Currency In Ecuador

Ecuador Currency
·    Ecuador's monetary unit, the peso, was renamed Sucre (decree of March 22, 1884, effective April 1,).
·    Following the financial banking crisis of 1999, the US dollar became legal tender in Ecuador on March 13, 2000 and Sucre notes ceased being legal tender on September 11. Sucre notes remained exchangeable at Banco Central until March 30, 2001 at 25,000 Sucre’s per dollar. Ecuador now only issues its own centavo coins.

Transferring your money out of Ecuador ~ 5% Fees

What Currency Does Ecuador Use?

Ecuador uses the U.S. dollar

March 13, 2000 marked the dollarization of Ecuador’s economy – switching from the Sucre (Ecuador’s previous currency) to the U.S. dollar as the national currency.

If you are traveling from the United States, you can just bring the money you use at home. 

Coins in Ecuador

While Ecuador doesn’t print its own paper currency, it does mint its own coin. In Ecuador, both U.S. and Ecuadorian coin is accepted.

Ecuadorian coins are known as centavo coins and were also introduced in 2000 with the dollarization. They come in denominations of 1, 5, 10, 25, and 50 centavos (cents) and match the size and value to their U.S. equivalents. As you travel in Ecuador, you’ll accumulate a pocket full of mixed (U.S. and Ecuador) minted coins.

Dollar Coins in Ecuador

Typical Americans do not like to use US (Sacagawea & US Presidential) dollar coins; however, they are used daily across Ecuador. These are great for taxi fares.

Handling your Money in Ecuador

                                                    "CASH IS KING IN ECUADOR"

While many tourism services accept credit cards, the local consumer economy runs on cash. You’ll want cash for everything from taxis to local markets and souvenirs.

Small bills are best. Generally speaking, you should carry $5, $10 and $20 bills. $50 bills aren’t common and $100 bills can be a real hassle to break (even at the banks) because of the possibility of counterfeits.

·    Officially the Republic of Ecuador (Spanish: República del Ecuador literally translates as "Republic of the Equator")
·    The main spoken language in Ecuador is Spanish (94% of the population). Languages of official use in native communities include Quichua, Shuar, and 11 other languages


Money and/or Cash. In Ecuador most medium to large business, restaurants and hotel accept credit cards. It is when you are on the road and buying items from small vendors, restaurants and some hostels that you will need cash. Ecuador uses US currency. You can bring $100 and $50 bills but in small cities/villages it may be difficult getting change unless your purchase is close to the amount. Small business cannot make change for $100 and $50 bills. Banks here will exchange $100’s & $50’s for $20's, $10's & $5. The dollar coin is the most popular coin in Ecuador. Paper dollars are around but the dollar coin is what you will see the most of. If we see paper dollars we know visitors must be in town :).

 Some advice when paying for anything especially in small villages or vendors along the roads try to pay as close to the cost as possible. In other words, don’t pay with a $20 bill for an item that cost $1 or so. Reason, most do not carry a lot of change. Depending on the business, they might not be able to provide that much change back. It just helps them out.