Ecuador is a peaceful country, although, if you are backpacking, or traveling by car or plane, you should be careful. Latin America usually does not have a high level of security. In big cities, in Ecuador and throughout Latin America, it is normal to perceive a high level of delinquency.
About health you should be glad, the most part of professionals in Ecuador are well prepared, and most of them work in Public Hospitals which are free for both Ecuadorians and foreigners.
If you are visiting Ecuador or you want to do it soon, one of the first things to consider is the level of security that the country offers, this regarding the free migratory movement and the criminal level. It’s the visitor’s responsibility to find out safe places to visit. Most travel guides and guidebooks mention that larger cities like Quito, Cuenca and Guayaquil, are the ones that have the highest level of insecurity, depending on the hour, day and the place.
Small towns and villages throughout Ecuador are very quiet and there is a minimum level of insecurity. Anyhow, it’s not recommendable to carry at plain sight valuables things such as digital cameras and video cameras, wallets or kangaroos hanging in the neck or waist, this is not common in Ecuador. It is considered an oversight and excess by tourists because they put themselves unnecessarily in danger. Another common error of the tourist in Ecuador is to travel only with currency of high value. Carry only what you need, the necessary amount of money. Also carry bills and coins for change and, of course, the documents for entry into the country.
Speaking about health, Ecuador has hospitals, medical centers, private clinics, clubs and non-governmental organizations, private doctors' offices, and others, that offer their services in a variety of areas of health.
Another error of the tourist who visits our country and that frequently causes temporary illness, is to bring inappropriate accessories and clothes. Most visitors have the previous idea that Ecuador has a humid tropical climate typical of the amazon jungle. You must remember that Ecuador has four natural regions. Each one has different climates. In addition, because of our special geographical location is common to have sunny days, rainy afternoons and nights with very low temperatures. For this reason the frequent diseases the visitors have are colds, flus, and respiratory problems.
In the coastal and Amazon regions, common diseases are linked with the environment. Drink only boiled water and avoid exposure to marshes where proliferate mosquitoes such as dengue, and variety of amphibians and reptiles. If you suffer any type of bite or sting it is recommended to immobilize the affected area with a manual tourniquet and go to the nearest health center.
The foreigners who visit our country consider that the sun radiation causes discomfort and mild fevers in the first few days. Protect yourself with brimmed hats and sunscreen.
Another important factor is the food. If you visit our country you should take into account the condiments used in meals and that the way of cooking is different. Despite how high is the hygiene standards and if it is a good preparation, food tends to cause troubles because foreigners are not used to our local products. Many of them may be totally new to your body. Do not eat food in excess and take plenty of fluids.
If you want to know more about health centers and important hospitals in Ecuador you can access to our health guide. Also, for more information and health attention you can go to:
Centros de Salud Urbanos
Free Public centers that have several medical specialties. These ones can be found throughout the country. For more information about the nearest health Center, you can contact with:
Centro Urbano de Salud Número 1
Centro Histórico, Quito-Ecuador
Rocafuerte 1545 and Venezuela.
(02) 2285 120
Hospital Pedíatrico, Baca Ortiz
It offers specialized pediatric care, external and internal medical consultations. It is a public medical institution with health professionals recognized across the country.
Ave. 6 de Diciembre and Colón Esquina
Hospital Eugenio Espejo
Public health center with several of medical specialties in external, internal medicine and surgery.
Avenida Gran Colombia w/n
Emergency telephone numbers:
911 Medical Emergencies and firefighters
101 Policía Nacional
In the large cities of Ecuador you should walk with care, although the National Police work on a daily basis against crime, always caution is advised. Although our guide (as well as others) alerts you on the safety in several places in Quito and Ecuador, it is your responsibility to be well informed about the places you visit.
In most small towns of Ecuador there is no relevant level of crime.