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Safety in Ecuador

As is true in most Latin American countries, travelers tend to stand out in Ecuador. There is a good chance you will stand a head taller than the crowds on rural buses throughout the country, and people will notice that you’re foreign. As a result, travelers are easy targets for petty crime. Although crime in Ecuador is rarely violent and many travelers have escaped sketchy situations by yelling and running away, good street sense and awareness must be exercised. In crowds, always hold your bag close to your body and in front of you where you can see it. Most thieves work in teams; one will distract you while the other slashes your bag or picks your pocket. If you are approached by a suspicious person asking for money or the time, just walk away quickly. Don’t let yourself get cornered.

Distribute important documents into at least two stashes. Keep your passport, at least one credit card and most of your cash well protected under your clothes and against your skin –either in a money belt, in-sewn pocket or other contraption. Keep a wallet or coin purse within easy reach (but NOT in a hip pocket) with a small amount of money and perhaps a second credit card for daily food and shopping, so that you don’t have to reach into your main reserve when you aren’t in a comfortable space.

In most cities in Ecuador the dodgy neighborhoods are easy to identify: They are around bus stations and major outdoor markets. Lodging is usually slightly cheaper in these areas, but for a dollar or two more a night, you can get a substantial upgrade worth the peace of mind. Researching the perfect spot beforehand is the best way to avoid being stuck in a neighborhood that makes you uncomfortable.

Earthquakes are common in Ecuador and three volcanoes are presently active (Tungurahua, Sangay and Reventador). To keep informed on these situations, visit the Instituto Geofísico’s website (URL: Tsunamis can occur along the coast. In the case of any of these disasters, be sure to follow local authorities’ instructions.

Here are some related tips to help plan your trip to Ecuador: Best Places In Quito To Watch Sports, Health in Ecuador, Best Places In Quito To See Live Music, Best Places In Quito To Get Food, Safety in Tulcán, Best Places In Quito To Meet The Locals, Best Places In Quito To Get Late Night Food, Gay Quito , A Walking Tour Of The Centro Histórico and Safety in Baños.

10 Sep 2012

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