A Canadian Family Traveling & Living Abroad (in Ecuador)

How To Make a Phone Call From Within Ecuador

UPDATE (March 2013): A few months ago, all cell phone numbers received an extra digit. Just add a “9″ after the first zero and it will work.

The phone system is very simple in Ecuador. Just follow these simple directions, and you’ll have no problems when calling from within the country.

1) Ignore the country code of 593

2) Dial the one-digit area code. Each region has a different code. A “0″ must be dialed before the one digit area code:

  • Ambato: 3

  • Cayambe: 2How To Make a Phone Call From Within Ecuador

  • Cuenca: 7

  • Esmeraldas: 6

  • Guayaquil: 4

  • Ibarra: 6

  • Loja: 7

  • Machachi: 2

  • Machala: 7

  • Manta: 5

  • Portoviejo: 5

  • Quevedo: 5

  • Quito: 2

  • Salinas: 4

  • Santo Domingo: 2

  • Tulcan: 6

3) Then dial the seven digit number (XXXX-XXX). Thats it – you are connected.

For example: to call a land-line in Cuenca, you would dial 07-XXXX-XXX. Many businesses (and their ads) take the area code for granted and don’t include it in print – you will need this code even to dial numbers in your own city.

Cell phones have a 08 or 09 area code, for the country, followed by a seven digit number.

An article by

Bryan is a journalist, photographer, expat and dad. He writes for Gringos Abroad (Ecuador travel & living) and Blogger Abroad (run an online business abroad). He also enjoys living in Southern Ecuador (South America) with his wife and daughter. Connect with Bryan on LinkedIn. Work with Bryan & Dena

More about: Ecuador Travel, Living in Ecuador

{ 12 comments… add one }

  • Joyce Uzcategui October 11, 2013, 11:28 am

    Is it best to buy an unlocked phone with a sim card in Ecuador in the US? I am only concerned about calling within Ecuador since I will use Skype to call the US. Do you have a recommendation as to what phone to buy-something fairly inexpensive?

    • Bryan Haines October 14, 2013, 8:13 am

      There are tight rules on bringing cell phones from outside of Ecuador. If you need a smartphone, you should probably bring it. If you need a simple one, you can buy it here – and be confident that it will work with the network. Sim cards are easy to find and buy here. A basic Nokia or Samsung phone will cost between $50-80.

  • Michael Frank June 10, 2013, 9:14 am

    We have really enjoyed your website and blog. We are coming to Cuenca on July 4th for a month stay. My question is about using a locally purchased cell phone to call the U. S.; Do you have any information about this? Will a locally purchased phone enable me o call my family in Virginia? Any information you can rovide on this will be greatly appreciated. Thanks.

    • Bryan Haines June 10, 2013, 11:05 am

      I’ve never called out of Ecuador from a cell phone. I’ve received calls a few times and it works well. I would recommend using skype to call abroad. It will be less expensive and probably more stable. Before we moved to Ecuador I called to a land-line and the quality was awful.

  • Kim Maksymuik January 30, 2013, 2:40 pm

    Hi Bryan,

    After hours of frustration, I used your advice on calling within Ecuador and it worked! I should have just checked here first! Thanks so much, Kim.

  • Wally Mountz July 25, 2011, 3:26 pm

    I can’t seem to make this work. I followed your instructions but it won’t let me finish dialing the number. Maybe it has something to do with me calling from Cuenca to Guayaquil.

    • Bryan Haines July 25, 2011, 3:50 pm

      Hi Wally – not sure what the problem is. The base number should have seven digits. Then you will add two digits in front of them. If you are calling Guayaquil you will add 04. Then enter your seven digits. It shouldn’t matter from where you are calling. Its a national system. If your cell doesn’t have saldo or your land-line isn’t configured properly, this would prevent the call from working.


  • Lisa September 1, 2010, 9:50 pm

    Hi Guys, I liked your old site. This is the first time viewing this one. So no opinion yet. :) It seems to be more of an information blog for potential visitors. ttyl.

    • Bryan M. Haines September 6, 2010, 3:21 pm

      Hi Lisa, thanks for the feedback. The site is still being tweaked. Watch next week for a fully functional GringosAbroad.com Would love your feedback on the finalized site.

      All best!


  • Panchito June 22, 2010, 4:33 pm

    Manta: 5, you got that one wrong… still nice post…

    • Bryan Haines June 22, 2010, 4:55 pm

      Thanks – appreciate the correction. I've adjusted the post. It seems that Manta used to use #4 and now its #5. References online note both. Is Manta your home?


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About Bryan & Dena Haines

We are a Canadian family of 3 living in Ecuador since 2009. We blog about life and travel in Ecuador. If this is your first visit, start here. Interested to work with us? Read more about Bryan & Dena

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