Is Ecuador safe to visit in 2024

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Is Ecuador safe to visit in 2024

Is Ecuador safe to visit in 2024
Is Ecuador Safe to visit

If you are wondering how safe it is to travel to Ecuador, the risk for any traveler is low. Furthermore, if your trip occurs within the tourist circuit, the probability that something will happen to you is almost zero.

It is safe to travel to Ecuador in 2024, a country that offers a unique experience for travelers. The nation is known worldwide for its astonishing natural diversity, from the Galapagos Islands to the Amazon rainforest, as well as its cultural diversity. However, as in any part of the world, you must use common sense and avoid certain places during your trip. By following safe practices and being informed, you can confidently explore this beautiful country and enjoy an unforgettable journey in 2024.

In this note, we provide information about current events in Ecuador, answer questions about what it is like to travel through the country, give you basic safety recommendations, and answer frequently asked questions that travelers usually ask about safety.

Tourists in the Galapagos archipelago.
The cover photo by the Ministerio de Turismo del Ecuador. 

Why is Ecuador in a State of Emergency in 2024?

Since you are looking to know what happened in Ecuador in January 2024, we tell you that on January 8, 2024, the president of the Republic of Ecuador, Daniel Noboa Azín, through Executive Decree No. 110, declared a state of exception in all the national territory due to internal severe commotion.

However, “we are gradually experiencing a return to normality. The strictest security measures are maintained in specific areas of the country. At the same time, in most of the territory, only routine operations are carried out” (Embajada del Ecuador en España, Gobierno de la República del Ecuador (2024). Comunicado del Ministerio de Turismo sobre la situación en el Ecuador).

We understand that it is natural to be concerned about issues related to security in the country due to the latest events; however, most people who travel through Ecuador do so calmly and without problems. There is no prohibition on entering the country, nor have there been any incidents of violence in Quito and its surroundings, the Galapagos Islands, the Amazon region, or the National Parks.

Furthermore, “[…] the country’s airports are enabled, are 100% operational and have the respective security measures” (Ministerio de Transporte y Obras Públicas, Ministerio de Turismo y Dirección General de Aviación Civil (2024). Comunicado Oficial de 11 de enero de 2024). 

The schedule for restricting the right to freedom of movement in the national territory and by cantons has been reformed. The latter have been categorized into high, medium, and low levels, known as traffic lights.

That means that “in 160 cantons of the 221 in Ecuador, the curfew no longer applies since January 23, 2024, according to Executive Decree 135 of President Daniel Noboa.” […] (Y) Eight of the 24 provinces have all their cantons without traffic restrictions: Galapagos, Imbabura, Bolívar, Cotopaxi, Tungurahua, Loja, Morona Santiago and Zamora Chinchipe.” Primicias (05 de febrero de 2024). ¿Cuáles son los cantones sin toque de queda en Ecuador?

We recommend reading this note from Primicias, which includes information about the traffic lights in all the provinces of Ecuador and an interactive map:  Which cantons have no curfews in Ecuador?

Ecuador safe to visit provinces

You must stay informed, which is why we recommend you seek information about the situation in the country through official sources. The Ministry of Tourism will permanently communicate updates to this information through its official channels: @TurismoEc and on its Facebook page at /MinisterioTurismoEcuador

Is it safe to travel to Quito?

Quito is a safe destination to travel to, and there is a growing influx of tourists every year.
We have prepared this note: Is Quito safe to visit? In it, we tell you a little about the capital of Ecuador and what it has to offer, provide basic safety recommendations, and answer frequently asked questions that travelers usually ask regarding safety in the city.

Remember that Quito has the Tourist Security service, whose mission is to “guarantee and safeguard the physical and psychological security and property of national and foreign tourists who visit Quito Metropolitan District” (Empresa Pública Metropolitana de

Gestión de Destino Turístico – Quito Turismo, Alcaldía Metropolitana  de Quito (2024). Seguridad Turística). Learn about all their services, in this link: https://www.quito-turismo.gob.ec/seguridadturistica/

Furthermore, you still have doubts about visiting the Ecuadorian capital. In that case, we recommend you read our note about whether Quito is worth visiting, in which we give you several reasons why you have to know this city declared by UNESCO as a Cultural Heritage of Humanity, as well as the best preserved and least altered historic center in all of Latin America.

Is it safe to travel around Quito?

