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Passports

A valid passport is required to enter and depart Ecuador. For an up-to-date, country-by-country listing of passport requirements around the world, go to the "Foreign Entry Requirement" Web page of the U.S. Department of State at http://travel.state.gov.

Visas

Ecuadorean visas are not required for citizens of the United States, the United Kingdom, Canada, Australia, New Zealand, South Africa, France, Germany, and Switzerland. Upon entry, you will automatically be granted permission to stay for up to 90 days. Technically, to enter the country you need a passport that is valid for more than 6 months beyond the date of entry, a return ticket, and proof of how you plan to support yourself while you're in Ecuador, but I've never seen a Customs official ask for the last two requirements. If you plan on spending more than 90 days here, you will need to apply for a visa at your local embassy. Requirements include a passport valid for more than 6 months, a police certificate with criminal record from the state or province in which you currently live, a medical certificate, a return ticket, and two photographs.

Medical Requirements

No specific shots or vaccines are necessary for travelers to Ecuador, although vaccinations against Hepatitis A are always a good idea. In addition, some countries, including Costa Rica, require proof of a yellow fever vaccine for tourists who have visited Ecuador.

Ecuadorean Embassy Locations

In Australia: 6 Pindari Crescent, O'Malley, ACT 2606 (tel. 628/64021; fax 628/61231)

In Canada: 50 O'Connor St., Ste. 316, Ottawa, ON K1P 6L2 (tel. 613/563-8206; fax 613/235-5776)

In the U.K.: 3 Hans Crescent, Knightsbridge, London, SW1X 0LS (tel. 020/7584-1367; fax 020/7823-9701)

In the U.S.: 2535 15th St. NW, Washington, DC 20009 (tel. 202/234-7200; fax 202/667-3482)

Customs

What You Can Bring into Ecuador -- Visitors to Ecuador are legally permitted to bring in up to $1,250 worth of items for personal use, including cameras, portable typewriters, video cameras and accessories, tape recorders, personal computers, and CD players. You can also bring in up to 2 liters of alcoholic beverages and 200 cigarettes (1 carton).

What You Can Take Home from Ecuador -- It is illegal to bring out any pre-Columbian artifact from Ecuador, whether you bought it, you discovered it, or it was given to you.

Canadian Citizens: For a clear summary of Canadian rules, write for the booklet I Declare, issued by the Canada Border Services Agency (tel. 800/461-9999 in Canada, or 204/983-3500; www.cbsa-asfc.gc.ca).

U.K. Citizens: For information, contact HM Customs & Excise at tel. 0845/010-9000 (from outside the U.K., 020/8929-0152), or consult their website at www.hmce.gov.uk.

Australian Citizens: A helpful brochure available from Australian consulates or Customs offices is Know Before You Go. For more information, call the Australian Customs Service at tel. 1300/363-263, or log on to www.customs.gov.au.

New Zealand Citizens: Most questions are answered in a free pamphlet available at New Zealand consulates and Customs offices: New Zealand Customs Guide for Travellers, Notice no. 4. For more information, contact New Zealand Customs, The Customhouse, 17-21 Whitmore St., Box 2218, Wellington (tel. 04/473-6099 or 0800/428-786; www.customs.govt.nz).

Note: This information was accurate when it was published, but can change without notice. Please be sure to confirm all rates and details directly with the companies in question before planning your trip.