Travel Vaccines and Advice for Ecuador
Ecuador is a country of rich traditions. It is known for its hiking trails and nature, including the famous Galapagos Islands.
The capital city of Ecuador is Quito. Other large cities include Guayaquil, Cuenca, and Santo Domingo.
The country’s varying regions and attractions make it a must visit for many travelers.
Do I Need Vaccines for Ecuador?
Yes, some vaccines are recommended or required for Ecuador. The CDC and WHO recommend the following vaccinations for Ecuador: hepatitis A , hepatitis B , typhoid , yellow fever , rabies , meningitis , polio , measles, mumps and rubella (MMR) , Tdap (tetanus, diphtheria and pertussis) , chickenpox , shingles , pneumonia and influenza .
COVID-19 vaccination is recommended for travel to all regions, both foreign and domestic. Check with your local Passport Health clinic if immunization is offered in your area.
See the bullets below to learn more about some of these key immunizations:
- COVID-19 – Airborne & Direct Contact – Recommended for all unvaccinated individuals who qualify for vaccination
- Hepatitis A – Food & Water – Recommended for most travelers
- Hepatitis B – Blood & Body Fluids – Recommended for travelers to most regions.
- Typhoid – Food & Water – Recommended for travelers to most regions.
- Yellow Fever – Mosquito – Recommended for travel to regions under 7500 ft. Elevation, excludes Guayaquil, Quito and the Galapagos Islands
- Rabies – Saliva of Infected Animals – Moderate risk country. Vaccine recommended for certain travelers based on destination, activities and length of stay.
- Measles Mumps Rubella (MMR) – Various Vectors – Given to anyone unvaccinated and/or born after 1957. One time adult booster recommended.
- TDAP (Tetanus, Diphtheria & Pertussis) – Wounds & Airborne – Only one adult booster of pertussis required.
- Chickenpox – Direct Contact & Airborne – Given to those unvaccinated that did not have chickenpox.
- Shingles – Direct Contact – Vaccine can still be given if you have had shingles.
- Pneumonia – Airborne – Two vaccines given separately. All 65+ or immunocompromised should receive both.
- Influenza – Airborne – Vaccine components change annually.
- Meningitis – Airborne & Direct Contact – Given to anyone unvaccinated or at an increased risk, especially students.
- Polio – Food & Water – Considered a routine vaccination for most travel itineraries. Single adult booster recommended.
See the tables below for more information:
Rabid dogs and other animals are common in Ecuador. Pre-exposure rabies vaccination should be considered before a trip to the country. Children are at an increased risk.
Ecuador is home to a few different mosquito-borne diseases. Malaria , dengue , Zika and yellow fever can all be found in the country. Be sure to bring repellents and netting with you. Passport Health clinics carry the yellow fever vaccine and can often prescribe antimalarials for your trip. Contact your local Passport Health clinic to learn more.
See our vaccinations page to learn more about these infections and vaccines. Ready to protect yourself? Book your travel health appointment today by calling or schedule online now .
Do I Need a Passport or Visa for Ecuador?
A passport that is valid for at least six months is required to enter Ecuador. A visa is not required for stays under 90 days within a one year period.
Sources: Embassy of Ecuador and U.S. State Department
Proof of yellow fever vaccination may be required based on your travel itinerary.
What Is the Climate Like in Ecuador?
Ecuador is a country in South America with diverse climates. Here are the weather conditions in some popular tourist destinations:
- Quito: Quito is the capital of Ecuador, and it’s cool because it’s high up in the mountains. The temperature is between 50 to 70 degrees throughout the year. It’s rainy from October to May, and dry from June to September.
- Galapagos Islands: These islands are a popular destination for people who love nature. The temperature is between 70 to 85 throughout the year. It’s rainy from December to May, and dry from June to November.
- Cuenca: This city is famous for its culture and buildings. The temperature is between 50 to 75 throughout the year. It’s rainy from December to May, and dry from June to November.
- Baños: Baños is a place for adventure tourism in the mountains. The temperature is between 60 to 75 throughout the year. It’s rainy from December to May, and dry from June to November.
- Montañita: Montañita is a beach town popular with surfers. The temperature is between 75 to 85 throughout the year. It’s rainy from January to May, and dry from June to December.