Yes, of course, it is safe to travel around Quito. A few hours from the city, you will find critical national parks, ecological reserves, protective forests, and towns near the Amazon, all places of abundant nature and unique landscapes.

We recommend you visit the Cotopaxi volcano, the second highest volcano in the country, only surpassed by Chimborazo; the Quilotoa lagoon, a lagoon of volcanic origin located in the middle of a crater; the town of Mindo, an ideal parish for observing birds, butterflies and orchids; Baños de Agua Santa, a city located on the external flanks of the eastern mountain range of the Andes, which has excellent hydrological wealth and magnificent waterfalls; and, Otavalo, a destination where you can visit the largest indigenous market in Latin America.

Travel with our company and discover all these destinations located in the surroundings of Quito safely and pleasantly. We put at your disposal the Cotopaxi Tour from Quito, the Tour to Quilotoa from Quito, the Tour to Mindo, the Tour to Baños, and the Tour to Otavalo, among others.

How safe is it to travel to the Galapagos in 2024?

The Galapagos Islands are a highly desired tourist destination by travelers worldwide and are considered highly safe for visitors. Most inhabited islands are tiny communities where everyone knows each other, and there are always many tourists. There are no incidents of violence in the Galapagos archipelago, so there is no prohibition on entering the Galapagos National Park. The world-famous archipelago is a safe place to visit at any time of the year.

Regarding this topic, the statement from the Ministry of Tourism on the situation in Ecuador, dated January 11, 2024, indicates:

Tourist operations are developing without impact in the Amazon and the Galapagos Islands. I don’t know about record violent incidents. Hotels, guides, and the community are tranquil, oblivious to the disturbances. Cruise activity continues its usual course, while air connectivity with the archipelago and the Amazon remains operational and regular, guaranteeing accessibility and mobility without setbacks (Embajada del Ecuador en España, Gobierno de la República del Ecuador (2024). Comunicado del Ministerio de Turismo sobre la situación en el Ecuador). 

Travel through Ecuador

Since you are planning a trip through the country, we want to answer some questions about what it is like to travel through Ecuador.

¿Is it safe to drive on the road in Ecuador?

Driving on the road in Ecuador is relatively safe, but it requires extra precautions. Road infrastructure is improving, but some roads are still in poor condition. If you decide to drive before starting your trip, find out about the routes and bring your GPS. Additionally, we recommend avoiding border areas.

Although driving through Ecuador is relatively safe, we recommend that you take your trip through Ecuador with specialized tour guides who conduct tours with transportation included. If you take time and in case of an unforeseen event or setback, you will never be alone, as you will have a guide who can help you when needed. Additionally, we recommend using VIP transportation services or safe taxis like Uber when moving within cities.

If you plan to travel to Quito in Ecuador, we recommend getting around the city with our VIP tourist transportation. Hire yours here and travel with safety and style! For more information, write to us on WhatsApp.

Is it safe to take taxis in Ecuador?

In general, taxis in Ecuador are safe, but it is essential to take precautions to avoid problems. It is recommended to take official taxis and avoid informal taxis. However, if you take a cab on the street, it won’t be easy to distinguish between an official taxi and one not. Therefore, if you are going to order a taxi, we ask you to do it directly from where you are staying. Additionally, it is essential to ensure the meter is working and the driver is not driving recklessly.

For the above reasons, we recommend you use a VIP transportation service or Uber. The latter operates in several cities in Ecuador and is a convenient and safe option to get around certain cities. Of course, the safest way to get around Ecuador is to do it by private transportation. Therefore, if you want comfortable and safe VIP transportation in Quito, Contact us by WhatsApp for more information.

Is it safe to travel by bus in Ecuador?

Traveling by bus in Ecuador is relatively safe and inexpensive, although taking precautions to avoid problems is always essential. We suggest you take company buses and make your trip during the day since it is better to avoid the night when traveling by bus. Furthermore, it is essential that you pay attention to your belongings and do not carry valuable objects during your bus trip.

Is it safe to travel by plane to Ecuador?

Traveling by plane in Ecuador is safe. Ecuadorian airlines and airports operate efficiently, so it is safe to take internal flights in the country.

Is it safe to travel by boat in Ecuador?

You will find few opportunities to take boats in mainland Ecuador. However, you will do so constantly if your destination in the country is the Galapagos archipelago. Therefore, we recommend taking boats from well-known companies and avoiding informal boats.

Is it safe to eat in Ecuador?

