Frecuently Asked Questions
We send receipts out by email on the same day that we receive your transfer.
People are sometimes nervous because the money-wiring process is new to them or seems confusing, but really there is no need for worry because it both quick and very simple.
* ask Samay Adventures for details of who and where to wire the money to.
* visit the local agent with the cash you would like to deposit (including the % sending fee) and your passport as ID.
* tell the agent who you want to send money to and their current location (city, country). The agent will take your personal details, check your ID, take your money, organize the wire, and finally give you a receipt.
* email us to let us know the reference number that is written on your receipt so that we can collect the money here in Quito.
It’s as simple as that and the money arrives to us just 10 minutes after you have sent it!!
Our bank details are available upon request – tell our salesperson which bank you wish to pay into and he/she will provide full details to you.
Unfortunately Ecuador’s banking system is not as advanced as in USA or Europe. It is therefore not possible for an Ecuadorian business to accept credit card details from a client over the phone / internet.
Some businesses do accept credit cards in their office in Ecuador but only when the client is directly present and has their passport as ID. Businesses charge considerable commissions for this service (around 8 to 10%) and the authorization process can take some time.
At Samay Adventures we therefore choose NOT to accept credit cards in our Quito office.
If you are in Quito then it is best to pay us in US$ cash in our office. If you are currently travelling in Ecuador (but not in Quito) then our Ecuadorian bank account will be cheapest and easiest. If you are outside of Ecuador then we can only accept the Moneygram / Western Union form of payment because all other payment methods take too long to reach us.
* USA BANK – We hold a Bank of America account in USA. All of our tours are priced in US$ so this option is a convenient way of avoiding exchange rate charges (especially if you have a USA based account). We charge a $15 handling fee per transfer in order to cover our costs of transferring the money into Ecuador.
* ECUADOR BANK – we hold a Banco del Pichincha account in Ecuador which we can receive international transfers into – this is particularly recommended if you have neither a USA or UK bank account, a $20-35 handling fee applies directly from your Bank. Alternatively, if you are already in Ecuador, then you can deposit cash into our account ,this is the best option in order to avoid both banking charges and exchange rate costs.
* PAYPAL – quick, easy, online, and the only method which accepts credit card payments (except for flight payments). Paypal charge us 4% as a service commission to use their services and so you should add this cost to your payment.
* MONEYGRAM / WESTERN UNION – money-wiring is the quickest way to get money to us and is also extremely secure. Moneygram currently charge 4% to use their services and Western Union between 3 and 5%.
* CASH – of course we accept US$ cash in our Quito office, but check the rules that apply with last minute bookings first.
* CREDIT CARD – we can only accept credit card payments for domestic flight payments, and only when our client is in our Quito office with passport as proof of ID.
Yes. To confirm the agreed travel contract, a pre-payment of 50% of the total ammount per person must be paid for all travels. The remaining balance must be paid no later than 30 days before departure of the tour for all Ecuador mainland tours and 90 days before departure for all travel to the Galapagos Islands.
If the client concludes his travel arrangements with SAMAY ADVENTURES less than 30 days before the departure date for the Ecuador mainland travel, or 90 days for the Galapagos Islands, the tour must be paid in full immediately.
If a client fails to pay for his/her tour in full before the agreed final payment dates (30 days before departure for mainland travel in Ecuador and 90 days before departure for Galapagos Island travel the client risks losing his/her tour. Equally, by failing to make the full payment before the due date, the client will lose his/her deposits for all travelers included in the reservation.
If the tour fee has not been paid in full before the arranged travel start, SAMAY ADVENTURES will be released from its service obligations and may require the customer to pay any appropriate resignation costs.
From the moment SAMAY ADVENTURES confirms in writing of available space and gives a deadline for you to confirm your acceptance.
Andes: In many parts of the Andes, you can experience all four seasons in one day. Be prepared for chilly nights and cold rain. Warm, fast-drying clothes are recommended (avoid cotton especially directly against the skin). Good hiking, water-resistant boots are highly recommended with warm socks and warm water-resistant jacket and overpants.
