The currency in Ecuador is the exact same as the United States, and several other countries. Ecuador has been on the United States Dollar since 2000 when the value of the Ecuadorian Sucre crashed and the government switched to the US dollar to stabilize the economy.
Paper bills in Ecuador (1’s, 5’s, 10’s, 20’s, 50’s and 100’s), as well as $1 coins, are the exact same money as the US so there’s no need to convert them or learn a new currency. All paper currency used in Ecuador is printed in the US and all $1 coins are minted in the US.
However, some coins minted in Ecuador (pennies, nickels, dimes, quarters and 50-cent coins shown below) cannot be used in the US so you should convert them at a bank or store before you go back home. Coins minted in Ecuador are called centavos and are technically fractions of the old Sucre so they have virtually no value outside Ecuador.
Dollar coins are much more prevalent in Ecuador than dollar bills, and leave your $50 and $100 bills at home because no one will have change to break them except a bank. Cab drivers rarely have enough change to break anything larger than a $5 bill so it’s a good idea to carry lots of coins and $5 bills with you.
For more information check out our post about Money and Banking in Ecuador.
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