Keep in mind that weather can be unpredictable, so it’s a good idea to check the weather forecast before traveling.
Is It Safe to Travel to Ecuador?
Travelers are not permitted to go to northern Ecuador without prior permission due to kidnappings. These areas include Carchi, northern Esmeraldas and Sucumbíos.
Robbery is common in Ecuador, especially in hotel rooms, on beaches and on hiking trails. Use hotel safes, don’t wear valuable items, and always be alert.
Always travel in groups, be alert, and be aware of where your drinks are at all times. Drugging is common.
Pick-pocketing and petty theft are common in tourist areas. Be aware of your surroundings and avoid situations that could lead to theft.
The Galapagos Islands in Ecuador
Avoid mosquitoes and other bugs, insect-borne disease are a threat throughout the world., keep the bugs away with passport health’s repellent options .
One of the most famous places in the world for biodiversity are the Galapagos Islands. These islands were studied by Charles Darwin and helped him come up with the theory of evolution.
Although known for their biodiversity, the islands are part of volcanic group of islands and have little vegetation. But, that’s what makes the wildlife so unique. The Galapagos National Park is officially a UNESCO World Heritage Site.
Travelers can access the island by plane or by boat. Most travelers go to the islands from December to January and June to August.
Animals on the Galapagos Islands include: bottle-nosed dolphins, the Galapagos turtles, and Darwin’s finches.
What Should I Take to Ecuador?
Here are some essential items to consider for your trip to Ecuador:
- Mosquito repellent to prevent mosquito-borne diseases like Zika , yellow fever and dengue .
- Raincoat and rain gear is a must, especially if you’re traveling during the rainy season.
- Medications can be hard to find in Ecuador. Make sure you bring everything you need with you.
- Sunscreen and sunglasses to protect against the sun.
- Clothes for layering as the temperature may change from day to night.
U.S. Embassy in Ecuador
The U.S. embassy in Ecuador provides various services to travelers visiting or living in Ecuador. The embassy can help travelers with passport and visa services, give information about travel and safety in Ecuador, and assist with medical emergencies.
If you find yourself in need of help while traveling in Ecuador, there is a U.S. embassy in the capital city of Quito.
U.S. Embassy Quito Ave. Avigiras E12-170 y Ave. Eloy Alfaro Quito, Ecuador Telephone: +(593)(2) 398-5000 Emergency After-Hours Telephone: +(593)(2) 398-5000 Fax: +(593)(2) 398-5100
It’s essential to remember that the services offered by the embassy may differ depending on the embassy’s current operations and policies. Travelers should always check the embassy’s website or contact them directly for the most up-to-date information.
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Travel Advisory June 22, 2023
Ecuador - level 2: exercise increased caution.
Reissued with updates to the kidnapping indicator and crime information in the provinces of El Oro, Manabí, Santo Domingo, Los Rios, Santa Elena, Cañar, and Carchi.
Exercise increased caution in Ecuador due to civil unrest, crime , and kidnapping . Some areas have increased risk. Read the entire Travel Advisory.
Reconsider travel to:
- Guayaquil north of Portete de Tarquí Avenue due to crime .
- El Oro province outside the cities of Huaquillas and Arenillas, due to crime .
- Los Rios province outside the cities of Quevedo, Quinsaloma, and Pueblo Viejo, due to crime .
- All areas south of Esmeraldas city in Esmeraldas province, due to crime .
- The provinces of Sucumbíos, Manabí, Santa Elena, and Santo Domingo due to crime .
Do not travel to:
- Guayaquil, south of Portete de Tarquí Avenue, due to crime .
- The cities of Huaquillas and Arenillas in the province of El Oro, due to crime .
- The cities of Quevedo, Quinsaloma, and Pueblo Viejo in the province of Los Rios, due to crime .
- Esmeraldas city and all areas north of Esmeraldas city in Esmeraldas province, due to crime .
Country Summary : Crime is a widespread problem in Ecuador. Violent crime, such as murder, assault, kidnapping, and armed robbery, is prevalent and widespread. The rate of violent crime is significantly higher in areas where transnational criminal organizations are concentrated.
