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Safety in Ecuador

Safety Tips for Travelers in Ecuador

A few tips to keep you sane and safe. You should read them all before embarking on your journey through Ecuador.

Safety in Ecuador

Ecuador is considered one of the safer countries in the Andean Region, however, it is always a good idea to be cautious during your visit. Ecuador's urban centers, especially Quito and Guayaquil, are generally more dangerous than the countryside. The best way to prevent crime is using your common sense and reduce the likelihood of being a crime victim by following a few basic precautions:


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Safety in the City

  • Travel with trustworthy companions.
  • Find out where the unsafe sectors are and avoid them. Find out which are the best hours to visit tourist sites.
  • Keep all important documents in a secure place, such as an inner pocket or a pouch that is hidden under a layer of clothing.
  • Make copies of your important documents, such as passport, travel ticket and card numbers. Leave originals in a safe box in your hotel. Keep always a copy of your passport with you.
  • Carry travelers checks and credit cards instead of large sums of cash.
  • Walk confidently with your head up. Never stare at the ground, it makes you look nervous and weak.
  • When you feel unsafe listen to your instincts. If you get that feeling grab a taxi or go into a place with lots of people.
  • Be wary of people who are too friendly too quickly, or that offer to show you around. Use your judgement.
  • Don't wear expensive jewelry or wristwatches. They make you a target.
  • Your cameras are also valuable, take them inside your bag or keep them out of sight.
  • Keep an eye on your carry shoulder-bags and purses. Take them in front of you in crowded places.
  • Keep all bags and other valuables where you can see them in restaurants, ground terminals, and other public places.
  • Change your currency in a bank or in your hotel. Don’t do it in the street
  • If you rent a car, park it in parking lots, don’t leave valuable objects in the car.
  • Don’t take hitchhikers.

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Safety Outside the of City

  • Watch out for the security terms in National Parks. Use the paths.
  • Before getting into the sea, ask if there is any dangerous zone. Ask about the tides. If you feel that a strong current is taking you apart from the shore, swim in parallel in relation to the coast until you reach the shore. Maintain calm

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Special recommendations

Avoid travelling by yourself if you plan to visit the Ecuadorian northern border (limit with Colombia). We recommend to use a travel agency’s service. At this moment subversive groups operate in Colombia, a few miles from the Ecuadorian border. Even though there hasn’t been known any cases of assaults lately, is better to prevent.

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Passports

Always carry your passport while traveling in Ecuador. Police checks are semi-frequent and it may be a problem if you are caught without your documents. However, if you are staying in Quito, Guayaquil or another large city for an extended period, it is advisable that you carry only a copy of your passport. Most foreign embassies provide their citizens with an "official" copy of their passport that is recognized by Ecuadorian law. Report lost or stolen passports immediately to your embassy or consulate.

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