With all the jaw-dropping natural beauty Ecuador offers, it can be easy to forget this small country also boasts two highly cosmopolitan cities: Quito, the capital, high in the cool Andes, and Guayaquil, a busy port on the warm subtropical coast. But since these cities are home to Ecuador's two international airports, one of them will be the first thing you encounter about Ecuador. A round trip ticket to Quito from the U.S. averages about $650 and the travel time is 8-10 hours from the east coast and about the same from the west, depending on layovers and exact departure location.
From Quito, you can connect to other popular destinations like the colonial town of Cuenca or Ambato, gateway to the lush valleys of the south. From Guayaquil, there are connecting flights to Bahía de Caráquez. if you want to explore the Pacific coastline, or take a charter boat to the Galápagos Islands. Train service inside of Ecuador is excellent and the famous Nariz del Diablo route from Quito through the southern Sierra--including a close look at Volcan Cotopaxi, one of the largest active volcanoes in the world. For a more "local" experience, buses run frequently in Ecuador, are inexpensive, and go places worth seeing that planes and trains do not.
All U.S. passport holders need to enter Ecuador and stay for up to 90 days is a passport valid for six months after entering the country and proof of ability to leave the country within the 90 day period. A return trip or ticket for onward travel is sufficient. A visa is required for stays longer than 90 days. For more details on how to plan a longer stay, visit http://ecuador.usembassy.gov/mobile//service/living-in-ecuador/visas-for-ecuador.html.
Safe travels and see you in Ecuador!