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U.S. State Department Issues Travel Advisory Update For Ecuador 

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Ecuador is a spectacularly beautiful country.

Postcard-perfect towns and cities, incredible white sand beaches, and rainforests with a breathtaking array of biodiversity all await you here.  

Despite this natural beauty, the U.S. State Department has updated its advice for U.S. citizens traveling to Ecuador right now.  

View of a church in Quito, Ecuador

Here’s what travelers to Ecuador need to know about the latest travel advisory from the U.S. State Department:  

Updated Travel Advisory For Ecuador  

Ecuador has been awarded a level 2 travel advisory rating by the U.S. Department of State. This is because there is currently a state of emergency in the country.  

Travelers are advised to exercise increased caution due to the increased risk of civil unrest, crime, and kidnapping in the country.  

women walking along the famous Quilotoa Loop hike in the Andes mountains of Ecuador

The travel advisory update also lists some areas of Ecuador that travelers are advised to reconsider traveling to as well as areas you shouldn’t travel to at all.  

You should reconsider travel to Guayaquil north of Portete de Tarqui Avenue, El Oro province (except for the cities of Huaquillas and Arenillas which are on the do not travel list), Los Rios providence (except for the cities of Quevedo, Quinsaloma and Pueblo Viejo which are also on the do not travel list), and all areas south of Esmeraldas city in the province of Esmeraldas.  

You are also advised not to travel to Guayaquil south of Portete de Tarqui Avenue, the cities of Huaquillas and Arenillas in the province of El Oro, the canton of Duran in the province of Guayas and Esmeraldas city.  

Houses and the stgairs at Cerro Santa Ana, a touristic attraction of Guayaquil, Ecuador.

The good news is that Quito and Cuenca are the most popular cities for tourists to explore in Ecuador and neither of these cities have been included on the reconsider traveling or do not travel list. This means that these popular spots only have a level 2 travel advisory rating.  

Ecuador Is Still Safe  

It’s important to note that this means Ecuador is still considered safe to visit. There are 4 travel advisory levels issued by the U.S. Government. These range from Level 1: Exercise Normal Precautions to Level 4: Do Not Travel.  

A level 2 advisory still means that a country is considered safe to visit provided you take the right precautions. There is no reason not to travel to Ecuador for your next vacation provided you avoid the cities and provinces outlined above.  

colorful houses of Las Penas on santa Anna hill district landmark of Guayaquil Ecuador in south america

To give this context, other popular countries that are currently considered Level 2 destinations by the U.S. Department of State include the Dominican Republic, the United Kingdom, Italy, and Spain.  

What You Need To Know About Visiting Ecuador 

The current state of emergency in Ecuador has been extended until April 8 although it may be extended again after this date. If you choose to visit the country while it is under this state of emergency then there are several temporary rules you need to be aware of.  

The main one is that there is a national curfew in effect which means you should stay in your hotel or accommodation between certain hours. These are between 12 am and 5 am in areas designated high risk and between 2 am and 5 am in medium-level areas. Realistically this won’t have any impact on most travelers as you’ll be asleep between those hours.  

Colonial Plaza Grande Quito In Quito, Ecuador, South America

If you need to travel to or from the airport in these hours then you are exempt from the curfew but you’ll need to carry your flight itinerary and passport with you.  

Ready to travel to Ecuador? Make sure that you enroll in the U.S. Government’s Smart Traveler Enrollment Program (STEP) and follow the Department of State on social media so that you can get real-time updates as and when you need them. This is important as situations can change quickly and it’s important to know if things change.  

Don’t attend protests or gather in large groups or crowds. Even peaceful demonstrations can quickly turn violent. If a protest or demonstration breaks out then return to your hotel room or another safe place.  

protests in Ecuador

Take normal safety precautions such as avoiding wearing flashy clothing and jewelry or other obvious displays of wealth. Stay alert in areas that are often frequented by tourists, and avoid walking alone at night where possible.  

These are precautions you should take in any country overseas and are not unique to Ecuador which remains a safe place for travelers overall.  

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