Galapagos: Sun hat with brim, sun glasses, good walking shoes, Teva-style sandals (for wet landings), swimsuits, plenty of high-factor waterproof sunscreen or block, snorkel and mask, windbreaker, light sweater or sweatshirt (especially from June to December), shorts and T-shirts, extra film, memory cards, DVD cassettes, batteries for cameras, underwater camera, binoculars, motion-sickness pills or bands, anti-histamine tablets or cream, EpiPen autoinjector for people with serious reactions to stings.
Coast: The same as for Galapagos, malaria-prevention drugs may also be necessary.
Oriente (Amazon rainforest): Insect repellent, malaria pills, anti-histamine tablets, EpiPen autoinjector for people with serious reactions to stings/bites, oral hydration packets, binoculars, plastic bags to keep clothes dry, swimsuit, lightweight quick-drying clothes, one long-sleeved shirt, loose-fitting pants, light windbreaker or sweatshirt (especially on boat trips), rainproof poncho that fits over you and your pack, plenty of clean socks, Teva-like sandals (find out if your hotel provides rubber boots), Ziplock bags or sport drybags for things you want to keep dry.
All clothing should be loose fitting to help keep you cool and to reduce chances of being bitten or stung by insects.
BOOKING, PAYMENTS AND CANCELLATION POLICIES
What to pack depends on where are you going, since one can experience all types of weather in Ecuador’s different regions. So we have prepared a list of things that you want to pack according to region.
There are no vaccination requirements to enter Ecuador. However, you should be aware that in some specific regions, mosquitoes that transmit diseases do exist. If you are visiting the jungle, contact your local health center for information on preventive measures to take against malaria.
There are two main seasons on the islands: wet and hot, and dry and cool.
December to May (inclusive) are hot and humid (28°C / 82.4°F average temperature); even though it is warm during the day there might be heavy rain showers that can last for 20 minutes or more. That is why the islands can be very lush and green at this time of the year. Consider using insect repellent while visiting the islands. The water temperature is perfect for swimming and/or snorkeling. It is a wise to use a T- shirt or dive top while in the water to prevent sunburn.
Between June and November, it is cooler and windy (24° C/ 75.2°F average although at noon it can reach 33°C / 91.4˚F). It is also the “garua” season (local term for occasional light drizzle) especially around the southern islands. You might want to consider bringing a light rainproof windbreaker.
The water temperature is also cooler (20°C / 68˚F) at this time of the year. This means it is the best time for snorkeling, since the cold waters are rich in nutrients for the marine ecosystem, but you might want to have a wetsuit to keep warm.
If you are satisfied with the service
It is recommended to make two photocopies of your passport, airline tickets, tour documents, traveler’s check numbers and airline itinerary, so you can leave one copy at home with a friend or relative, and bring one with you separately from the originals.
It is essential that you carry your passport at all times in Ecuador. However, you can leave the original in the safe box at your hotel and carry copies when on a day trip. While you are in Galapagos you can leave all your belongings in your cabin. However, if you plan to use traveler’s checks in Puerto Ayora you will need your passport.
It is wise to watch your belongings at all times. Never leave your camera or other personal items unattended.
Ecuador is considered one of the safest countries in the Andean region; however, it is always a good idea to be cautious during your visit, especially the main cities, Quito and Guayaquil, which can be more dangerous than the countryside.
- If you are not visiting the city with a tour guide, find out about unsafe sectors and avoid them. Also make sure that you know what the best times are to visit tourist sites.
- Walk confidently with your head up, look around every so often, never “act lost”.
- Avoid people who are too friendly too quickly, or who offer to show you around.
- Don’t wear expensive jewelry or wristwatches when walking around the cities.
- Keep your cameras inside your bag or out of sight.
- It is recommended that you carry shoulder bags and purses in front of you in crowded places.
- Keep all bags and other valuables where you can see them in restaurants, buses and other public places.
US dollars are used both in mainland Ecuador and on the Galapagos.
Traveler’s checks are accepted with 4% fee over the total amount and can be safer than cash. You can also withdraw cash from ATMs with VISA and MASTERCARD only.
Banking hours are: Mon – Fri 9:00am – 16:00 pm, Saturday 9:00 am to 12:00 noon.
Spanish is the official and main language spoken. All people involved in tourism, however, speak English.
Check with your local Ecuadorian Embassy or Consulate. However, most visitors are allowed to stay up to 90 days, renewable for an additional 90 days. You do need a valid passport and it should be carried with you at all times.