Caution October 19, 2023

Worldwide caution, update january 10, 2024, information for u.s. citizens in the middle east.

  • Travel Advisories |
  • Contact Us |
  • MyTravelGov |

Find U.S. Embassies & Consulates, congressional liaison, special issuance agency, u.s. passports, international travel, intercountry adoption, international parental child abduction, records and authentications, popular links, travel advisories, mytravelgov, stay connected, legal resources, legal information, info for u.s. law enforcement, replace or certify documents.

Before You Go

Learn About Your Destination

While Abroad


Share this page:

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 .

Embassy Messages

View Alerts and Messages Archive

Quick Facts

1 page per stamp.

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]

Destination Description

See the Department of State’s Fact Sheet on Ecuador for information about U.S.-Ecuador relations.  

Entry, Exit and Visa Requirements

COVID-19 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 .

COVID-19 Testing:

  • 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.

COVID-19 Vaccines:

  • 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
  • Chikungunya
  • Tuberculosis
  • 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.

Water Quality:

  • 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 .

Adventure Travel:

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.

Traffic Laws:

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 .
  • See  traveling safely abroad  for useful travel tips.

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.

Travel Advisory Levels

Assistance for u.s. citizens, ecuador map, learn about your destination, enroll in step.

Enroll in STEP

Subscribe to get up-to-date safety and security information and help us reach you in an emergency abroad.

Recommended Web Browsers: Microsoft Edge or Google Chrome.

Make two copies of all of your travel documents in case of emergency, and leave one with a trusted friend or relative.


Antigua and Barbuda

Bonaire, Sint Eustatius, and Saba

Bosnia and Herzegovina

British Virgin Islands

Burkina Faso

Burma (Myanmar)

Cayman Islands

Central African Republic

Cote d Ivoire


Czech Republic

Democratic Republic of the Congo

Dominican Republic

El Salvador

Equatorial Guinea

Eswatini (Swaziland)

Falkland Islands

French Guiana

French Polynesia

French West Indies

Guadeloupe, Martinique, Saint Martin, and Saint Barthélemy (French West Indies)


Isle of Man

Israel, The West Bank and Gaza


Marshall Islands


New Caledonia

New Zealand

North Korea (Democratic People's Republic of Korea)

Papua New Guinea


Republic of North Macedonia

Republic of the Congo

Saint Kitts and Nevis

Saint Lucia

Saint Vincent and the Grenadines

Sao Tome and Principe

Saudi Arabia

Sierra Leone

Sint Maarten

Solomon Islands

South Africa

South Korea

South Sudan


The Bahamas


Trinidad and Tobago


Turks and Caicos Islands

United Arab Emirates

United Kingdom

Vatican City (Holy See)

External Link

You are about to leave for an external website that is not maintained by the U.S. Department of State.

Links to external websites are provided as a convenience and should not be construed as an endorsement by the U.S. Department of State of the views or products contained therein. If you wish to remain on, click the "cancel" message.

You are about to visit:

Do I need a visa to visit Ecuador?

Wendy Yanagihara

Jul 29, 2023 • 4 min read

visa requirements to travel to ecuador

Check your entry requirements for Ecuador before you visit as they vary depending on citizenship © Laura BC / Getty Images

For most travelers, entering the vast diversity of Ecuador’s Cuatro Mundos ("Four Worlds": the Pacific Coast, Andes, Amazon and Galápagos) requires nothing more than arriving with your passport.

However, citizens of some countries will require a visa to enter Ecuador , and the process isn't always straightforward. And there's even the option for some travelers to stay a little longer and work in this beautiful country. Here's everything you need to know about the entry requirements for Ecuador.

Do I need a visa before visiting Ecuador?

Ecuador welcomes visitors from most countries for 90 days, issuing a T3 visa stamp on arrival. There is no visa requirement for most foreign visitors who carry passports with at least six months’ validity from their entry date.

With the exception of Venezuelans, South American nationals may enter Ecuador with a cédula (national ID card); a passport isn’t necessary.

Passengers on Tren de la Libertad in Ecuador

Some travelers need to apply for a visa in advance

For citizens from around three dozen countries, mostly in Africa and Asia, visa requirements apply. Those countries currently include Afghanistan, Angola, Bangladesh, Cameroon, Cuba, Egypt, Eritrea, Ethiopia, Philippines, Gambia, Ghana, Guinea, Kenya, India, Iraq, Iran, Libya, Nigeria, Pakistan, Nepal, Democratic Republic of Congo, Democratic People's Republic of Korea, Senegal, Syria, Sri Lanka, Somalia, Venezuela, Vietnam, Yemen, Haiti, Republic of Congo, Mali, Ivory Coast and Myanmar.

Visitors from these nations must submit a visa application, a valid passport, at least one passport photo, an onward ticket and travel insurance. The application fee is US$50; once approved, the visa itself costs US$150. For current requirements, visa applicants should contact the Ecuadorian embassy in their home country.

Once in Ecuador, you can extend your stay for another 90 days (called a prórroga ) online , or by visiting any immigration office in Ecuador. Locations include (but are not limited) to Quito , Guayaquil and Cuenca . If you plan to stay beyond the initial 90 days, start the extension process early to ensure you don’t inadvertently overstay your visa. 

Be aware that popping over the border into another country and returning to Ecuador is not a viable extension option. Doing so does not automatically grant you another 90 days in Ecuador.

Vaccination requirements for Ecuador

There are no longer any COVID-19 vaccination requirements to enter Ecuador or the  Galápagos Islands , but you will need to complete an online Health Declaration Form before checking into your flight.

For visitors planning on heading into the Ecuadorian Amazon, it’s highly recommended to get a yellow fever vaccination at least ten days before you arrive. The relevant provinces include Napo, Pastaza, Orellana, Sucumbíos, Zamora-Chinchipe, Morona-Santiago and parts of Esmeraldas. 

Proof of yellow fever vaccination is mandatory for anyone arriving from regions where the disease is prevalent, such as Brazil, the Democratic Republic of Congo and Uganda. This also applies to Ecuadorian nationals.

Man swinging on the 'Swing at the End of the World' with mountains in the distance.

Want to stay longer? Get a work visa for Ecuador

To work in Ecuador officially, you must have a work visa. Unless you’re self-employed, basing yourself in bigger cities like Quito or Guayaquil and teaching English is the most viable option for many. Ecuador has also established a reciprocal working holiday agreement with Australia – Aussie nationals aged 18 to 30 may work in Ecuador for up to 12 months. For the rest of the world, working holiday visas are not an option.

Depending on your skill set, several non-resident visas can be acquired in Ecuador. Along with the usual documentation such as passport and visa application, student visas require proof of admission or enrolment in an accredited Ecuadorian educational institution. Once approved, the visa costs around US$130. A work visa under the general categories of "professional, technical, technological or artisanal" activities (the 12-VI visa) also costs US$400 upon approval.

If you plan to stay beyond 90 days, come prepared with two extra passport photos, proof of full health insurance coverage for the duration of your stay (two years for approved work visas), a translated and certified criminal record from your home country, and any educational or professional certifications you may need for the application process.

Immigration policies are subject to change, so always contact the nearest Ecuadorian embassy or consulate in your home country if you have questions about current requirements. Details on the various types of work visas can be found at the Ministry of Foreign Affairs and Human Mobility (in Spanish only).

This article was first published January 2022 and updated July 2023

Explore related stories


Jan 5, 2024 • 20 min read

As the new year begins, here are 24 of the world’s most life-affirming journeys to consider for nurturing your path to self-discovery.


Oct 11, 2023 • 5 min read

visa requirements to travel to ecuador

Oct 7, 2023 • 6 min read

Two women on a coach full of tourists looking excited

Sep 29, 2023 • 5 min read

Vacquero on Horseback in Cotopaxi National Park

Sep 24, 2023 • 7 min read

visa requirements to travel to ecuador

Sep 24, 2023 • 5 min read

visa requirements to travel to ecuador

Aug 25, 2023 • 7 min read


Jun 2, 2023 • 8 min read


Apr 15, 2023 • 5 min read

Andes mountains in Ecuador

Jan 10, 2023 • 3 min read


Ecuador eVisa

The Ecuador e Visa is an electronic travel authorization which is a 100% online process that hardly takes 3-5 minutes to fill in the online application.

Ecuador, officially known as the Republic of Ecuador, is a country located in South America. It is home to a diverse range of flora and fauna, including the famous Galapagos Islands, which are a UNESCO World Heritage site. In recent years, Ecuador has emerged as a popular tourist destination, attracting visitors from all over the world.

If you're planning to visit Ecuador as a tourist, you will need to apply for an eVisa. An eVisa is an electronic visa that allows travelers to enter the country for tourism purposes. It is a convenient and hassle-free way to obtain a visa, as it can be applied for online without the need to visit a consulate or embassy.

The Ecuador eVisa is available for citizens of eligible countries who wish to visit the country for tourism purposes. The visa is valid for a period of up to 90 days, and it allows travelers to enter the country multiple times during this period.

To apply for an Ecuador eVisa, you will need to provide some basic information about yourself, including your name, address, and passport details. You will also need to provide details of your itinerary, including your dates of travel, places you will be visiting, and the purpose of your visit.

Once you have submitted your application, it will be reviewed by the Ecuadorian government. If your application is approved, you will receive your eVisa via email. You should print out a copy of your eVisa and carry it with you when you travel to Ecuador.

It's important to note that the Ecuador eVisa is only valid for tourism purposes. If you wish to enter the country for any other reason, such as for business or to study, you will need to apply for a different type of visa.

In conclusion, if you're planning to visit Ecuador as a tourist, the eVisa is a convenient and efficient way to obtain a visa. It allows you to visit the country multiple times during a 90-day period and can be applied for online, without the need to visit a consulate or embassy.

Overview of the Ecuador eVisa Program

The Ecuador eVisa program is an online system that allows citizens of eligible countries to apply for a visa to enter Ecuador for tourism, business, or transit purposes. The eVisa is an electronic document that is issued online and is linked to the applicant's passport.

The Ecuador eVisa program was launched in January 2018 to simplify the visa application process for travelers, reduce processing times, and increase security. The program is available to citizens of over 80 countries, including the United States, Canada, the United Kingdom, and most European Union countries.

To apply for an Ecuador eVisa, applicants must complete an online application form, provide a scanned copy of their passport, and pay the visa fee using a credit or debit card. The application form requires applicants to provide personal information, travel details, and information about their purpose of travel to Ecuador.

Once the application is submitted and the visa fee is paid, the Ecuadorian government will review the application and, if approved, issue the eVisa electronically. The eVisa is valid for up to 90 days and allows travelers to enter Ecuador for tourism, business, or transit purposes. The eVisa can be used for single or multiple entries.

It is important to note that the Ecuador eVisa program is only available for certain types of travel and does not cover all visa types. Travelers who plan to stay in Ecuador for longer periods or for purposes such as study or employment may need to apply for a different type of visa.

Overall, the Ecuador eVisa program is a convenient and efficient way for eligible travelers to obtain a visa for short-term travel to Ecuador

Do US Citizens Need a Visa for Ecuador?

No, US citizens do not need a visa to travel to Ecuador for stays of up to 90 days. However, they must present a valid US passport, proof of onward travel, and proof of financial means to support themselves during their stay. If US citizens wish to stay in Ecuador for longer than 90 days, they must apply for a temporary residence visa or an extended tourist visa at an Ecuadorian embassy or consulate before traveling to Ecuador. It is always recommended to check the latest visa requirements with the nearest Ecuadorian embassy or consulate before travel.

Who Needs an Ecuador eVisa and Why?

Citizens of certain countries are required to obtain an Ecuador eVisa before they can enter the country for tourism, business, or transit purposes. The list of countries whose citizens are required to obtain an eVisa may change from time to time, so it is advisable to check with the nearest Ecuadorian embassy or consulate for the most up-to-date information.

The main reasons why travelers may need an Ecuador eVisa are:

Tourism: Travelers who plan to visit Ecuador for tourism purposes, such as sightseeing, visiting friends or family, or exploring the country's natural and cultural attractions, may need an eVisa.

Business: Travelers who plan to visit Ecuador for business purposes, such as attending a conference, meeting with clients or partners, or exploring business opportunities, may need an eVisa.

Transit: Travelers who plan to pass through Ecuador on their way to another destination may need an eVisa if they plan to leave the airport or transit area.

It is important to note that the Ecuador eVisa is only valid for short-term stays of up to 90 days and does not cover all types of travel. Travelers who plan to stay in Ecuador for longer periods, work or study in the country, or engage in other types of activities may need to apply for a different type of visa.

In general, the Ecuador eVisa program is designed to streamline the visa application process for eligible travelers, reduce processing times, and increase security. The eVisa is a convenient and efficient way for travelers to obtain a visa for short-term travel to Ecuador.

How to Enter Ecuador Without a Visa?

If you do not require an Ecuador visa, you must show the following papers to the immigration officials at the entry point:

  • A valid passport with a minimum of six months remaining validity.
  • A round-trip or onward ticket.
  • Travel health insurance that covers your entire stay duration.
  • Upon your arrival, you will get a tourist stamp in your passport, which permits you to remain in Ecuador for a maximum of 90 days.

Please keep in mind that whether you need a visa or not, the decision to permit you to enter Ecuador is made by the immigration officials at the entry point.

Types of Ecuador Visas Available

There are several types of visas available for foreigners wishing to travel to Ecuador, including

  • Ecuador Tourist Visa (Special Tourist Visa for Ecuador)

Ecuador Temporary Resident Visa

Ecuador work visa, ecuador student visa, ecuador retirement visa, ecuador permanent resident visa, ecuador tourist visa(special tourist visa for ecuador).

The Ecuador Tourist Visa is an option for those who plan to visit Ecuador for tourism, visiting family or friends, or any other non-permanent reason. This visa allows travelers to stay in the country for a maximum of 90 days. The application process for the Ecuador Tourist Visa involves submitting the necessary documents and fees to the nearest Ecuadorian embassy or consulate.

Another category of the Ecuador Tourist Visa is the Special Tourist Visa, which has a validity period of 180 days instead of the standard 90 days. Nationals who are exempt from visas can also apply for this type of visa if they want to stay in Ecuador for more than 90 days, up to a maximum of 180 days. However, foreign nationals are only allowed to obtain the Special Tourist Visa once every five years.

It is essential to note that the Ecuador Tourist Visa is only appropriate for non-permanent stays, and travelers who plan to stay in Ecuador for longer periods or engage in other types of activities such as work or study may need to apply for a different type of visa.

In summary, the Ecuador Tourist Visa is a suitable option for those who wish to travel to Ecuador for tourism, visiting family or friends, or any other non-permanent reason, with the Special Tourist Visa being an option for those who wish to stay for longer than the standard 90-day period.

The Ecuador Temporary Resident Visa is designed for foreigners who plan to stay in Ecuador for a longer period for various reasons, such as employment, study, or retirement. This visa is issued for up to two years and is extendable while in Ecuador. The application process for a temporary resident visa involves several steps, including providing proof of income, a criminal background check, a health certificate, and a detailed explanation of the reason for the visit.

If the application is approved, the visa holder can live and work in Ecuador during the visa's validity period. They can also leave and re-enter the country as many times as they wish as long as the visa is still valid. The temporary resident visa is an excellent option for those who want to live in Ecuador for an extended period and enjoy its beautiful scenery, warm climate, and friendly people.

It is essential to note that the temporary resident visa does not grant the holder citizenship or permanent residency status. If the holder wishes to stay in Ecuador permanently, they must apply for citizenship or permanent residency separately. Additionally, visa regulations may change from time to time,.

The Ecuador Work Visa is designed for foreign nationals who intend to work in Ecuador. This visa allows the holder to work for a specific employer and is issued for up to two years, with the option to renew. To obtain an Ecuador Work Visa, applicants must provide a valid work contract from an Ecuadorian employer, a criminal background check, and a health certificate. The visa application process can be lengthy and requires several steps, including an interview with an Ecuadorian consulate or embassy. It is essential to note that the Ecuador Work Visa does not lead to permanent residency or citizenship. However, it is an excellent option for individuals seeking employment opportunities in Ecuador.

The Ecuador Student Visa is designed for foreign nationals who plan to study in Ecuador for an extended period. This visa is issued for up to two years and can be renewed. To obtain an Ecuador Student Visa, applicants must provide proof of enrollment in an educational institution in Ecuador, a criminal background check, and a health certificate. The visa application process can be lengthy and requires several steps, including an interview with an Ecuadorian consulate or embassy. The Ecuador Student Visa allows the holder to study in Ecuador and work part-time up to 20 hours per week during the academic year. It is essential to note that the Ecuador Student Visa does not lead to permanent residency or citizenship. However, it is an excellent option for individuals seeking to study and experience life in Ecuador.

The Ecuador Retirement Visa is designed for foreign nationals who plan to retire in Ecuador. This visa is issued for up to two years and can be renewed. To obtain an Ecuador Retirement Visa, applicants must be at least 65 years old and provide proof of a pension or annuity of at least $800 per month. They must also provide a criminal background check and a health certificate. The visa application process can be lengthy and requires several steps, including an interview with an Ecuadorian consulate or embassy.

The Ecuador Retirement Visa allows the holder to retire in Ecuador and enjoy the country's warm climate, beautiful scenery, and friendly people. Additionally, the visa holder can also work or start a business in Ecuador. The Ecuadorian government offers several incentives to foreign retirees, including significant tax breaks on foreign income, real estate, and other assets.

The Ecuador Permanent Resident visa is available to foreigners who have been living in Ecuador for a minimum of 21 months with a Temporary Resident visa. The application for the Permanent Resident visa can be made within Ecuador. However, it is essential to note that the requirements and procedures for obtaining this visa may vary depending on the individual's nationality and reason for stay in Ecuador.

The cost of an Ecuador Permanent Resident visa is typically 450 USD, but it may differ based on factors such as nationality and purpose of stay. This visa is an excellent option for foreigners who plan to stay in Ecuador permanently and enjoy the benefits of residency, such as the ability to work, access to healthcare, and the option to buy property.

It is important to note that the process for obtaining an Ecuador Permanent Resident visa can be complex and time-consuming, and applicants are advised to seek professional guidance to ensure a smooth and successful application process. Additionally, applicants should ensure that they meet all the necessary requirements and submit all the required documents to avoid any delays or rejections in the visa application process.

How to Apply for an Ecuador eVisa

Applying for an Ecuador eVisa is a straightforward process that can be done online. Here are the steps to apply for an Ecuador eVisa:

  • Visit the official Ecuadorian government website that offers eVisa services.
  • Create an account on the website by providing your personal details, such as your name, email address, and passport information.
  • Fill out the online application form for the eVisa, providing all the required information and uploading the necessary documents, such as a copy of your passport and a passport-style photograph.
  • Pay the eVisa fee using a valid debit or credit card.
  • Once the application and payment are submitted, you will receive an email confirming the application's receipt.
  • The eVisa application will then be processed, which typically takes a few days to a week.
  • Once the eVisa is approved, it will be sent to your email address.
  • Print out the eVisa and keep it with you when you travel to Ecuador.

It is essential to ensure that all the information provided in the application form is accurate and matches the information on your passport. Any discrepancies may result in delays or rejections in the eVisa application process.

Additionally, it is advisable to apply for an eVisa well in advance of your planned travel dates to allow sufficient time for processing and to avoid any last-minute complications.

How to Apply for an Ecuador Visa?

The application process for an Ecuador visa depends on the type of visa you are applying for. Here are the general steps to apply for a visa to Ecuador:

Determine the type of visa you need: Check with the nearest Ecuadorian embassy or consulate to determine the type of visa you need based on the purpose of your visit.

Gather the required documents : Collect all the required documents, such as a passport, visa application form, proof of financial means, and any other documents specific to your visa type.

Complete the application form : Fill out the visa application form and make sure all the information provided is accurate and up-to-date.

Pay the visa fee: Pay the visa fee at the Ecuadorian embassy or consulate. The fee amount varies depending on the visa type and your nationality.

Schedule an interview: Schedule an interview at the nearest Ecuadorian embassy or consulate to submit your visa application and supporting documents.

Attend the interview: Attend the interview at the scheduled time and bring all the required documents. The interviewer may ask you questions about your trip, purpose of the visit, and other related information.

Wait for the visa processing: Wait for the visa processing time. The processing time may vary depending on the visa type and the embassy or consulate.

Once your visa is approved, you will receive a stamped visa in your passport. Make sure to check the validity of the visa and its terms and conditions before traveling to Ecuador.

Required Documents for an Ecuador eVisa Application

The documents required for an Ecuador eVisa application may vary depending on the specific type of eVisa being applied for. However, in general, the following documents are typically required for an Ecuador eVisa application:

Valid passport: The passport must be valid for at least six months from the intended date of entry into Ecuador and have at least one blank page for the eVisa to be affixed.

Passport-style photograph: A recent passport-style photograph with a white background is required.

Flight itinerary: A round-trip or onward ticket showing proof of travel plans to and from Ecuador.

Accommodation details: Details of where you will be staying in Ecuador, such as hotel reservations or contact details of the person you will be staying with.

Travel health insurance: Proof of travel health insurance that covers the duration of your stay in Ecuador.

Criminal record certificate: A criminal record certificate or a police clearance certificate issued by the relevant authorities in your country of residence.

Application form: The completed online application form for the specific type of eVisa being applied for.

It is important to note that additional documents may be required depending on the specific type of eVisa being applied for and the individual's nationality.

Processing Time and Fees for an Ecuador eVisa

Visa processing times and fees are subject to change and may vary depending on the visa type and the applicant's nationality. Additionally, visa processing times can range from a few business days to several weeks or months, depending on various factors, such as the complexity of the application, the number of applications being processed, and the embassy or consulate's workload. The visa fee can also vary depending on the type of visa and the applicant's nationality. Some embassies or consulates may also charge additional fees for expedited processing or other services related to the visa application process.

Can You Stay in Ecuador for More Than 90 Days?

There are a few ways to stay in Ecuador for more than 90 days:

  • Apply for a Special Tourist Visa: This type of visa permits a stay of up to 180 days and can be obtained from your country of residence before traveling to Ecuador.
  • Apply for a Visa Extension : Once you are in Ecuador, you can apply for an extension of your 90-day visa at one of the Coordinaciones Zonales.
  • Apply for a Temporary Residence Visa : If you intend to work, study, or retire in Ecuador, you can apply for a Temporary Residence Visa.

What to Expect During the Ecuador eVisa Interview

There is no in-person interview required for the Ecuador eVisa application process. However, applicants may be contacted by the Ecuadorian government if further information or documentation is required to process the eVisa application. In such cases, the applicant may be required to provide additional information or attend an interview, which may be conducted in person, via telephone, or through video conferencing.

During the interview, the applicant may be asked questions related to their intended purpose of travel to Ecuador, their travel history, and their personal background. The interviewer may also ask for additional documentation to support the application.

It is important for the applicant to be truthful and provide accurate information during the interview, as any false or misleading information can result in the eVisa application being rejected or even lead to legal consequences.

Overall, the Ecuador eVisa interview process is straightforward and simple. As long as the applicant provides all the necessary information and documents, and answers any additional questions truthfully and accurately, the eVisa application should be processed smoothly and without any issues.

Common Reasons for Ecuador eVisa Denial

There are various reasons why an Ecuador eVisa may be denied. Some of the common reasons for eVisa denial include:

Incomplete or incorrect information: If the visa application is incomplete or contains incorrect information, such as incorrect passport details or incorrect purpose of travel, it may be denied.

Criminal record : If the applicant has a criminal record or a history of violating immigration laws, their visa application may be denied.

Lack of supporting documents : If the applicant fails to provide all the required supporting documents, such as proof of financial means or proof of accommodation, their visa application may be denied.

Travel history: If the applicant has a history of overstaying visas or has been denied entry to other countries, their visa application may be denied.

