This is a post that contains some of those nagging travel questions you might have about Ecuador and the Galapagos. It is not comprehensive but covers some of the basic items you need to plan your trip.
We flew into Quito airport from San Francisco (via Houston) which was a total of about 9 hours or flight time and a few hours of layover time. So essentially plan on spending a whole day traveling from the US to Quito.
Once we arrived in Quito, we hit up the taxi counter and easily got a ride to our hotel.
We only used the taxis to and from the airport but had no problems using them as we had the hotel confirm a flat rate prior to your departure. Not sure if they normally use a meter but make sure you either pre-negotiate or insist upon meter usage and as always take care that the taxis are legitimate as we heard a few stories or scams and over charging.
It was very odd to be using US dollars, but that is the official currency of Ecuador. Since we came from the US, we didn’t need to change money or even go to the ATM as we had brought a fair amount of US dollars and our cruise and tours were pre-paid.
There were no vaccines or medicines needed for travel to Ecuador but if you are headed to the Amazon you might want to take Malaria pills if you are concerned or will be there for an extended period of time.
Also, while we had fairly calm seas, people that are prone to sea sickness should bring pills or patches to combat rough seas.
See the CDC Website for details and updated information: http://wwwnc.cdc.gov/travel/destinations/ecuador.htm
We did not require a visa to visit Ecuador but were required to pay $10 for a “visa” and a $100 fee to enter the Galapagos National Park.
For additional information see here: http://wikitravel.org/en/Galapagos_Islands