Ecuador, Galapagos Islands, entry requirements, tourists, medical insurance

New Ecuador Entry Requirement

When packing for your Galapagos adventure, there is one more thing you’ll need to be sure to bring along: proof of medical insurance that will be valid in Ecuador.

Ecuador’s new immigration laws, which also affect tourists, require that all who come to this Andean country must show proof of medical insurance. The new regulations were passed by the National Assembly in February, and signed by Ecuador’s President Lenín Moreno at the beginning of August. On August 14, the Tourism Ministry announced the recent requirements.

According to the new law, all visitors must show proof of integral health insurance which covers doctor, accident and death during their stay in Ecuador and that will be valid in Ecuador.

Check your present medical insurance coverage to ensure you are covered overseas. But note that whatever medical insurance you have at home usually will NOT cover medical expenses, including medical evacuation, in a foreign country. Therefore, it will be necessary for you to purchase a travel insurance policy. With these, confirm that all activities that you plan to do, like scuba diving, are included.

Remember also that other new regulations require that visitors to the Galapagos Islands must have proof of cruise or hotel reservations for the duration of their stay in the archipelago.

For travelers from many countries, no visa is required to enter Ecuador for a stay of up to 90 days within a 365-day period. Citizens of UNASUR member nations (Argentina, Bolivia, Brazil, Chile, Colombia, Guyana, Paraguay, Peru, Surinam, Uruguay and Venezuela) may stay 180 days in one year. Only those from Afghanistan, Bangladesh, Cuba, Eritrea, Ethiopia, Kenia, Nepal, Nigeria, Pakistan, Somalia and Senegal require a visa before arriving in Ecuador.

By making certain you have the proper documents, you will make your journey to Ecuador more pleasant and trouble-free.


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Photo credit: Vince Smith

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