Public health concerns: If the applicant poses a public health risk or fails to meet the health requirements for entry to Ecuador, their visa application may be denied.

Security concerns: If the Ecuadorian government suspects that the applicant's visit may pose a security threat, their visa application may be denied.

It is important to note that the decision to grant or deny a visa is at the discretion of the Ecuadorian government, and they are not required to provide an explanation for visa denial. If your visa application is denied, you may be able to appeal the decision or reapply for the visa with more complete and accurate information or additional supporting documents.

Tips for a Successful Ecuador eVisa Application

Here are some tips to help you have a successful Ecuador eVisa application:

Check the eligibility criteria: Make sure you meet the eligibility criteria for the visa you are applying for, such as having a valid passport, meeting the health requirements, and having the necessary supporting documents.

Apply in advance: Apply for your eVisa well in advance of your intended travel date to allow for processing times and any delays that may occur.

Complete the application form accurately : Fill out the eVisa application form accurately and completely, providing all the necessary information and supporting documents.

Provide accurate and up-to-date information: Ensure that all the information you provide is accurate and up-to-date, including your personal details, passport information, and travel plans.

Follow instructions carefully : Follow the instructions carefully for submitting your eVisa application and providing any additional documentation required.

Pay attention to the photo requirements: Make sure that the photo you submit meets the requirements for size, format, and quality.

Be prepared for an interview: Depending on the type of visa you are applying for, you may be required to attend an interview. Be prepared to answer questions about your travel plans and the purpose of your visit.

Keep a copy of your eVisa : Once your eVisa is approved, make sure to print a copy and carry it with you when you travel to Ecuador.

Remember that the decision to grant or deny a visa is at the discretion of the Ecuadorian government, and they may require additional information or documentation beyond what is listed on the application form. If you have any questions or concerns, contact the nearest Ecuadorian embassy or consulate for guidance.

Frequently Asked questions

An Ecuador eVisa is an electronic travel authorization that allows foreign nationals to visit Ecuador for tourism, business, or other purposes.

Foreign nationals from certain countries are required to obtain an eVisa before traveling to Ecuador. The list of eligible countries can be found on the Ecuadorian government's website.

The validity period of an Ecuador eVisa varies depending on the type of visa and the duration of stay requested. Typically, eVisas are valid for up to 90 days and can be extended while in Ecuador.

The processing time for an Ecuador eVisa can take up to 5 business days. However, the actual processing time may vary depending on the volume of applications received and the completeness of the application.

The fees for an Ecuador eVisa vary depending on the type of visa and the duration of stay requested. The fee for a standard tourist eVisa is $50 USD.

Yes, eVisas can be extended while in Ecuador for up to 90 days. However, the extension must be applied for at least 15 days before the expiration date of the eVisa.

No, eVisas are valid for a single entry only. If you plan to leave Ecuador and return during the validity period of your eVisa, you will need to apply for a new eVisa.

You can check the status of your eVisa application on the Ecuadorian government's website using the application ID and passport number.

If your eVisa application is denied, you may be able to appeal the decision or reapply with more complete and accurate information or additional supporting documents.

To help us improve

What went wrong?

Thank you for your feedback.

United States of America, Department of State

U.S. Embassy & Consulate in Ecuador

Social / search, message for u.s. citizens – ecuador updates entry requirements.

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 .

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
  • Enroll in  Smart Traveler Enrollment Program (STEP) to receive security updates
  • Follow us on  Facebook and Twitter

By ACS Unit | 30 December, 2020 | Topics: Alert , Messages for U.S. Citizens , Security & Emergency Messages

Great Seal of the United States

Message for U.S. Citizens Nationwide State of Emergency

Security alert: 12 january 2024 nationwide state of emergency in ecuador.

Footer Disclaimer This is the official website of the U.S. Embassy and Consulate in Ecuador. External links to other Internet sites should not be construed as an endorsement of the views or privacy policies contained therein.

American Flag


Ecuador Visa Requirements

visa requirements to travel to ecuador

Ecuador is one of the easiest countries to obtain a long-term visa. There are multiple pathways to residency and the investment is relatively low.

After reading this guide you should have all the Ecuador visa information you need to decide whether Ecuador is a viable long-term option for you.

You may even have 2 or 3 different residency visa options open to you. Once you've read this article, we suggest checking out our Ecuador Residency Visa Calculator to give you more insight into your visa options.

Please note that visa requirements for Ecuador change frequently and these changes are not always well-publicized (if at all). So, it's always best to check with an immigration lawyer or a visa facilitator first.

Let's touch on some basics visa facts:

Do I need a visa to enter Ecuador?

Citizens from most countries, including the US, Canada, UK & Australia, do not need to obtain a visa prior to entering Ecuador as shown by the following map:

Ecuador Visa Free Countries Map 2021

Which countries do need a visa to enter?

Nationals from the following 34 countries require a visa :

* Added on May 17 2021 ( source )

visa requirements to travel to ecuador

90 Day Tourist Stamp (or Visa Waiver)

Nationals from countries that do not require a visa can are issued a tourist stamp on arrival. This is valid for 90 days within a rolling year.

What is a rolling year?

This does confuse visitors, but it's relatively simple. Unlike many countries that use a calendar year, Ecuador uses your date of entry as the start of your 365 days.

For example, say you enter Ecuador on July 20, 2021. Then, you're allowed to stay 90 days until your year finishes on July 19, 2022.

You can come and go as you please, providing you haven't used up all of your 90 days.

Can I do a border run to reset my 90 days?

No. Sorry. Border runs are popular in countries like Thailand and Vietnam where you can reset the number of days you're allowed to stay in the country by popping into a neighboring country and then returning.

As such, visiting Peru, Colombia or any other country will not reset your 90-day allocation.

Can I extend past my initial 90 days?

Yes, you can extend for another 90 days relatively easily . After that, you can potentially even extend for another 180 days with a Special Tourist Visa (available once every 5 years).

Types of Resident Visas

The main types of residency visas popular with expats are:

visa requirements to travel to ecuador

  • Retirement Visa (Jubilado)
  • Investors Visa (Inversionista)
  • Professional Visa (Profesional)
  • Rentista Visa
  • Dependent Visa incl Marriage (Amparo)

Ecuador Visa Eligibility Calculator

Which Visas Are You Eligible For?

We've broken down each visa type, including the requirements and costs below.


Casio edifice ef527d-1av.

Ecuador Pensioner Visa Requirements

  • Low income requirement of $425 / month (was $800)
  • No additional income required for dependants (was $100)
  • No income stuck in investments
  • No education requirement
  • Not an option for non-retirees

Pensioner Visa Requirements

  • $425 per month social security or other guaranteed income
  • An official statement from the income source (signed and notarized)
  • All documents outlined in ' General Temporary Visa Requirements ' below

Pensioner Visa Costs

  • Application fee: $50 (non-refundable)
  • Visa fee: $400 (only pay if approved)
  • Variable fees outlined in ' General Temporary Visa Costs ' below

Ecuador's Pensioner Visa (or Retirement Visa, Pensionado, Jubilado) is the most popular type of visa for retired expats wanting to spend their golden years in Ecuador. 

The main requirement is that you receive a guaranteed income for life. This is most often satisfied via regular social security checks, but it is not limited to this income source only. 

You can also have income from other guaranteed sources such as pensions, annuities, superannuation, etc. But, the main point is that the income must be guaranteed for the remainder of your life. 

If you are using social security, then you'll need to obtain an official letter from Social Security Administration. This also needs to be signed and notarized. 

Dependants can also be included on a Pensioner Visa. This includes spouses, children, and grandchildren. However, this can be risky because it's tied to the primary visa holder. If something happens (ie relationship breakdown or death), then the dependants need to apply for their own visa(s). 

The law was changed in Oct 2020 to make this visa even more attractive. They reduced the amount of monthly income required from $800 to $425. They also removed the additional $100 income requirement for each dependant.

This makes Ecuador one of the most expat-friendly destinations for retirees wanting to maximize their social security. 

Michelle & Jason EE


Ecuador Investor Visa Requirements

  • Low investment amount of $42.5K
  • More flexibility to spend time outside of Ecuador
  • High CD interest rates of 8.5%
  • Property investments also count 
  • $42.5K is tied up for the duration of your visa
  • Hard to get money out of CDs (or property) if needed
  • Still need to prove $425 monthly income

Investment Visa Requirements

  • Proof of investment of $42.5K + $500 for each dependant
  • Cannot withdraw the principal amount for the duration of visa
  • $425 monthly income from any source

Investment Visa Costs

Ecuador's Investor Visa (or Real Estate Visa, Inversionista) is popular amongst expats that don't receive social security benefits. 

The two main pathways are: 

  • Parking $42,500 into an Ecuadorian CD (Certificate of Deposit); or
  • Purchasing a property with an assessed value of at least $42,500

There's also the possibility of other investment options such as investing in an Ecuadorian business, but we're going to only focus on the 2 popular pathways listed above. 

1. $42,500 parked in a bank CD

This is generally the preferred option because it's a whole lot easier and less risky than purchasing a property. 

The best part about Certificates of Deposits (CDs) in Ecuador? The high interest rates of course. The most popular banking option in Cuenca (JEP) currently offers 8.5% as their standard rate. Obviously, the rate changes, but you should expect significantly higher interest rates than in the US etc. 

Of course, all investments carry risk and this one is no different. Many banks and co-operatives that offer CDs do have protection up to $32,000. But, as the minimum CD amount is $42,500, this still leaves $10,500 unprotected if something does happen. 

And no, you can't mix and match your CDs at different institutions in an effort to ensure all the $42.5K is protected. It needs to be one CD. 

You can't touch the principal amount for the duration of your visa (ie 2 years initially). However, you can take out the interest or just let it compound so you have yourself a nice little bonus at the end of your two years. 

ie At the end of two years @ 8.5% interest: 

  • Year 1 = $46,113 ($42,500 + $3,613)
  • Year 2 = $50,032 ($46,113 + $3,919)

Your profit on the original investment is $8,032 . Not bad at all. Time to treat yourself to a little shopping holiday!

When setting up your CD make sure you take notice of the terms and conditions. Especially the default roll-over provisions should you want to request your money back. You'll likely have a very limited window as the term of the CD expires to request your money or you may have to wait another term. It's VERY difficult to try and obtain your money mid-term. We aren't talking about penalties for early withdrawals, it's more along the lines of "Sorry, you can't access your money. Period."

2. Property worth $42,500 or more 

Ecuador has some of the most affordable property prices for expats. And, prices are likely to continue to fall as COVID forces more distressed owners to sell . This can make it very tempting to kill two birds with one stone by buying yourself a cheap property that you can also use to obtain your Investor Visa. 

However, buying property in Ecuador is very risky and not something we generally recommend unless you really, really know what you're doing & have already lived here for at least a year. Take our quiz on Buying vs Renting to see if you're ready. 

Ecuador is a very different property market than what you're used to. It's very easy to get burnt and can be frustratingly difficult to sell. 

If you do decide to go down the property path, note that it isn't the purchase price that matters. It's the assessed value (ie the amount you pay tax on) that needs to be over $42,500 plus an additional $500 for each dependant attached to the visa. 

$425 monthly income required

You're still required to prove that you have the finances to sustain yourself for the 2-year duration of your temporary residence visa. This is generally not a substantial burden as they accept printed statements from your internet banking and these do not need to be apostilled or translated. 

The source of the income is not important. They just want to see regular income coming in over the previous 6 months. 

No limitations on time outside of Ecuador

Other popular residency visas generally only allow you to stay outside of Ecuador for 90 days. However, the Investor Visa does not have any restrictions on how long you can stay outside of Ecuador and still maintain your Investor Visa.

This can be a significant advantage for seasonal or 'bluebird' expats that like to escape their cold North American winters in favor of Ecuador's more temperate climate. 

The main caveat is that if you're considering eventually applying for permanent residency (and eventually citizenship), then you'll be limited to a maximum of 180 days each year for the first 3 years of your permanent residency. 

So, if you aren't considering permanent residency or citizenship, then it might be best for you to re-apply for an Investors Visa every two years. Yes, this will mean more paperwork and costs over the long-term, but that might be a small price for having Ecuador as your second home. 

If you do decide to leave Ecuador, you should be aware of the current 5% exit tax on cash leaving the country. There has been continuous talk of removing the tax, but until it actually happens you should be prepared to lose 5% on any capital leaving Ecuador. 

Now, if you've had your money earning 8.5% interest for two years, then you're still going to come out significantly ahead. But it's still a hit to your hip pocket. 


Ecuador Temporary Residency Professional Visa

  • Don't need to actually work in your profession
  • Visa isn't linked to your employer
  • No money tied in investments
  • Popular pathway for university-educated expats
  • Only available if you hold a degree (Associate's, Bachelor's or higher)
  • Online degrees are generally not accepted by SENESCYT
  • Registering degree with SENESCYT can be difficult

Professional Visa Requirements

  • A bachelor, or higher, degree from a  university recognized by the Ecuadorian government (SENESCYT). Apostilled.
  • Unversity transcript of results. Apostilled. 
  • Mode of study letter. Apostilled. 
  • The course was taken predominantly in-person (not online)
  • Can prove $425 minimum monthly income

Professional Visa Costs

Ecuador's Professional Visa  is the most popular choice amongst younger, university-educated expats. I have this visa and it's served me well. 

This is a very flexible visa because the only significant requirement is that you have a bachelor's degree (or higher). The idea is that professional migrants will help the Ecuadorian economy.

You don't even need to have any post-graduate experience in your chosen degree or work in that field in Ecuador. Nothing. You'll find many 'digital nomads' or remote workers using this visa. 

The most difficult part of the process for me was registering my degree with SENESCYT. They made me jump through numerous bureaucratic hoops before they would accept my degree. 

The problem? They had issues with my  Mode of Study Letter and wanted to be sure that my degree was taken in-person and not online. I did study in-person, but because I studied two degrees and my transcript didn't differentiate between them, they had a hard time satisfying themselves that the singular degree I wanted to register was taught in-person. This took many emails between my university, SENESCYT, my facilitator and myself before it was finally resolved. 

The main take away is that if your visa application doesn't fit perfectly into how they want it, then you will face delays and possible rejection. 

You do need to provide evidence that you're receiving more than $425 income each month. But, printouts from your internet banking suffice and they don't need to be apostilled, translated, or notarized (phew). 

We've previously covered the  requirements and process  if you need more details on how to obtain a Professional Visa. 


Ecuador Rentista Visa Requirements

  • Income doesn't need to be guaranteed for life
  • Low monthly income of $425 required
  • Ideal for expats that don't receive social security
  • Relatively new visa so requirements may change more than others

Rentista Visa Requirements

  • Can prove $425 monthly revenue from a recurring source
  • Official evidence of revenue (ie rental agreement). Apostilled.

Rentista Visa Costs

Ecuador's Rentista Visa is similar in many ways to the Pensioner Visa. The main difference is that income from the Rentista Visa does not need to be guaranteed for life. 

You only need to prove that you have $425 of recurring income from a legal source. Common sources include property leases and investments such as annuities. You may also qualify for this if you have an employment contract that continues whilst you're in Ecuador. 

The evidence you provide (ie lease agreement) needs to be apostilled in your home country before being translated into Spanish and notarized in Ecuador.  

Income can be from inside or outside of Ecuador. 

The biggest challenge with this visa is that it's relatively new and unproven. There are a lot more applications for the Pensioner, Investor, and Professional visas. This uncertainly also means that the requirements are not necessarily consistent across each visa processing office. 

5. Dependent & Marriage Visa (Amparo)

Ecuador Dependent Visa Requirements

  • Minimal documents required
  • Useful if spouse doesn't qualify for their own temporary residency visa
  • Lower visa fees than other temporary residency visas
  • Attached to the primary visa holder
  • Dependents still need to prove $425 monthly income
  • Can only apply after the primary visa holder has their visa

Dependent Visa Requirements

  • Official documents confirming relationship (ie birth or marriage certificate). Apostilled. 
  • Can prove $425 monthly income

Dependent Visa Costs

  • Visa fee: $200 (only pay if approved)

Ecuador's Dependent & Marriage Visas come under the broad category of Amparo visas.

The biggest difference with this visa is that you're pigging backing off someone else's legal residency. The three most common scenarios are spouses, children and marrying an Ecuadorian. 

Expat Married Couple

In the case of an expat married couple, then one person needs to qualify for a temporary residency visa (ie Pensioner, Investor, Professional, Rentista etc) and the second person applies as their dependent. 

This can be very useful if the second person does not qualify for a temporary residency visa on their own. ie Perhaps you're an older married couple, but only one of you receives social security to qualify for the Pensioner visa. 

You'll need to prove your married by having your marriage certificate apostilled in your home country. But, you only have 6 months from the date the certificate is apostilled to submit your application - the clock is ticking! And then it will need to be notarized and translated once you're in Ecuador. 

If possible, it's generally better for each person to apply for their own visa. Why? Because if something happens to the primary visa holder, then the dependent is stuck and will need to apply for their own visa to remain in Ecuador. Not an ideal scenario, especially so given you've just been through a stressful life event. No need to pile on.

Another common scenario is using the dependent visa for minors that are under the care of the primary visa holder.

In this instance, you'll need to provide an apostilled birth certificate from your home country and apply for the visa within 6 months. If you fail to submit within 6 months, you'll need to provide another apostilled birth certificate. Again - better to have this translated and notarized once you arrive in Ecuador. 

Marry an Ecuadorian

Marrying an Ecuadorian citizen won't automatically grant you citizenship. You still need to apply for a visa. The biggest difference in this circumstance is that you can skip the temporary residency requirement and go straight to permanent residency. Yay!

You'll need to provide your Ecuadorian marriage certificate or in the case of a de-facto relationship (union marital de hecho)- a certificate confirming you've registered your de facto reunion in Ecuador. 

The documents and process for getting married in Ecuador is a topic for another day. 

Longer total time required

If you're all trying to apply for the residency visas together, bear in mind that you may need to have the primary visa holder's visa approved before you can apply for any dependency visa(s). 

This can significantly increase the total processing time as it generally takes 2-3 months for each visa to process. So, you're looking at around 6 months total for all visas to be issued. 

The additional timeframe shouldn't be a significant burden if you're on the ball and have planned ahead, but it certainly throws a wrench in any last-minute visa planning. 

Cheaper fees

The visa fees for dependents are currently $200 - or half of the primary visa holder's fees. This fee is only payable once the visa is approved. 

The application fee remains the same ($50). 

$425 proof of income required for each dependent

On top of proving income for the primary visa holder, you'll also need to show $425 monthly recurring income for each dependent. This can be proven by printing the last 6 month's worth of bank statements from your internet banking and does not need to be apostilled, notarized, or translated.

General temporary visa requirements

On top of the specific or 'special' requirements for each of the temporary residency visas included above, you'll also need to provide the following requirements that are mandatory for all Ecuadorian temporary residency visas.

  • Visa application form ( Formulario de Solicitud de Visa )
  • Passport with 6 24+ months validity
  • Background check apostilled. Less than 6 months old. 
  • Health insurance
  • Migratory Movement Certificate
  • Two color passport photos
  • Color copy of main passport page
  • Color copy of current visa / tourist stamp

1. Visa application form

Download from the official immigration site .

This needs to be completed in Spanish and witnessed by a notary.

2. Passport with 6 24+ months validity

Whilst the official requirement is that your passport is valid for 6 months, we recommend having at least 2 years (ie the duration of the initial visa). Why? Because it can be a real hassle to try and transfer your visa to a new passport and cost another $100 to transfer your digital visa to a new passport number.

3. Background check

This can mess up the entire process if you don't plan properly. Your background check should be completed at both the state and national level which can take time.

You only have 6 months from the date the background check is issued to apply for your visa. And, you need to have them apostilled during this time too.

Then, once in Ecuador, they need to be translated and notarized.

visa requirements to travel to ecuador

4. Health Insurance

You need to show proof of health insurance before they will issue your cedula. This can be private or public health insurance.

But, you'll only be able to apply for public health insurance (IESS) once you have your cedula.

So, your best option is to obtain private health insurance just before you apply. You only need your passport to apply. The cost varies on numerous factors such as age and smoking habits, but factor in about $80/month for this.

Make sure you obtain a letter from your health insurance provider stating that you're covered and the period of coverage.

5. Migratory Movement Certificate

Get this from the Immigration office for $5.60

6. 2 color passport photos

On a white background. Neutral face or natural smile accepted.

7. Color copy of main passport page

8. color copy of current visa / tourist stamp, translation and notarazation.

You'll need to have most of your documents notarized, and those that aren't in Spanish will also need to be translated first.

There are many notaries in Ecuador and they now charge set prices for each service.

General Temporary Visa Costs

Fees for Ecuadorian temporary residency visas are:

  • $50: Application fee. Pay this when you submit your application. This is non refundable.
  • $400: Visa fee. Pay this only you're visa has been approved.

This applies to all of the visas mentioned in this article except for the dependent visa that has a reduced cost of $200 for the visa fee. The application fee is the same at $50.

Variable Fees

On top of the visa fees, you'll also need to pay for:

  • Notarizations
  • Background check
  • Translations
  • Legal fees (if applicable)
  • Postage (if applicable)

How much you're going to pay is going to depend on individual circumstances such as: how many documents you need to have apostilled, translated and notarized.

Translations and notaries are readily available in Ecuador for a reasonable fee. Budget $100+ for this.

Postage fees can also add up. If you're not aware, Ecuador no longer has a public postal service. So, you'll need to use private couriers like DHL and expect to pay $100+ to send a document.

So it makes financial sense to try and bring as many documents with you to Ecuador as you can just prior to submitting your application.

If you decide to use an immigration lawyer or visa facilitator, then you'll need to budget for this too. Fees vary by provider and some include variable costs like notarizations and translations in Ecuador.

visa requirements to travel to ecuador

Expect to pay around $1,000 in legal fees for an immigration lawyer to prepare your application.

Temporary Residency Visa Process

There are many small steps involved before you'll receive your Ecuadorian temporary residency visa. Expect the process to take approx 4 months, but just know that there are many variables that will impact total processing time and few that you can control.

The process for applying for temporary residency is:

  • Ensure you have all of your required documents apostilled and with you
  • Make an appointment with the  Ministry
  • Take your documents to be officially translated and notarized. Including your  visa application form . 
  • Get your Migratory Movement Certificate from immigration ($5.60)
  • Submit documents at your Ministry appointment
  • Pay fees ($450 in total) to the Ministry.
  • Pickup cedula (potentially on the same day)
  • Print digital visa and keep with passport

Should I use an immigration lawyer or visa facilitator?

The short answer is yes. The requirements change often and the process itself takes around 4 months even if you've submitted everything perfectly.

If you make a mistake and your visa gets rejected, you may need to start all over again - including getting your documents apostilled once more!

I initially tried to obtain my professional visa on my own. I took two long trips to the Ministry in Quito to try and understand the requirements and process straight from the horse's mouth. Both trips were a complete waste of time for me as I was just shown the exact same incomplete information from their website. It didn't include any of the finer details I really needed to know.

So, I gave up and used an immigration lawyer that was recommended to me.

My story is not unique. Many others have had similar difficulties when trying to complete it on their own. If you want to DIY then I'd recommend only doing so if you speak Spanish at an advanced level and have experience dealing with the inefficiency and frustration of Ecuadorian bureaucracy. Even then I'd recommend having an Ecuadorian friend go with you.

visa requirements to travel to ecuador

My Ecuadorian partner did try to help me, but she doesn't know the immigration system and so we still needed to get legal assistance.

You can learn more about one of Ecuador's most reputable visa facilitators, Joseph Guznay. You can also send him a message directly .

He's processed over 5,000 visa applications and was my choice when applying for residency and I personally recommend Joseph's services.

Ecuador Visa FAQs

Can i update from a tourist to a residency visa whilst in ecuador.

