General Travel Planning
This will be an entity onto itself and will be dynamic. I suggest reviewing the US and Ecuador official websites for national travel regulations regularly:
Updates can be signed up for through the US Smart Traveler Program:
Here is also information from Delta's website about travel requirements:
Our local information on testing for patients and volunteers including exit testing is under development. Please see this page for updates
You will need a valid passport to enter Ecuador. US citizens do not need a special visa. Your passport must be valid for 6 months from the date of travel. If you have less than 6 months left on your passport, the US will not let you board the flight to leave. This is the Eric Miller Rule.
Going to Quito was the traditional start to the Mission when the airport was in Quito itself, but in 2013 the airport moved outside the city, about 45 min trip to the hotel. It is about 2 hrs or so to the city of Ambato from the airport. For 2024, we are again planning that everyone will travel to Ambato on arrival. We typically arrive late at night and then the bus travel to the hotel is long, about 2 hours or so, plus any delays waiting on everyone. So be patient...
The most common flights that everyone takes arrive late evening on Friday the 26th and leave on Sat/Sun late night early AM at the end of the week. The bulk of volunteers will arrive on these flights. Most will arrive on the Delta flight that arrives at 8 pm although there is a flight that also arrives around 1130pm. I would suggest you target these flights to make it easier for arranging pick up.
Transportation from the airport:
If you are flying at an off time separate from the bulk of the rest of the volunteers, you should expect to be taking a taxi or other transportation. We can't ask the Rotarians to provide individual transport for each separate person. Most people arrived on the preferred flights on Friday night, so we grouped them together and arranged for large buses to leave at once. If you are planning to arrive several days early, you can catch up with us and the airline arrivals at the airport on Friday night, then head down with us. But I have to have notification so we reserve room and know to watch for you.
At the end of the week, there will be a Friday night party and most people leave the following day to either head back to Quito for the day or leave from Ambato later in the day and go to the airport from Ambato. The transportation will depend on how many people decide on what they would like.
I would suggest you arrange for your flight departure and then decide what you would like to do on Saturday. Most people leave from Quito airport Saturday / Sunday around midnight and take the red-eye flight back to the USA.
If you return to Quito for the day, you can sightsee, shop, or relax. You may consider getting a room at the Hilton for Saturday itself so you have a base camp for the day and then leave for the airport when appropriate that evening. For the past few years, this is what I have done and it is nice to go shop, eat lunch, take a nap, and relax while waiting to leave for your flight that evening. Through the concierge, we arrange for paid travel to the airport.
You could also leave from Ambato if we can arrange transportation.
As far as Ambato goes, we all stay at the Hotel Florida. This year, I will collect all the volunteers roommate requests and give that to the hotel instead of us individually getting our own reservations.