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COMMUNICATIONS

Making Calls to Ecuador
Making Calls in Ecuador
Collect Calls
Internet Phone
E-Mail
Postal Services
Post Office Addresses in Quito
Receiving Mail and Faxes in Ecuador

Making Calls to Ecuador
To call Ecuador from abroad you must dial the international access code (011 in the United States and Canada) followed by Ecuador's country code (593), followed by the two-digit area code (see the chart below), and finally the number (six digits). Here is a chart of the calling codes of each province which are used wether calling from another country or within Ecuador.

Area Code

Province Names

02

Pichincha

03

Cotopaxi, Tungurahua, Pastaza, Chimborazo and Bolivar

04

Guayas

05

Galapagos, Los Rios and Manabi

06

Carchi, Esmaraldas, Imbabura, napo, Orellana and Sucumbios

07

Azuay, Caņar, El Oro, Loja, Morona Santiago and Zamora

Making Calls in Ecuador
In major cities, and most fair-sized towns, there are public phones, most of which take only phone cards and are pretty much all either Bell South or Porta. There are a few coin-accepting phones (usually charging 10 to 20 cents) but theyīre not as common as you might expect. Itīs highly reccommended to buy a 2 or 5 dollar phone card from Bell South or Porta (Porta is cheaper) which are available almost everywhere. Phone cards last for a long time (if you use them only when you have to).

If, by any chance, you canīt find a card phone, or only of the card you donīt have, almost any place that sells thing (restaurants, furniture stores, especially "Viveres" or convenience stores) are usually happy to let you use theyīre phone for a fee of 20 to 30 cents.  

The cheapest calls, whether local, inter-provincial, or international, are made at the offices of Andinatel (the national phone company). Fax service is also available at Andinatel. Expect to stand in line to use either of these services.


Collect Calls
Collect calls are possible to a limited number of countries. In order to connect with the phone system of a certain country from private phones you can dial 999, then the appropriate country code: Argentina (161) Brazil (177) Canada (175) Chile (179/166/168) France (180) Great Britain (178) Spain (176) Switzerland (160) USA (AT&T - 119, MCI - 170, Sprint - 171) and Venezuela (173). For more information about this service call 105 for something like the operator, but a lot harder to get through to.


Internet Phone
Web-based phones like Net-Phone are getting more and more accessible. Though calling is currently limited the US and Canada, and some other South American countries, it will soon expand to Europe and other parts of the world. Most of the internet cafes in Quito have Net-to-Phone services.

Although it has that quality of one-person-talk-at-a-time, itīs incredibly cheaper than calling directly or calling collect. The internet cafes generally charge about 20-25 cents per minute. If you have access to a private computer that has either a headset or a mircophone and speakers, you can also connect to various net-phone programs which you can download, where you can make unlimited calls to the United States and Canada for free, which is nice.


E-Mail
Internet cafes are becoming more and more common throughout Ecuador, especially in Quito. Internet Cafes are most plentiful in the La Mariscal, Quito's main tourist and commercial district.

The services in Quito range from basic dial-up connections to top-of-the-line cable and radio modems. Just walk down Amazonas or ask the hostel or hotel where you are staying. Other travelers that have spent more than a few days in Quito will also likely know where to find the better internet cafes.


Postal Services

Air mail services between Ecuador and the Americas/Europe are in general, quick and efficient. Postcards and air mail letters to the US normally take between 7-10 days, and to Europe between 10 days and 2 weeks. When posting airmail mark each one with POR AVION, otherwise it may not arrive until around year 2734.

Air mail letters (up to 20g) and postcards cost about 30 cents to the Americas and about 35 cents to the rest of the world. Letters cannot be sealed with tape, instead you have to use glue, normally available in Correos (Post offices). Parcels can be sealed before being taken to the Correo, where the sender must complete a custom's declaration listing contents and value. Parcel prices depend on weight and destination. Two services are available: 4 week delivery and a more expensive 2 week delivery.

There are several stationery stores along Colon (between 10 de Agosto and Reina Victoria) and Veintimilla (between 9 de Octubre and Amazonas) where you can also buy boxes, tape, Jiffy bags, bubble wrap, art tubes and stationery in bulk. You can also find these items close to one of Quito's many universities.


Post Office Addresses in Quito
* Reina Victoria and Colon (Edificio Torres de Almagro)
Mon - Fri 0730 - 1745 Sat 0800 - 1145
* Espejo (between Guayaquil and Venezuela)
Mon - Fri 0730 - 1900 Sat 0800 - 1400
* Eloy Alfaro 354 and 9 de Octubre
Mon - Fri 0730 -1900 Sat 0800 - 1400
* Japon and Naciones Unidas
Mon - Fri 0730 - 1900 Sat 0800 - 1400
* Airport Mariscal Sucre (National Departures)
Mon - Fri 0730 - 1900 Sat 0800 - 1300


Receiving Mail and Faxes in Ecuador

Although sending mail from Ecuador is usually fairly reliable, receiving it is another story, itīs reccommended that you avoid getting things of great value sent to Ecuador. However, if you donīt mind taking the chance, you can usually have mail sent to your embassy (see our list of Embassies in Quito), as well as recieve faxes. You should be sure to check with you embassy to see what services are available for you. Also the South America Explorer's Club and American Express offices will receive mail and faxes on your behalf if you are a member/client. Some travel agencies, spanish schools, and hotels will offer e-mail, mail and fax services for their clients and guests.

In Quito, if you do not have an address or if expected mail takes too long to arrive, you should go to the main post office at Eloy Alfaro and 6 de Deciembre or Espejo. All incoming mail and mail that does not have a specific address, or that has an incorrect or unidentifiable address, will end up there unless specifically marked 'Correo Central - Eloy Alfaro'. It is worth checking at both locations when trying to locate mail. Be aware that mail may have been filed under your first or middle name rather than your last name. To help ensure that your long-awaited letters reach you, capitalize and underline the letters in your last name. You will need your passport in order to claim any mail. Address the letter with your name, lista correos Eloy Alfaro or Espejo and Quito, Ecuador.

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