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Travel Warning

Ecuador

Level 2: Exercise Increased Caution

Exercise increased caution in Ecuador due to crime and civil unrest. Some areas have increased risk. Read the entire Travel Advisory.

Do Not Travel To:

  • Carchi, Sucumbíos, and the northern part of Esmeraldas provinces, including Esmeraldas city, due to crime.

Country Summary: Serious, sometimes violent, demonstrations and road blockades occurred throughout Ecuador in October 2019, disrupting inter-city, inter-provincial, and international travel. Demonstrations and blockades could occur again in any location with little to no warning.

Crime, including violent crime, is a concern throughout Ecuador. Limited police and judicial resources contribute to Ecuador’s overall high crime rate. Pickpocketing, purse snatching, robbery, and theft of travel documents are the crimes most commonly committed against U.S. citizens. Read the Safety and Security section on the country information page.

If you decide to travel to Ecuador:

  • Avoid demonstrations and crowds.
  • Be aware of your surroundings.
  • Keep a low profile.
  • Do not physically resist any robbery attempt.
  • Monitor local media for updates on possible demonstrations, potential road closures, and flight status. See ECU 911 and Quito / Guayaquil airport websites.
  • Have evacuation plans that do not rely on U.S. government assistance.
  • Keep travel documents up to date and easily accessible.
  • Enroll in the Smart Traveler Enrollment Program (STEP) to receive Alerts and make it easier to locate you in an emergency.
  • Follow the Department of State on FacebookTwitter, and Instagram.
  • Review the Crime and Safety Reports for Ecuador.
  • U.S. citizens who travel abroad should always have a contingency plan for emergency situations. Review the Traveler’s Checklist.

Carchi, Sucumbíos, and northern Esmeraldas provinces – Level 4: Do Not Travel

Transnational crime groups operating in Esmeraldas province have engaged in violent crime and killed local citizens in the past.

The U.S. government has limited ability to provide emergency services to U.S. citizens in the Colombian border area, as U.S. government personnel cannot travel to the provinces of Esmeraldas (northern part), Carchi, and Sucumbíos without special authorization. U.S. government personnel are permitted to travel to the northern bank of the Napo River in Sucumbíos, an area approximately four miles wide, and the portion of Esmeraldas province that is south of Esmeraldas city.

Visit our website for Travel to High-Risk Areas.

Last Update: Reissued with updates to Level 4 areas.

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