Demonstrations occur frequently throughout the country, usually motivated by political and/or economic factors. Demonstrators routinely block local roads and major highways, often without prior notice. Past demonstrations have varied in duration, with some extending for several days or weeks. Blocked roads may significantly reduce access to public transportation, health services, and airports and may disrupt travel both within and between cities.
Outside of Ecuador’s urban and semi-urban population centers, much of the country’s territory is sparsely populated and isolated. First responders’ and U.S. government officials’ access to rural and remote regions of the country is often extremely limited and can lead to significant delays in assistance to U.S. citizens in these areas.
Read the country information page for additional information on traveling to Ecuador.
If you decide to travel to Ecuador:
- Enroll in the Smart Traveler Enrollment Program ( STEP ) to receive Alerts and make it easier to locate you in an emergency.
- Follow the Department of State on Facebook , Twitter , and Instagram
- Review the Country Security Report for Ecuador.
- Prepare a contingency plan for emergency situations. Review the Traveler’s Checklist .
- Visit the CDC page for the latest Travel Health Information related to your travel.
Level 4: Do Not Travel
Guayaquil, south of Portete de Tarquí Avenue, due to crime .
The cities of Huaquillas and Arenillas in the Province of El Oro, due to crime .
The cities of Quevedo, Quinsaloma, and Pueblo Viejo in the province of Los Rios, due to crime.
Esmeraldas city and all areas north of Esmeraldas city in Esmeraldas province, due to crime .
Transnational criminal groups and local gangs regularly engage in violent criminal acts in these areas, including indiscriminate attacks without warning in public spaces. Violent crimes have included murder, targeted assassinations, armed robberies, bombings, kidnappings, and assaults, among others. Violence in these areas has steadily increased in frequency and brutality in recent months, posing an increased security risk to U.S. citizens. U.S. government personnel are prohibited from traveling to these areas without prior authorization. As a result, the U.S. government is limited in its ability to provide emergency services to U.S. citizens in these areas.
Level 3: Reconsider Travel
Guayaquil north of Portete de Tarquí Avenue, due to crime .
El Oro province outside the cities of Huaquillas and Arenillas, due to crime .
Los Rios province outside the cities of Quevedo, Quinsaloma, and Pueblo Viejo, due to crime .
All areas south of Esmeraldas city in Esmeraldas province, due to crime.
The provinces of Sucumbíos, Manabí, Santa Elena, and Santo Domingo, due to crime.
Transnational criminal groups and local gangs have sporadically engaged in violent criminal activity in these areas, with violence increasing in recent months. U.S. government personnel are directed to exercise extreme caution and maintain increased vigilance when traveling in and around these areas.
Visit our website for Travel to High-Risk Areas .
View Alerts and Messages Archive
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Not for stays less than 90 days in any 12-month period.
Travelers must declare currency in amounts greater than $10,000. See the Ecuadorian customs website.
There is a 5 percent tax on currency taken out of Ecuador above $1200.00. See the Ecuadorian Revenue Service website.
Embassies and Consulates
U.s. embassy quito.
Avigiras E12-170 y Eloy Alfaro Quito, Ecuador Telephone: 593-2-398-5000 Emergency After-Hours Telephone: 593-2-398-5000 or 593-9-9788-3222 Email: [email protected]
U.S. Consulate General Guayaquil Santa Ana St. and Jose Rodriguez Bonin Ave. San Eduardo Sector Guayaquil, Ecuador Telephone: 593-4-371-7000 Emergency After-Hours Telephone: 593-4-371-7000 Email: [email protected]
See the Department of State’s Fact Sheet on Ecuador for information about U.S.-Ecuador relations.
Entry, Exit and Visa Requirements
- There are no COVID-related entry requirements for U.S. citizens.
Visit the Embassy of Ecuador website for the most current visa information.
If you are traveling for business or tourism, you do not need a visa for stays of up to 90 days in any 12-month period. You can request an extension through provincial migration offices. Additional information is available on the Ecuadorian Ministry of Interior website .
- If you are planning a visit longer than 90 days, you must obtain a visa in advance. Visit the Embassy of Ecuador website for the most current visa information.
- The Ministry of Tourism provides general information for travelers on its website .
- Travelers may be subject to enhanced COVID entry requirements. See the U.S. Mission in Ecuador website for more information.
