For many years, the country of Ecuador has struggled with the devaluation of its Sucre, or the former official currency or Ecuadorian money. According to Ecuador information, this devaluation has also brought with it very high and inflated prices of goods, making it very hard for Ecuadorians to afford purchasing goods, especially those which come from other countries.
The devaluation of Ecuador money has plagued the country and its people until in 1999, when the value of the Sucre has plummeted to abysmal exchange rate, the then-President Jamil Mahuad was prompted to announce the dollarization national policy. This was in January 2000. It was in the same year, on September, that the government has finally completed the whole process of dollarization as the Ecuador money. They stopped printing Sucres and Ecuador has since adopted the US dollar as its official currency.
Today, the whole of Ecuador uses the US dollar in commerce, government, banking, and all other transactions. However, the Ecuador government has chosen to still use its coins, which are based on their US coin counterparts, which are in denominations of 1 dollar, 50 cents, 25 cents, 5 cents, and 1 cent. The notes or bills are in denominations of 100, 50, 20, 10, 5, 2 and 1 dollar.
Having the US dollar as the main currency, this is good for those coming in or visiting from the United States of America. While for those living in other countries, tourists may have their foreign currencies exchanged through local or international banks in Ecuador or through the local exchange houses, which are locally called, 'cases de cambio'. These exchange houses usually give more favorable rates for Ecuador money compared to banks. In the major cities and provinces which you can find in Ecuador maps, major credit and debit cards are accepted. There are ATMs open and ready for fast transaction in banks located in urban areas. Others prefer to use traveler's cheques for more safety and insurance of their money - these are also honored in most banks and local exchange houses.