• Colombia!

    Colombia: Caribbean Sea coast. Go Now!

    Although most of the people live inland, Colombia also has its share of coastline along the Pacific Ocean and the Caribbean Sea (pictured). Go Now!

  • Ecuador!

    Ecuador: Sally Lightfoot Crab. Go Now!

    The Galapagos Islands and Ecuador are home to incredible wildlife, such as the famous Galapagos Turtle and the lesser known, but more common Red Rock or Sally Lightfoot crab (pictured). Begin Your Journey!

  • Chile!

    Chile: Torres del Paine National Park. Go Now!

    The Andes dominate much of Chile, including the breath-taking Torres del Paine National Park (pictured). However, the country also hosts the world's driest desert and a thriving metropolis. Begin Your Journey!

  • Venezuela!

    Venezuela: Los Roques. Go Now!

    Rooted in Europe, Venezuela boasts an impressive history, culture, and beauty, including the Caribbean Coast (pictured). Explore Venezuela!

  • Bolivia!

    Bolivia: Salt flats. Go Now!

    This hidden gem is full of surprises, from the impressive salt flats (pictured) to the migrating flamingos. It also clings to the most historic indigenous culture on the continent. Explore Bolivia!

Social Life in Ecuador


The people of Ecuador are conservative in most aspects of their lives and this is best seen in their behaviors, dress, and dining etiquette. They tend to dress and act conservatively, much of which is based on the tenants of the Catholic Church. However, there is also great variety in the way the Ecuadorians behave as the country is quite diverse ethnically and geographically.

As a visitor to Ecuador try to follow the lead of the locals by dressing conservatively (see below for details), dining in the local etiquette (see our Ecuador Dining & Food Page), and avoid sensitive conversation topics, such as politics, finances, and business unless initiated by your local counterpart. Also try to avoid being loud, rude, showing off wealth, or getting noticeably drunk in public.


The way the people in Ecuador dress is diverse as differing ethnic groups wear different outfits and because of weather variations the dress becomes even more varied. However, each region or ethnic group tends to have a very specific and distinctive dress and many Ecuadorians can easily tell where an individual is from based on their dress.

Among the most common and distinctive of the dress in Ecuador are the clothes of the people in Otavalo, the people along the coast, and those in the rainforests. The men in Otavalo dress in a style that most people recognize as the traditional dress as they tend to wear ponchos, a fedora, knickers, and a long braid called a shimba. Many women in the highlands tend to wear a white blouse, blue shirts, necklaces and bracelets of gold and coral, and a shawl. Along the coasts the clothes tend to be lighter in weight for both men and women and in the rainforests this is also true, but here feathers are a common decoration on clothing.

Today the dress is changing among many people and in many groups. Many young people in the rainforests, the colorados in the Santo Domingo area, and people in more urban areas are leaving traditional dress behind for modern western-styled clothing. Most mestizos also prefer western-styled clothing and in cities like Quito this is the most common dress.

Most visitors to Ecuador wear western-styled clothing and this is what most Ecuadorians will expect visitors to wear in their country. However, the Ecuadorians are fairly conservative and you are expected to cover up; this is especially true of women, who should avoid showing too much skin, although tight dresses and clothes are commonly wore in the country. You will gain respect if you cover your shoulders, knees, and even your elbows at all times (expect when you're along the coast or in the Galapagos Islands). If doing business in Ecuador, the setting is usually very formal as jackets and ties are common and dark colors seem to dominate; black is always a good choice for business clothing.

This page was last updated: November, 2013