- You must carry identification, including proof of U.S. citizenship. Carry a photocopy of your passport (including the entry stamp and/or visa) with you at all times.
- If your passport is lost or stolen while you are in Ecuador, you should obtain a police report and apply for a new passport at the U.S. Embassy or U.S. Consulate General. We also recommend obtaining an entry/exit report from an Ecuadorian immigration office before leaving the country. For further information, see the Ecuadorian Ministry of Interior website , as well as the U.S. Mission in Ecuador's website .
- U.S. citizens born in Ecuador are required to show an Ecuadorian passport or national ID card upon entering and exiting Ecuador. More information is available on the U.S. Embassy and Consulate in Ecuador's website .
- U.S. citizen children born in Ecuador who are traveling without one or both parents must present a copy of a birth certificate and written authorization from the absent parent(s). If the parent is deceased, a notarized copy of the death certificate is required. For more information, see the U.S. Embassy and Consulate in Ecuador's website .
- While no specific vaccinations are required for entry, the Centers for Disease Prevention and Control (CDC) recommends travelers obtain certain immunizations. See the CDC website for more information.
The U.S. Department of State is unaware of any HIV/AIDS entry restrictions for visitors to or foreign residents of Ecuador.
Find information on dual nationality , prevention of international child abduction , and customs regulations on our websites.
Safety and Security
Exercise increased caution when traveling in Ecuador, and do not travel to the province of Carchi, the province of Sucumbíos, and the northern part of Esmeraldas province, including Esmeraldas city due to crime. U.S. government personnel may travel to the northern bank of the Napo River in Sucumbíos, where tourist lodges are located, an area approximately four miles wide, and to the portion of Esmeraldas province that is south of Esmeraldas city.
All other U.S. government travel to the northern border area is prohibited without prior permission. This region has a high rate of violent crime. U.S. citizens are not targeted, but have been victims of crime there in the past.
Crime: Crime is a widespread problem in Ecuador.
- Pick-pocketing, robbery, and hotel room theft are the most common crimes. Tourists have been robbed at gunpoint on beaches and along hiking trails. Passengers arriving at the Quito and Guayaquil airports have also been targets of armed robberies.
- Use hotel safes if available, avoid wearing obviously expensive jewelry or clothing, and carry only the cash or credit cards that you need. Stay alert in crowds and on public transportation. Be aware that thieves might create distractions to target you.
- Be alert for robberies, in which criminals enter a taxi and force victims to withdraw money from ATMs. Some victims have been beaten or raped. Avoid hailing taxis on the street. Order taxis by phone or use a service affiliated with major hotels. Avoid withdrawing large amounts of cash at one time. Use ATMs in well-protected indoor areas.
- To avoid carjacking or theft from your car while you are stopped at intersections, drive with your doors locked and windows rolled up. Do not leave valuables in plain view.
- Sexual assaults and rapes can occur, even in tourist areas. Travel in groups, do not leave food or drinks unattended, and never allow a stranger to give you a drink.
- Do not let your credit card out of your sight in order to avoid credit card “skimming.”
- Incapacitating drugs, such as rohypnol and scopolamine, have been used to facilitate violent robberies and sexual assaults.
Civil Unrest: Demonstrations may occur occasionally. They may take place in response to local or international events or on politically significant holidays. Even demonstrations intended to be peaceful can turn confrontational and possibly become violent. Protesters may block roads and sometimes burn tires, throw rocks, and damage property.
- Police may respond using water cannons and tear gas.
- Avoid demonstrations and prepare back-up transportation plans. Even peaceful demonstrations can turn violent with little or no warning.
- A disaster can disrupt food supply, so plan to have at least a 3-day supply of food and medicine on hand.
Check local media for updates and traffic advisories.
International Financial Scams: See the Department of State and the FBI pages for information.
Victims of Crime: U.S. citizen victims of sexual assault are encouraged to contact the U.S. Embassy in Quito or Consulate in Guayaquil for assistance. Report crimes to the local police by calling 911 . In Quito, you can visit an Ecuadorian Tourist Security Service Attention Center . You can also contact the U.S. Embassy at +593-2-398-5000 or the U.S. Consulate General in Guayaquil at +593-4-371-7000.
Remember that local authorities are responsible for investigating and prosecuting crimes.
