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Ecuador is a predominantly Catholic, socially conservative country, and in general terms the nation is considerably homophobic. Public displays of same-sex affection are rare. For these reasons, the local gay and lesbian communities are pretty discreet. While Quito and Guayaquil have something of a gay and lesbian scene, with several bars and clubs catering to this clientele, the situation gets radically worse outside these large, modern metropolitan centers. For good, comprehensive information on the current situation, check out http://quito.queercity.info, the best English-language online resource for gay travelers to Ecuador, although the site is almost exclusively geared toward men. Ecuador Gay (tel. 02/2529-993; www.ecuadorgay.com) is a Quito-based travel agency geared specifically towards a gay and lesbian clientele, while Galápagos Traveller (tel. 877/829-9006 in the U.S. and Canada; www.galapagostraveller.com), is a recommended GLB-friendly Ecuadorean travel agency.

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.