Ecuador requires a valid passport from all travelers, as well as proof
of return to your home country or onward journey, I wouldn´t expect
to be checked, but just in case. At this time no yellow fever vaccination
is required, but always highly reccommended.
Citizens of most nations can stay in Ecuador for up to 180 days
per year. Immigration officials will give you either 60 or 90 days
in your passport when you enter. If you know you need more than
60 days, be sure to tell them before they stamp your passport. If
you want to stay longer than 90 days you will have to get an extension
or obtain a visa. To get more specific information see our Visa
Always carry your passport while travelling on a bus to another
city in Ecuador, as military and police check points are semi-frequent
and sometimes there could be trouble 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 reccommended that you carry
only a copy of your passport. For a reasonable fee most foreign
embassies provide their citizens with an "official" copy
of their passport that is recognized by Ecuadorian law. Check with
your embassy or consulate
for details. Also, report lost or stolen passports immediately to
your embassy or consulate.
Food and Water Saftey
It's a well known fact by every traveler and any health department
or organization that food and waterborne diseases are the number
one cause of illness in travelers worldwide. This is equally true
for travelers in Ecuador. Knowledge is the best weapon against illness
and prevention is the best medicine. Relatively mild stomach and
intestinal tract problems (diarrhea and occasionally vomiting) due
to eating or drinking food contaminated with bacteria or parasites,
that foreign immune systems are not accustomed to, are the most
common problems but travelers may contract other, more serious,
diseases as well. Some stomach irritation can be expected while
visiting developing countries, but if symptoms are extreme or last
more than a few days, consult a doctor. Educate yourself and follow
these precautions to stay healthy on the road.
in Ecuador, especially during your first 2 weeks, eat only well
cooked food or fruits and vegetables you have peeled yourself, do
not eat un-pasteurized dairy products, refrain from eating food
sold by street vendors, eat only in restaurants that seem clean,
and avoid ice in drinks. It's also a pretty bad idea to try the
seafood, although really tempting, as it is one of the most common
cause of food poisoning. That includes river shimp and fish from
the rainforest. Drinking tap water is not advisable anywhere in
Ecuador, so drink only bottled or boiled water or softdrinks. Remember
also that water should be boild about twice as long in the Andes
because of the altilute (it's boiling but it's not as hot as you
think). If you are unable to find bottled drinks or to boil water,
you can make water safer by both using a water-purifier that removes
both bacteria and viruses and adding iodine tablets to the filtered
water. Water-purifiers can be found in most camping/outdoor supply
stores. Before you buy a purifier make sure it removes both viruses
and bacteria. If it does not, your water may look clean but there
will be enough little critters swimming in there to make you sick.
While most travelers to the coastal regions of Ecuador don't
have problems, it should be kept in mind that the high levels of
unemployment, particularly around the more populated areas, like
San Lorenzo, Esmeraldas, Manta and Guayaquil have led to an increase
in crime. Travelers would be well advised to take nothing with them
that is of high cash or personal value. Things like airline tickets
are really hard to replace and so are better left in Quito if you
are to return there. Try not to travel to heavily weighed-down by
backpacks and luggage, and make sure you insure those belongings
The regions of the Andes, the Jungle and especially the Galapagos
Islands are significantly less dangerous as far as crime goes. But,
keep in mind, that doesn't mean that you can frolic in the streets
of Quito care-free. There are still people who will want your wallet
there, so take all the precautions you would anywhere else, maybe
more. Here are some tips to keep you, and your wallet a little safer:
Travel with trustworthy companions. The good old "safety in
numbers" is worth more than you mat think.
When passing shady characters, walk confidently with your head up.
Never stare at the ground, it makes you look nervous and weak.
you feel unsafe it's not paranoia, they're instincts that developed
for a reason. If you get that feeling grab a taxi or go into a place
with lots of people.
out where the unsafe sectors are and avoid them.
cautious with people who are become very friendly too quickly, or
that offer to show you around without knowing you.
all important documents in a secure place, such as an inner pocket
or a pouch that is hidden under a layer of clothing, or even better,
at the hotel or hostel if you won't need it.
travelers checks and credit cards instead of large sums of cash.
You can always get replacement checks or cancel your cards but you
can't get cash back.
wear expensive jewelry or wristwatches. They make you a target.
Carry shoulder-bags and purses in front of you to avoid having them
all bags and other valuables where you can see them in restaurants,
train stations, and other public places.
copies of your important documents, card numbers, etc., and give
them to a trusted companion. It's also a good idea to leave copies
of important documents and numbers with a relative at home, or store
them on password protected email account, such as Yahoo or Hotmail,
that you can access from anywhere.