We suggest the following:
When walking through Quito
-Be careful when walking at night and try to avoid badly lit areas.
-Leave documents and valuables in your hotel room inside the safety deposit box.
-If you have a camera, carry it on the front or put it inside your bag.
-Whenever you sit at a coffee shop, restaurant, phone booth, or any open space, keep your belongings close to you.
-Don’t lose sight of your bags at the airport.
-Take altitude seriously (listen to your body) if you feel fatigue, dizziness, shortness of breath or nausea, you might be experiencing altitude sickness. Rest, relax and remain hydrated.
-When you use an ATM be aware of your surroundings.
-If possible, try to walk around in groups or pairs.
-If you want to get around in a taxi, download Uber or Cabify, or ask for establishments (hotel, restaurants) to call a verified cab.
-If you don´t want to spend money in fancy lunches, many restaurants offer “alumerzos” or special executive lunch menus that are very inexpensice.
When travelling to the Coast or the Amazon
-Carry change for small restaurants and stops along the way (there are still many shops and restaurants that don’t accept credit cards, just cash).
-Book in advance if you want to find comfortable accommodations (especially for the Amazon).
-If you decide to rent a car, be aware of the gas stations, there aren´t many nearby.
-Still, search for last-minute deals (cancellations can result in a cheaper tour).
-If you´re not in the heart of the Amazon, where your tour is most likely all exclusive, you should have a budget of around $30 (for local meals).
-Sunblock is a must! Radiation levels are very high in Ecuador.
-Street food is delicious, but if you have a delicate stomach, choose wisely (usually “huecas” that serve traditional bites such as tripamishki, corviches or empanadas use a lot of oil).
-Don’t count solely on travellers checks, most hotels and restaurants won’t accept them.
-Once you take out money try not to carry large sums with you.
-Plugs in Ecuador are made for 110 volts, if you use a different plug, bring an adapter along.
-Travel insurance is always recommended!
-Remember bars and restaurants charge a premium for alcohol, if you want to have a beer it´s always better to opt for the small stores.
-If you have money other than American Dollars (established currency of Ecuador) the best place to exchange your money is the bank.
And last but not least… remember to trust your gut, be prepared for your daily activities, and enjoy!