Ecuador is an increasingly popular country to visit by those who want to venture off the beaten track. Full of lush, natural wonders, Ecuador is bordered by Peru and Colombia, with the glittering Pacific Ocean to the west.
A lot of destinations such as this do require a bit of pre-planning and extra caution, so luckily, I’ve done all the hard work for you!
Read up beforehand
Situations do change rather quickly, so what I tell you today could be out of date tomorrow; because of this, head to your government travel website and read into the up to date advice they are giving you. At present there is a little political unrest in Ecuador, as well as natural concerns about slight activity within a couple of the country’s major volcanoes. Don’t let that put you off however; it’s just a case of avoiding particular areas and not taking part in demonstrations. Basically anything political, do not have an opinion on it, and don’t speak about it – you can’t go wrong that way.
There is an exclusion zone in place along the border with Colombia and all travel to this part of the country, other than the official border crossing town of Tulcan, is strongly advised against. There are also a couple of other areas which aren’t advisable to visit, so check out real-time information before you go.
Like I just mentioned, there has recently been increased activity with two of the country’s many volcanoes – Tungurahua and Reventador. Don’t climb them, and stay way. Heed any advice.
Like anywhere in the world, you have to be vigilant with street crime, such as muggings and pickpocketing. Don’t go around draped in expensive jewellery and watch your bag. If you can wear a rucksack on the front of your body without feeling stupid, then do it. It’s always better to be safe than sorry. When taking money out of ATMs, be aware, and also look out for diversion tactics.
If you’re planning on taking an Ecuador road trip then make sure you take your licence with you and check whether your country of origin’s licence is valid. Many Embassies do recommend you get a local temporary driver permit too. Carry all paperwork with you at all times. Be aware of road conditions whilst you’re out and about, some are better than others.
Never get in an unlicensed taxi, and don’t hail one from the street. Licensed cabs are easily recognised – they are yellow, and have registration numbers clearly marked on the windscreen and doors, as well as on the license plate.
Contact your doctor around eight weeks before you’re planning to visit, to see whether you need any vaccinations or malaria tablets.
Again, this varies wildly depending on your country of origin, so head to the Embassy website and check whether you need to apply for a visa before you travel. In many cases, this will simply be a visa sticker purchased at the airport, which will allow you to stay for a certain number of days.
It’s simple really – be on your guard, heed any advice, and you will have a memorable stay.