Travel in Ecuador
Tips and suggestions on making your first visit safe and stress free
There are some groups and web sites out there that would have you believe that here in Ecuador there is no crime and everyone is peaceful and friendly. Sounds good but not true. Just like any place on the planet there are good people and bad people. Your challenge is to meet the good and avoid the bad. Every city in North America has its dangers and it’s no different here in Ecuador. You just need to be prepared.
Ecuador Travel Tips
Where’s Waldo? One of the first things I would suggest is to leave a travel itinerary with a relative or friend so they will know where you are as you travel through Ecuador. It’s also a good idea to give them a contact name and email address of someone here in Ecuador. It could be someone you have met online when doing your research and reached out to. Also make several copies of all your important personal ID’s (passport, driver’s license, etc.) and distribute them throughout your luggage.
Crime In Ecuador
There is not a lot of violent crime towards expats here in Ecuador but petty crime is common and can be avoided with what I call “Situational Awareness”; simply knowing what’s going on around you at any given moment and being able to anticipate danger. Learn to trust your feelings and your gut instincts. Prevention is the key.
Don’t be a target. This is a poor country and all Gringos are perceived as wealthy so tone down your appearance. Leave your expensive watches and jewelry at home! You don’t need them here, anyway. What personal possessions you do bring, keep out of sight. Don’t wear your cell phone or camera on your person where it would be easy to snatch. Never leave anything unattended! If you are careless with your phone or camera they will be stolen. Keep your purse strapped across your shoulder so it would be hard to snatch.
Travelling in Ecuador
If you are traveling with a lot of cash, stay in a hotel or hostel that has a safe in the room. When you are out and about sightseeing, only carry small amounts of cash. Don’t carry a large open bag; too easy for someone to reach inside. ATM’s are at all major banks and are easy to access and usually safe. Just be aware of your surroundings. Before withdrawing money please be sure that suspicious characters are not nearby and that you are being watched. If it doesn’t feel right postpone your withdrawal until another time. Better to be safe than sorry.
Phones in Ecuador
For your first trip to Ecuador I would recommend that you leave your expensive cell phone at home. Buy a cheap phone at one of the many cell phone stores (Claro or Movie Star) for about $40.00. Spend some time getting contact numbers from your new expat friends. The expat community here is friendly and helpful. Ask them for phone numbers of trusted taxi drivers. We all have a bank of several drivers we can use; we’ll be glad to share.
Busses in Ecuador
When traveling by taxi, (especially in the larger cites of Ecuador) it would be a good idea to have the hotel or hostel where you are staying arrange a taxi for you. If you feel safe with the driver, get his number and use him a lot. He’ll be happy to assist you. We have several great drivers throughout Ecuador that we can recommend and would be happy to share their information with you. Just give us a call. If you are traveling by bus, do not put your purse or backpack under the seat. Keep them next to you or by your feet. We have heard stories of people who had their backpacks cut and contents stolen while under the seat. This is a common problem and happens more than you would think.
Safe Travel In Ecuador
I know that I have only scratched the surface about safely traveling in Ecuador and I hope I haven’t frightened you, but petty crime does exist. It’s a delicate subject but should be discussed. I am committed to telling it like it is; the good, the bad and the ugly. Please give me a call on Magic Jack 804-858-4289 or from Ecuador at 098-289-6208. You can Skype us at dmcausey or mmmweaver. Email us at info@EcuadorPropertyConsultants.com. I’ll be happy to answer any questions you may have on traveling safely in Ecuador or any other concerns you may have. I welcome the opportunity to help make your transition to Ecuador as smooth as possible. Ciao!