Yes. Unlike many countries that don't allow you to upgrade from a tourist visa to a more permanent visa, Ecuador has no problems with it. I'd argue the best way to apply for your visa is whilst on tourist visa (or an extension).

Can I apply for my resisdency visa at an Ecuadorian embassy in my home country?

Yes, you can. Just note that some of the processes will change from outlined here.

Is there a discount on visa fees for applications over 65?

Yes. Your visa fees are reduced by 50%.

Does it matter if I don't have a clean criminal record?

It can. Obviously it depends on the gravity of the offence and whether your explanation is reasonable. I'd definitely be engaging legal advice if you have doubts about this.

Wrapping up

Ecuador's generous visa program is suitable for a wide range of wannabe expats. From pensioners to young professionals and even investors, there are suitable pathways for many that want to come and enjoy Ecuador on a more permanent basis.

visa requirements to travel to ecuador

Just do your research well (you are if you're reading this!), pay attention to the time constraints, and don't be afraid to reach out for legal assistance should you have any doubts.

If you haven't already, spend the next 30 seconds with our Residency Visa Eligibility Calculator to narrow down your visa options.

Did we leave anything out? Please comment below if we have so we can update if required. We'd also like to hear about your experience applying for residency visas in Ecuador.

53 comments on “Ecuador Visa Requirements”

Thanks for all the info...I do have a question. I have a rentista permanent residency visa and because of co vid inconveniences I have been outside of Ecuador for 14 months. How long can I be outside of Ecuador consecutive time and still maintain my visa legally.. I can not find this info online. Thanks in advance for the answer.

Hi Lou - how long ago did you get your permanent residency? Within the first 2 years, you're only allowed to spend a maximum of 180 days outside of the country. You'll need to pay a fine if you spent more than 180 days and wish to keep your residency. They do have a clemency period because of COVID, which could act to extend the time you're allowed outside of Ecuador. I was stuck outside of Ecuador for an additional 4 months, but I know this isn't an issue because it was during the COVID clemency period. For years 2+, you were previously allowed to spend up to 5 years without entering Ecuador, but this has very recently been reduced to 2 years. You can see the visa changes in more detail .

Thank you for your time and generosity in keeping this site so well informed and up to date!

If I may, I have a question about my visa options.

My temporary work residency expired in June, and I’m now in the process of applying for PR. I’m married to an Ecuadorian. Though, with the new regulations I’m concerned I may lose this residency in the first 2 years. My husband and I will be be going back to Canada within the first year I would receive the residency, probably coming back to Ecuador once a year for a few months.

This means I will be out of Ecuador for more than 180 days in the first 2 years of my residency. Will this just mean I pay a fine, or will I lose the residency completely?

Are there other options for someone who is married to an Ecuadorian? I don’t think I qualify for temporary residency anymore since I am no longer working in Ecuador. Professional visa seems like it’d be a hassle since my university degrees aren’t recognized by SENECYST.

Thank you in advance for your insight!

This is great information that is hard to find anywhere else! Based on the information, what would be the benefit of getting a "Professional Visa" over a "Rentista Visa" given the additional documentation required for the Professional Visa?

Thanks for the kind words Greg. The advantage of the Professional Visa is that you don't need to prove at least $400 guaranteed monthly income for the duration of your visa (ie 2 years). But, you do need to fulfill this for the Rentista Visa - it's the main requirement. The main requirement for the Professional Visa is that you have a university degree. They'll still ask to see proof of prior income, but they don't need to see any official documentation that this income will continue over the next 2 years. Does this clear it up for you?

Thanks. I'm a little confused. Up above, under "Professional Visa Requirements" you state "Can prove $400 minimum monthly income". Is the difference "guaranteed income" from an official pension program for life vs. showing "general income" from any source?

Hey Greg - 'Guaranteed income' means you have a contract that covers the minimum value (currently $400 per month) for the duration of the visa (generally 2 years for temporary residency). If this income is from Social Security, then the Retirement Visa is best suited. If it's from any other source, then you can look at applying for the Rentista Visa. For the Professional Visa, you don't need guaranteed income, but you'll still need to show you have enough money to support yourself via current bank statements etc. This is generally a much easier requirement to satisfy.

Got it. Thanks fr clarifying!

Great article Greg. How do you open a bank account if you don't have s resident via yet?

Some banks/cooperativas do allow you to open a bank account with just your passport. JEP is a popular cooperativa amongst expats that does allow new accounts with only a passport. Feel free to check out our article on transferring funds into Ecuador for a more thorough breakdown of your options.

Hi, great content! I just wanted to point out a typo. It's SENESCYT not SENESYCT.

Could you point to more info on the requirements of a visa de amparo for a spouse of someone with a 9V (profesional)? I'm not sure wether i need to just apostille and translate our marriage cert or if i actually need to inscribe it in the Registro Civil as well. We're both foreigners but I am a 9v holder. Thank you!

Thanks for the heads up on the typo Jane 🙂

You'll only need your foreign marriage certificate apostilled and translated as you're both foreigners. If you were marrying an Ecuadorian, then you'd need it registered.

Hola! Thanks for all the wonderful info. I just have one question. If I get a retirement visa, can I own & operate my own business?

Hey Yvonne - our pleasure. Yes, you can operate a business here whilst on a temporary residency visa. But, you'll also need to satisfy other requirements such as obtaining a RUC (ie Tax ID for the business). There's quite a bit of compliance you'll need to adhere to, especially if you start employing others. I'd suggest finding a good bi-lingual accountant to set this up properly for you.

Hi. I've enjoyed reading some of the articles.

Unfortunately, the link for signing up for the newsletter doesn't appear to be working. Can you sign me up?

Cheers, Frank

Thanks for the heads up Frank. Sure thing. I've added you and updated the broken form. You should have just received an email. Have a great weekend.

Hi Jason, Great information and very helpful. I wanted to ask you about the investor visa, that if you buy property and become a permanent resident but then one day sell that property, do you lose the residency unless you buy again or is it, that once you have it, you have it? Thank you so much for your help. David

You're welcome David. The investor visa is attached to the property. If you obtain permanent residency and then want to sell, you'll need to transfer to a different visa type BEFORE you sell it or you'll lose your permanent residency status and have to apply for a new visa.

You'll have the entire value of the investment locked up for the duration of your permanent residency investor visa. This is one of the reasons some prefer to invest $40K in a certificate of deposit instead. Your initial deposit is still locked up, but you're free to take out the interest - it's pretty high too at around 8+%.

Due to Covid I decided not to work and look after my mother who required extra care during this time. Now that I am looking to finally move to Ecuador I have decided to bring her with me as she has aged quite some during this time. My mother has a Pension so it is easy for her to qualify however I won’t draw my pension for a few years from now. My money is all tied up in investments that I prefer not to divest at this time.

What I wanted to know is can i get a contract signed by my mother that I am her caretaker and that I have an income from looking after her full time. I already have a place to live but the property is share with another person and even though we have invested lots of money into the property it is still pretty well listed with the city as what we paid for the land many years ago which is not enough to use for the visa plus we are looking to sell at some point to move to another area.

Basically I would like to have my mother be my source of reoccurring income for a Visa. I don't want to sell my property here and I mostly get my income at this time from stocks I invest in so I don’t want to divest to come up with the 40000 US dollars to put into the bank there

Hi Kalina, thanks for your comment. Rather than you trying to apply for your own visa (which may be difficult), I suggest it would be much easier for you to apply as a dependent visa with your mother as the primary visa holder. Adult dependents still qualify for a dependent visa.

A question to this information. I will be retiring after next school year. My daughter is 26 but has not been working since she is helping me post covid. I know I can get the retirement visa. Can she apply as my dependant? She was adopted at 1 year old. Would I have to get all her adoption information translated? She was born under a different name and was renamed. This was done in the Mariana islands - a commonwealth of the US. Just asking. Thank you.

Thank you for all this wonderful information (including the recent updates)! For the Professional visa, I heard Joseph say in the video that an Associates Degree would be sufficient. Your graphic says that a Bachelors Degree or higher is required. Do you know how to confirm the minimum degree required? Thank you!

Thanks for picking this up Holly! That was my mistake. I honestly forgot about associate's degrees whilst writing this article. Joseph is indeed correct - associate's degrees are valid and I've updated the article to reflect this. You can confirm by going to your closest migracion office 🙂

Excellent news, thank you very much Jason! And again, thank you for all the valuable information you are sharing. It is extremely helpful and greatly appreciated.

how can i apply for iess insurance and what are the other private health insurance companies in ecuador ?

Hey Dale - our comprehensive health insurance article covers these questions & more.

If I have the investment Visa is there any benefits like the pensioner Visa for example is the 50% off flights available to the investment Visa?

Hey Rob & Linda. Great question. I believe the 'tercera edad' discounts are available to cedula holders over 65 - regardless of which visa you have. I know they recently announced 50% discounts for mobile phone plans , but I'd need to research all of the discounts available (good topic for another article).

Thanks for all the useful information!

I have a question. I am a US citizen with a US passport. However I am already an expat, living in Japan for the past 8 years. I want to relocate to Ecuador from Japan,l. Should my documents (background check, fingerprints, police report etc) be from my current country of residency (japan) or my home county (usa)?

Hey Starr - you're welcome. Documents from USA should suffice if that's the passport you'll be using to apply.

Can you please give the requirements to migrate from a temporary investment visa to permanent residency? I have a two year visa that I have already renewed once. I left the country for five weeks and have been in Ecuador for a consecutive 21 months. My wife is a dependent and will likely apply for her own permanent visa this time around. Thanks!

I am a permanent resident in USA but due to my nationality will need a visa to enter Ecuador. I am totally lost on what is needed for a tourist visa. I tried calling different consulate office but had no luck. I would really appreciate if you can provide me with the list of documents needed and the steps required to get a tourist visa. Thanks a lot!

Hi there. I also would like to know the requirements to apply for a permanent visa.I already have a professional visa and soon I will be here for 21 months. I also want to know if I need to go to a notary to translate my bankaccount documents. Thank you.

Hi Ger - I responded to your email enquiry. Cheers

Thanks for writing this article and for all the hard work you put into this webpage.

I went to the immigration office at Cuenca Airport because I wanted to know which date I shall apply for the extension. (I just wanted to be well prepared, there for I went there)

I was very surprised with the answer I got there, because I was planning to stay in Ecuador for 6 months.

My case is this: I arrived in Ecuador February 3th 2021, and I left Ecuador / went back to my home country April 13th 2021 (from February 3th 2021 until April 13th 2021, that was a 70 days stay in Ecuador)

And then I came back to Ecuador here on October 12th 2021.

I don't speak Spanish yet, and the lady at the immigration office spoke very little english. She wrote down on a piece of paper in Spanish, and I translated the text, which says that I have to do the extension on November 4th 2021. (in other words, the lady wrote that I shall come back to the immigration office November 4th 2021, if I want to apply for the 90 days extension, which I want to do)

But I thought that I got 90 days on arrival in Ecuador, but because I have already been here earlier this year, then they count those days.

Now all my plans have changed, so I have to go back to the cold winter in Sweden earlier than I was planning to. I wish I knew about that rule before I came here. When I do the extension on November 4th 2021 (like the lady at the immigration office wrote on the piece of paper) then I get 90 days, which I guess means that I have to leave Ecuador on the 1th February 2022 (from November 4th until February 1th 2022, that's around 90 days)

Please let me know if I'm correct or if there's something I have misunderstood, in terms of the visa rules above.

Thanks in advance.

Hey Charlie - you have quite unlucky timing. Your 90 days allocation is reset every 365 days (from date of 1st entry). This means your new 90 day allocation is Feb 3 2022 - ie 2 days after you need to leave! So, one suggestion is to leave Ecuador for a week or so (via air right now as borders are closed) before you apply for your tourist visa extension. Then, apply for your tourist visa extension ensuring it will last until your new 90 day allocation in Feb 2022. Confirm this plan (and your dates) with migracion first though.

As I understand it, you need to make a deposit at a bank in order to get your investor Visa. However, you need the Visa in order to make the deposit at the bank. It seems that one must precede the other. Please help.

Hey Steve - it is possible to open up a CD account with only your passport. You may need to shop around at different branches etc as some are easier to work with than others. Feel free to ping me if you get stuck.

I just reached 51 years old and ready to retire in Ecuador on my own funding, which is adequate enough to sustain me easily with (an indexed) US$2000+ for every month untill I reach my pension age and will be getting monthly pension as well from 68 years old. Meaning I can put US$40.000 in an Ecuadorian bank or buy property as well on top of my monthly funding.

However....I think you're getting my point, when I resign there is no form of monthly income, other then my funds. How would you suggest handling this combined with the visa possibilities?

Hey Marc - you potentially have a few different residency visa options. The Rentista might work for you depending on the type of funds you have. Feel free to ping me for a list of requirements here .

Just wanted to say your site is incredibly helpful and you answering all these questions is an absolute blessing. Thank you for taking the time.

Thanks so much for the content! It's amazing. I have been hearing about a Digital Nomad Visa recently. Do you know if this has gone into effect?

Not yet Ryan. You'll definitely see an article come out from us when it's live. We've been waiting on it for a while. There were a whole bunch of visa changes announced over the last couple of days and I was hoping this would be included. Sadly, it wasn't.

Jason, I am currently in Ecuador and would like to get a work visa. I do not have a degree. Can I get a work visa buy running my own business, restaurant, gift shop, ect? Any other ides how to get a work visa. Are they for 2 years? Thanks, Jason

Hey Jason - some expats do purchase businesses here and they qualify for the Investor Visa. Need to invest over $42.5K to be eligible. But, if you do go down this path I suggest it may be best to investing a Certificate of Deposit and gain 8-9% interest. This also qualifies for investment visa (same amount to invest; $42.5K).

A pure work visa will require a company to sponsor you. And, they'd need a very good reason to do so as the process is a little painful. Unless your skills are in very high demand, then I can't see it working out.

I found this blog very informative, keep up the good work. Thanks for the opportunity.

Hello! Is new rule gif a permanent visa requires to stay in Ecuador for 21 month within 2 years?

Hi Albina, to obtain your Permanent Residency you do need to be in Ecuador for 21 months within your 2 year temporary residency period.

My family and I want to stay for 6 months. It is my wife and I, and two children. I have a bachelors degree. What do you think would be best?

Hey James, 6 months is very easy for most tourists. Initial 3 months upon entry and can then extend after those initial 3 months . You only need to look at temporary residency if you want to stay longer than 6 months.

Hello, Thanks for the incredibly informative and detailed website. I'm unclear about the "Special Tourist Visa". You mention that a "Special Tourist Visa" of 180 days is available every 5 years. Am I reading it correctly that it is only available after using the 90 day extension of the entry visa? In other words, it amounts to being a full year as a tourist? Or, can I apply for the "Special Tourist Visa" in advance of travel? We want to be free to stay in Ecuador for 4 or 5 months and would ideally like to enter the country from the outset with a visa that easily covers that time period. Is that possible? Thanks in advance.

Hey Connie - you can easily spend 180 days in Ecuador each year without the need for a complicated visa. You get 90 days on arrival and can then easily extend for another 90 days. The process to extend is very easy - but feel free to reach out to us if you do want help with it and we can put you in touch with a facilitator. FYI - The Special Tourist Visa no longer exists (looks like I may need to update this article).

I have visited Cuenca for 2 weeks and have decided that Ecuador is my retirement home. I have not yet decided on a place to live although I love Cuenca, ..I am considering Vilcabamba or Banos. I have a pension but have not yet applied for social security although I'm eligible. I also have investments and savings. My concern is more about the background check as I have a non-violent conviction. I do NOT want to go through this process/expense only to be rejected!I realize I could come and go but I need a place to settle at 62 years of age. Wish to sell my home in central NY state but need to get my affairs in order so I won't be living in hotels!

Leave a Reply Cancel reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

Save my name, email, and website in this browser for the next time I comment.

Guide of the Month

Ecuador's professional  visa requirements.

Ecuador's Professional Visa Requirements

Recent Posts

sloth subscribe Expats Ecuador

Join Us 

& receive updates before anyone else.

Keep an eye on your inbox for  Ecuadorian goodies. 


Free  Ecuador Updates


Intentional Travelers

Ecuador travel requirements 2024: What travelers need to know

We aim to keep this post updated about Ecuador travel in 2024 with official Ecuador travel restrictions, requirements, and health and safety guidance. Our goal is to help you make informed decisions so you can travel confidently, safely, and responsibly in this new post-pandemic world of ours.

We stayed in Cuenca, Ecuador in 2022 and have enjoyed travel throughout Ecuador in the past.

As restrictions vary based on the traveler’s citizenship, we will focus primarily on those affecting U.S. citizens.

Last update: January 16, 2024. Originally published: January 2021.

Disclosure: This post contains some affiliate links. If you make a purchase through one of our links, we may receive a small commission, at no additional cost to you.

* Get our free Post-Pandemic Travel Checklist * </center  

On January 8, 2024, the Government of Ecuador declared a nationwide state of emergency in response to criminal violence and unrest. The state of emergency will last for 60 days. It includes both mainland Ecuador and the Galápagos Islands.

A nationwide curfew is also in place from 11pm to 5am. During curfew, everyone must stay indoors, with the exception of travelers going to and from the airport for scheduled commercial flights. Be sure that you have your ID on you at all times. When going to the airport during curfew hours, also have your flight information on hand to show authorities. From Expats in Cuenca group member: “SITUATION IN CUENCA 6:00 P.M. (Tuesday, Jan 9) There are many rumors going on about what is happening in Cuenca. And most of it is just rumors and fake comments. Yes, yesterday Monday night (or early today Tuesday) some things happened in certain areas in Cuenca (no one injured or dead), and kidnapping of guards in the prison of Turi. However, there have been a lot of rumors about explosions or shootings in Parque Calderón area or looting in Cuenca this afternoon, all fake. People panicked and ran yelling, and there are videos about this (Parque Calderón and 9 de Octubre), but no actual event has been reported. The army is in the area now. Stores closed early that’s true, and that is because there was a lot of panicking of which the bad people could take advantage. For the moment, stay home, stay safe. There are almost no cabs (due to the high demand, it is almost impossible to get one), buses and tranvía (tram) worked until 5:30. So, better avoid going out if you are in Cuenca or Ecuador. You will be able to see breaking news here, live streamings, confirmed information (in Spanish) and not just rumors: – La Voz del Tomebamba: – La Voz del Tomebamba (YouTube): – Red Informativa: – Prensa Virtual: “

January 16, 2024 – R.P., expat in Cuenca: “Ecuador’s fight against terrorists and drug cartels continues but day-to-day life in Cuenca goes on uninterrupted. Cuenca was largely unaffected except for the Turi prison.”

At the end of the post, we share more on-the-ground perspectives from local residents and travelers to Ecuador so you can get a true sense of what to expect as a traveler. 

Table of Contents

Is Ecuador open for travel? Can I travel to Ecuador right now?

Ecuador is open for tourism.

As of October 2022, visitors arriving in Ecuador are no longer required to present proof of vaccination or a negative Covid test. 

A completed health form for each family may be required before arriving in Ecuador. The form was handed out on our flight to Quito, for those who did not already have it, and was collected right before immigration at the checkpoint for Covid test or vaccine cards.

Ecuador land borders reopened in 2022 to Colombia (at Rumichaca) and Peru (at Macará and Huaquillas). However, as of 2024, all foreigners entering Ecuador by land are required to have a police report going back 5 years. This can be time-consuming and difficult to obtain on short notice.

Neither proof of vaccination nor a Covid test are required for domestic flights or buses within Ecuador. However, it is still a good to carry a mask and proof of vaccination as these may be requested by some businesses.

Travel to Galapagos

Foreign travelers to the Galapagos no longer need to present a completed vaccination card or a negative test result prior to boarding the flight to the Galapagos islands. Masks may be required on board the flight.

A transit control card (TCT) is still required for Galapagos travel. This is often coordinated for tourists by Galapagos tour operators.

FYI: PCR Testing in Quito Airport

Medical VIP offers rapid Covid testing at Quito Airport 24/7. It is on the 2nd floor of the Airport Center, directly across from the terminal building.

Past travelers say it’s sufficient to arrive to the Quito airport testing center about one hour before you would check-in to your flight. You’ll need to register, fill out a simple form, then hand in your data with your passport. It is very important to clearly state your email address. Results come by email in less than an hour, with results in Spanish and English.

Quarantine rules in Ecuador: What happens if I get Covid?

Anyone with respiratory symptoms in Ecuador is advised to do a Covid-19 test.

For those who test positive, isolation is encouraged for 5 days from the day symptoms start, or from the day of testing positive for either covid-19 or influenza.

Following volunteer isolation, those recovering are asked to wear a mask in public for the next 5 days.

Ecuador no longer requires international travelers that test positive for COVID-19 to quarantine in hotels or private accommodations. 

Can I travel to Ecuador in January 2024? Can I travel to Ecuador this Winter?

Yes, travel to Ecuador in January is open . Please read on for details and check back for updates, as protocols may change.

What is it like to fly to Quito UIO Mariscal Sucre International Airport right now? Quito airport is very well organized and protocols have been strictly followed.

Hand sanitizer dispensers are in place at the airport. Masks have still been required at Guayaquil airport but not in Quito.

We experienced very little waiting and friendly, efficient staff throughout the Quito and Cuenca airports. 

Do I have to quarantine when traveling to Ecuador? Quarantine is no longer mandatory but 5 day voluntary isolation is recommended for travelers who test positive for Covid. See above for details.

Does Ecuador check COVID-19 symptoms of incoming travelers? Health screening procedures may be conducted at the airports and other ports of entry. If a traveler exhibits symptoms, they may be asked to take a Covid test.

Does Ecuador require a negative Covid 19 test for travelers? Travelers to Ecuador are no longer required to provide Covid test results .

Does Ecuador require a proof of Coronavirus vaccine for travelers? Proof of vaccination is no longer required to enter Ecuador.

Do I need to provide a negative Covid test or quarantine if I have been vaccinated? No, proof of vaccination card or negative test results are no longer mandatory for international travel to Ecuador.

Is a booster shot required for travel to Ecuador? At this time, booster shots are not required in Ecuador. There is currently no expiration period set for the validity of vaccinations.

What healthcare options are available to travelers in Ecuador who get the virus? Ecuador hospitals and clinics are open. International travelers who get the COVID-19 virus in Ecuador will be provided medical assistance at their own expense.

Individuals presenting COVID-19 symptoms can call 171 and if qualified, could be referred for a free RT-PCR test.

Travelers can also use the “SaludEC” app, a platform that provides information to evaluate potential COVID-19 symptoms and allows online medical checks and scheduling appointments for various types of emergencies.

For travel insurance that covers Covid, check out Nomad Insurance by Safety Wing >

What Covid testing options are available for visitors? PCR and/or antigen tests are widely available for travelers at licensed laboratories in Ecuador . RT-PCR tests cost up to $45 and Antigen tests are up to $30.

Results are generally available within 24 to 48 hours for PCR and as fast as 30 minutes for the Antigen tests.

Some labs provide cheaper tests. Our Covid antigen test in Cuenca was $11 and ready in one hour. The Spanish term “negativo” was accepted for travel. Several travelers to the US (including ourselves) simply needed to write in the birth date when it was missing from the report.

What service businesses and restaurants are open in Ecuador? Generally, restaurants, hotels, banks, shopping centers, supermarkets, markets, theaters, and retail establishments are operating in Ecuador. 

Some businesses may have their own proof of vaccination or mask requirements.

What gatherings are allowed in Ecuador? At the moment, there are no nation-wide restrictions on outdoor gatherings or events. Local governments may restrict capacity for some activities.

Are face masks required in Ecuador? Ecuador’s mask mandate was reinstated early December 2022 for indoor spaces where social distancing is not possible. Masks are also recommended for five days after isolating for Covid.

