The cheapest way to make national calls is by going to a public phone office. You’ll find lots of these around every town and city in the country. Look out for ‘CNT’ signs in the north or ‘Pacifictel’ in the south and along the coast. You’ll make your call in a small booth or cabina and pay when you’ve finished. You will also find private phone centres with a similar set up and better opening hours - these are often combined with an Internet cafe. Look for signs reading cabinas telefónicas.
Local calls from the public offices cost around $0.11 per minute, and national calls cost $0.22. Calls to mobile phones are charged at $0.25 a minute. International calls are $0.18 per minute to the US, $0.28 to Canada, $0.40 to the UK, $0.57 to Ireland, and $0.87 to Australia.
Of course, if you really want to keep costs down then using a programme like Skype to make Internet-based calls will save you a lot of money. Internet cafes are ubiquitous in big cities and can be found in even the remotest parts of the country. Rates are cheap and computers usually plentiful - though connection speeds can vary wildly.
If you’re phoning Ecuador from outside the country, then you need to precede the number with +593. You’ll also need to know the area code (Quito for example uses ‘2’). This also applies to calling within Ecuador.
See below for a list of area codes by province.