See our webpage on help for U.S. victims of crime overseas .
Information about victim’s assistance programs in Ecuador is available on the U.S. Mission in Ecuador website .
- help you find appropriate medical care
- assist you in reporting a crime to the police
- contact relatives or friends with your written consent
- provide general information regarding the victim’s role during the local investigation and following its conclusion
- provide a list of local attorneys
- provide our information on victim’s compensation programs in the United States.
- provide an emergency loan for repatriation to the United States and/or limited medical support in cases of destitution
- help you find accommodation and arrange flights home
- replace a stolen or lost passport
Domestic Violence: U.S. citizen victims of domestic violence are encouraged to contact the Embassy or Consulate General for assistance.
Tourism: The tourism industry is unevenly regulated, and safety inspections for equipment and facilities do not commonly occur. Hazardous areas/activities are not always identified with appropriate signage, and staff may not be trained or certified either by the host government or by recognized authorities in the field. In the event of an injury, appropriate medical treatment is typically available only in/near major cities. First responders are generally unable to access areas outside of major cities and to provide urgent medical treatment. U.S. citizens are encouraged to purchase medical evacuation insurance. See our webpage for more information on insurance providers for overseas coverage .
Local Laws & Special Circumstances
Criminal Penalties: You are subject to local laws. If you violate local laws, even unknowingly, you may be expelled, arrested, or imprisoned.
- Penalties for possessing, using, or trafficking illegal drugs in Ecuador are severe. Offenders can expect long jail sentences and heavy fines.
- Never agree to carry a suitcase or package through customs for anyone.
Furthermore, some laws are also prosecutable in the United States, regardless of local law. For examples, see the State Department’s website on crimes against minors abroad and the Department of Justice website.
Arrest Notification: If you are arrested or detained, ask police or prison officials to notify the U.S. Embassy or U.S. Consulate General immediately. See our webpage for further information.
Counterfeit and Pirated Goods: Although counterfeit and pirated goods are prevalent in many countries, they may still be illegal according to local laws. You may also pay fines or have to give them up if you bring them back to the United States. See the U.S. Department of Justice website for more information.
Seismic Activity: There are numerous active volcanoes, and earthquakes are common. Earthquakes can trigger deadly tsunamis. Visit Ecuador’s National Risk Management Secretariat and the Ecuadorian Geophysical Institute for more information.
- Mud or lava flows from Tungurahua volcano could pose a significant and immediate threat to travelers in Baños.
- The town of Latacunga is directly in the path of potential mud or lava flow from the Cotopaxi volcano . Even small emissions from the volcano can trigger avalanches and landslides. Low lying areas in the greater Quito area could also be affected if Cotopaxi erupts.
- Reventador volcano is located in Napo province and is one of the most active in the country.
- Sangay volcano is located in Morona Santiago province is active and local authorities advise against approaching the volcano and nearby Upano river.
- In the event of a natural disaster, pay attention to the news media for updates. A disaster can disrupt food supply, so plan to have at least a 3-day supply of food and medicine on hand.
- See the Centers for Disease Control website for information on emergency preparedness and response.
Hallucinogens: Traditional hallucinogens, often referred to as ayahuasca or San Pedro, are often marketed to tourists as “spiritual cleansing” and typically contain dimethyltryptamine (DMT), a strong hallucinogen that is illegal in the United States, Ecuador, and many other countries. Health risks are not well understood, and, on occasion, people suffer serious illness or death after taking these drugs. Intoxicated travelers also have been assaulted and robbed. These incidents often occur a great distance from medical facilities, making the risks even greater.
Galápagos Islands: Be aware of the following challenges:
- Special COVID-related entry requirements may be in place for the Galapagos Islands. See U.S. Mission in Ecuador website for more information.
- Many Ecuadorian tour vessels operating in the Galápagos do not meet international safety standards. Inquire about safety features when boarding vessels.
- The two hospitals on Santa Cruz and San Cristobal Islands do not perform major medical procedures.
- Serious injury or illness in the Galapagos typically requires medical evacuation to the Ecuadorian mainland or the United States. This can cost $60,000 or more and take significant time to arrange. We strongly recommend you purchase travel insurance that includes health coverage and air evacuation .
- There are limited decompression facilities for scuba divers.