Ecuador maintained its original mask mandate for all public places until April 2022. Regional governments and individual businesses may set their own mask requirements.

Masks are still required in healthcare settings.

Are buses running in Ecuador? Public transportation is available in Ecuador as usual. City buses and regional buses are running on regular schedules. 

How has the Coronavirus impacted Ecuador?

Lockdown measures were implemented nationwide in Ecuador from March through October 2020. A mask mandate was in place for a full two years. Flights resumed in June 2020. 

In April 2020, Ecuador was described as a possible emerging epicenter of the pandemic in Latin America when its largest city, Guayaquil, was overwhelmed by the virus. Covid in Ecuador has been relatively well controlled since then.

The fall in oil prices due to the pandemic had serious economic repercussions for the country. Teachers and government officials were asked to take a pay cut. To sustain the informal workers of Ecuador, the government paid $60 per month for them to stay at home.

Vaccination started in 2021. Ecuador’s vaccination campaign has been very successful, with over 87% of the total population vaccinated and booster doses underway.

100% of those eligible for the vaccine in the Galapagos Islands are inoculated. Cuenca Ecuador vaccinated 95 percent of its elderly and higher-risk population by September 2021.

Ecuador has been awarded a World Travel & Tourism Council (WTTC) Safe Travel Certificate . This means Ecuador has the necessary protocols in place to ensure safety and hygiene for visiting travelers.

The government may reinstate Ecuador travel restrictions in the future based on Covid case rates.

For the current situation in Ecuador, including: total COVID-19 positive cases; total cases in Ecuador; and COVID-19 testing in Ecuador, please see the Ecuador Department of Health site . 

What should you pack for safely traveling in Ecuador?

😷 Face Masks – Face coverings are recommended and may still be required in some spaces. Find N95 masks at Bona Fide > or designer options at Vida >

💊 Medicine – Bring enough prescription and over-the-counter medication for your entire trip to avoid trips to the clinic.

💳 Vaccine Card Holder – Protect that paper CDC card when traveling abroad (if your country doesn’t offer a digital version). Get a simple plastic protector > or Vegan leather clippable > or Leather passport + card combo holder >

👃 Covid self-test – The most studied rapid antigen self-test with FDA emergency authorization.  NOT valid to enter countries. Use for your own peace of mind. Order from CVS > or Walmart >

💧 Sealed water bottle – Make sure your reusable water bottle has a lid that’s not exposed to the air. We use one of each of the following: Shop insulated water bottles with protective lid > Shop water bottles with purification filter and protective lid >

✈️ Travel insurance that covers Covid – We’ve started using Nomad Insurance by Safety Wing for affordable evacuation, international medical, and trip coverage.

What do Ecuador locals and recent travelers say about visiting Ecuador now?

What is it like to visit Ecuador right now? It’s our goal to provide regular updates here from real people on the ground, to help potential visitors know what to expect.

The following are subjective opinions only. Official travel guidance can be found above.

Blake Miner of FlaneurLife , Canadian digital nomad –  “I flew into Quito from Colombia and am staying for a month working remotely. In the airport, there was a self-declaration form to confirm you weren’t experiencing any signs and symptoms of COVID and I can observe maybe 5% of people wearing masks in public (few and far between but more than other countries I’ve visited recently).

The last time I visited Ecuador there were severe restrictions in terms of when you could drive, but this time there is nothing in terms of restrictions. There were shorter lines at the airport, and no testing requirements. In terms of healthcare, there is normal access and average wait times. I would recommend exercising caution but there’s nothing out of the ordinary at the moment.”

Photo credit: Callie

Ecuador has no travel restrictions or regulations in place at all anymore. Everything is back to normal.”

Jeff of Life of Y , British traveler (February 2023) – “We flew into Quito for a two week trip around Ecuador. Apart from one occasion where we had to wear masks on a flight to Galapagos, tourism is fully open. There are still some people wearing masks on the streets but this is something we have noticed elsewhere in South America.

The most important thing to know is that all tourist attractions are open. This is especially true during our our Amazon and Galapagos trips as we were unsure how the close contact with animals could affect our experience. But there was no evidence that Covid has affected this and there is no need to social distance or queue, whilst there is also no need to test to travel either.

Ecuador is nearly on par with Europe when it comes to tourism and it looks to stay that way!”

Regina, American living in Ecuador (September 28 2022) – “I’ve had n o problems traveling the country. There are times when routes are closed through Cajas, but this is infrequent except when road work is being done to address landslides.

Masks are still worn by most people on the street and always on public transportation (buses/taxes/tranvia) in Cuenca. Since most citizens wear masks most of the time, I don’t know if it is possible to enter a government office, bank, medical facility without a mask. Ecuadorians are compliant.”

A.J., Expat in Cuenca Ecuador (June 2022) –  “Most restrictions have been lifted. The National Government has lifted all the mask requirements. However locally, we still have a mask mandate but it’s not enforced. So it’s 50/ 50 wearing them outside but mandatory at any health place.”

Michelle C., Intentional Travelers (March 22, 2022) – “It has been a real pleasure to stay in Cuenca over the past few months; we would stay longer if we could. Supposedly the public mask mandate may be dropped once test positivity rates fall below 5%. In the meantime, wearing masks in town is one small sacrifice we’ve grown accustomed to in exchange for the privilege of staying in a relatively safe, healthy community.

We have generally been impressed by Ecuador’s proactive and organized approach to the pandemic. If you’re considering a visit to Ecuador soon, we recommend it.”

Michelle C., Intentional Travelers (February 1, 2022) – “Traveling to Ecuador during the Omicron surge in January was a little more challenging than it was just three months prior. We were fortunate to finally find a drive-up testing center appointment that could prioritize our RT-PCR test results within the required 72 hours before our departure from Oregon.  At the airline check in counter in PDX, we were asked to show our passports, Covid test results (which I had printed out), and the Ecuador health form (which I had saved as PDF on my phone). For our final flight into Ecuador, our passports were scanned before boarding but no other documentation was requested. On board the flight, they handed out one traveler health declaration form per family even though many of us had done it online. 

In Quito airport immigration, there were plenty of staff to handle our flight efficiently. I recommend having a folder of your documents in hand as soon as you get off the plane. First, someone checked our health declaration form, vaccination card, and PCR test results. Then we could advance to the regular immigration for the passport stamp. We picked up our bags and with nothing to declare, someone scanned our passport and gave us the green light to exit the airport. Everything was calm, organized, clean, and not crowded when arrived (a Sunday afternoon).

We took a taxi to our destination in Mindo, with driver and ourselves wearing masks and windows cracked. As we’ve noticed in small towns, mask wearing is not quite as strict as the cities, especially outdoors where it’s not crowded. Hand sanitizer is available but not forced and no businesses have asked for our vaccine cards in Mindo.

In Cuenca, mask wearing is much more consistent indoors (except when dining) and outdoors, even when exercising. We have been asked to show our vaccine cards at the supermarket and cellphone shop- a photo on the phone suffices. We have not been asked for our vaccine cards to enter any restaurants but we keep photos of our proof of vaccination and passport with us on our phones just in case.”

covid test lab in cuenca ecuador

Len C., Expat, Cuenca Salmon (November 2021) – “I wanted to share my experience regarding the Required health form and vaccination certificate to return from the U.S. My arrival airport was Quito. On the flight into Ecuador the airline gave us the form. 1 to a family. Easy Peezy. The hardest question was entering your passport number. Completion time: 2 minutes. We were asked for our vaccination certificate on the flight to Ecuador and at Customs. Again very easy. I wanted to share my experience at Customs in Quito. Including our scouting trip, this is our 11th year flying at least once a year into Quito. This was the first time we were not asked to scan our bags or open a suitcase. The time was about 10 minutes from stamping our entry to Ecuador to claiming our suitcases and waiting for the shuttle to the hotel.”

Michelle C., Intentional Travelers, American digital nomad (November 23, 2021) – [See previous update for arrival info.] “Cuenca has made big efforts to revive tourism with Independence holiday events this month. Most travelers coming to visit are Ecuadorian. Generally, 95% or more continue to wear masks as soon as they leave the house, which is reassuring especially as crowds gather for celebratory events. Most locals are vaccinated and case numbers remain low. We feel safer out and about here than at home. So much so that we’ve decided to come back later this winter!

We did notice significantly less mask wearing in Vilcabamba and towns on the way (South of Cuenca). We were surprised that even on the bus, fewer people were following the mask requirement in this area.”

Michelle C., Intentional Travelers, American digital nomad (October 13, 2021) –  “We arrived from the States in Quito Airport around 8:30pm on a Tuesday. We were the only flight going through immigration. Upon arrival, we turned in our printed health form and showed our CDC cards at the health checkpoint. We showed our passports and answered some basic questions (in Spanish but they kindly helped with some English where needed) at immigration. We collected our bags and after scanning our passports, they let us through customs without any questions.  We departed through Quito Airport the next morning to go to Cuenca. We had no wait at check in or security. It felt well organized and everyone was friendly. Everyone has been wearing masks everywhere, including outside. Hand sanitizer is at the entrance of many stores. In Cuenca, the community has essentially reached ‘herd immunity’ and life is going on as normal, just with masks and few tourists. We’re so happy we chose to come back here!”

Americans (August 2021, excerpts) – “We took our rapid antigen tests at the Medical VIP location in the Quito airport. We got results via email in about 45 minute. They are located in the building with the restaurants and shops across the street from the terminal. Just walk over and get in line. No appointment needed. A great trip!”

N.D., American (June 2021) – “My spouse and I came to Cuenca, Ecuador for one month to consult with the builders of our new condominium. Businesses and restaurants are open, and the city is alive, though with fewer events than in the past. Everyone wears masks. Business owners are anxious for business to rebound and are appreciative of tourists. In my experience, people are following restrictions and protocols willingly. Testing is available, and required for a return to the US. Local attractions are reopening, though with some reduced capacity. Due to the mild climate, much can be done outdoors.”

visa requirements to travel to ecuador

Laura F, Love & Wander , nomad in Cuenca (April 2021) – “My husband and I came to Ecuador after we were unable to renew our visitor visas in Japan. Locals are very welcoming of visitors, but I think they are seen as a mixed blessing. The economy desperately needs the income travelers bring, but the health care system is near collapse. We have met other tourists who are here on short term visits and while possible, it requires a patient traveler who can roll with the extremes of unpredictable pandemic travel.  Covid compliance is followed and locals are very respectful of the restrictions in public. There have been fines and parties broken up in the recent lockdown. Hospitals are currently overwhelmed and over capacity, but testing facilities are operational and affordable. Restaurants are open and delivery services are available during curfew hours. Knowledge of Spanish will expand your options for delivery services.”

Burt, expat (April 2021) – “We are a retired couple living in Cuenca. Being both retired and living in Centro, we do not need a car. The daily driving restrictions are therefore not really a problem, since taxis serve the few times we need a car, and they are exempted. We are typically home by 8PM anyway, so even the daily curfew does not really affect us. All the restaurants are open, and if it weren’t for the masks being worn by everyone (and I do mean EVERYONE — police are strict, and penalties are severe), you wouldn’t even realize there was a problem — at least Mon-Thurs during the day. The weekend lockdown is actually very easy to handle, though I expect it would be a major bummer for tourists with only a few days or couple weeks to see the town. For living here, it is simple enough to buy enough food for the weekend. For those unable/unwilling to cook for themselves, many restaurants have home delivery. To my mind, as a reasonably long term resident, the biggest problem is the slow rollout of vaccines. We have multiple friends that have gone to the hospital with COVID in the last couple months.”

Jillian, American expat/nomad (February 2021) – “I was able to house-sit for a friend in Quito and stay in an Airbnb from September 2020 to February 2021. I arrived in Ecuador just as the restrictions were being lifted, so things were quiet for a while, but now everything is a lot more open. Most businesses, restaurants, and stores are open at reduced capacity and I never felt very limited about what I could do there. Ecuadorians are generally very careful to follow the rules and try to take precautions and stay at home as much as they can. Almost everyone wears a mask, even while walking outside, and there are a lot more complex protocols for disinfecting clothes, money, shoes, etc. than the U.S. 

I returned to the U.S. after the new requirement to get a PCR test within 48 hours of entering the U.S. was established. At first, I was worried about such a small time window, but it was really easy in Quito. I scheduled an appointment with a local clinic for one of their workers to come to my Airbnb and they gave me my results less than 24 hours later. 

Since I’m very familiar with Ecuador and wasn’t staying with anyone in a high-risk category, I felt comfortable going on two weekend trips. I traveled to Mindo and Otavalo , both about 3 hours outside of Quito. I noticed dramatically less tourism than I’m used to in both places, but was still able to do many of the tourist activities I’ve enjoyed for years, in a more socially-distanced way. Everyone is very anxious for tourism to start up again, especially in smaller towns whose economy is reliant on tourism. Mindo still has a lot of local tourism, so they seemed to be doing better than Otavalo. I also was house-sitting for a friend in Nono, just outside of Quito. There are many haciendas and small farms who would be thrilled to welcome tourists again in the mountains around Quito.

[My Airbnb in Quito was] right near Metroplitano Park, which was the perfect place for me to walk for hours through the eucalyptus forest, enjoy a new view around every corner, get lots of exercise and have a safe destination to go to every day. It made it easy for me to stay at home most of the time. It is also pretty easy to get take-out in Quito, so there are really a lot of ways to make a long-term trip there very safe and enjoyable.

The only caution I would give is for those who have any health conditions that might weaken their immune system. Ecuador’s health care system just isn’t as good as the U.S. and I have many Ecuadorian friends who lost loved ones. People are doing their best and there are wonderful doctors and people working in the hospitals in Ecuador, but I think tourists should understand that it is a bit of a risk to get covid there. Most Americans can afford to pay for the best hospitals in Ecuador, since they aren’t very expensive for us, and that makes us a LOT more likely to receive good care than most locals. But, I just think people should be realistic about the differences in health care systems before choosing to travel.”

Kristi, American traveler (January 2021) – “I traveled from Texas and landed in Guayaquil then headed to Puerto Lopez for four days with my son. Everyone was very nice and welcoming there. I then went to Cuenca where my son lives. Again very easy to travel and felt completely safe and welcomed no matter where I went. Restaurants and stores all open and service was same as when I last was there in July 2019. People for the most part were wearing masks at least to sit down. Super maxi store in Cuenca was spraying head to toe when you entered, which I personally didn’t care for. Something I thought was really odd was the spraying of my change from paying. They take it from you glove-free, then lay out the change and spray it before handing it back to you. Temperature was taken at the malls before entering.” 

Robin , American traveler (Fall 2020) – “I was in Vilcabamba for most of my trip. Everyone seemed to be compliant of COVID guidelines and wearing masks even when walking outside. They’re so extremely organized with all things COVID related. Locals were extremely welcoming! They were happy to have people visit again. I stayed in an airbnb near the airport when I first arrived and the couple was so happy and accommodating.”

Planning a trip to Ecuador?

Check out our other Ecuador travel resources:

– What to See and Do in Cuenca, Ecuador (Plus Walking Tour Map) – What to See and Do in Baños, Ecuador – What to Do On A Day Trip to Otavalo, Ecuador   – Top Things You Must See and Do in Quito, Ecuador – Things to Do in Vilcabamba, Ecuador – 6 Beautiful Places to Visit in the Ecuadorian Andes 

If you have questions or updates about travel to Ecuador during the Coronavirus crisis or post-pandemic, please let us know in the comments below.

~ Pin this post for later or share with friends ~

What travelers need to know about current Ecuador travel restrictions, health and safety, and recent trip reports, updated regularly | Intentional Travelers

Disclaimer: Please note, travel restrictions change frequently. Readers must take responsibility for verifying information through official sources like the State Department and CDC, in respect to their specific situations. No responsibility can be accepted by Intentional Travelers for action or inaction as a result of information provided through Any information provided here is issued as general information only.

Similar Posts

Oregon travel requirements 2024: What travelers need to know

Oregon travel requirements 2024: What travelers need to know

We aim to keep this post updated about Oregon travel in 2024 with official Oregon travel restrictions, requirements, and health and safety guidance. Our goal is to help you make informed decisions so you can travel confidently, safely, and responsibly in this new post-pandemic world of ours. We are Oregonians so this destination is very…

Merida Mexico travel requirements 2024: What travelers need to know

Merida Mexico travel requirements 2024: What travelers need to know

We aim to keep this post updated about Merida Mexico travel in 2024 with official Yucatan travel restrictions, requirements, and health and safety guidance. Our goal is to help you make informed decisions so you can travel confidently, safely, and responsibly in this new post-pandemic world of ours. The Covid situation in Merida, Mexico is…

Hawaii travel requirements 2024: What travelers need to know

Hawaii travel requirements 2024: What travelers need to know

We aim to keep this post updated about Hawaii travel in 2024 with official Hawaii travel restrictions, requirements, and health and safety guidance. Our goal is to help you make informed decisions so you can travel confidently, safely, and responsibly in this new post-pandemic world of ours. At the end of the post, we share…

Vietnam travel requirements 2024: What travelers need to know

Vietnam travel requirements 2024: What travelers need to know

We aim to keep this post updated about Vietnam travel in 2024 with official Vietnam travel restrictions, requirements, and health and safety guidance. Our goal is to help you make informed decisions so you can travel confidently, safely, and responsibly in this new post-pandemic world of ours. Vietnam is a destination close to our hearts….

Jamaica travel requirements 2024: What travelers need to know

Jamaica travel requirements 2024: What travelers need to know

We aim to keep this post updated about Jamaica travel in 2024 with official Jamaica travel restrictions, requirements, and health and safety guidance. Our goal is to help you make informed decisions so you can travel confidently, safely, and responsibly in this new post-pandemic world of ours. At the end of the post, we share…

20+ Things to Do in Vilcabamba Ecuador

20+ Things to Do in Vilcabamba Ecuador

If you’re looking for things to do in Vilcabamba, Ecuador, here’s a quick guide to the valley’s activities, attractions, food, and events on offer. About Vilcabamba Ecuador Vilcabamba is known for being a scenic “Valley of Longevity” where many inhabitants are said to live beyond 100 years. Derived from the Quichwa words “huilco pamba“, meaning…

Great information-thank you! We are leaving for Ecuador and the Galapagos islands in two weeks. I am wondering if you know-do domestic flights within Ecuador follow the 3-1-1 liquid rule for carryon luggage? I can’t find that information anywhere and was trying to decide if I can pack regular size sunscreen in a carryon for my family or if I will have to buy it there. Thanks for any information you may have.

It’s a good question. I don’t recall exactly but I think the rules are very similar, if not the same, even on domestic flights.

This site’s information seems not to be updated. There are still road closures throughout Ecuador that will make travel plans difficult and a bit risky. There is more information available for those that are attempting to travel here.

Thank you for sharing the state of emergency article. This post was specifically intended to provide information about Ecuador travel in regards to the Covid situation. We keep it updated for this purpose, but we don’t have capacity to also report on road closures, weather events, or other issues throughout the country at this time. Thanks for understanding.

Hi Michell and Jedd! Such helpful information for anyone who is considering Ecuador in the next few months. One question I didn’t see answered (although it might be here in one of your posts) is the effect of such altitude. Do many people have an issue with it? I typically go to altitudes of 5,000 to 6,000 feet with no issue but not sure about Cuenca? Any thoughts? ~Kathy

Thanks for your question, Kathy! Landing at the airport in Quito, the altitude is often noticeable at nearly 10,000 feet. We’ve experienced minor shortness of breath walking around, as well as extra tiredness, upon arrival. Cuenca is around 8400ft so it’s not as noticeable immediately but we do feel we’re breathing harder than normal when going up stairs. I think altitude sickness is a bit unpredictable so it’s wise to avoid too much activity in the first couple days. You can also bring altitude meds, rest, and keep hydrated.

Thanks for the information on this page. My wife and I will be coming to Quito later in Sept. 2021 and I found this site helpful. What are conditions like at present (early Sept)?

I’m glad you found our blog helpful. We do our best to add on-the-ground updates from locals and travelers to this post each month but the timing depends when we hear from folks, so please check back. I was encouraged to see that the Ecuador Health Minister recently said, “Ecuador has made tremendous progress against Covid in recent days and weeks and we want to maintain the progress. We currently have the highest daily vaccination rate in the world and are second lowest in all of Latin America for Covid deaths per day.” We are planning to return to Ecuador in early October so we’ll keep a close eye on things and update regularly. Would love to hear about your trip when you go, too!

Leave a Reply Cancel reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed .

  • Skip to main content

Additional menu

The Visa Project

A place for your visa experiences and more

A Cheat-Sheet of Ecuador Visa Requirements: Documents Needed & Everything Else to Know

In case you are planning to visit, work, volunteer, invest or retire in Ecuador or do something else, you will need to understand the Ecuador visa requirements.

Like any visa, an Ecuador visa application comes with its set of documentation and paperwork. Once you know the visa type that you want to apply for, you need to start working on gathering the documents for the particular visa.

Now, some of the documents are mandatory irrespective of the type of visa you are getting.

visa requirements to travel to ecuador

Ecuador Visa Requirements for any Visa

Here are the required documents for any Ecuador visa:

1. Ecuador Visa Application Form

You need to fill out the  Ecuador visa application form and sign it and submit it when applying for any Ecuador visa. You can download it or get it in the migraciones Ecuador or in an Ecuador embassy, depending on where you are applying it.

2. Valid passport

Your passport must be valid for at least six months beyond your planned stay in Ecuador.

3. Photo for Ecuador Visa

You need to affix a 2 x 2 Color Passport-size pictures in white background, on your Ecuador visa application form. Your facial expression must be neutral (preferably), or have a natural smile, with both eyes open

4. Background Check or Police Clearance Certificate

For applicants over 18, an original certificate of criminal record or a background check from your home country and from all the countries where you have resided for the last five years is a requirement for Ecuador visa.

This document must be apostilled from the country where you got it, and then translated and notarized. It must be valid for 180 days from the date of issuance until you enter Ecuador.

While Ecuador accepts background checks from federal authorities like FBI, US citizens are also needed to provide state background check. Depending on where you are from, you might only need to provide a federal police clearance certificate.

For example, applying Ecuador visa for Indians requires only a federal police clearance certificate.

5. Health Insurance

If you are traveling to Ecuador, you must have health insurance, at least when your visa is being processed. This can be from a public or private provider. Note that your existing insurance like Medicaid or any other that doesn’t cover international travel won’t be accepted.

We recommend you get a Safety Wing travel health insurance , to give you peace of mind and help in case of any unforeseen events. Their plans are flexible depending on your requirement and they cover COVID.

Specific Visa Requirements for Ecuador

Visa requirements for Ecuador are pretty straightforward. That being said, depending on the type visa you are applying, citizenship and your own circumstances, Ecuador visa requirements can vary.

Tourist Visa for Ecuador

  • Hotel reservations for your stay
  • Certificate of Financial Responsibility to prove that the applicant has the sufficient funds for expenses while in Ecuador
  • Roundtrip flight tickets for visa
  • Bank statements that show that you are making more than 600$ per month
  • A signed cover Letter from the Applicant stating the reasons of travel, as well as mentioning whether you are self-employed or have a job.

If invited :

  • Letter of Invitation to attend an event or seminar, conference etc.

For minors:

  • Birth certificate.
  • If traveling unaccompanied: Letter of consent from the parent/s or legal guardian/s.

Ecuador Retirement Visa

  • Proof of “Guaranteed Pension” for life that is issued or provided by either Social Security, a prior public/private Employer.

Ecuador Work Visa

  • Employment contract with the public/ private company.
  • Registration certificate from Ecuadorian ministry.
  • Proof that the employer has no outstanding obligations with SRI ( Servicio de Rentas Internas del Ecuador) and IESS (Instituto Ecuatoriano de Seguridad Social).
  • Résumé (CV) of applicant, proving professional experience.
  • Copies of academic degrees

Ecuador Professional Visa

  • Transcripts from a university authorized by SENESCYT, the degree approving institution. 
  • Bank statements for the last 6 months.
  • Proof of recurring income of at least $400.

