian soles, and Colombian nuevos soles. We don’t recommend carrying traveler’s checks as they are difficult to cash.

ATMS and Credit Cards

ATMs are available in the Galápagos, though they aren’t prolific. It’s best to research your bank’s ATM locations, your daily withdrawal limit, and fees for international transactions before you leave home. There are several ATMs and banks in Puerto Baquierizo and Puerto Ayora, plus one ATM in Puerto Villamil on Isabela Island where guests can withdraw US dollars. 

Western Union offices and ATM networks are available in all major cities in mainland Ecuador. Many locals also accept Visa, Master Card, American Express, and Diner’s Club. Although Diner’s Club is the most widely accepted credit card, American Express has some of the best emergency services if any problems are encountered.


Throughout the Galápagos Islands, it is customary for visitors to tip naturalist guides and boat staff at their discretion. On guided trips, a tip of $10-20 per day is the norm for guides and roughly half that for boat staff and drivers. For taxi rides from the airport, a few dollars in change is usually appreciated. 

At restaurants, a 10% tip for restaurant staff is customary, in addition to the IVA (sales tax) of 14%. Diners should be aware that these are often not included in menu prices and may be added to checks automatically. Always check what is and isn’t included before tipping. 


Galápagos Travel FAQs