So, is Ecuador Safe to travel to or not?
If it’s true what they say, Ecuador is probably the most underrated country in all of South America.
Some have ‘Galapagos’, ‘Amazon rainforest’, and ‘Andes mountain Range’ on their travel bucket lists.
Believe it or not, others won’t even entertain the idea that the wonderful Ecuadorian nation has it all!
Is Ecuador Safe?
This compact country, named after its location in accordance with the equator, features some of the world’s best ecological marvels and Kichwa villages.
Is it Safe to Travel to Ecuador?
The simple answer is; yes.
Compared with neighboring countries to the north and the east, Ecuador is quite tame as far as crime is concerned.
Although there were anti-government protests last year that ended with violence, nothing has really emerged recently.
Learn more facts about Ecuador here and make sure to check the news before booking a plane ticket.
The UK and other government bodies have advised against all travel to the northern/Colombian border regions after drug-related violence spilled into Ecuador.
These include Esmeraldas, Tarapoa, Cuyabeno and the el Angel Ecological Preserve.
Safety Facts about Ecuador
Let’s forget about crime for a second. Shouldn’t the main concern of anyone traveling to Ecuador be the risk of seismic activity?
Earthquakes and tsunamis are found in Ecuador, so you should know your safety precautions for natural disasters.
- Ecuador made history in 2008 when it became the first country in the world to recognize the Rights of Nature, implementing them into their national constitution.
- Between 2006 and 2016, poverty in Ecuador decreased from 36.7% to 22.5%.
- Since 1995, tourism numbers have steadily risen in Ecuador and culminated in more than 1.5 million people visiting in 2014.
- The homicide rate dropped from 18/100K to 5.8/100K making it safer than all the countries in Central America.
- The last time Ecuador had a major earthquake was 2016.
- Tsunamis are extremely rare, with only four occurring in Ecuador since 1906.
- The last volcanic eruption occurred in 2016, with the infamous Tungurahua eruption.
Is Ecuador Safe to Travel Alone?
Ecuador is perfectly safe to travel alone.
If you stay within the confines of the tourist areas or cities in the daytime and trust your instincts, you’ll have a wonderful holiday.
You’ll need to abide by the unwritten rules of independently traveling to South America: such as don’t go out at night, don’t trust strangers, and don’t flash expensive items.
Ecuador is a great stop-off point for exploring the Galapagos islands.
💡Smart Travel Tip
It’s best not to wander unfamiliar city streets at night in any location, but be wary of cities such as Guayaquil and certain parts of Quito.
Backpacking Ecuador Safety
Backpacking is great in this country since public transport and private transport are incredibly secure.
Compared with Colombia, the safe locations in Ecuador make for an easier trip.
There are tens of thousands that visit the country every year just to see the Galapagos, so there are touristy regions despite the warnings of no travel in the northern regions.
- Puerto Lopez Travel Guide
- Things to do in Guayaquil
- Hiking Cajas National Park
- Backpacking South America Advice
The hostels are everywhere, the food is cheap and the chocolate is the best you’ve ever eaten.
Ecuador Safety: Travel Safety Tips
Ecuador has the potential to be dangerous if you don’t take the necessary precautions i.e. you don’t do your homework.
No matter where you are in the world, it is important to keep your belongings safe. That way you can concentrate less on safety and misfortune and enjoy what the country has to offer.
Here’s some top tips to help you before you make the trip out:
- Don’t accept offers of drugs. Not only is it illegal, but it’s dangerous and you’re encouraging the issues that Ecuador is having with the Colombian border.
- If you are a person that suffers from typical culture shock symptoms see our tips on adapting to new surroundings on this blog.
- Make sure to use trusted and accredited hotels/hostels. Then once you’ve booked your room, book taxis or buses through the hotel.
- Book a taxi through your hostel or another trusted service. Taxi robbings are a real issue in Ecuador.
- Don’t take too many valuables out with you.
- Read one of the many books about Ecuador to learn more about Ecuadorian culture before you arrive.
- If you want to take expensive equipment such as cameras or smartphones, keep them hidden. A PacSafe backpack is great for this.
- Keep away from crowds of people. You could be attacked or arrested if it’s an anti-government demonstration.
- Make sure to take sunscreen. You’re literally on the equator so the risk of skin damage is very high.
- Keep dummy wallets for pickpockets and keep your money hidden away. Bras, money belts or secret bag compartments will do.
- Read up online how to deal with high category earthquakes. You’re likely to experience small ones but it won’t hurt to know what to do when a big one hits.
When it comes to keeping my cash money hidden away – I like to use my card where possible.
However, it makes sense to have cash if you can guard it in a safe.
That way you can carry small amounts out with you.
Traveling Around Ecuador Safely
Buses are short and not so sweet. Public buses tend to run from one town to the next, with not many running for longer than an hour.
They can be quite cramped, but they’re so cheap that you won’t think about it.
You might be jostled about in your seat, but it’s all part of the experience!
Taxis are quite dangerous if you hail for them on the street.
If you get a taxi, it needs to be from a trusted source or from the hostel you’re staying at.
No point risking getting mugged because you’re in a hurry.
Travel Insurance for Ecuador
I always recommend backpackers and travelers (no matter who you are) use World Nomads Insurance for fully comprehensive cover.
If you are due to travel soon, you can get a Get A Free Quote by clicking the link or the image above and filling out your details – that way you’ll get instant cover from the exact date that you choose.
On many occasions World Nomads has provided me with reliable insurance cover for travel in Latin America and the rest of the world.
Is Ecuador Safe?
Ecuador is an amazing island to visit and is perhaps the most comfortable South American country in the northern part of the continent.
It would help when visiting Ecuador if you knew at least a bit of Spanish conversation since not many people speak English.
They’re more likely to speak the indigenous languages in fact.
Despite the 2019 protests, the people of Ecuador are so proud of their nation, and it’s worth visiting not just for the amazing Galapagos Islands but much more.
Don’t miss out on this beautiful country!
Are you thinking of traveling to Ecuador? It would be a shame if visitors were too scared to make a trip.
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