Travel.State.Gov > International Travel > Country Information > Ecuador International Travel Information
Avigiras E12-170 y Eloy Alfaro
Emergency After-Hours Telephone: 593-2-398-5000 or 593-9-9788-3222
U.S. Consulate General Guayaquil
Santa Ana St. and Jose Rodriguez Bonin Ave.
San Eduardo Sector
Emergency After-Hours Telephone: 593-4-371-7000
See the Department of State’s Fact Sheet on Ecuador for information on U.S. – Ecuador relations.
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.
The U.S. Department of State is unaware of any HIV/AIDS entry restrictions for visitors to or foreign residents of Ecuador.
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.
Victims of Crime: Report crimes to the local police by calling 911. In Quito, you can visit an Ecuadorian Tourist Security Service Attention Center. You should also contact the U.S. Embassy at +593-2-398-5000 or the U.S. Consulate General in Guayaquil at +593-4-371-7000
Local authorities are responsible for investigating and prosecuting crimes.
Domestic Violence: U.S. citizen victims of domestic violence may contact the Embassy or Consulate General for assistance.
Civil Unrest: Demonstrations may occur occasionally. Protesters may block roads and sometimes burn tires, throw rocks, and damage property.
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.
Criminal Penalties: You are subject to local laws. If you violate local laws, even unknowingly, you may be expelled, arrested, or imprisoned.
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 the State Department’s webpage for further 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.
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:
Retiring in Ecuador: In recent years, Ecuador has become a top overseas destination for retiring U.S. citizens.
Faith-Based Travelers: See our following webpages for details:
LGBTI Travelers: There are no legal restrictions on same-sex sexual relations or the organization of LGBTI events in Ecuador. Same-sex marriage is prohibited, but civil unions are allowed. LGBTI individuals may face discrimination.
Travelers Who Require Accessibility Assistance: Travelers with disabilities might have difficulty accessing buildings. Sidewalks in some areas are narrow and poorly maintained.
Women Travelers: See our travel tips for Women Travelers.
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.
We do not pay medical bills. Be aware that U.S. Medicare does not apply overseas.
Medical Insurance: Travelers should be certain their health insurance plans provide coverage overseas. Most care providers overseas only accept cash payments.
We strongly recommend supplemental insurance to cover medical evacuation.
If traveling with prescription medication, check with the government of Ecuador’s National Customs Service for personal use procedures. Always carry your prescription medication in original packaging with your doctor’s prescription.
The following diseases are present:
Vaccinations: Be up-to-date on all vaccinations recommended by the U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention.
Further health information:
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.
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.
Public Transportation: Intra- and inter-city bus passengers are often targets of crime, including robbery and sexual assault.
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 website (click “Broadcast Warnings”).