Ecuador is one of my favorite places to visit in South America. Quito, the capital, is a lovely historical city offering so much to explore in the colonial center including many 16th century structures.

  • As you walk down the streets of any Ecuadorian city or town, don’t be surprised by a smile or a greeting from those you pass. Make sure to return the friendly gesture.

  • Making eye contact is expected and sends a signal that you both friendly and familiar with your surroundings.

  • Everyone usually arrives late in Ecuador. Fiveteen minutes or so is standard.

Here are some social details to be mindful of while in :



A handshake is the normal greeting between men that is often accompanied by a pat on the shoulder.

Men that are more familiar with each other will often hug.

The Kiss

It’s common for women to deliver a single air-kiss to the left, on the other’s right cheek.


Always greet those you meet using their surname and follow their lead when it comes to using first name. When an Ecuadorian begins to use your first name, they expect you to do the same, unless the person is older. In this case, wait for them to ask you to address them by their first name.

Making eye-contact with passersby on the street is normal and a smile and a greeting is also customary.

Talking is at a relatively close distance in Ecuador; backing away can make it seem as if one is trying to end a conversation.

If your Spanish is not very good, an apology for your level of proficiency will be greatly appreciated and is an excellent way to break the ice and soothe nerves in any conversation.

  • Continental table manners are practiced in Equador. The fork is held in the left hand in the knife in the right.

  • When taking a break, cross your utensils. Fork, at the seven o’clock and knife, at the four, as if on a clock.

  • Once finished, place both the form and knife together four o’clock position.

  • To call a member of the waitstaff, raise your hand subtly and softly say senor, senora, etc.


  • It is standard for people to arrive at least fiveteen minutes late for meetings in Ecuador.

Worth Mentioning

  • Hand gestures are generally made gently, using four fingers, rather than with the index finger, which isn’t considered polite.

    For many more etiquette tips for travel to Ecuador, visit Ecuador Abroad.

Leave a Comment

Your email address will not be published.