Ecuador Rentista Visa

  • Documents that certify the income of legal income in a personal capacity abroad or in Ecuador, such as: lease contracts, investment titles etc. This must be duly apostilled from the country where the document was issued and and translated to Spanish.

Ecuador Amparo (Family) Visa

The amparo visa or visa de Amparo is for foreigners whose immediate family member (i.e. parent or child) is an Ecuador citizen or Ecuadorian permanent resident, or who is married to one.

You might need to attend an interview before the Zonal Coordination or in a consulate of Ecuador, depending on whether you married in Ecuador or abroad.

  • Marriage certificate issued by the Civil Registry Authority if you got married in Ecuador.
  • If you have married abroad, it must have been registered in Ecuador. 
  • In the case of the de facto Union or union marital de hecho , it must be registered with the Civil Registry Authority in Ecuador.
  • If you are applying through a family member, then a birth certificate.
  • Bank statements for the last 6 months showing proof of a minimum recurring income of $400 from legal source such as one’s job, business, pension, real estate rental income, annuity, disability payment etc.

Student Visa for Ecuador

  • Enrolment or admission certificate in an Ecuadorian educational establishment accredited legally
  • Proof of financial substinence

Ecuador Investor Visa

A foreigner can get this visa by investing a minimum of $40,000 USDs (or the equivalent of 100 times the basic wage of Ecuador) in real estate or in an Ecuadorian company or in an Ecuadorian bank.

  • Ecuadorian Bank Certificate of Deposit with a minimum term of 730 days
  • Deed of sale of a property located in national territory
  • Document that proves the ownership of shares or participations in an Ecuadorian company
  • Copy of the public deed of the investment contract signed with the Ecuadorian State or copy of the contract Copy of an administrative contract of any nature, signed with the State
  • Bank statements for the last 6 months showing proof of a minimum recurring income of $400 from any legal source such as one’s job, business, pension, real estate rental income, annuity, disability payment etc

Apostille, Translation, and Notarization for Ecuador Visa

For most Ecuador visa types , apostilling of many documents issued abroad is a must. These documents can be, but not limited to, your background check, letter of income, pension certificate etc.

These documents would further need to be translated to Spanish by an official translator and then notarized. Translation and notarization of documents can be done through an Ecuadorian embassy where you are applying the visa or in Ecuador.

Be part of the visa smart tribe

Up-to-date information on visas, and visa experiences from travelers, expats and immigrants.

Home -, be informed, be prepared - logo

Search Smartraveller

visa requirements to travel to ecuador

Latest update

Exercise a high degree of caution in Ecuador overall due to the threat of violent crime.

Higher levels apply in some areas.

Ecuador map

Ecuador map Dec 2023.pdf (PDF 755.63 KB)

Americas (PDF 3.25 MB)

Local emergency contacts

Request help in english.

You can request emergency help in English from your smartphone. Use the application ECU 911.

Request help in Spanish

Use the right emergency number for your location:

  • Quito and Ibarra: call 911.
  • Guayaquil, Cuenca and Loja: call 112.
  • all other areas: call 101.

Advice levels

Exercise a high degree of caution in Ecuador overall.

Exercise a high degree of caution  in Ecuador overall due to the threat of violent crime.

Do not travel within 20km of the border with Colombia, except the official border crossing at Tulcan.

Do not travel within 20km of the border with Colombia, except the official border crossing at Tulcan, due to the high risk of kidnapping and violent crime associated with drug-related criminal organisations.

Reconsider your need to travel to Sucumbios and Esmereldas provinces and Guayaquil City.

Reconsider your need to travel to Sucumbios and Esmereldas provinces and Guayaquil City due to the high level of gang-related crime and the threat of kidnapping.

  • A nationwide state of emergency has been in place since 8 January and night-time curfews are imposed in some provinces. Check curfew times with the local authorities.
  • Power rationing measures are in place across the country. Power outages can potentially increase crime.
  • Demonstrations occur frequently. Even peaceful demonstrations can turn violent at any time. Political activity by foreigners is illegal. This includes joining protests. If you take part, officials may detain or deport you. Avoid large public gatherings.
  • Violent crime and theft are common. The risk of violent crime increases when you travel alone or after dark. Criminals target taxis, buses, transport hubs and crowded areas. Thieves target travellers, and distraction is a common tactic. Female travellers are encouraged to take particular caution. Be careful when using ATMs and credit cards. Avoid going out at night. Keep vehicle doors and windows locked and valuables out of sight, even when moving. 
  • There's a high risk of kidnapping and violent crime in the northern regions and Guayaquil City. Areas bordering Colombia and Peru are particularly dangerous. If, despite our advice, you're travelling to these areas, seek professional security advice. Be alert to possible threats.
  • There are several active volcanos in Ecuador. Seek updates and follow the advice of the local government. 

Full travel advice: Safety

  • Many parts of Ecuador are at high altitudes. You can develop altitude sickness above 2500m. If you're travelling to these areas, consult your doctor before you leave. Ensure your travel insurance covers emergency evacuation from altitude and related medical costs.
  • Yellow fever is common. Get vaccinated before you travel.
  • In areas below 1500m, there's a risk of other insect-borne diseases. These include malaria and dengue. Ensure your accommodation is insect-proof. Use insect repellent. Consider taking anti-malaria medication.
  • Zika virus is widespread. If you're pregnant, discuss your travel plans with your doctor before you leave. HIV/AIDS is common. Take precautions before doing anything that puts you at risk of infection.

Full travel advice: Health

  • Don't use or carry illegal drugs. Penalties for drug offences are severe and include long prison sentences.
  • Always carry photo ID. Officials may detain you if you don't have it.

Full travel advice: Local laws

  • Due to the state of emergency from 12 January, when entering via land or river borders from Peru or Colombia, you're required to present an apostilled police check in Spanish covering the previous five years. Minors, diplomats and people already holding valid visas for Ecuador are exempt.
  • You can stay in Ecuador for up to 90 days without a visa. If you want to stay longer, you'll need a visa. If you overstay, you may be fined and barred from future visits.
  • Unmarked minefields are in the Cordillera del Condor region near the Peruvian border. Seek local advice before travelling there.

Full travel advice: Travel

Local contacts

  • The Consular Services Charter details what the Australian Government can and can't do to help you overseas.
  • The Australian Honorary Consul in Guayaquil and the  Canadian Embassy in Quito can issue provisional travel documents.
  • For full consular assistance, contact the  Australian Embassy in Chile .

Full travel advice: Local contacts

Full advice

Civil unrest and political tension.

The Government of Ecuador declared a 60-day nationwide state of emergency and curfew on 8 January. 

Curfew times and rules vary depending on your location and could be subject to change. Some areas, including Quito, Guayaquil and Manta, are subject to curfew restrictions. Curfew details are available on the  Ecuadorian Ministry of Communication website (in Spanish) . Check with local authorities for details in your location.

There's an increased military and police presence. You should carry your ID at all times and follow the instructions of local authorities. Travel to and from airports during the curfew period is permitted for passengers travelling on scheduled flights.

During a state of emergency, police and military can:

  • restrict freedom of movement and the right to assembly and association
  • monitor correspondence and communications
  • enter private properties to conduct searches
  • impose curfews with short notice, travel disruptions may occur.

The security situation in Ecuador could deteriorate with little notice. In the past, the government has used the military to maintain law and order.

You should be extra vigilant. Avoid demonstrations. Monitor local media and follow official government instructions.

On 27 October, power rationing measures were introduced across the country. Each city electricity provider is responsible for organising the calendar of power cut times. Seek updates from official websites. Power outages can potentially increase crime.

Demonstrations and protests

Demonstrations occur frequently. Even peaceful demonstrations can turn violent at any time. In 2022, there were several violent protests which resulted in a strong government response, including curfews. 

Demonstrations and protests can also lead to disruptions to traffic and public transportation. You should:

  • avoid areas where demonstrations and large gatherings are taking place
  • follow the instructions of local authorities
  • monitor local media for information on ongoing demonstrations
  • check for updates on the  Communicacion Ecuador  X (formerly Twitter) page 

Political activity by foreigners is illegal. This includes joining protests or demonstrations. If you take part, authorities may detain or deport you.

To protect yourself during periods of unrest you should:

  • remain vigilant
  • stay informed by monitoring reputable local and international media
  • avoid trouble areas
  • maintain contact with family and friends in Australia
  • obey instructions from local authorities
  • avoid all protests.  

If you're affected by demonstrations and roadblocks, follow the  MinTur (Ministry of Tourism) social media channels , or for information about the state of the roads, see  Consulta de vias  (Spanish).

Provision of food or supplies

If you can't go out safely and don't have access to food and/or supplies, consider using a reputable delivery app.

More information:

  • Demonstrations and civil unrest

Due to the high levels of crime and homicides, the Government of Ecuador has imposed curfews in the past.

If you need to travel to or from an airport during the curfew times, you must have a copy of your flight details to show police if requested.

If you're in a state of emergency zone, follow the instructions of local authorities and monitor media for updates. Keep your passport with you at all times, and let your family or friends know where you are.

If you're a victim of a crime, you can:

  • Call 911 or the crime emergency line 1800-DELITO (335486) for direct assistance,
  • Report the incident using Ecuador Attorney General's Office (Fiscalía General)  online reporting tool  (listed under 'Denuncias online para turistas').
  • Complain to Ecuador's Ministry of Tourism via e-mail to  [email protected]

Violent crime

Violent crime and theft are common. This includes:

  • armed robbery
  • car break-ins

Female travellers are encouraged to take particular caution.

Travellers have reported serious assaults and theft in Quito at:

  • El Panecillo
  • La Mariscal
  • the old town
  • southern Quito

Outside Quito, thieves target travellers at:

  • Guayaquil's downtown, waterfront and market areas
  • Cerro Mandango near Vilcabamba Loja
  • the Antennas of Pichincha
  • Lower Rio Napo's jungle lodges
  • Cuyabeno National Reserve areas

Some riverboat tours have been robbed at gunpoint, with passengers left stranded.

Petty crime

Thieves target backpackers and foreigners for bag-snatching and pickpocketing, even in large tour groups. Travellers have been injured when they resist.

Petty crime is common around Quito at:

  • La Carolina and El Ejido parks

Theft also occurs:

  • after using an ATM or leaving a bank
  • through credit card fraud and card skimming

Thieves working in pairs or groups use distraction methods, such as:

  • staged fights
  • asking for help
  • pushing or shoving

To protect yourself from petty crime:

  • don't leave your luggage, food or drinks unattended
  • be alert when using ATM and credit cards
  • don't let your credit or debit card out of your sight

Spiking assaults

Travellers have been robbed and sexually assaulted after accepting 'spiked' drinks and food, as well as chewing gum and cigarettes.

Spikers use drugs, such as scopolamine, including through aerosol sprays and paper handouts, to incapacitate, rob and assault their victims.

Never accept things from strangers or people you have just met.

  • Partying safely
  • Sexual assault

Road-based crime

Risk of violent crime increases when you travel alone or after dark.

Violent crime and theft occur in:

  • city, long-distance and international buses
  • transport terminals
  • internet cafes
  • public markets and crowded streets

Armed criminals have boarded buses to rob passengers.

North of Quito, high risk security situations can develop quickly. Dangerous areas include Ecuador's borders with Colombia and Peru in:

  • Sucumbios province
  • Esmeraldas province

Armed groups and other criminals engage in kidnapping and other violent criminal activity. Foreigners have been kidnapped in these regions, including in Cuyabeno wildlife reserve.

If you plan to travel there, check warnings issued by local authorities.

The official border crossing town of Tulcán in Carchi province is in a high-risk area but is usually safer than its surrounds.

To protect yourself from crime:

  • pay attention to your safety and security
  • keep doors locked and windows up, even when moving
  • secure your accommodation against intruders
  • avoid going out alone, especially at night
  • if camping, only stay at authorised campsites

Scams and fraud

Ayahuasca tourism is a growing industry in Ecuador and Peru. It involves shamans guiding visitors through psychedelic rituals, often referred to as 'spiritual cleansing'.

It's not illegal, but serious assaults and robbery can occur. Victims report a range of experiences, from being alert but unable to maintain control of their surroundings, to total amnesia.

Credit card fraud and debit card scams are increasing.

To reduce your risk of scams:

  • research ayahuasca tour operators before you sign up
  • avoid participating in ayahuasca rituals without a trusted friend present
  • always keep your debit and credit cards in sight

Cyber security 

You may be at risk of cyber-based threats during overseas travel to any country. Digital identity theft is a growing concern. Your devices and personal data can be compromised, especially if you’re connecting to Wi-Fi, using or connecting to shared or public computers, or to Bluetooth.

Social media can also be risky in destinations where there are social or political tensions, or laws that may seem unreasonable by Australian standards. Travellers have been arrested for things they have said on social media. Don't comment on local or political events on your social media.

Cyber security when travelling overseas

Kidnappings for ransom happen, including in:

  • major cities, such as Quito, Guayaquil and Cuenca
  • places frequented by foreigners

' Express kidnappings ' have increased in recent years. Victims are forced to withdraw funds from ATMs to secure their release. These often involve unofficial taxis.

Kidnappings occur around:

  • Esmeraldas, including San Lorenzo
  • Cuyabeno wildlife reserve
  • areas within 20km of the border with Colombia

If, despite our advice, you decide to travel an area where there's a threat of kidnapping:

  • seek professional security advice
  • have effective personal security measures in place
  • pay close attention to warnings issued by local authorities

The Australian Government's longstanding policy is that it doesn't make payments or concessions to kidnappers.

Terrorism is a threat worldwide.

Climate and natural disasters

Ecuador can experience severe weather  and natural disasters , such as:

  • flooding and landslides
  • earthquakes
  • volcanic eruptions

If a natural disaster occurs:

  • secure your passport in a safe, waterproof location
  • monitor local media and other sources
  • follow the advice of local authorities
  • keep in contact with your family and friends
  • Global Disaster Alert and Coordination System
  • Ecuador's  Risk Management Secretariat

Flooding and landslides

Rainy seasons are from:

  • December to May in the coastal region
  • May to November in El Oriente, east of the Andes

Heavy rain often results in landslides and mudslides. Unseasonable rain can cause flooding outside these times.

Earthquakes and volcanic eruptions

All parts of Ecuador, including the Galapagos Islands, can experience earthquakes.

Several volcanoes in Ecuador are active, including:

  • El Reventador, 95km east of Quito
  • Guagua Pichincha, 11km west of Quito
  • Cotopaxi, 50km south of Quito 
  • Sangay, 40km south-east of Rio Bamba
  • Tungurahua, overlooking the tourist town of Ba ñ os , 135km south of Quito

Eruptions can occur at any time and without warning.

If you're in an area prone to volcanic eruption, ensure you know the evacuation procedures and routes.

Falling ash following an eruption can spread over a wide area and can affect air travel.

Exposure to ash, dust and toxic fumes after a volcanic eruption is a major health risk. This is especially the case for those with existing breathing problems.

Before you travel to any areas prone to volcanic activity:

  • monitor local media
  • check with local authorities for information on volcanic activity

To protect yourself if there's a volcanic eruption:

  • stay inside with the windows and doors shut
  • place damp towels at door thresholds and other draft sources if ash is falling in your area
  • wear a disposable face mask and change it frequently if you need to go outside
  • wear long-sleeved clothing, long pants and goggles
  • avoid contact with ash

Servicio Nacional de Gestión de Riesgo y Emergencias  (Spanish)

Ecuador is at risk of tsunamis. A tsunami can arrive very soon after a nearby tremor or earthquake.

Be alert. Don't wait for official warnings.

Move immediately to high ground if advised by local authorities or if you:

  • feel a strong earthquake that makes it hard to stand up
  • feel a weak, rolling earthquake that lasts a minute or more
  • see a sudden rise or fall in sea level
  • hear loud and unusual noises from the sea

Once on high ground, monitor local media and weather services.

Pacific Tsunami Warning Center

Travel insurance

Get comprehensive  travel insurance  before you leave.  

Your policy needs to cover all overseas medical costs, including medical evacuation. The Australian Government won't pay for these costs.

If you can't afford travel insurance, you can't afford to travel. This applies to everyone, no matter how healthy and fit you are.

If you're not insured, you may have to pay many thousands of dollars up-front for medical care.

  • what activities and care your policy covers
  • that your insurance covers you for the whole time you'll be away

Physical and mental health

Consider your physical and mental health before you travel, especially if you have an existing medical condition. 

See your doctor or travel clinic to:

  • have a basic health check-up
  • ask if your travel plans may affect your health
  • plan any vaccinations you need

Do this at least 8 weeks before you leave.

If you have immediate concerns for your welfare, or the welfare of another Australian, call the 24-hour Consular Emergency Centre on +61 2 6261 3305 or contact your  nearest Australian Embassy, High Commission or Consulate  to discuss counselling hotlines and services available in your location.

  • General health advice
  • Healthy holiday tips  (Healthdirect Australia)


Not all medication available over the counter or by prescription in Australia is available in other countries. Some may even be considered illegal or a controlled substance, even if prescribed by an Australian doctor.

If you plan to bring medication, check if ​​it's legal in Ecuador. Take enough legal medication for your trip.

Carry a copy of your prescription or a letter from your doctor stating:

  • what the medication is
  • your required dosage
  • that it's for personal use

Health risks

Altitude sickness.

Many areas of Ecuador are higher than 2500m, including Quito at 2800m. Altitude sickness is a risk.  

The risks increase if you:

  • ascend too quickly, especially if you're at a higher altitude
  • exercise or drink alcohol before you can adjust
  • have breathing problems
  • have had altitude sickness before

Altitude sickness can be deadly. It can affect anyone, even if you're physically fit.

To protect yourself if you'll be travelling above 2500m:

  • seek advice from your doctor before you travel
  • get travel insurance that covers costs relating to evacuation from high-altitude areas

Insect-borne diseases

Yellow fever  is common in Ecuador. Yellow fever is a potentially fatal virus spread by mosquitoes. It's prevented by vaccination. Get vaccinated before you travel.

Other insect-borne diseases are present in areas below 1500m. These include:

  • chikungunya
  • Chagas disease
  • leishmaniasis

Risk of these diseases is lower in Guayaquil.

Zika virus is widespread. The Australian Department of Health advises pregnant women to:

  • discuss travel plans with your doctor
  • consider deferring non-essential travel to affected areas

To protect yourself from disease:

  • check that your accommodation is insect-proof
  • use insect repellent
  • wear long, loose, light-coloured clothing
  • consider taking medicine to prevent malaria

Get urgent medical advice if you have a fever, muscle pain, rash or severe headache.

Infectious diseases

Other health risks

HIV/AIDS is common. Take precautions before you do anything that puts you at risk of infection.

Waterborne, foodborne and other infectious diseases are common. These include:

  • tuberculosis

Serious outbreaks sometimes occur.

Gastrointestinal diseases are common during the rainy season.

To protect yourself from illness:

  • drink boiled water or bottled water with sealed lids
  • avoid ice cubes
  • avoid raw and undercooked food, such as salads
  • avoid contact with dogs and other mammals

If you're bitten or scratched by an animal, get medical help straight away.

Get medical advice if you have a fever or diarrhoea.

Medical care

Medical facilities.

Some private hospitals have reasonable medical facilities in:

Facilities are limited outside these locations.

Treatment at private clinics and hospitals is expensive. You'll need to pay cash before doctors and hospitals will treat you, even for emergency care.

You can access decompression chambers in:

  • the Protesub (Sub-aquatic) Puerto Ayora
  • Santa Cruz Island of the Galapagos Islands
  • Ecuadorian Navy base (San Eduardo Naval Base) in Guayaquil

If you become seriously ill or injured at the Galapagos Islands, you'll need to be moved to the mainland. Medical evacuation can be very expensive.

You're subject to all local laws and penalties, including those that may appear harsh by Australian standards. Research local laws before travelling.

If you're arrested or jailed, the Australian Government will do what it can to help you under our Consular Services Charter . But we can't get you out of trouble or out of jail.

Penalties for drug offences are severe and include long prison terms in local jails.

Minimum sentence for trafficking or consuming 'soft drugs', such as marijuana (cannabis), can be 1 to 2 years in jail.

Carrying or using drugs

Proof of identity

You must always carry photo identification in Ecuador. Authorities may detain you if you don't.

Political activity by foreigners is illegal. This includes joining protests or demonstrations. See Safety

If you participate, authorities may detain or deport you.

Australian laws

Some Australian criminal laws still apply when you're overseas. If you break these laws, you may face prosecution in Australia.

Staying within the law and respecting customs

Dual citizenship

Dual nationals younger than 18 years must travel with both passports.

Our ability to provide regular consular assistance to Australian-Ecuadorian dual nationals may be limited in Ecuador.

Dual nationals

Visas and border measures

Every country or territory decides who can enter or leave through its borders. For specific information about the evidence you'll need to enter a foreign destination, check with the nearest embassy, consulate or immigration department of the destination you're entering. 

Visa-free short stays and visitor visas

You can stay in Ecuador for up to 90 days without a visa.

If you want to stay longer, you can pay to request an extension for up to 90 extra days (you can only do this once). Do this before the initial period expires. If you overstay without a visa, you may be fined and barred from future visits.

Visa and other entry and exit conditions can change at short notice. This includes currency, customs and quarantine rules. Contact an  embassy or consulate of Ecuador  and visit the Ecuadorean Migration for details.

Travel to the Galapagos Islands

For visits other than tourism, you must get a visa or special permission from the local authority. You must do this before you arrive in Ecuador.

Travel via the United States

If you travel through the US, you must also meet US entry or transit requirements.

Check your visa requirements with an embassy or consulate of the United States . Do this well before you travel.

Travel advice for the US

Travel via Chile

If you’re travelling via Chile, ensure you meet all current entry or transit requirements.

  • Travel advice for Chile

Entry into Ecuador

Get your passport stamped on entry by land or sea. If it isn't stamped, you could face deportation or delays leaving Ecuador.

From 12 January, when entering via land or river borders from Peru or Colombia, you're required to present an apostilled police check in Spanish or an official Spanish translation covering the previous five years. The police check from Australia is obtained through the  Australian Federal Police  and can be  apostilled in Australia  or at an Australian Embassy when  overseas . Minors, diplomats and people already holding valid visas for Ecuador are exempt from providing this police check. This police check is not required for travellers entering via air or sea.

If you are entering by land from Colombia or Peru, you must get an entry stamp by an Ecuadorian official at the border. If you're on a shared bus, consider advising the driver that you need to get the stamp, otherwise the driver may not stop at the border, resulting in you not being in Ecuador legally. You'll need the exit stamp from the country you're entering Ecuador from. 

For up-to-date information, follow  Ecuador's Embassy in Canberra , and visit  Coronavirus Ecuador  by Ecuador's  Ministry of Health  (Spanish).

The  Governing Council of the Special Regime of Galapagos  requires foreign tourists to meet particular criteria, including filling out the  Galapagos Transit Control Card  at least 24 hours before entering, having an outbound flight, and travel insurance. You may be requested to show your hotel booking. See the articles in ' Ingreso a Galápagos ', including the ' Para ingresar ' (to enter), ' Al arribar ' (on arrival), and its  FAQ .

Other formalities

Yellow fever vaccination.

You'll need a valid yellow fever vaccination certificate to enter Ecuador from endemic countries including Brazil, Dominican Republic, Congo and Uganda.  Some airlines may want to see the certificate before departure to Ecuador.

Find out about returning to Australia after exposure to yellow fever .

