Travel, Visas & Extensions for Longer Stays At Gaia Sagrada
Have At Least 6 Months Left On Your Passport
First, make sure you have plenty of time left on your passport before you leave. Renew it if you need to. You MUST have at least 6 months left on your passport before coming to Ecuador. If you even have one day less than 6 full months on your passport, the airlines won’t let you board the plane.
For more information see our page Getting To Gaia Sagrada
Round Trip Ticket Required
You cannot fly one way to Ecuador. You must have a round trip ticket or at least another ticket that goes to another country from Ecuador. Ecuador does not allow anyone to enter without an exit flight as well. Try to get a flexible or refundable return ticket if you are not sure how long you want to stay.
How Long You Can Stay In Ecuador Without Visa?
Passports from most countries in the world get an automatic 3 months to be in Ecuador. No visas needed. Just come!
You should check with your closest Ecuadorian Consulate (look on Google) to see if you need a visa or not, particularly if you are from a small or more obscure country. Most of the western countries are included in this 3-months-n0-visa deal.
If you DO need a visa, you an get one from the nearest Ecuadorian Consulate.
You can be in Ecuador for a total of 6 months per year by getting a 3 month extension to the already automatic three months you get when you enter on your passport.
3 Month Extension – Total of 6 Months
It is a very simple process, and doesn’t cost much (about $150-200). You do it right at the airport in Cuenca only an hour away from Gaia Sagrada. Lot’s of people do it!
What you will need to get a 3 month extension is:
- a visa picture (there is a place in town you can get a picture made),
- a printout of your bank statement while here in Ecuador (make sure your bank statement has your name on it as it appears on your passport, and you much have at least $2500 in your account to get the extension)
- your passport
We know facilitators in Cuenca who can help you for a small fee if you need help.
2 Year Residency Visa
Not many people are literally ready to move to Ecuador permanently, but the first step for that would be to get the 2 year residency visa. This is pricey and much more complicated ($1500-$2000).
You will need all kinds of documentation from your home country such as state police and federal crime reports, fingerprints, birth certificate, diplomas, wedding and divorce papers, and much more. Proof through bank deposits will be needed as evidence that you have some sort of dependable income ($800 or more per month). It’s time consuming but it’s worth it for someone who wants to make Ecuador a permanent home.
Most people will want to come to Gaia for 6 months or less. It will be easier to be a snowbird!
Travel On Airlines
Travel during the pandemic
Please ensure you check your government’s travel advice before travelling to Ecuador and Gaia Sagrada. At this time, travel advice varies from country to country and can change day to day. Because this information differs greatly and is ever changing, it’s not possible for us to list travel advice for all countries and keep it up to date. Your government will have its own webpage on international travel (US Citizens can view specific advice on travel to Ecuador here) and we strongly advise that you check regularly for updates and understand and comply with any advice given by your government before travelling.
We recommend you bring everything you think you will need, including all your medications, as many of the items you may want are not available in Ecuador. Check with your airline how many bags you are allowed and what the charges are.
Overnight in Quito or Guayaquil
If you have to stay overnight in Quito or Guayaquil before your journey to Cuenca, look at our Getting to Gaia Sagrada page that will give you more details on traveling here. If you can avoid leaving the airport, it’s better and safer, less likely that you would catch the virus on your way. At this time cases are low, so it is pretty unlikely.
Pickup At The Airport
We have dedicated drivers who will pick you up at the Cuenca Airport in Ecuador. Your international flight will come into either Guayaquil or Quito. Then you will catch another flight to Cuenca from there.
Make sure you book your trip all the way through to Cuenca, Ecuador. We do not do pickups at the international airports as they are too far away.
Safety in Ecuador
It is perfectly safe to travel in Ecuador! You will be on the beaten track if you are in airports and use a taxi to go back and forth to hotels or Gaia Sagrada. You won’t be vulnerable since you won’t be traveling in obscure places or situations. Relax! You will be fine! Also, there have been no cases of COVID-19 in our community here in the mountains and the number of cases in our nearest city, Cuenca, remain low. Ecuador appears to be over the worst with the virus already.