Ecuador has a very varied gastronomy, and depending on the region you visit in the country:  Coast, mountains, Amazon region, or the Galapagos Islands, you will find foods and drinks that are quite different and very surprising due to their unique flavors.

Trying the typical food of Ecuador will be a rewarding experience for any traveler who visits the country, but it is essential to take precautions to avoid problems. Therefore, we recommend that you eat in well-known restaurants, and, for this purpose, you must revise people’s opinions about the restaurants you plan to go to on Google or Tripadvisor. And if you were going to eat in more informal places, you should also learn about them.

In that sense, the advantage of traveling accompanied by a tour guide is that he will direct you to recommended restaurants, and you will not have to take risks.

Is it safe to drink tap water in Ecuador?

In Ecuador, tap water is not recommended. It is best to drink bottled water or water that has been treated and purified.

Recommendations

Next, we will list some recommendations that may be useful when traveling through Ecuador.

What precautions can tourists take to stay safe in Ecuador?

Visitors to Ecuador can take the following precautions to stay safe during their visit to the country:

  • Avoid going out alone at night.
  • Be aware of your surroundings, and make sure to leave valuables unattended.
  • Only carry small amounts of cash. You can always use your credit or debit cards in large cities, although cash is almost exclusively used in smaller towns. In any case, the official currency of Ecuador is the US dollar, which facilitates transactions for international visitors.
  • Keep your passport in a safe place.
  • Have digital and physical copies of your travel documents.
  • Withdraw money from ATMs located in safe locations. Avoid those facing directly onto the street or in isolated areas.
  • Take out travel insurance that covers medical and repatriation expenses.
  • Research the safest neighborhoods to stay in when visiting a city. For this purpose, we recommend you read our notes on the best areas to stay in Quito.
  • Use public transportation with caution.
  • Get around in specialized tourist transportation and the company of certified guides.
  • Hire an international roaming service or purchase a local SIM card to have unlimited data and internet access.

Frequent questions

Is Ecuador safe for female travelers to travel?

Ecuador is a relatively safe country for female travelers. Many women from all over the globe have visited the country and have made their trips without setbacks. However, female travelers are advised to take certain precautions, such as avoiding walking alone at night, not carrying large amounts of cash or jewelry, being vigilant about their surroundings, using common sense, carrying out activities in groups with legal agencies, and staying in tourist areas.

Is Ecuador safe for children?

Traveling to Ecuador with children is safe, but taking the same precautions as adults is crucial. An adult must always accompany boys and girls, and they should never walk alone.

Is Ecuador safe for travelers with disabilities?

Ecuador is a relatively accessible country for travelers with disabilities. However, it is necessary to plan the trip and consult with a travel agency specializing in accessible travel.

Is it safe to travel to the Amazon rainforest in Ecuador?

It is safe to travel to the Amazon rainforest of Ecuador, a geographic region known as the Amazon or Oriente. There is no prohibition to enter this area, and no incidents of violence have been recorded. The Amazon region of Ecuador is characterized by its tranquility, which makes it a highly desired place for tourists.

Is it safe to travel to rural areas of Ecuador?

In rural areas of Ecuador, robberies and assaults are rare. Hence, an event like this is unlikely to occur in rural areas, where the logic of life is far from that of cities. The feeling of security in rural areas of the country, especially in those small towns near national parks and protected reserves in Ecuador, is relatively high.

However, it is essential to note that getting help in an emergency can be challenging because some rural areas of the country are very isolated, and infrastructure is often limited.

Quito Tour Bus Ecuador Safe to travel
Quito Tour Bus, the only double-decker bus in the city.
Photo by Quito Tour Bus.

It is safe to travel to Ecuador, a country that, despite the recent events, continues to be a highly desired destination for travelers worldwide. Most tourists who visit the country end their trip successfully. Therefore, if you have planned a trip to this Latin American destination, we encourage you to do it. With caution and common sense, you can enjoy everything Ecuador offers without being paranoid about safety.

Ecuador is a safe country for tourists, and to guarantee a memorable travel experience, we recommend you take your trip with our company. We are Quito Tour Bus and have more than 13 years of experience in Ecuadorian tourism. We can ensure that our trips with our clients end safely and without problems. Because safety is our priority, we take appropriate precautions and guarantee a safe and memorable experience for those who travel with us.

Learn about all our tours in Quito Tour Bus, and get ready to immerse yourself in the beauty and warmth of Ecuador.

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