More than a few travelers are surprised to find out that Ecuador not only accepts the US Dollar – it is their official currency.
Ecuadors Currency History
Since March 13, 2000 Ecuador has been using the US dollar, in place of the sucre. ATM’s dispense US dollar bills and credit card charges are billed in US dollars.
Sucres are sold as souvenirs. It isn’t uncommon to find old sucre coins on dirt roads in Ecuador. We’ve found 4 or 5 over the past couple of years – they literally have no value. During the dollarization, the conversion rate was 25,000 sucres to USD$1.00.
Ecuador doesn’t produce their own banknotes. All paper currency is produced by the United States. As a result, you’ll find Lincoln, Hamilton and Jackson on their banknotes in place of their own presidents and national heros.
Coins are an exception. While you’ll find US coins in circulation, the majority are Ecuadorian minted coins. You’ll find coins in denominations of 1, 5, 10, 25 and 50 cents (centavos). The sizes and weights are equal to their US counterparts. Ecuadorian coins feature Juan Montalvo, Eugenio Espejo, Jose Joaquin de Olmedo and Eloy Alfaro.
The $1 US Coin in Ecuador
Many tourists and expats from the United States are surprised to find a US minted $1 coin in circulation here. The dollar coin is not minted by the Ecuadorian government. Known in the US as the Sacagawea dollar, the golden colored one dollar coin is very popular in Ecuador (along with El Salvador and Panama who also use the US Dollar as their official currency).