This guide assembles essential recommendations that tourists should consider when traveling around Ecuador, to ensure that their stay will be totally enjoyable, so Ecuador could position itself as a “Safe Destination” and world reference in sustainable tourism that offers visitors a unique life changing experience.
This guide contains helpful travel recommendations for women and vulnerable groups that visit the country for tourism, and its objective is to provide adequate information that allows tourists to make the best decisions before and during their stay in Ecuador, ensuring that their trip is enjoyable.
Documents required for travel
Passport or valid ID that proves the Ecuadorian nationality.
Foreigners or residents
Valid and current passport with its visa.
CAN Y MERCOSUR: passport or identification.
Citizens who require a visa to enter Ecuador
Afghanistan, Bangladesh, Eritrea Ethiopia, Kenya, Nepal, Nigeria, Pakistan, Somalia, Senegal and Cuba.
It is very likely that the country’s immigration office will request the return ticket in order to verify that the stay does not exceed the 90 days allowed for tourists.
For your safety you need to have the yellow fever vaccine.
Foreign tourists can access the VAT refund for the acquisition of goods produced in Ecuador and accommodation services in establishments affiliated to the process, which can be identified with the following logo:
VAT in Ecuador is 12%.
The VAT refund is applied in amounts over USD 50.00 for each invoice.
From the value to be returned, USD 3.00 will be discounted for administrative costs.
The accreditation of the applicant’s return will be made through the credit card (DINERS CLUB, MASTERCARD or VISA).
To successfully access the benefit, foreign tourists must correctly fill out the refund request.
For more information, see: http://www.sri.gob.ec/web/guest/devolucion-del-iva-a-turistas-extranjeros
Asset entry control
In compliance with the provisions of the Organic Law on Prevention, Detection and Eradication of the Crime of Money Laundering and Crime Financing, every passenger who enters or leaves the country with cash, for an amount equal to or greater than 10 thousand dollars of the United States of North America or its equivalent in other currencies, has the obligation to declare it before the corresponding authorities.
When traveling with a Smartphone, you can install the free application ‘ECU 911’ of the Integrated Security Service to be attended immediately.
Dial 911 and report any emergency or illegal act.
The system for receiving complaints about theft can be found at the following link: https://www.fiscalia. gob.ec/denuncias-on-line-para-turistas
Ecuador has a Safe Transport System, with vehicles registered and recognized by the National Transit Agency.
Recommendations for taking a taxi:
Request the taxi service in your hotel or restaurant.
If you are going to take a taxi on the street you should consider the following things:
The taxi has to be yellow with orange plate.
That the safe transportation logo is visible.
That the registration number is displayed on the doors.
That they have a security camera and an emergency button.
That they work with a tariff meter (taximeter)
Recommendations for traveling by bus:
For interprovincial or inter-cantonal trips, take the transport only in the bus terminals of each city.
You should try not to sleep during the time you are in the bus. If you are going to do it, put your belongings close to you.
If a large backpack and / or suitcase is left in the baggage hold of the bus, demand a voucher, ticket or receipt for your checked luggage.
Check that the luggage in the upper compartments is safe.
When putting the backpack on the floor place it in front of your feet.
Recommendation to travel by rental car:
Remember that the speed limits in Ecuador are:
50km per hour in the city
90km per hour on vía perimetral (highway)
100km per hour on highways
Do not exceed the speed limits to avoid paying fines.
Recommendation for sailing:
When sailing, either on sea or in rivers, do it with the help of a travel agency and / or tour operator, who has its operating permits updated.
In banks and ATMs:
If you need to exchange money you must do it exclusively in banks and exchange houses. Where possible, carry out transactions in a bank branch that is inside a Shopping Center.
When going to a bank or to the ATM, you should be accompanied by someone.
Use ATMs in well-lit public places.
Do not accept the help or company of strangers.
In Protected Areas:
All-Natural Protected Areas of Ecuador are free, except for the Galapagos National Park. (Consider that the Ministry of the Environment can change this policy at any time).
To visit Protected Areas, you must do it with the help of a Travel Agency and / or Tour Operator, which provides the guidance service with professionals certified by the tourism authority.
Maintain frequent communication with family and friends.
Always leave valuable objects in the hotel safe.
Be cautious when visiting crowded places or when going to bars or clubs.
When requesting information, you must request it at the hotel reception, tourist operators or friends residing in the destination you are visiting. If possible, do not consult strangers.
To fully enjoy your trip, keep these recommendations in mind:
If you suffer from any illness, it’s necessary that you carry the medicines that you should take in case of emergency during the entire trip.
The Public Health Network in the country is activated. In case of an emergency or if you need personalized attention, you can go to the nearest health center.
In the web portal called GeoSalud, the State Medical Network is available to you in a georeferenced manner. Search for the nearest health facility at: https://geosalud.msp.gob.ec/
To avoid other types of diseases it is important to consider the following recommendations:
Wear protective clothing with sleeves and long pants, especially at dawn and dusk to avoid stings.
In high density mosquito zones use mosquito nets or screens in the windows.
Use mosquito repellent according to your skin type.
The Ministry of Tourism of Ecuador, in coordination with the response agencies, has a protocol for assistance and accompaniment for foreign tourists in case of emergency, if you require assistance here is the details of the offices nationwide:
Briceño St. E1 – 24 and Guayaquil
La Licuadora Building
170403 – Quito
Phone: (02) 3 999-333
(Provinces of Esmeraldas, Carchi, Imbabura y Sucumbíos)
Sucre 14-72 and Teodoro Gómez Ave.
Next to the Inst. Médico de Especialidades
Phone: (06) 2 958 547
(Pichincha province, except Quito canton; Provinces of Napo and Orellana)
Chimborazo S/N and Quito, Azriel Shoping Building
220202 – Francisco de Orellana
Phone: (06) 2 881-583
(Provinces de Pastaza, Cotopaxi, Tungurahua and Chimborazo)
Argentinos St. S/n and Carlos Zambrano Ave.
Next to Chimborazo International Hotel
060107 – Riobamba
Phone: (03) 2 946682
(Manabí province and Santo Domingo de los Tsáchilas)
Los Nardos St. and 15 de Abril Ave.
Phone: (05) 3043 711
(Provinces de Guayas, Los Ríos, Santa Elena and Bolívar)
Francisco de Orellana Ave. and Justino Cornejo, Gobierno del Litoral Building 8vo floor
090506 – Guayaquil
Phone: (04) 2 068-508
(Provinces of Azuay, Cañar and Morona Santiago)
Larga St. 6-13 and Hermano Miguel
010203 – Cuenca
Phone: (07) 2 838209 – 2839557 Ext 2702
(Provinces of El Oro, Loja and Zamora Chinchipe)
Sucre St. 191-31 and Quito
110101 – Loja
Phone: (07) 2572964
(Province of Galápagos)
Charles Binford St. S/N and 12 de Febrero St.
Reference: former IESS dispensary, Mr. Washington Martínez House.
200102- Santa Cruz Island
Phone: (05) 2526-174