I purchased the latest edition of this book shortly after it's release on November, 30 and was very impressed with it's significant improvements over the 6th edition. I bought the previous book 2 years ago and, even at that time, was struck by how out of date and inaccurate some of it's information was. My wife grew up in Ecuador, still has family living there and goes back every year to visit (I go there with her every 2 years). So we, especially she, have a pretty good idea about what is happening in the country in terms of politics, prices and other information relevant to travellers. But we were disappointed how the previous book barely mentioned the major impact of dollarization on the Ecuadorian economy and the substantial increase in prices it has caused. So much so that most Ecuadorian families now have at least one or more family members working overseas in order to send money home just so the family can survive.
Fortunately, the 7th edition provides much more up to date information on this subject and others. Of course, prices for travellers are also more accurate since this edition is "hot off the presses". The book does a good job of covering all regions of the country - the Andes mountains, the Pacific coast and the Amazon rainforest. Lonely Planet, as usual, includes not only the big cities and major tourist attractions. But also small towns and other "off the beaten path" places that may be of interest for those exploring the tremendous natural beauty and cultural diversity that Ecuador has to offer.
Lonely Planet is still among my favorite publisher of travel guides. But, this book, like many LP guides, seems to have moved away from the free-spirited, adventurous approach to travel that characterized it's early years. Nowadays, the guides seem much more inclined to politically correct lectures - no hitchhiking, no intoxicants, be a good little backpacker, blah, blah, blah. Of course, I understand the importance of being respectful towards the environment and local culture, making safe and responsible decisions, etc. But I also feel that LP's writers sometimes have their own political agenda to push and take an overly self-righteous tone that is more indicitative of Western values than Ecuadorian ones. Heck, I'm part of an Ecuadorian family myself now and I know that they would find alot of LP's advice and commentary about "how to behave" to be exaggerated and ridiculous. Ecuadorians are generally a very laid back and fun loving people. Of course, you should be respectful of Ecuador's beautiful nature and diverse cultures. But also relax, enjoy yourself and don't let LP's excessively "politically correct" attitude bog you down.
Still the 7th edition is a big improvement over the 6th and I recommend it for those travelling to Ecuador in the near future.