Learn from the experiences of other expats and make new friends in our disccussion forums and Facebook groups

The Expat Focus Guide to Moving Abroad contains everything you need to know when planning an international relocation available now, completely free

Insurance, FX and international movers

The Expat Focus podcast features interviews with expats living abroad and service providers meeting their needs subscribe today!

From our tax, investment and FX partners

Expat Focus Partners

Become a Partner. Click Here.

Safety in Ecuador

Discussion forum for expats moving to or living in Ecuador.

Reply to topicReply to topic
Forum FAQSearchView unanswered posts
Safety in Ecuador

Post Posted: Sat Aug 06, 2011 3:40 am

I've read what IL and someone who seems to have an affiliation with IL has said about Eucador and they make it sound like the most friendly, safe country to live in, especially Cotacachi. Then when I search "Safety in Eucador" on the internet, what I have read makes it seem completely the opposite. It sounds like you have to be constantly looking over your shoulder so as not to be the victim of crime. I live in a small town in middle TN, but years ago I worked in downtown Chicago. Even while working in Chicago I was able to wear my diamond wedding ring, dress nicely and carry a designer handbag. All of the things I have been able to do no matter if I lived in Illinois, Wisconsin or Tennessee. There is such a long list of crime to be aware of in Eucador on the US Consulate website, it seems like my original dream of retiring to Cotacachi next year has been shattered. Can anyone tell me if Cotacachi is where "children play outide safely at night and all the people are friendly and helpful" or if it is where "you don't wear any jewelry on the street, mostly everyone gets pickpocketed and you need a wall topped with wire and broken glass surrounding your home even in a gated community"?


Re: Safety in Ecuador

Post Posted: Thu Sep 01, 2011 11:02 pm

Hi: Two facts I know. IL is not to be trusted with their glowing reports. The second fact is the U.S State Dept Travel Advisories are not accurate, out of date, and they exaggerate the crime in other countries.

I visited Kenya when the U.S. State Dept. issued a a safety advisory not to travel to Kenya. I went anyway and had a wonderful time. I saw no safety concerns whatsoever.

The best info are from the expats that live in Ecuador. The info that was passed was do not flaunt ones wealth. Do not leave valuables unattended. Travelling alone at night not recommended. Kind of like the USA.


Re: Safety in Ecuador

Post Posted: Fri Sep 02, 2011 12:34 am

Thanks, Gary. It's so hard to know who to trust. I've read blogs from some people living in Eucador who say they wished they had moved there sooner and don't seem to have many problems with safety other than normal common sense things. Then on other blogs you hear about how terrible the crime is and how this particular person and several of her friends have had their car carjacked, had things stolen from her kitchen window ledge and how she has to have an outdoor guard dog plus the glass and/or barbed wire on the walls surrounding her house and she still doesn't feel safe. So who knows who and why someone is lying!


Re: Safety in Ecuador

Post Posted: Sun Oct 02, 2011 3:39 pm

The key is to be aware of your surroundings. We have never had any problems whether traveling in Mexico, Costa Rica or while in Ecuador, etc.

Basic common sense things that many in the US don't think about:
NEVER ever leave anything, anything at all, in your vehicle unattended. It's like you are inviting trouble.

Lock your doors. Bars on lower windows. And yes, walls. It's a cultural thing, not because the crime is so bad, it is just a deterrent. Everyone has them. If you don't, then that is just saying to the thief: steal from me, it isn't that hard!

Would you wear expensive jewelry and carry a designer handbag in a gang-infested/very poor area of LA or NY? Seriously? Then don't do it elsewhere, especially since you will be in a developing country where the income levels of most in the community are drastically lower than yours.

Don't flaunt wealth. I don't wear my diamond wedding ring but I do wear my diamond earrings (small studs) and other jewelry that isn't flashy. I have carried a handbag, but a cheap one. That way if it is taken, no worries.

It's just common sense. Hope this helps. Tami




Re: Safety in Ecuador

Post Posted: Sun Aug 05, 2012 10:55 pm

I spent 2 weeks travelling Ecuador with my then girlfriend to check out the various parts. Quito the capital we stayed at the Radison Royal Hotel and the Hotel was absolutely excellent. The area of the city it is located in has sort of sentry boxes on some streets manned by what look like armed security guards. I don't know if this prevents crime or is because of crime. On the sunday morning we went into the old town area which is very picturesque with many old cathedrals and historic buildings. It was packed with the local people and very few tourist's . We walked all around the area and it was completely safe but this was daytime and we left around 4pm for the hotel .We travelled by plane to manta airport and got a taxi to Bahia on the coast. We had a couple days there and it seems completely safe as we walked all around the town of an evening visiting restaurants and bars. Next we took a coach jouney to Guayquil which we didn't like so only stayed one night. Don't know if they have a big crime problem but didn't find the place very appealing. We then went on to Cuenca by coach again . Cuenca is a beautiful city and we spent 4 nights there as there was a festival on. Cuenca seems totally safe as we walked all around the central town every evening and the people are all friendly and helpful. Our journey took us then to Loja which we spent a couple of nights there and visited Villacabamba. I think parts of Loja could be slightly risky but around the central main streets is safe to walk around. Villacabamba is another lovely place but only visited in daytimes. So I think Ecuador is like many other countries , if your in the right areas it is totally safe but it does have it's shanty towns and a lot of poverty. It's common sense to avoid any areas that look run down and stick to the central parts. I know people who have lived in both Bahia and Cuenca for several years and had no problems with crime. But all houses do have bars on the windows throughout the full country and all properties do have high walls around them. Crime prevention or a essential to a avoid crime ? I'm not sure on that one .


Re: Safety in Ecuador

Post Posted: Mon Nov 12, 2012 7:28 am

Intelligence agents are heavily posting english articles to create fear and confusion about life here and to discourage people from even coming to Ecuador. The reason? Ecuador's president is democratically elected, pro-people and highly effective at fighting corruption and crime which has been improving dramatically ever since the US military base was shut down due to its connections to drug and people trafficking. The "Humanitarian organization" name USAID was also sent home as it was found to fund violent opposition movements.
Having said that, you will barely find credible articles by any US official website to be accurate.
The one Ecuadorian official Government source you can consult directly about Ecuador, by Ecuadorians and with alternative translation included is:
IL is also not always accurate but it has more to do with inflated prices and exaggerated entertainment venues in targeted cities than about crime. I feared for my life more in some US cities than in any of the Ecuadorian cities!
Otherwise, stay in touch with some of us, we will be glad to help you anyway we can.
Feel free to email me at noeliaroldan2012 @
Best wishes.


Page 1 of 1

Expat Health Insurance Partners

Cigna Global

Cigna has worked in international health insurance for more than 30 years. Today, Cigna has over 71 million customer relationships around the world. Looking after them is an international workforce of 31,000 people, plus a network of over 1 million hospitals, physicians, clinics and health and wellness specialists worldwide, meaning you have easy access to treatment.

Copyright © 2019 Expat Focus. All Rights Reserved. Use of this website signifies your agreement to the Terms of Use/Privacy Policy. Comments are property of their posters.
Interactive software released under GNU GPL, Code Credits, Privacy Policy