- The Ecuadorian government restricts the entry of certain items into the Galapagos. Visit the Agency for Biosecurity and Quarantine Regulation and Control for the Galapagos for more information.
Retiring in Ecuador: In recent years, Ecuador has become a top overseas destination for retiring U.S. citizens.
- U.S. citizens have reported unethical practices by lawyers, real estate agents, and others, resulting in costly losses and little hope of remedy through the local judicial system.
- Ecuadorian rules governing visas and customs are subject to change with little notice. The Ecuadorian government publishes little information in English. The U.S. Embassy and U.S. Consulate General cannot give detailed advice about Ecuadorian immigration law.
Faith-Based Travelers: See our following webpages for details:
- Faith-Based Travel Information
- International Religious Freedom Report
- Human Rights Report
- Hajj Fact Sheet for Travelers
- Best Practices for Volunteering Abroad
LGBTI Travelers: There are no legal restrictions on same-sex sexual relations or the organization of LGBTI events in Ecuador.
See our LGBTI Travel Information page and section 6 of our Human Rights report for further details.
Travelers Who Require Accessibility Assistance: Travelers with disabilities might have difficulty accessing buildings. Sidewalks in some areas are narrow and poorly maintained.
Students: See our Students Abroad page and FBI travel tips .
Women Travelers: See our travel tips for Women Travelers .
- A list of laboratories licensed to perform RT-PCR and rapid antigen tests is available on the website maintained by Ecuador’s Medical Services and Prepaid Medicine Quality Assurance Agency (ACESS). The Ministry of Public Health fixed the price of RT-PCR tests at $45. Rapid antigen tests can also be purchased at local pharmacies. More information is available at this link .
- Laboratories generally promise results within 24 hours. Many laboratories will email results the same day.
- The COVID-19 vaccine is available for U.S. citizens to receive in Ecuador.
- U.S. citizen residents in Ecuador can contact their local public health center to obtain vaccine information and schedule an appointment. The Ministry of Public Health has lists of the public health centers that offer the COVID-19 vaccine on its website . Alternatively, U.S. citizen residents and non-residents interested in the COVID-19 vaccine can contact the Ministry of Public Health directly by dialing 171.
- Visit the FDA’s website to learn more about FDA-approved vaccines in the United States.
For emergency services in Ecuador, dial 911.
Ambulance services are:
- not present throughout the country and unreliable in most areas except Quito.
- not equipped with state-of-the-art medical equipment.
Injured or seriously ill travelers may prefer to take a taxi or private vehicle to the nearest major hospital rather than wait for an ambulance, particularly outside of Quito.
Adequate medical and dental care is available in major cities. In smaller communities and in the Galapagos Islands, services are limited, and the quality is generally well below U.S. standards.
- Ambulance service is limited.
- Specialized medical care can cost tens of thousands of dollars or is not available.
- Pharmacies are widely available. However, some medications might not be offered, and brand names will differ from products in the United States. Not all pharmacies purchase medications from pharmaceutical companies that adhere to quality control standards.
- Exercise caution if you explore herbal and folk remedies.
- Quito is 9,400 feet above sea level. Some other tourist destinations in the mountainous region may be higher. Consult your doctor for recommendations concerning medication and lifestyle tips at high altitude.
We do not pay medical bills. Be aware that U.S. Medicare/Medicaid does not apply overseas. Most hospitals and doctors overseas do not accept U.S. health insurance.
Medical Insurance : Make sure your health insurance plan provides coverage overseas. Most care providers overseas only accept cash payments. See our webpage for more information on insurance providers for overseas coverage. Visit the U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention for more information on type of insurance you should consider before you travel overseas.
We strongly recommend supplemental insurance to cover medical evacuation.
Always carry your prescription medication in original packaging, along with your doctor’s prescription. Check with the government of Ecuador’s National Customs Service to ensure the medication is legal in Ecuador.
The following diseases are present:
- Chagas disease
- Yellow fever
Vaccinations : Be up-to-date on all vaccinations recommended by the U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention.
Further health information :
- World Health Organization
- U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC)
Air Quality : Visit AirNow Department of State for information on air quality at U.S. Embassies and Consulates.
