Personal Security in Ecuador
is a country full of friendly people, most of whom are easy
going. However, passing through the streets of Ecuador with
a camera, discman, or MP3 player in your hand, a very full
backpack or money in full view, is just not recommended.
Thieves are very observant and don’t lose any opportunity
to take the belongings of unaware tourists. In this section
you will find some useful tips for enjoying Ecuador without
any problems. The most dangerous cities with
respect to crime are Quito and Guayaquil
and their surrounding areas because they are the most
populated cities in the country. The rest of the cities
tend to be more calm and safe.
Be careful with false cops that can surprise you in the
streets. When they approach you, be wary in the beginning,
especially if you are not on a main street. Do not accept
anything from strangers, not sweets or candy and don’t
help anyone cross the street or read a note, these tend
to be bait for an assault. Generally, especially on deserted
routes, buses can be assaulted at night. But don’t
worry very much about this because it is quite rare.
· In any situation, it is important that you protect
yourself against robberies, but not with weapons, but
with foresight. A secure and confident attitude
will help make sure that nobody approaches you. Treat
others cordially but not intimately, especially people
you don’t know anything about, this may make sure
that you don’t get any unpleasant surprises.
· When it is necessary for you to take
out valuable objects in the street, always make
sure there is a policeman nearby. It is preferable that
you don’t give money to beggars
because some of them can be thieves. If you rent a car,
leave it in public parking garages and don’t
leave belongings inside the car.
· Always keep a copy of your documents
with you. Take precaution and make copies of your important
documents for you to carry with you and leave the originals
in a safe place in your hotel room or wherever you are
staying. If your stay is short, always take your passport
with you. But if you plan to stay in Ecuador for a long
period of time, you should try to get an official copy
of your passport. Immediately report any lost passport
to your embassy.
· Always take travelers checks
or credit cards so that you don’t
have to carry large sums of money. Your most important
documents and money should always be kept on you. As well
as your wallet, backpack or purse, always keep them where
you can see them.
· Do not change your money to local money
in the streets, do it in a bank or in your hotel.
· Don’t take hidden streets or short
cuts, always take main streets. Use your instincts
when you feel unsafe, leave the area as quick as possible.