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Transport and Safety in Ecuador

Living in the Andean nation can be a fascinating experience. The influence of Amerindian culture on contemporary Ecuador is still tangible and makes for a unique national heritage. We brief you on all important aspects of being an expat in Ecuador.
Just like Cuenca, the Old Town of Quito is a UNESCO World Heritage Site.

Ecuadorian Roads: What to Watch Out For

With a more aggressive local driving style and narrow, curving roads, driving in Ecuador can be stressful. Some of the possible hazards on Ecuadorian roads include potholes, especially in rural regions, and occasional mudslides on mountain roads during winter. Many roads do not have common safety features such as guard rails and safety barriers, and there can be a lack of general maintenance.

Fortunately, Ecuador’s bus system is both extensive and reliable, making for a sensible alternative to driving. Traveling by bus will usually take just a little bit longer than driving yourself and chances are you will reach your destination a lot less stressed.

Common Crimes & Staying Safe

Crime is a nationwide problem in Ecuador. This does not mean that it’s an unsafe place for expats, just that you should be aware of certain risks and take appropriate safety precautions.

The most common crimes are petty theft and robberies. Do not carry valuables such as cameras or jewelry, and try to limit the amount of cash you carry. Common spots for robberies and theft include ATMs and crowded public places such as markets, and restaurants. Thieves commonly use distraction tactics, such as spilling liquids on their victims, and often work in teams.

There have also been reports of abductions in unlicensed taxi cabs. Always make sure to either order a taxi by phone, or, if you hail one on the street, only take licensed taxis. They are easily identified: they are usually yellow, have matching numbers on windshields and doors, have the name of a taxi company on the door, and typically have orange license plates.


We do our best to keep this article up to date. However, we cannot guarantee that the information provided is always current or complete. 

Jaromir Novy

"InterNations provided me with all the necessary information about Ecuador. It really helps to settle as expat in South America."

Adriana Rodrigues Zon

"With InterNations I met other Portuguese women in Quito quickly. We even play tennis together once a week."

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