The U.S. Mission in Ecuador maintains a list of doctors and hospitals on its webpage . We do not endorse or recommend any specific medical provider or clinic.
Health facilities in general :
- Adequate health facilities are available in Quito and Guayaquil but health care in rural areas may be below U.S. standards.
- Public medical clinics lack basic resources and supplies.
- Hospitals and doctors often require payment “up front” prior to service or admission.
- Private hospitals usually require advance payment or proof of adequate insurance before admitting a patient.
- Medical staff may speak little or no English.
- Exercise caution when purchasing medication overseas. Pharmaceuticals, both over the counter and requiring prescription in the United States, are often readily available for purchase with little controls. Counterfeit medication is common and may prove to be ineffective, the wrong strength, or contain dangerous ingredients. Medication should be purchased in consultation with a medical professional and from reputable establishments.
- U.S. Customs and Border Protection and the Food and Drug Administration are responsible for rules governing the transport of medication back to the United States. Medication purchased abroad must meet their requirements to be legally brought back into the United States. Medication should be for personal use and must be approved for usage in the United States. Visit the U.S. Customs and Border Protection and the Food and Drug Administration websites for more information.
Assisted Reproductive Technology and Surrogacy:
- If you are considering traveling to Ecuador to have a child through use of assisted reproductive technology (ART) or surrogacy, see our ART and Surrogacy Abroad page .
- Surrogacy is legal for foreigners in Ecuador.
- In many areas, tap water is not potable. Bottled water and beverages are generally safe, although you should be aware that many restaurants and hotels serve tap water unless bottled water is specifically requested. Be aware that ice for drinks may be made using tap water.
- Many cities in Ecuador, such as Quito, are at high altitude. Be aware of the symptoms of altitude sickness, and take precautions before you travel. Visit the U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention website for more information about Travel to High Altitudes .
Visit the U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention website for more information about Adventure Travel .
Travel and Transportation
Road Conditions and Safety: Some roads are poorly maintained and may lack crash barriers, guard rails, signs, and streetlights. Heavy fog and rain make conditions more treacherous.
- Due to a lack of sidewalks, many roads are also used by pedestrians.
- Slow-moving buses and trucks frequently stop in the middle of the road unexpectedly.
- In rural areas, you may encounter livestock in the road.
- Many vehicles are poorly maintained, and breakdowns are common.
You may use your U.S. driver’s license for up to 90 days. If you are staying in Ecuador longer, you should contact the National Transit Agency to obtain a valid driver’s license.
- Drivers often disobey traffic laws and signals. They rarely yield to pedestrians and cyclists.
- If you are involved in an accident, even if you are not at fault, you may be taken into police custody, especially if there are injuries or if you do not have insurance. If the injuries or damages are serious, you may face criminal charges.
- You might encounter intoxicated drivers. Chances of a drunk-driving accident are higher on weekends and Ecuadorian holidays.
- If you want to import a vehicle, contact Ecuador’s National Customs Service for local regulations. You must pay for local liability insurance, called SPPAT.
Public Transportation: Intra- and inter-city bus passengers are often targets of crime, including robbery and sexual assault.
- Armed criminals have been known to board local city buses and rob passengers.
- Numerous bus accidents occur every year in Ecuador. Many buses are overcrowded, poorly maintained, and lack safety features such as seat belts.
See our Road Safety page for more information. Visit the website of Ecuador's national tourist office and national authority responsible for road safety.
Aviation Safety Oversight: The U.S. Federal Aviation Administration (FAA) has assessed the Government of Ecuador’s Civil Aviation Authority as being in compliance with International Civil Aviation Organization (ICAO) aviation safety standards for oversight of Ecuador’s air carrier operations. Further information may be found on the FAA’s safety assessment page .
Maritime Travel: Mariners planning travel to Ecuador should also check for U.S. maritime advisories and alerts . Information may also be posted to the U.S. Coast Guard homeport website , and the NGA broadcast warnings .
For additional travel information
- Enroll in the Smart Traveler Enrollment Program (STEP) to receive security messages and make it easier to locate you in an emergency.
- Call us in Washington, D.C. at 1-888-407-4747 (toll-free in the United States and Canada) or 1-202-501-4444 (from all other countries) from 8:00 a.m. to 8:00 p.m., Eastern Standard Time, Monday through Friday (except U.S. federal holidays).