Countries with a risk of yellow fever

Travelling with children

Children younger than 18 who travel alone or with 1 parent may need to present:

  • a letter of consent from non-travelling parents
  • a copy of their birth certificate

Both documents must be:

  • translated into Spanish
  • notarised by the Embassy of Ecuador in Australia

Advice for people travelling with children

Some countries won't let you enter unless your passport is valid for 6 months after you plan to leave that country. This can apply even if you're just transiting or stopping over.

Some foreign governments and airlines apply the rule inconsistently. Travellers can receive conflicting advice from different sources.

You can end up stranded if your passport is not valid for more than 6 months.

The Australian Government does not set these rules. Check your passport's expiry date before you travel. If you're not sure it'll be valid for long enough, consider getting a new passport .

Lost or stolen passport

Your passport is a valuable document. It's attractive to people who may try to use your identity to commit crimes.

Some people may try to trick you into giving them your passport. Always keep it in a safe place.

If your passport is lost or stolen, tell the Australian Government as soon as possible:

  • In Australia, contact the Australian Passport Information Service .
  • If you're overseas, contact the nearest Australian embassy or consulate .

Passport with ‘X’ gender identifier

Although Australian passports comply with international standards for sex and gender, we can’t guarantee that a passport showing 'X' in the sex field will be accepted for entry or transit by another country. Contact the nearest  embassy, high commission or consulate of your destination  before you arrive at the border to confirm if authorities will accept passports with 'X' gender markers.

  • LGBTI travellers

The US Dollar is the legal currency of Ecuador.

It's useful to have $US1 notes. Many smaller shops and taxi drivers don't change large notes.

ATMs are available around the country.

Credit cards are accepted in hotels, restaurants and tourist facilities in major centres. Contact your bank to check that your card will work.

Local travel

Minefields are a danger in the Cordillera del Condor region near the Peruvian border.  These minefields can be unmarked.

Seek local advice before you travel to the Cordillera del Condor region.

Take care when travelling off-road. Look out for landmines in:

  • Zamora-Chinchipe
  • Morona-Santiago

Transport and tour operators don't always follow safety and maintenance standards. This includes on adventure activities and in the Galapagos Islands. Inter-provincial bus transport operation has been authorised by local municipalities, at 75% capacity, from/to bus terminals. Accredited tourist transport vehicles are not subject to any mobility restriction.

If you plan to do a tour:

  • get travel insurance before you go to the Galapagos Islands
  • check if your travel insurance policy covers it
  • ask about and insist on minimum safety requirements
  • always use available safety gear, such as life jackets or seatbelts

If proper safety equipment isn't available, use another provider.

Remote locations

If you're visiting eco-lodges or other remote locations in northern and eastern Ecuador, consider:

  • the security arrangements in place
  • the travel distance to hospital in the case of an emergency

Reputable eco-lodges have good security, communications and emergency plans.

Driving permit

For the first six months after you arrive in Ecuador you can drive with both:

  • a valid Australian driver's licence
  • an International Driving Permit (IDP)

You must get your IDP before departing Australia.

Road travel

Main roads are reasonable. Roads in rural areas aren't always well maintained.

Driving in Ecuador can be dangerous, particularly at night.

Hazards include:

  • poorly maintained vehicles
  • bad driving practices
  • heavy rains
  • heavy fog in mountainous areas

Ash from volcanic eruptions can clog and stall vehicle engines.

If you plan to drive in Ecuador:

  • check you have the right insurance cover
  • learn local traffic laws and practices
  • be cautious if driving after a volcano has erupted
  • seek local advice
  • monitor local media and other sources for updates on road conditions

Driving or riding


Your travel insurance may not cover you when riding a motorbike, quad bike or similar.

Always wear a helmet.

All registered taxis have a panic button and security cameras installed.

Express kidnappings often involve unregistered taxis.

Only use authorised taxis with:

  • a taxi registration sticker
  • security cameras
  • panic buttons
  • orange licence plates
  • orange and white registration numbers

Ask your hotel to arrange a radio-dispatched taxi.

Public transport

Bus accidents are common.

Violent crime occurs on:

  • long-distance buses
  • international buses

Armed criminals board buses to rob passengers.

If you plan to use public transport:

  • avoid travel by bus
  • if you must travel by bus, use a direct route without stops
  • don't store anything under your seat or overhead

Transport and getting around safely

Boat travel

Safety standards of boats vary.

Piracy occurs along the coast of Ecuador.

Strikes and disturbances by local fishermen in the Galapagos Islands can disrupt travel.

Get your tour operator to confirm in writing that the boat you'll travel on:

  • has certification by the Ecuadorian Navy
  • meets the Safety of Life at Sea (SOLAS) Convention standards

Check piracy reports  issued by the International Maritime Bureau.

Travelling by boat

We don't provide information on the safety of individual commercial airlines or flight paths.

Check Ecuador's air safety profile with the Aviation Safety Network.


Depending on what you need, contact your:

  • family and friends
  • travel agent
  • insurance provider
  • use the right emergency number for your location:

Always get a police report when you report a crime.

Your insurer should have a 24-hour emergency number.

Consular contacts

Read the Consular Services Charter for what the Australian Government can and can't do to help you overseas.

There's an Australian Honorary Consulate in Guayaquil, Ecuador. It can provide limited consular help. The  Canadian Embassy  in Quito, Ecuador gives consular assistance to Australians in Ecuador under the  Canada-Australia Consular Services Sharing Agreement.

For general consular assistance , passports and/or notarial services, contact the Australian Embassy in Chile . If you need urgent help , contact the 24/7 Consular Emergency Centre in Australia, calling to the phone +61 2 6261 3305.

For issue of provisional travel documents, contact:

  • the Australian Consulate in Guayaquil
  • the Canadian Embassy in Quito

Australian Honorary Consulate, Guayaquil

Urbanización Tornero III, Km. 2.5 de la vía La Puntilla-Samborondón, Solar 15, local 7. Samborondón, Guayas, Ecuador

Phone: (+593) 9 5981 1614 (Monday to Friday 8am to 1pm and 1:30pm to 4:30pm)

Email: [email protected]

Canadian Embassy, Quito

Av. Amazonas 4153 and Union Nacional de periodistas Eurocentre Building, 3rd Floor Quito, Ecuador

Phone: (+011 593) 2 2455 499

Fax: (+011 593) 2 2277 672

Email: [email protected]


Australian Embassy, Santiago de Chile

Isidora Goyenechea 3621

13th Floor, Tower B

Santiago de Chile, Chile

Phone: +56 2 2550 3500

Fax: +56 2 2331 5960

Email: [email protected]


Facebook:  Embajada de Australia en Chile y Ecuador

Twitter:  @AusEmbCL

Check the Embassy website for details about opening hours and any temporary closures.

24-hour Consular Emergency Centre

In a consular emergency, if you can't contact an embassy, call the 24-hour Consular Emergency Centre on:

  • +61 2 6261 3305 from overseas
  • 1300 555 135 in Australia


Travelling to Ecuador?

Sign up to get the latest travel advice updates..

Be the first to know official government advice when travelling.

  • Skip to main content
  • Skip to "About this site"

Language selection


Help us to improve our website. Take our survey !

COVID-19: travel health notice for all travellers

Ecuador travel advice

Latest updates: Editorial change

Last updated: January 30, 2024 10:20 ET

On this page

Safety and security, entry and exit requirements, laws and culture, natural disasters and climate, ecuador - exercise a high degree of caution.

Exercise a high degree of caution in Ecuador due to high levels of crime.

Border areas - Avoid all travel

  • Carchi (except for the Panamerican Highway which connects to the official border crossing with Colombia at Tulcán/Ipiales)
  • Sucumbíos

Minefields near the southern portion of the border with Peru - Avoid all travel

Esmeraldas province, parts of el oro, guayas and los ríos provinces - avoid non-essential travel.

  • the province of Esmeraldas
  • Durán
  • Bastión Popular
  • El Fortín
  • Flor de Bastión
  • Las Orquídeas
  • Monte Bello
  • Monte Sinaí
  • Nueva Prosperina
  • Paraíso de la Flor

Back to top

State of internal armed conflict

On January 9, 2024, the Government of Ecuador declared a nationwide state of “internal armed conflict” to allow security forces to better respond to a sharp increase in gang violence across the country, including in Guayaquil and Quito. There are reports of small explosions, attacks on businesses, and car burnings. The Government of Ecuador previously declared a state of emergency on January 8, 2024.

A nationwide curfew is in place for cantons labelled as medium or high risk:

  • from 2 to 5 am for medium-risk cantons
  • from midnight to 5 am for high-risk cantons

While the curfew is in effect, you must stay indoors. An exception is in place to allow travellers to go to and from the airport for scheduled commercial flights. If you are travelling to or from the airport after the curfew is in effect, ensure that you have your ID and your flight information on hand to show authorities.

While the state of emergency is in effect, security forces have the power to:

  • restrict freedom of assembly
  • enter private homes
  • read prisoners’ private mail

While certain flights have been cancelled due to the security situation, airports continue to operate. Before your departure, check with your airline to determine if there are delays or changes to your itinerary. There may be disruptions to bus travel. If you are travelling overland by bus, confirm your itinerary and schedule in advance at each terminal along your route.

If you are in Ecuador:

  • expect an increased police and military presence, especially near prisons
  • carry your ID at all times
  • follow the instructions of local authorities

Border areas

Border areas often see higher criminal activity and violence.

Criminal groups are active in the border area with Colombia. Criminal activities include:

  • drug trafficking
  • armed assault

Work to clear landmines in certain areas near the border with Peru is still ongoing. See the Regional Risks, above, for specific locations.

Criminal activity has been reported near the border crossing at Huaquillas, where we advise against non-essential travel. If you do cross the border by land from Peru, do so during daylight hours and ensure that your belongings, including your passport and other travel documents, are secure at all times.

Crime rates are high in Ecuador.

Arrest and detention rates are low and contribute to high levels of criminality. Infiltration within the security forces by local gangs weakens law enforcement even further.

Violent crime

Violent crime is a significant concern throughout Ecuador. Drug trafficking, transnational organized crime and street gang activity is prevalent. Violent incidents include:

  • armed robberies
  • kidnappings
  • home invasions
  • sexual assaults
  • car-jacking

These crimes occur even during the day in tourist destinations. Tourists, including Canadians, have been assaulted:

  • in downtown areas
  • on hiking trails
  • in public parks
  • outside banks

While you're in Ecuador:

  • be aware of your surroundings at all times
  • ensure that your belongings, including your passport and other travel documents, are secure at all times
  • avoid travelling after dark, and in isolated or deserted areas
  • avoid showing signs of affluence
  • avoid carrying large amounts of cash
  • be extra cautious when withdrawing cash from ATMs
  • don’t resist if you’re threatened, hand over your cash and valuables immediately

Tourist police officers are present in major cities, including Quito, Guayaquil and Cuenca.

Organized crime

Criminal gang activity has increased in recent years, particularly in the coastal provinces of El Oro, Esmeraldas, Guayas, Los Ríos, Manabí and Santa Elena. Since late 2022, the use of explosives has increased, especially in coastal provinces. Targets have included small businesses, gas stations, government offices, and bridges.

Organized criminal groups and gangs commit crimes such as targeted killings, express kidnapping, and armed robberies. They generally use knives and guns, and occasionally explosives.

Although tourists are not usually targeted, you may find yourself in the wrong place at the wrong time and caught in the crossfire.

Petty crime

Petty crime, such as pickpocketing, bag snatching and car break-ins, occurs daily in major cities.

Thieves often work in teams to divert the victims and snatch their possessions. Groups of street children selling candies are sometimes engaged in this type of team operation.

Thefts commonly occur in:

  • popular tourist areas
  • public transportation, especially city and inter-city buses
  • bus terminals and airports
  • shopping malls
  • hotel lobbies
  • restaurants, including patios

To avoid becoming a victim:

  • keep a low profile when walking in public areas
  • avoid carrying large amounts of cash or valuable items
  • avoid hitchhiking
  • be suspicious of recent acquaintances or strangers approaching you
  • avoid accepting rides or invitations from strangers

The number of kidnappings, especially express kidnappings, has significantly increased since 2022. Kidnappers mainly target locals, but foreigners have also been targeted. Many victims have been rescued by the police. Some victims are released in exchange for ransom.

While you’re in Ecuador:

  • choose accommodation with good security measures
  • keep your doors and windows locked at all times
  • check your car for suspicious markings after leaving it parked on the street
  • if you're kidnapped, comply with the kidnappers’ demands and don’t resist

Express kidnappings

These kidnappings are often committed by organised gangs, sometimes in collaboration with taxi or rideshare drivers. Kidnappers may take their victims to an ATM and force them to make a cash withdrawal, or else hold their victims for a few days and force them to make online bank transfers before releasing them.

  • Use only reputable taxi companies
  • Avoid hailing taxis on the street
  • Use the security features in rideshare apps
  • If you’re threatened, don’t resist

Credit card and ATM fraud may occur. Be cautious when using debit or credit cards:

  • cover the keypad with one hand when entering your PIN
  • pay careful attention when your cards are being handled by others
  • avoid using card readers with an irregular or unusual feature
  • use ATMs located in well-lit public areas or inside a bank or business
  • check for any unauthorized transactions on your account statements

Overseas fraud

Police officers sometimes try to extort drivers by threatening detention or confiscating identity documents.

If police threaten you with a fine:

  • remain calm and courteous but firm
  • show original documents but keep them in your possession
  • try to cooperate by following the instructions of police to avoid escalation
  • ask for a clear explanation of the offence and a written fine that can be paid at a police station
  • don’t pay a bribe to anyone
  • call 911 to report the incident to the National Police

National Police  – Ecuador (in Spanish)


Demonstrations occur frequently.

Even peaceful demonstrations can turn violent at any time. They can also lead to disruptions to traffic and public transportation.

  • Avoid areas where demonstrations and large gatherings are taking place
  • Follow the instructions of local authorities
  • Monitor local media for information on ongoing demonstrations

Ecuadorian law prohibits political activities by foreigners. You may face detention if you take part in demonstrations or political activities.

Mass gatherings (large-scale events)

Women's safety

Women travelling alone may be subject to some forms of harassment and verbal abuse.

Incidents of attacks and sexual assault against foreign women, including rape and murder, have been reported throughout the country, particularly in tourist areas. Even women travelling in pairs have been targeted.

  • Choose accommodation with good security measures
  • Be suspicious of recent acquaintances or strangers approaching you
  • Avoid hospitality exchange arrangements, such as couch-surfing
  • Avoid accepting rides or invitations from strangers

Useful links

  • Recommendations for female travellers – Ecuador ministry of tourism
  • Advice for women travellers

Spiked food and drinks

Snacks, beverages, gum and cigarettes may contain drugs that could put you at risk of sexual assault and robbery. Incidents can occur in various locations, including buses, nightclubs and bars.

  • Be wary of accepting these items from new acquaintances
  • Never leave food or drinks unattended or in the care of strangers


Scopolamine is a drug that temporarily incapacitates unsuspecting victims, who become disoriented quickly and are vulnerable to crime.

Thieves may slip the drug into food and drinks, smear it on papers, or blow it into the face of the victim. They often work in teams, with an attractive woman or man who eases their victim into a false sense of security.

Incidents occur in nightclubs, bars and restaurants, on public transportation and in the streets. They occur most frequently in larger cities.

Use extreme caution when dealing with strangers offering pamphlets, requesting information, or selling street wares.

Indigenous shamanic ceremonies

The consumption of ayahuasca is common during indigenous shamanic ceremonies in Ecuador. These ceremonies are not regulated. The safety of the facilities, services, operators, or shamans cannot be assessed. They often take place in remote areas without access to medical facilities, emergency services or telecommunications.

The consumption of ayahuasca has caused serious medical complications, including cognitive and physical impairment. Several tourists, including Canadians, have died while taking part in such ceremonies. Some have also been assaulted or injured.

Water activities

Coastal waters can be dangerous. Riptides are common.

Rescue services may not be consistent with international standards. Most beaches don’t have lifeguards or warning flags.

  • Only undertake scuba diving and other water activities with a well-established company
  • Don’t swim alone, after hours or outside marked areas
  • Consult residents and tour operators for information on possible hazards and safe swimming areas
  • Monitor weather warnings

This advice applies to both mainland Ecuador and to the Galápagos Islands.

Water safety abroad

Adventure tourism

Outdoor activities, such as snorkelling, diving, surfing, white water rafting, horseback riding, parasailing, hiking, trekking and other adventure activities, can be dangerous if unprepared. Trails are not always marked, and weather conditions can change rapidly, even in the dry season.

Avalanches pose a risk in Ecuador. They can be fatal, even with light snow accumulations. Tourists, including Canadians, have died in avalanches on Ecuadorian volcanoes.

If you intend to practice adventure tourism:

  • never do so alone, and don’t part with your expedition companions
  • consider hiring an experienced guide from a reputable company certified by the Ministry of Tourism
  • obtain detailed information on your activity and on the environment in which you will be before setting out
  • avoid venturing off marked trails
  • ensure that your physical condition is good enough to tackle the challenges of your activity
  • carry an avalanche beacon, a mobile phone and a fully charged battery pack to generate your position in case of emergency
  • inform a family member or friend of your itinerary

If you require emergency assistance in a remote area, find an area with a signal and call 911 so that authorities can geolocate your phone and send help more quickly.

Ministry of Tourism  – Government of Ecuador

Road travel

Road conditions and road safety vary throughout the country. Accidents causing fatalities are common.

Road conditions

Road conditions are generally in fair conditions in urban areas. However, they remain poorly maintained in rural areas.

Heavy rain and mudslides often close or wash out roads. Driving in Ecuador may be hazardous due to:

  • unmarked speed bumps
  • large pot holes
  • poorly maintained vehicles
  • traffic lights on major highways
  • heavy traffic, especially on weekends and statutory holidays
  • stray livestock in rural areas  
  • heavy fog in mountainous areas

Driving habits

Drivers don’t respect traffic laws. They may drive at excessive speed and be reckless. Drinking and driving is frequent. 

If you drive in Ecuador:

  • always drive defensively and maintain heightened awareness
  • plan your trip ahead of time, especially if you plan to visit a rural area
  • avoid road travelling alone and at night
  • carry a cell phone and a charger
  • always keep your gas tank fullkeep your car doors locked and the windows closed at all times
  • do not leave valuables within reach or in plain sight and unattended

Public transportation

Many buses are not safe. Some are poorly maintained and often overcrowded. They lack safety equipment. Drivers are reckless. They often make illegal stops to pick up passengers. Robberies and assault occur regularly, especially in the Guayaquil area.

Avoid using local or intercity public buses. 

Taxis are generally safe to take during the day. They are easily available in urban areas.

Ride-sharing apps are also popular in Ecuador. They are usually a safe option to move around.

Incidents of assault and express kidnapping have occurred at night.

  • Use official taxis with orange plates only
  • Never share a taxi with strangers 
  • Make sure the driver doesn’t pick up other passengers along the way to your destination
  • Note driver’s name and plate number
  • Ask the driver to start the meter or negotiate the fare in advance
  • Have small bills ready for payment


Ferry accidents have occurred mostly due to severe weather conditions or poor safety measures. 

Some boats are poorly maintained and overloaded. 

If you decide to travel by ferry:

  • use only a reliable company
  • make sure appropriate safety equipment is available 
  • make sure you have access to a lifejacket at all times 
  • don't board a boat that appears overloaded or unseaworthy

Pirate attacks and armed robbery against ships occur.

Take appropriate precautions.

Live piracy report  - International Maritime Bureau

We do not make assessments on the compliance of foreign domestic airlines with international safety standards.

Information about foreign domestic airlines

Every country or territory decides who can enter or exit through its borders. The Government of Canada cannot intervene on your behalf if you do not meet your destination’s entry or exit requirements.

We have obtained the information on this page from the Ecuadorian authorities. It can, however, change at any time.

Verify this information with the  Foreign Representatives in Canada .


Entry restrictions at land and river borders with Peru and Colombia

On January 11, 2024, the Government of Ecuador announced new entry restrictions as part of the ongoing state of internal armed conflict.

All foreigners entering Ecuador at crossing points with land or river borders with Peru and Colombia will need to present a criminal records check from their country of origin or residence. Both the original criminal record check and the Spanish translation must be apostilled and cover the past five years. Minors travelling with their family members will generally be exempt.

The Apostille Convention took effect in Canada on January 11, 2024. An apostille is a standard certificate allowing documents to be accepted in all countries where the convention is in effect.

  • Migration information – Ecuador Immigration Agency (in Spanish)
  • Changes to authentication services in Canada
  • Authentication of documents

Entry requirements vary depending on the type of passport you use for travel.

Before you travel, check with your transportation company about passport requirements. Its rules on passport validity may be more stringent than the country’s entry rules.

Regular Canadian passport

Your passport must be valid for at least 6 months beyond the date you expect to leave Ecuador.

Passport for official travel

Different entry rules may apply.

Official travel

Passport with “X” gender identifier

While the Government of Canada issues passports with an “X” gender identifier, it cannot guarantee your entry or transit through other countries. You might face entry restrictions in countries that do not recognize the “X” gender identifier. Before you leave, check with the closest foreign representative for your destination.

Other travel documents

Different entry rules may apply when travelling with a temporary passport or an emergency travel document. Before you leave, check with the closest foreign representative for your destination.

  • Foreign Representatives in Canada
  • Canadian passports

Tourist visa: not required for stays up to 90 days per period of 12 months  Business visa: not required Student visa: not required

Entry stamp

Make sure your passport is stamped upon arrival. You may face significant problems if you fail to present an entry-stamped passport when departing Ecuador.  

Many tourists, including Canadians, have not stopped to get their passports stamped when arriving by land from Peru. When they try to leave the country later on, for example by airplane out of Quito, they are often required to return to the Peruvian border to obtain an entry stamp at the place of entry.

Stay extension

You may extend your stay for an additional 90-day period once. If you decide to do so while you are in Ecuador, you must obtain a visa from the immigration authorities before the entry stamp you received upon arrival expires.

If you overstay the initial 90-day period without the required extension or the 180-day period without the required visa, you may face:

  • denied entry for one year

Local authorities may also add your name to the immigration records. As a result, you would have to request a visa at an Ecuadorian embassy or consulate before re-entering the country.

  • Migration Ecuador  – Government of Ecuador (in Spanish)
  • Visas - Government of Ecuador (in Spanish)
  • Extension of stay – Ministry of Interior (in Spanish)

Galápagos Islands

To enter the Galápagos Islands, you must present:

  • personal identification
  • the Galápagos Transit Control Card obtained online at least 24 hours before time of departure
  • a return ticket

The maximum stay for tourists is 60 days in a 1-year period.

Guidelines for entering Galápagos  - Galápagos Governing Council (in Spanish)

Amazon region

Some Indigenous groups require permits to enter their territory. If you are planning on visiting the Amazon region, ensure that you have the required documentation prior to entering the area.

Children and travel

To leave the country, children born in Ecuador to a Canadian parent must:

  • be registered with the Ecuadorian Civil Registry
  • obtain an Ecuadorian passport
  • present valid Ecuadorian and Canadian passports

Minor dual citizens - under 18 - travelling alone with both passports must have a letter of consent from both parents. This letter should:

  • authorize the travel and stipulate the destination and duration of the intended trip
  • be legally certified and translated into Spanish
  • be notarized at the Embassy of Ecuador or an Ecuadorian consulate in Canada

Canadian minors travelling alone as tourists with Canadian passports don’t need this authorization letter.

  • Travelling with children
  • Recommended consent letter for children travelling abroad

Yellow fever

Learn about potential entry requirements related to yellow fever (vaccines section).

Relevant Travel Health Notices

  • Global Measles Notice - 31 August, 2023
  • Zika virus: Advice for travellers - 31 August, 2023
  • COVID-19 and International Travel - 31 August, 2023

This section contains information on possible health risks and restrictions regularly found or ongoing in the destination. Follow this advice to lower your risk of becoming ill while travelling. Not all risks are listed below.

