One of the things that I needed to remember about traveling through South America was how to use public restrooms. Don’t get me wrong, I know how to use the restroom, but there are a few things that you must keep in mind when you have to use a public restroom in Ecuador.
You have to pay to use some public restrooms in Ecuador
Yes, you read that right. In Ecuador, you may have to pay to use some public restrooms. There are a couple of scenarios to keep in mind. For example, if you go out to eat and want to use the restroom at the restaurant you are dining at, you won’t have to pay to use that restroom.
On the other hand, if you are at a park or a particular attraction or just walking around the town and having to use a public restroom, be prepared to have to pay possibly. This is one of those instances where it is vital to carry coins. When you enter the restroom, an attendant will most likely be there to greet you. Please don’t ignore them; they will insist on talking to you before or after you use the potty. Why? You must pay a fee to use the restroom and a little extra if you need toilet paper.
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Public restrooms at gas stations in Ecuador
Most gas stations in Ecuador will not charge you to use the public restroom; however, they will most likely not have any toilet paper available for you to use.
During our last trip to Ecuador with Gate 1 Travel, we made several “technical stops” to use the restroom throughout the country. Our tour manager would provide us with toilet paper when we arrived at the gas station. This was heaven-sent since most of the restrooms did not have toilet paper available to us.
Most of the gas station public restrooms had hand soap; however, a few did not. It is always a good idea to carry hand sanitizer with you, just in case.
In general, I found that the restrooms were kept clean and tidy.
Toilet paper in public restrooms in Ecuador
As you talk to the attendant, they will also ask if you need toilet paper. Yes, I know you may be surprised, but the reality is that most public restrooms don’t have toilet paper, and you must buy the amount you need to use. In some instances, the attendant may cleverly ask you whether you need enough toilet paper for number 1 or number 2. Again, don’t forget to pay the appropriate fee.
Prices to use a public restroom in Ecuador
Most public restrooms in Ecuador have a small fee to pay. Generally, it’s a couple of cents $0.05 to $0.25 cents. This is when coins come in handy.
Don’t flush toilet paper in Ecuador
You should not flush toilet paper anywhere in Ecuador, regardless of whether it is a public restroom, a hotel, the airport, a friend’s house, or an Airbnb. Next to every toilet, you will find a waste basket. That basket is for you to dispose of any used toilet paper. This is due to the pipes and septic tanks around the country. This may surprise you, and you may be uneasy about it at first, but you will quickly get used to it. Also, I promise you there is not a lot of odor in the bathrooms or restrooms.
Recommendations to use public restrooms in Ecuador
- Always carry toilet paper with you. This is one of those things that will make your life easier. I always put enough toilet paper in my purse in case I need it.
- Carry hand sanitizer. This is a recommendation in case you go to a restroom that doesn’t have soap or are unable to wash your hands.
- Before using the restroom, try to see if a price is listed somewhere.
- Always carry coins and small bills in case you have to pay to use a public restroom.