- See the State Department’s travel website for the Worldwide Caution and Travel Advisories .
- Follow us on Twitter and Facebook .
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Ecuador was cited in the State Department’s 2022 Annual Report to Congress on International Child Abduction for demonstrating a pattern of non-compliance with respect to international parental child abduction. Review information about International Parental Child Abduction in Ecuador . For additional IPCA-related information, please see the International Child Abduction Prevention and Return Act ( ICAPRA ) report.
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U.S. Embassy & Consulate in Ecuador
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Message to U.S. Citizens Ecuador Updates Entry Requirements December 30, 2020
On December 23, the Government of Ecuador announced updates to its entry requirements to mitigate the spread of COVID-19. These entry requirements are in effect during the state of emergency announced December 21, 2020. Updated requirements to enter Ecuador include:
- All travelers (including minors) arriving in Ecuador must provide proof of a negative COVID-19 PCR test taken no more than ten (10) days before entering the country. Note that airlines may deny boarding to travelers who do not present proof of a negative COVID-19 PCR test. Upon arrival in Ecuador, travelers who do not have COVID-19 symptoms are not required to quarantine. (See our webpage for special rules for the Galapagos Islands). There are no exemptions from the negative PCR test requirement during the state of emergency.
- Travelers who arrive in Ecuador without proof of a negative COVID-19 PCR test must take, at their own expense, a COVID-19 PCR or rapid antigen test upon arrival. The traveler must then quarantine for ten (10) days. Residents of Ecuador may quarantine at the address they declare upon entry. Non-residents must quarantine at accommodations approved by the Ministries of Tourism and Government. If the traveler receives a negative test result (COVID-19 PCR or rapid antigen), the traveler must still isolate for five (5) days.
- A traveler who presents symptoms of COVID-19 upon arrival in Ecuador is required to perform a PCR or rapid antigen test (possibly at their own expense) and proceed to quarantine even if the traveler presents a negative COVID-19 PCR test at the airport of entry.
- Regardless of whether a negative COVID-19 PCR test is provided, random rapid antigen testing may be conducted at the airport and upon arrival. If the rapid antigen test is positive, the traveler must isolate for ten (10) days. Travelers under the age of fourteen (14) are exempt from the rapid antigen test requirement.
Please note procedures may change at any time. We recommend contacting the Ecuadorian embassy or consulate nearest you before traveling for the most updated information at https://www.cancilleria.gob.ec/estados-unidos/ .
We also encourage you to visit our COVID-19 webpage and the Government of Ecuador’s webpage for the latest information on COVID-19 in Ecuador.
- U.S. Embassy Quito, Ecuador +(593)(2) 398-5000 [email protected]
- U.S. Consulate General Guayaquil, Ecuador +(593)(4) 371-7000 [email protected]
- State Department – Consular Affairs +1-888-407-4747 or +1-202-501-4444
- Ecuador Country Information
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By ACS Unit | 30 December, 2020 | Topics: Alert , Messages for U.S. Citizens , Security & Emergency Messages
Message to U.S. Citizens – Significant Planned Electrical Outages
Security alert – u.s. embassy quito, ecuador.
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Ecuador Travel Restrictions
Traveler's COVID-19 vaccination status
Traveling from the United States to Ecuador
Open for vaccinated visitors
Not required for vaccinated visitors
Not required in public spaces.
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Can I travel to Ecuador from the United States?
Most visitors from the United States, regardless of vaccination status, can enter Ecuador.
Can I travel to Ecuador if I am vaccinated?
Fully vaccinated visitors from the United States can enter Ecuador without restrictions.
Can I travel to Ecuador without being vaccinated?
Unvaccinated visitors from the United States can enter Ecuador without restrictions.
Do I need a COVID test to enter Ecuador?
Visitors from the United States are not required to present a negative COVID-19 PCR test or antigen result upon entering Ecuador.
Can I travel to Ecuador without quarantine?
Travelers from the United States are not required to quarantine.
Do I need to wear a mask in Ecuador?
Mask usage in Ecuador is not required in public spaces.
Are the restaurants and bars open in Ecuador?
Restaurants in Ecuador are open. Bars in Ecuador are .