Consult a health care professional or visit a travel health clinic preferably 6 weeks before you travel to get personalized health advice and recommendations.

Routine vaccines

Be sure that your  routine vaccinations , as per your province or territory , are up-to-date before travelling, regardless of your destination.

Some of these vaccinations include measles-mumps-rubella (MMR), diphtheria, tetanus, pertussis, polio, varicella (chickenpox), influenza and others.

Pre-travel vaccines and medications

You may be at risk for preventable diseases while travelling in this destination. Talk to a travel health professional about which medications or vaccines may be right for you, based on your destination and itinerary. 

Yellow fever  is a disease caused by a flavivirus from the bite of an infected mosquito.

Travellers get vaccinated either because it is required to enter a country or because it is recommended for their protection.

  • There is a risk of yellow fever in this country.

Country Entry Requirement*    

Proof of vaccination is required if you are arriving from Brazil, Democratic Republic of the Congo, or Uganda, or have transited through an airport in one of these countries.


  • Vaccination is recommended depending on your itinerary.
  • Contact a designated  Yellow Fever Vaccination Centre  well in advance of your trip to arrange for vaccination.
  • Discuss travel plans, activities, and destinations with a health care professional.
  • Protect yourself from mosquito bites.

About Yellow Fever

Yellow Fever Vaccination Centres in Canada * It is important to note that  country entry requirements  may not reflect your risk of yellow fever at your destination. It is recommended that you contact the nearest  diplomatic or consular office  of the destination(s) you will be visiting to verify any additional entry requirements.

There is a risk of hepatitis A in this destination. It is a disease of the liver. People can get hepatitis A if they ingest contaminated food or water, eat foods prepared by an infectious person, or if they have close physical contact (such as oral-anal sex) with an infectious person, although casual contact among people does not spread the virus.

Practise  safe food and water precautions and wash your hands often. Vaccination is recommended for all travellers to areas where hepatitis A is present.

Measles is a highly contagious viral disease. It can spread quickly from person to person by direct contact and through droplets in the air.

Anyone who is not protected against measles is at risk of being infected with it when travelling internationally.

Regardless of where you are going, talk to a health care professional before travelling to make sure you are fully protected against measles.

  Hepatitis B is a risk in every destination. It is a viral liver disease that is easily transmitted from one person to another through exposure to blood and body fluids containing the hepatitis B virus.  Travellers who may be exposed to blood or other bodily fluids (e.g., through sexual contact, medical treatment, sharing needles, tattooing, acupuncture or occupational exposure) are at higher risk of getting hepatitis B.

Hepatitis B vaccination is recommended for all travellers. Prevent hepatitis B infection by practicing safe sex, only using new and sterile drug equipment, and only getting tattoos and piercings in settings that follow public health regulations and standards.

Coronavirus disease (COVID-19) is an infectious viral disease. It can spread from person to person by direct contact and through droplets in the air.

It is recommended that all eligible travellers complete a COVID-19 vaccine series along with any additional recommended doses in Canada before travelling. Evidence shows that vaccines are very effective at preventing severe illness, hospitalization and death from COVID-19. While vaccination provides better protection against serious illness, you may still be at risk of infection from the virus that causes COVID-19. Anyone who has not completed a vaccine series is at increased risk of being infected with the virus that causes COVID-19 and is at greater risk for severe disease when travelling internationally.

Before travelling, verify your destination’s COVID-19 vaccination entry/exit requirements. Regardless of where you are going, talk to a health care professional before travelling to make sure you are adequately protected against COVID-19.

 The best way to protect yourself from seasonal influenza (flu) is to get vaccinated every year. Get the flu shot at least 2 weeks before travelling.  

 The flu occurs worldwide. 

  •  In the Northern Hemisphere, the flu season usually runs from November to   April.
  •  In the Southern Hemisphere, the flu season usually runs between April and   October.
  •  In the tropics, there is flu activity year round. 

The flu vaccine available in one hemisphere may only offer partial protection against the flu in the other hemisphere.

The flu virus spreads from person to person when they cough or sneeze or by touching objects and surfaces that have been contaminated with the virus. Clean your hands often and wear a mask if you have a fever or respiratory symptoms.

Malaria  is a serious and sometimes fatal disease that is caused by parasites spread through the bites of mosquitoes.   There is a risk of malaria in certain areas and/or during a certain time of year in this destination. 

Antimalarial medication may be recommended depending on your itinerary and the time of year you are travelling. Consult a health care professional or visit a travel health clinic before travelling to discuss your options. It is recommended to do this 6 weeks before travel, however, it is still a good idea any time before leaving.    Protect yourself from mosquito bites at all times:  • Cover your skin and use an approved insect repellent on uncovered skin.  • Exclude mosquitoes from your living area with screening and/or closed, well-sealed doors and windows. • Use insecticide-treated bed nets if mosquitoes cannot be excluded from your living area.  • Wear permethrin-treated clothing.    If you develop symptoms similar to malaria when you are travelling or up to a year after you return home, see a health care professional immediately. Tell them where you have been travelling or living. 

In this destination, rabies is commonly carried by dogs and some wildlife, including bats. Rabies is a deadly disease that spreads to humans primarily through bites or scratches from an infected animal. While travelling, take precautions , including keeping your distance from animals (including free-roaming dogs), and closely supervising children.

If you are bitten or scratched by a dog or other animal while travelling, immediately wash the wound with soap and clean water and see a health care professional. In this destination, rabies treatment may be limited or may not be available, therefore you may need to return to Canada for treatment.  

Before travel, discuss rabies vaccination with a health care professional. It may be recommended for travellers who are at high risk of exposure (e.g., occupational risk such as veterinarians and wildlife workers, children, adventure travellers and spelunkers, and others in close contact with animals). 

Safe food and water precautions

Many illnesses can be caused by eating food or drinking beverages contaminated by bacteria, parasites, toxins, or viruses, or by swimming or bathing in contaminated water.

  • Learn more about food and water precautions to take to avoid getting sick by visiting our eat and drink safely abroad page. Remember: Boil it, cook it, peel it, or leave it!
  • Avoid getting water into your eyes, mouth or nose when swimming or participating in activities in freshwater (streams, canals, lakes), particularly after flooding or heavy rain. Water may look clean but could still be polluted or contaminated.
  • Avoid inhaling or swallowing water while bathing, showering, or swimming in pools or hot tubs. 

Travellers' diarrhea is the most common illness affecting travellers. It is spread from eating or drinking contaminated food or water.

Risk of developing travellers' diarrhea increases when travelling in regions with poor standards of hygiene and sanitation. Practise safe food and water precautions.

The most important treatment for travellers' diarrhea is rehydration (drinking lots of fluids). Carry oral rehydration salts when travelling.

Typhoid   is a bacterial infection spread by contaminated food or water. Risk is higher among children, travellers going to rural areas, travellers visiting friends and relatives or those travelling for a long period of time.

Travellers visiting regions with a risk of typhoid, especially those exposed to places with poor sanitation, should speak to a health care professional about vaccination.  

Insect bite prevention

Many diseases are spread by the bites of infected insects such as mosquitoes, ticks, fleas or flies. When travelling to areas where infected insects may be present:

  • Use insect repellent (bug spray) on exposed skin
  • Cover up with light-coloured, loose clothes made of tightly woven materials such as nylon or polyester
  • Minimize exposure to insects
  • Use mosquito netting when sleeping outdoors or in buildings that are not fully enclosed

To learn more about how you can reduce your risk of infection and disease caused by bites, both at home and abroad, visit our insect bite prevention page.

Find out what types of insects are present where you’re travelling, when they’re most active, and the symptoms of the diseases they spread.

There is a risk of chikungunya in this country.  The risk may vary between regions of a country.  Chikungunya is a virus spread through the bite of an infected mosquito. Chikungunya can cause a viral disease that typically causes fever and pain in the joints. In some cases, the joint pain can be severe and last for months or years.

Protect yourself from mosquito bites at all times. There is no vaccine available for chikungunya.

  • In this country,   dengue  is a risk to travellers. It is a viral disease spread to humans by mosquito bites.
  • Dengue can cause flu-like symptoms. In some cases, it can lead to severe dengue, which can be fatal.
  • The level of risk of dengue changes seasonally, and varies from year to year. The level of risk also varies between regions in a country and can depend on the elevation in the region.
  • Mosquitoes carrying dengue typically bite during the daytime, particularly around sunrise and sunset.
  • Protect yourself from mosquito bites . There is no vaccine or medication that protects against dengue.

Zika virus is a risk in this country. 

Zika virus is primarily spread through the bite of an infected mosquito. It can also be sexually transmitted. Zika virus can cause serious birth defects.

During your trip:

  • Prevent mosquito bites at all times.
  • Use condoms correctly or avoid sexual contact, particularly if you are pregnant.

If you are pregnant or planning a pregnancy, you should discuss the potential risks of travelling to this destination with your health care provider. You may choose to avoid or postpone travel. 

For more information, see Zika virus: Pregnant or planning a pregnancy.

American trypanosomiasis (Chagas disease)   is a risk in this country. It is caused by a parasite spread by infected triatomine bugs. The infection can be inactive for decades, but humans can eventually develop complications causing disability and even death.

Risk is generally low for most travellers. Protect yourself from triatomine bugs, which are active at night, by using mosquito nets if staying in poorly-constructed housing. There is no vaccine available for Chagas disease.

Animal precautions

Some infections, such as rabies and influenza, can be shared between humans and animals. Certain types of activities may increase your chance of contact with animals, such as travelling in rural or forested areas, camping, hiking, and visiting wet markets (places where live animals are slaughtered and sold) or caves.

Travellers are cautioned to avoid contact with animals, including dogs, livestock (pigs, cows), monkeys, snakes, rodents, birds, and bats, and to avoid eating undercooked wild game.

Closely supervise children, as they are more likely to come in contact with animals.

Human cases of avian influenza have been reported in this destination. Avian influenza   is a viral infection that can spread quickly and easily among birds and in rare cases it can infect mammals, including people. The risk is low for most travellers.

Avoid contact with birds, including wild, farm, and backyard birds (alive or dead) and surfaces that may have bird droppings on them. Ensure all poultry dishes, including eggs and wild game, are properly cooked.

Travellers with a higher risk of exposure include those: 

  • visiting live bird/animal markets or poultry farms
  • working with poultry (such as chickens, turkeys, domestic ducks)
  • hunting, de-feathering, field dressing and butchering wild birds and wild mammals
  • working with wild birds for activities such as research, conservation, or rehabilitation
  • working with wild mammals, especially those that eat wild birds (e.g., foxes)

All eligible people are encouraged to get the seasonal influenza shot, which will protect them against human influenza viruses. While the seasonal influenza shot does not prevent infection with avian influenza, it can reduce the chance of getting sick with human and avian influenza viruses at the same time.

Person-to-person infections

Stay home if you’re sick and practise proper cough and sneeze etiquette , which includes coughing or sneezing into a tissue or the bend of your arm, not your hand. Reduce your risk of colds, the flu and other illnesses by:

  •   washing your hands often
  • avoiding or limiting the amount of time spent in closed spaces, crowded places, or at large-scale events (concerts, sporting events, rallies)
  • avoiding close physical contact with people who may be showing symptoms of illness 

Sexually transmitted infections (STIs) , HIV , and mpox are spread through blood and bodily fluids; use condoms, practise safe sex, and limit your number of sexual partners. Check with your local public health authority pre-travel to determine your eligibility for mpox vaccine.  

Tuberculosis is an infection caused by bacteria and usually affects the lungs.

For most travellers the risk of tuberculosis is low.

Travellers who may be at high risk while travelling in regions with risk of tuberculosis should discuss pre- and post-travel options with a health care professional.

High-risk travellers include those visiting or working in prisons, refugee camps, homeless shelters, or hospitals, or travellers visiting friends and relatives.

Medical services and facilities

Good health care is limited in availability. The quality of care varies greatly throughout the country.

Public medical services and facilities remain below Canadian standards, especially in rural areas. Medical facilities lack medical supplies.

Private hospitals and clinics offer better health care, but services are often expensive. Doctors typically require upfront payment. They may only speak Spanish.

Emergency services may not be available outside major cities. In the Galápagos Islands, you will likely require medical evacuation in case of a serious condition. The wait time to be evacuated can be up to 48 hours as there is no air ambulance service based on the islands.

Medical evacuations can be extremely expensive.

Make sure you get travel insurance that includes coverage for medical evacuation and hospital stays.

Travel health and safety


Some prescription medication may not be available in Ecuador.

If you take prescription medication, you’re responsible for determining its legality in the country.

  • Bring sufficient quantities of your medication with you
  • Always keep your medication in the original container
  • Pack your medication in your carry-on luggage
  • Carry a paper and an electronic copy of your prescriptions

Altitude sickness

Some cities and major tourist attractions are located at more than 2700 metres above sea level. In some parts of the country, you may experience health problems due to high altitudes.

Altitude sickness can range from mild to severe symptoms, which in extreme cases can be fatal. It may require immediate medical evacuation.

  • Know about the symptoms of altitude sickness
  • Find out how to prevent or reduce the effects of altitude sickness

Keep in Mind...

The decision to travel is the sole responsibility of the traveller. The traveller is also responsible for his or her own personal safety.

Be prepared. Do not expect medical services to be the same as in Canada. Pack a   travel health kit , especially if you will be travelling away from major city centres.

You must abide by local laws.

Learn about what you should do and how we can help if you are arrested or detained abroad .

Transfer to a Canadian prison

Canada and Ecuador are signatories to the Convention on the Transfer of Sentenced Persons. This enables a Canadian imprisoned in Ecuador to request a transfer to a Canadian prison to complete a sentence. The transfer requires the agreement of both Canadian and Ecuadorian authorities.

This process can take a long time, and there is no guarantee that the transfer will be approved by either or both sides.

Penalties for possession, use or trafficking of illegal drugs are severe. Convicted offenders can expect lengthy jail sentences and heavy fines.

You may also be found guilty by association if they have criminal associates. For instance, drivers could be held responsible for passengers carrying drugs in their luggage.

  • Pack your own luggage and monitor it closely at all times
  • Never transport other people’s packages, bags or suitcases
  • Avoid picking up hitchhikers

Drugs, alcohol and travel


Local authorities may request to see your ID at any time.

  • Carry valid identification or a photocopy of it at all times
  • Keep a photocopy of your passport in a safe place in case it’s lost or seized
  • Keep a digital copy of your ID and travel documents


Disputes related to property acquisition or other investments are costly and take time to resolve.

If you plan to buy property, or making other investments in Ecuador:

  • seek legal advice in Canada and in Ecuador before making commitments
  • choose your own lawyer
  • avoid hiring a lawyer recommended by a seller

Dual citizenship

Dual citizenship is legally recognized in Ecuador.

If you are a Canadian citizen, but also a citizen of Ecuador, our ability to offer you consular services may be limited while you're there. You may also be subject to different entry/exit requirements .

General information for travellers with dual citizenship

International Child Abduction

The Hague Convention on the Civil Aspects of International Child Abduction is an international treaty. It can help parents with the return of children who have been removed to or retained in certain countries in violation of custody rights. The convention applies between Canada and Ecuador.

If your child was wrongfully taken to, or is being held in Ecuador, and if the applicable conditions are met, you may apply for the return of your child to the Ecuadorian court.

If you are in this situation:

  • act as quickly as you can
  • contact the Central Authority for your province or territory of residence for information on starting an application under The Hague Convention
  • consult a lawyer in Canada and in Ecuador to explore all the legal options for the return of your child
  • report the situation to the nearest Canadian government office abroad or to the Vulnerable Children’s Consular Unit at Global Affairs Canada by calling the Emergency Watch and Response Centre

If your child was removed from a country other than Canada, consult a lawyer to determine if The Hague Convention applies.

Be aware that Canadian consular officials cannot interfere in private legal matters or in another country’s judicial affairs.

  • List of Canadian Central Authorities for the Hague Convention
  • International Child Abduction: A Guidebook for Left-Behind Parents
  • The Hague Convention - Hague Conference on Private International Law
  • Canadian embassies and consulates by destination
  • Emergency Watch and Response Centre

You can drive up to 6 months with your valid Canadian driver’s licence.

There is a traffic restriction based on the last digit of the vehicle licence plate number in Quito. You may be heavily fined and your vehicle temporarily seized if you fail to respect the restricted part of the city on the weekday (Monday to Friday) corresponding to your plate number.

If you are involved in a road accident-causing injuries, you will be temporarily detained, regardless of culpability. Detention may last until responsibility for the accident has been assigned and all parties are satisfied.

You should carry an international driving permit.

International Driving Permit

The currency in Ecuador is the U.S. dollar (USD).

Credit cards are accepted by many businesses.

El Niño

The effects of El Niño are expected to begin in November 2023. Severe weather mostly affects places lower than 1500 metres above sea level and could result in problems such as:

  • above-average temperatures

Secretariat of Risk Management – Government of Ecuador (in Spanish)

The complex weather phenomenon called El Niño happens at irregular intervals of 2 to 7 years. In Ecuador, El Niño generally generates heavy rainfalls for 6 to 9 months, occurring at the same time as the rainy season from October to May.

  • Keep informed of regional weather forecasts before and during your travels, and plan accordingly.
  • Ensure you have adequate insurance to cover the consequences of such events, including the disruption of travel plans.

Earthquakes and tsunamis

Ecuador is in an active seismic area. Earthquakes and tremors occur regularly. 

Even minor earthquakes can cause significant damage.

Tsunami warnings may be issued after a strong earthquake. A tsunami can occur within minutes of a nearby earthquake. However, the risk of tsunami can remain for several hours following the first tremor.

If you’re staying on the coast, familiarize yourself with the region’s evacuation plans in the event of a tsunami warning.

  • Alerts Ecuador - Risk Management Secretariat (in Spanish)
  • Tsunami Early Warning System – Government of Ecuador (in Spanish)
  • Earthquakes - What to Do?
  • Latest earthquakes  - U.S. Geological Survey
  • Tsunami alerts - U.S. Tsunami Warning System

Ecuadorian authorities are closely monitoring multiple volcanoes which are active:

  • Chiles-Cerro Negro
  • Guagua Pichincha

Access to the Cotopaxi National Park could be restricted at any time without notice.

There are several volcanoes on the mainland and on the Galápagos Islands, including around Quito and the tourist communities of Baños and Riobamba. Many of these are active, including:

  • Sierra Negra

Eruptions could occur at any time.  They sometimes lead to evacuations of surrounding areas on short notice. Volcanic ash fall may also disrupt domestic and international flights and cause the closure of major highways.

Exposure to falling ash and toxic fumes from active volcanoes can affect your health.

 If you are planning to travel near active volcanoes:

  • consult a physician in advance to determine associated health risks if you suffer from respiratory ailments
  • familiarize yourself with local emergency plans
  • avoid restricted areas
  • be prepared to modify your travel arrangements or even evacuate the area on short notice

In the event of a volcanic eruption:

  • pay careful attention to all warnings issued for national parks
  • monitor local media to stay informed of the evolving situation
  • follow the instructions of local authorities, including evacuation orders
  • Instituto Geofisico  - Ecuador’s geophysical institute (in Spanish)

Rainy season

The rainy season extends from December to May.

Seasonal flooding can hamper overland travel and reduce the provision of essential services. Roads may become impassable due to mudslides and landslides. Bridges, buildings, and infrastructure may be damaged. Underpasses may fill quickly with water.

  • Monitor local media for the latest updates, including those on road conditions
  • Stay away from flooded areas
  • Monitor weather reports
  • Follow the instructions of local authorities, including evacuation orders
  • National Institute of Meteorology and Hydrology  – Government of Ecuador (in Spanish)
  • Road Conditions and Closures  – ECU911 (in Spanish)

Wildfires are common between June and September.

The air quality in areas near active fires may deteriorate due to heavy smoke.

In case of a major fire:

  • stay away from the affected area, particularly if you suffer from respiratory ailments
  • follow the instructions of local emergency services personnel
  • monitor local media for up-to-date information on the situation

National Institute of Meteorology and Hydrology – Government of Ecuador (in Spanish)

Consular assistance

For emergency consular assistance, call the Embassy of Canada to Ecuador, in Quito, and follow the instructions. You may also make a collect call to the Emergency Watch and Response Centre in Ottawa at +1 613-996-8885.

The decision to travel is your choice and you are responsible for your personal safety abroad. We take the safety and security of Canadians abroad very seriously and provide credible and timely information in our Travel Advice to enable you to make well-informed decisions regarding your travel abroad.

The content on this page is provided for information only. While we make every effort to give you correct information, it is provided on an "as is" basis without warranty of any kind, expressed or implied. The Government of Canada does not assume responsibility and will not be liable for any damages in connection to the information provided.

If you need consular assistance while abroad, we will make every effort to help you. However, there may be constraints that will limit the ability of the Government of Canada to provide services.

Learn more about consular services .

Risk Levels

  take normal security precautions.

Take similar precautions to those you would take in Canada.

  Exercise a high degree of caution

There are certain safety and security concerns or the situation could change quickly. Be very cautious at all times, monitor local media and follow the instructions of local authorities.

IMPORTANT: The two levels below are official Government of Canada Travel Advisories and are issued when the safety and security of Canadians travelling or living in the country or region may be at risk.

  Avoid non-essential travel

Your safety and security could be at risk. You should think about your need to travel to this country, territory or region based on family or business requirements, knowledge of or familiarity with the region, and other factors. If you are already there, think about whether you really need to be there. If you do not need to be there, you should think about leaving.

  Avoid all travel

You should not travel to this country, territory or region. Your personal safety and security are at great risk. If you are already there, you should think about leaving if it is safe to do so.

Home » Travel Articles » Is it Safe to Travel to Ecuador? An In-Depth Guide for Travelers

Is it Safe to Travel to Ecuador? An In-Depth Guide for Travelers

  • Travel Articles
  • August 11, 2023
  • 6 minutes of reading

Is it Safe to Travel to Ecuador An In Depth Guide for Traveler

Ecuador Travel Safety Overview

Is ecuador safe for american tourists.

Ecuador, a country known for its breathtaking landscapes, rich culture, and diverse ecosystems, often piques the interest of American tourists. The burning question, however, remains: is it safe for American tourists to traverse this South American gem? Generally speaking, many tourists find Ecuador to be relatively safe, especially when sticking to touristy areas and practicing standard travel precautions. Yet, like any other destination, certain areas may be more prone to crime than others. Thus, it’s essential to stay informed and be vigilant. To ease concerns, one could compare traveling to Ecuador to visiting any major city worldwide; being cautious, avoiding poorly-lit areas at night, and being wary of pickpockets can go a long way.

It’s also worth noting that the Ecuadorian government values tourism and has taken measures to ensure the safety of tourists. Many popular tourist spots have increased police presence, and there are specific tourist police units trained to assist visitors in need.

Comparing Safety: Ecuador vs. Mexico

When considering safety in travel destinations, many Americans look to Mexico as a reference point due to its proximity and popularity. Comparatively, Ecuador shares some safety challenges with Mexico, such as petty thefts in crowded areas and occasional scams targeting tourists. However, Ecuador does not experience the same scale of drug-related violence seen in certain parts of Mexico.

Both countries offer a plethora of stunning sights, from beaches to mountains to historical sites. When approached with an informed mindset and basic precautions, both can be safely enjoyed. It’s always advisable, however, to research specific regions within any country before planning your visit.

Ecuador’s Entry and Visa Requirements

Current travel restrictions in ecuador.

Traveling in the post-pandemic world means staying updated with the latest restrictions and requirements. As of the time of writing, Ecuador has eased many of its earlier travel restrictions. However, travelers are advised to regularly check official channels, such as the Ecuador immigration official website , for the most up-to-date information on travel protocols.

It’s essential to consider not just entry requirements but also potential quarantine measures, testing mandates, and health declaration forms. These protocols can change rapidly depending on the global and local health situations.

Ecuador Visa on Arrival and COVID Protocols

Ecuador offers a visa-on-arrival option for US citizens, making it convenient for spontaneous travelers. Generally, a 90-day tourist visa is granted upon arrival, but it’s vital to ensure that your passport is valid for at least another six months. When it comes to COVID-related protocols, as of now, Ecuador requires travelers to present a negative PCR test taken no more than 72 hours before entering the country. Additionally, there are Ecuador COVID requirements to enter the country, such as potential thermal screenings and filling out a health form upon arrival.

Travelers who have been vaccinated might find the entry process even smoother. However, it’s crucial to stay informed about the Ecuador vaccination requirements and any additional protocols that might be in place during your travel period.

Living and Retiring in Ecuador: A Safety Perspective

Is ecuador safe to live in.

Many individuals and families are attracted to the prospect of living in Ecuador due to its affordable cost of living, diverse landscapes, and pleasant climate. But the lingering question remains: is Ecuador safe to call home? Generally, expatriates who’ve made the move to Ecuador report a positive experience. However, as with any relocation decision, it’s paramount to be well-informed and prepared.

Urban areas, such as Quito and Guayaquil, tend to have higher crime rates compared to smaller towns and rural regions. Petty crimes, like bag-snatching or pickpocketing, are more common in crowded areas. But by adopting certain safety measures – like avoiding late-night outings in unfamiliar areas and securing homes with quality locks or security systems – residents can largely mitigate these risks.

Another essential factor to consider is the cultural and lifestyle adjustment. Integrating into local communities, understanding cultural norms, and forming bonds can significantly impact one’s perception of safety and overall satisfaction when living in Ecuador.

Considerations for Retiring in Ecuador

Ecuador has increasingly become a sought-after retirement destination. The allure of a laid-back lifestyle, coupled with scenic beauty and a cost-effective standard of living, makes it a considerable option. But is Ecuador safe to retire in? For many, the answer is a resounding yes. However, it’s essential to take some considerations into account.

Choosing the right location is pivotal. Coastal towns like Salinas or cultural hubs like Cuenca are popular among retirees. These areas often have established expatriate communities, which can be both a source of support and a wealth of information about local safety and amenities.

Healthcare is another crucial consideration for retirees. Ecuador boasts a reasonably efficient healthcare system, especially in bigger cities. Moreover, private health insurance is affordable compared to American standards. Nevertheless, researching nearby medical facilities and ensuring easy accessibility is advised.

Tips for Ensuring a Safe Vacation in Ecuador

Staying informed via ecuador’s immigration official website.

When planning a trip to Ecuador, staying informed is your best safety measure. The Ecuador immigration official website is a reliable source for all travel-related updates. From visa requirements to travel advisories, this official platform offers real-time information to aid travelers in making informed decisions.

Additionally, it’s worthwhile to check out forums, blogs, and testimonials from fellow travelers. Their first-hand experiences can offer insights that official channels might not cover. Remember, preparation is the key to a safe and enjoyable trip.

Crime in Ecuador: Being Prepared

Understanding the nature of crime in any travel destination is a vital step in ensuring safety. In Ecuador, as previously mentioned, petty crimes are more prevalent in urban areas. Yet, with vigilance and awareness, tourists can confidently navigate and enjoy the country’s offerings.

Some general tips include not flashing expensive items, being cautious when withdrawing money from ATMs, and always keeping personal belongings close and secure. It’s also beneficial to familiarize oneself with local emergency numbers and the location of the nearest embassy or consulate.

Lastly, always trust your instincts. If a situation or location feels uncomfortable or unsafe, it’s always best to remove oneself and prioritize safety.

Important Conclusions

  • Ecuador is generally safe for tourists, especially when following standard travel precautions. Major tourist destinations often have increased police presence for added security.
  • While both Ecuador and Mexico offer stunning tourist attractions, Ecuador does not experience the same scale of drug-related violence as some regions of Mexico.
  • Regularly checking the Ecuador immigration official website ensures travelers stay updated with current entry requirements and restrictions.
  • Ecuador’s urban areas may have higher crime rates compared to rural regions, but with precautionary measures, risks can be largely mitigated.
  • Retiring in Ecuador offers a cost-effective standard of living with cities like Cuenca and Salinas being popular among retirees. Location selection plays a crucial role in ensuring safety and satisfaction.
  • Staying informed through official channels, as well as through first-hand accounts from other travelers, can provide invaluable insights for a safe journey in Ecuador.
  • Preparation and awareness are key; understanding potential crime risks and having knowledge of emergency procedures can make all the difference in ensuring a secure travel experience.

visa requirements to travel to ecuador

Key Considerations for Traveling to Israel: Flight Suspensions and Insurance Insights

Latest travel guides.

Travel Guide

  • Tags: American tourists in Ecuador , Ecuador crime rates , Ecuador entry requirements , Ecuador health protocols , Ecuador safety , Ecuador travel advice , Ecuador travel restrictions , Ecuador vacation tips , Ecuador vs. Mexico , Ecuadorian culture , Living in Ecuador , Retiring in Ecuador , Travel insights , Travel precautions , Visa on arrival

travel map

6 Year Old Put on Wrong Flight While Travelling to Grandma for Christmas

The Rules of Couchsurfing How to Stay for Free While Traveling

The Rules of Couchsurfing: How to Stay for Free While Traveling

Why Airline Safety Guidelines Matter Insights from Airline Crew and Safety Experts

Why Airline Safety Guidelines Matter: Insights from Airline Crew and Safety Experts

South Korea to Introduce Digital Nomad Visa and K Culture Training Visa in 2024

South Korea to Introduce Digital Nomad Visa and ‘K Culture Training Visa’ in 2024

Avoid Stressful Airports The Most Stressful Airports in the World in 2023

Avoid Stressful Airports: The Most Stressful Airports in the World in 2023

Spain Claims the Worlds Most Powerful Passport in Latest Ranking

Spain Claims the World’s Most Powerful Passport in Latest Ranking

Cookies on GOV.UK

We use some essential cookies to make this website work.

We’d like to set additional cookies to understand how you use GOV.UK, remember your settings and improve government services.

We also use cookies set by other sites to help us deliver content from their services.

You have accepted additional cookies. You can change your cookie settings at any time.

You have rejected additional cookies. You can change your cookie settings at any time.

visa requirements to travel to ecuador

  • Passports, travel and living abroad
  • Travel abroad
  • Foreign travel advice

Warnings and insurance

visa requirements to travel to ecuador

The Foreign, Commonwealth & Development Office ( FCDO ) provides advice about risks of travel to help British nationals make informed decisions. Find out more about FCDO travel advice . 

Areas where FCDO advises against all but essential travel  

Your travel insurance could be invalidated if you travel against FCDO advice.  

Coastal Region

FCDO advises against all but essential travel to the Coastal Region provinces of:

  • Santa Elena
  • Santo Domingo de los Tsáchilas

This does not apply to airside transit within Guayaquil Airport in Guayas province, including onward or return travel to the Galapagos Islands.

Within 20km of the Ecuador-Colombia border 

FCDO advises against all but essential travel to areas within 20km of the Ecuador-Colombia border, except for these areas in Carchi province: 

  • El Ángel Ecological Reserve 
  • Rumichaca border crossing 
  • the town of Tulcán 
  • the Pan-American Highway  

Find out more about why FCDO advises against travel . 

State of Emergency declared

In January, the President declared a 60-day state of emergency (SOE) across Ecuador following an increase in criminal activity and security incidents.

The initial daily curfew has been now replaced by a traffic light system. Different districts (‘cantones’) have different restrictions.

High risk cantons (red): from midnight to 5am  

Medium risk cantons (yellow): from 2am to 5am  

Low risk cantons (green): no restrictions

During curfew hours you must stay inside, unless you are covered by an exemption. You can read the full list of cantons and restrictions in the official presidential decree .

You will need to show your passport or ID and boarding pass or flight booking. Only passengers are allowed to enter the airport, family members and friends will not be allowed into the terminals to drop off or pick up passengers. You should leave extra time to travel to the airport, as extra security checks may be carried out on arrival.  Check road conditions  (in Spanish) before you travel.

Airports are operating normally. Check your flight status with your airline or airport website ( Quito Airport ,  Guayaquil Airport ) before travelling to the airport.

There may be increased military and police presence around key public buildings, airports, bus terminals and on the streets. Some public buildings, shopping centres and key tourist destinations may close without warning.  Monitor local media and stay away from areas involving increased security activity.

If an incident occurs near you, follow the instructions of police and other security officials at all times.

Before you travel 

No travel can be guaranteed safe. Read all the advice in this guide and see support for British nationals abroad for information about specific travel topics. 

Follow and contact FCDO travel on Twitter , Facebook and Instagram . You can also sign up to get email notifications when this advice is updated. 

Travel insurance 

If you choose to travel, research your destinations and get appropriate travel insurance . Insurance should cover your itinerary, planned activities and expenses in an emergency. 

Related content

Is this page useful.

  • Yes this page is useful
  • No this page is not useful

Help us improve GOV.UK

Don’t include personal or financial information like your National Insurance number or credit card details.

To help us improve GOV.UK, we’d like to know more about your visit today. We’ll send you a link to a feedback form. It will take only 2 minutes to fill in. Don’t worry we won’t send you spam or share your email address with anyone.


Is It Safe to Travel to Ecuador Right Now?

O n January 8, Ecuadorian President Daniel Noboa declared a nationwide state of emergency after notorious drug lord José Adolfo Macías, also known as Fito, escaped from a maximum-security prison. The president put in motion a 60-day mobilization of soldiers throughout the streets of Ecuador in an attempt to search for the cartel leader, as well as a nationwide curfew that is in effect from 11 p.m. to 5 a.m.

In the days following the declaration, there were reports of explosions, abductions of police officers, and an incident where gunmen stormed a TV station in the city of Guayaquil. On January 17, a prosecutor investigating the television station attack was killed in Guayaquil , the Associated Press reported.

It has been a tumultuous time in Ecuador. However, in recent days it seems that the situation is stabilizing in certain parts of the country. The Ecuadorian government is working to operate as closely to business as usual while maintaining heightened security.

"We are gradually experiencing a return to normality," read a January 15 statement released by the Ecuadorian Ministry of Tourism. "Stricter security measures are maintained in specific areas, while routine operations are ongoing in the rest of the country."

On January 22, the General Secretariat of Communication of the Presidency of Ecuador issued a statement that the country's Armed Forces and the National Police have already carried out nearly 34,000 operations to dismantle narco-terrorist organizations. These operations included the arrest of more than 3,000 people, plus the seizure of more than 1,000 firearms, cash, weapons, and more than 30,000 pounds of drugs.

Given what has been described as a war on drugs and crime in the country, travelers may wonder if they should proceed with their plans to visit Ecuador right now or in the near future. Here's what to know.

Is it safe to travel to Ecuador right now?

As of January 22, the U.S. Embassy in Ecuador has issued a Level 2 travel advisory for the country, urging increased caution. It also advises travelers to reconsider travel to:

  • Guayaquil, north of Portete de Tarquí Avenue
  • El Oro province outside the cities of Huaquillas and Arenillas
  • Los Rios province outside the cities of Quevedo, Quinsaloma, and Pueblo Viejo
  • All areas south of Esmeraldas city in Esmeraldas province
  • The provinces of Sucumbíos, Manabí, Santa Elena, and Santo Domingo

Due to crime, the embassy advises against travel to:

  • Guayaquil, south of Portete de Tarquí Avenue
  • The cities of Huaquillas and Arenillas in the province of El Oro
  • The cities of Quevedo, Quinsaloma, and Pueblo Viejo in the province of Los Rios
  • Esmeraldas city and all areas north of Esmeraldas city in Esmeraldas province

"Incidents of gang-related violence, as well as increased security measures meant to bring crime under control, are likely across Ecuador through early March," stated security risk and crisis management firm Crisis24 in a January 19 update about the situation in Ecuador. Crisis24 currently rates Ecuador as a medium risk level.

One area still experiencing instability is the coastal city of Guayaquil. According to a January 12 update from the Adventure Travel Trade Association (ATTA), a global network of adventure travel leaders, Ecuador-based member tour operators and travel providers noted that Guayaquil has experienced several attacks by illegal armed groups, leading some providers to suspend tours in the area. However, as part of the state of emergency, the government has deployed the army to this part of the country.

What is the current travel situation in Ecuador?

As of press time, Ecuador is under a nationwide curfew. Travelers and locals are instructed to be indoors at their hotel or home between the hours of 11 p.m. and 5 a.m. During the day, however, it is mostly business as usual in popular cruise and travel destinations, including the Amazon, the Galápagos Islands, and the capital, Quito, according to the Ecuadorian Ministry of Tourism.

Earlier this month, some cruises were canceled, including some Lindblad Expeditions sailings to the Galápagos and a Silversea port of call in Ecuador. But otherwise, cruises appear to be sailing on schedule once again. Flights to the archipelago of Galápagos, Quito, and the Amazon remain in service. Quito's hotels and tourist attractions, such as the Casa del Alabado museum, the Basilica and Convent of San Francisco, and the El Panecillo monument, haven't reported interruptions to service or visitor hours.

According to the Ministry of Tourism statement, "The streets and roads of Ecuador remain open and accessible, respecting the curfew hours established from 11 p.m. to 5 a.m. Security on these routes is guaranteed through effective controls carried out by defense forces at strategic points, ensuring all users' safety, both during the day and during curfew hours."

The on-the-ground insights provided by ATTA members note that "hotels, attractions, national parks, airports, roads, and hotel infrastructure are all operating normally."

What it's like on the ground in Ecuador

"During the last week, no security incidents have been reported. We are running normal operations in [mainland] Ecuador and the Galápagos, the only exception being the city of Guayaquil, [where] we are not operating" stated ATTA member Maria Eugenia de Aliaga of Tropic Travel in a January 21 post on a blog , where the company is updating travelers about the current situation in Ecuador.

Kevin Daily, a U.S. traveler based in Miami, was traveling in Ecuador earlier this month shortly after the state of emergency was declared.

"It was my first visit, so I'm not entirely sure what the norm is, but Quito seemed quiet," said Daily. "Cotopaxi National Park was flush with foreign tourists and didn't seem to be affected by the recent events."

Ecuador is no stranger to crime in general. A combination of a weakened economy, the COVID-19 pandemic, an ongoing drug-trafficking trade, and a volatile political landscape have all contributed to a recent increase in corruption and crime , reports Reuters. Despite its challenges, Ecuador remains a popular travel destination not least due to the cultural diversity, architecture, indigenous traditions, cuisine, natural beauty, and unique wildlife. People from around the world travel to experience the South American country. Tourism is a vital part of Ecuador's economy. Prepandemic, tourism revenue generated $2.29 billion for Ecuador's economy .

"I never felt unsafe as a tourist in Quito or Cotopaxi," said Daily. "Our tour guide mentioned this is probably one of the safest times to visit Quito because of increased surveillance and police presence."

Flights to and from Quito, the capital of Ecuador, continue to operate as normal.

Which countries can Chinese passport holders visit without a visa?

Night scene of the skyline of Doha with towers are seen at Al Dafna Area in Doha


Unilateral visa exception, visa on arrival, transit visa exemption.

Reporting by Qiaoyi Li and Ryan Woo; Editing by Alison Williams

Our Standards: The Thomson Reuters Trust Principles. , opens new tab

The Arleigh Burke-class guided-missile destroyer USS Stethem (DDG 63) steams during a three-carrier strike force photo exercise in the Western Pacific

Ukraine's ground commander declined offer to replace his boss as army chief - source

Ukraine's ground forces commander Oleksandr Syrskyi was offered the job of replacing his boss Valeriy Zaluzhnyi as commander of the armed forces, but declined, a source familiar with the matter told Reuters on Wednesday.

Cuba to implement five-fold hike in price of 94-octane gasoline


  1. Ecuador Visa Application: How to Get Ecuador Visa?

    visa requirements to travel to ecuador

  2. How to apply for a visa in Ecuador?

    visa requirements to travel to ecuador

  3. Ecuador Visa Requirements & Application Ecuador Travel Visa Form

    visa requirements to travel to ecuador

  4. Ecuador Visa Requirements

    visa requirements to travel to ecuador

  5. UPDATED TO 2020

    visa requirements to travel to ecuador

  6. 46 Visa-Free Countries for Ecuador Passport Holders [2023 Guide]

    visa requirements to travel to ecuador


  1. Malaysia Visit Visa For Pakistani 2023

  2. All about VISA & COST for a 6 month motorcycle trip across South America

  3. Time to Reset in Ecuador TEASER

  4. Salinas Ecuador Real Estate

  5. I have traveled to 40 countries| How you can Travel to your Dream destinations in 2024| Resolutions

  6. 🇺🇸✈️ tourist visa in USA #visa #tourism #airport #immigration #immigrationlawyer


  1. Ecuador International Travel Information

    PASSPORT VALIDITY: 6 months. BLANK PASSPORT PAGES: 1 page per stamp. TOURIST VISA REQUIRED: Not for stays less than 90 days in any 12-month period. VACCINATIONS: None. CURRENCY RESTRICTIONS FOR ENTRY: Travelers must declare currency in amounts greater than $10,000.


    Persons aged between 2 and 16 years of age must present a negative real-time RT-PCR qualitative test result, performed up to 72 hours prior to boarding their flight to Ecuador. ENTRY TO THE GALAPAGOS ISLANDS: All persons, regardless of their migratory category, must present:

  3. Visa requirements for visiting Ecuador

    Visitors from these nations must submit a visa application, a valid passport, at least one passport photo, an onward ticket and travel insurance. The application fee is US$50; once approved, the visa itself costs US$150. For current requirements, visa applicants should contact the Ecuadorian embassy in their home country.

  4. Ecuador eVisa

    If US citizens wish to stay in Ecuador for longer than 90 days, they must apply for a temporary residence visa or an extended tourist visa at an Ecuadorian embassy or consulate before traveling to Ecuador.

  5. Message to U.S. Citizens: New Entry Requirements and Travel Advisory

    Travelers (ages 3 and older) must now present either a COVID-19 vaccination card showing the traveler received a complete series of the COVID-19 vaccine at least 14 days prior to entry, or proof of a negative COVID-19 RT-PCR test taken no more than 72 hours prior to boarding the flight to Ecuador.

  6. Message for U.S. Citizens

    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.

  7. Ecuador Visa

    Do You Need a Visa to Go to Ecuador? If you want to visit Ecuador as a tourist for up to 90 days, then you very likely do not need an Ecuador visa. Only passport holders of the following countries need a visa to visit Ecuador as tourists: Ghana Republic of the Congo Nigeria Pakistan Guinea Togo Haiti Senegal India Sierra Leone Syria Somalia Iraq

  8. Ecuador Visa Guide: Types, Requirements, Exemptions And All You Need to

    1 Visa Free Ecuador Visa free usually has short stay with a period of 90 days and visa expires in 90 days. Applicant is required to be present.Ecuador has one of the most lenient visa policies in the world as most visitors are not obliged to obtain a visa. 2 Tourist visa

  9. Visa policy of Ecuador

    Nationals of the following 37 countries require a visa for Ecuador. [1] [2] Afghanistan Albania Angola Bangladesh Cameroon DR Congo Republic of the Congo Cuba [3] [4] Egypt Eritrea Ethiopia Gambia Ghana Guinea Haiti 1 India Iran Iraq Ivory Coast Kenya Libya Mali Myanmar

  10. Ecuador Visa Requirements

    For nationals that are not listed in the chart above, there is a short-term visa visit cost of US $60. Please note, it is now MANDATORY for all people entering Ecuador to purchase international travel insurance. To receive information on the most up-to-date visa requirements for Ecuador, contact the nearest embassy. Vaccination Recommendations

  11. Entry requirements

    Entry requirements This advice reflects the UK government's understanding of current rules for people travelling on a full 'British citizen' passport from the UK, for the most common types of...

  12. Ecuador Visa Requirements

    Do I need a visa to enter Ecuador? Citizens from most countries, including the US, Canada, UK & Australia, do not need to obtain a visa prior to entering Ecuador as shown by the following map: Which countries do need a visa to enter? Nationals from the following 34 countries require a visa: * Added on May 17 2021 ( source)

  13. Requirements for Travel to Ecuador: Know Before You Go

    Visa Requirements for Travel to Ecuador. Next step, do you need a Visa to visit Ecuador? For tourists from the United States, Canada, most European countries, and other Western countries the answer is NO. On arrival, tourists and businessmen will be issued with a T3 passport stamp for up to 90 days per calendar year without a visa.

  14. Ecuador travel requirements 2024: What travelers need to know

    For the moment, stay home, stay safe. There are almost no cabs (due to the high demand, it is almost impossible to get one), buses and tranvía (tram) worked until 5:30. So, better avoid going out if you are in Cuenca or Ecuador.You will be able to see breaking news here, live streamings, confirmed information (in Spanish) and not just rumors:

  15. Travel to Ecuador: Visa Requirements and Entry Rules in 2024

    Visa requirements The table contains information about the entry rules for foreign citizens from 192 countries. Are you going to visit Ecuador? This page contains important information about the visa requirements and entry rules in 2024.

  16. A Cheat-Sheet of Ecuador Visa Requirements: Documents Needed

    1. Ecuador Visa Application Form You need to fill out the Ecuador visa application form and sign it and submit it when applying for any Ecuador visa. You can download it or get it in the migraciones Ecuador or in an Ecuador embassy, depending on where you are applying it. 2. Valid passport

  17. Ecuador Travel Advice & Safety

    Contact an embassy or consulate of Ecuador and visit the Ecuadorean Migration for details. Travel to the Galapagos Islands. For visits other than tourism, you must get a visa or special permission from the local authority. ... Check your visa requirements with an embassy or consulate of the United States. Do this well before you travel. More ...

  18. Travel advice and advisories for Ecuador Travel Destinations Ecuador travel advice Exercise a high degree of caution (with regional advisories) Latest updates: Safety and security - updated information on canton curfew hours Last updated: January 24, 2024 16:09 ET On this page Risk levels Safety and security Entry and exit requirements Health Laws and culture

  19. Is it Safe to Travel to Ecuador? An In-Depth Guide for Travelers

    Ecuador's Entry and Visa Requirements ... From visa requirements to travel advisories, this official platform offers real-time information to aid travelers in making informed decisions. Additionally, it's worthwhile to check out forums, blogs, and testimonials from fellow travelers. Their first-hand experiences can offer insights that ...

  20. Ecuador visa requirements for US citizens

    Ecuador visa requirements for US citizens Do US citizens need a visa for Ecuador? US citizens do not need a tourist visa when travelling to Ecuador in 2024. US passport holders can stay in Ecuador for a short period of time (for 90 days). Please, read all the information below to make your trip easy and safe.

  21. Ecuador travel advice

    18 January 2024 Latest update: Additional information about documents required to enter Ecuador by land or river borders ('Entry requirements' page). Download a more detailed map (PDF) The...

  22. Visa requirements for Ecuadorian citizens

    As of November 2023, Ecuadorian citizens had visa-free or visa on arrival access to 93 countries and territories, [1] ranking the Ecuadorian passport 56th in terms of travel freedom according to the Henley Passport Index .

  23. Is It Safe to Travel to Ecuador Right Now?

    As of January 22, the U.S. Embassy in Ecuador has issued a Level 2 travel advisory for the country, urging increased caution. It also advises travelers to reconsider travel to: Los Rios province ...

  24. Which countries can Chinese passport holders visit without a visa

    China, since reopening its borders in 2023 after three years of self-imposed isolation due to COVID-19, has sealed visa waiver pacts with select countries to encourage travel of its citizens, a ...