Ecuador

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Risk level(s)

Risk level(s)

Ecuador - Exercise a high degree of caution

There is no nationwide advisory in effect for Ecuador. However, you should exercise a high degree of caution due to high levels of crime and a high risk of natural disasters.

City of Montañita - Avoid non-essential travel

Global Affairs Canada advises against non-essential travel to the city of Montañita due to incidents of attacks and sexual assaults against foreign women travellers.

See Safety and security for more information.

Provinces of Esmeraldas, Manabi and Santo Domingo - Avoid non-essential travel

Global Affairs Canada advises against non-essential travel to the provinces of Esmeraldas, Manabi and Santo Domingo on the northwestern coast of Ecuador which were affected by the 7.8-magnitude earthquake that struck the country on April 16, 2016. See Natural Disasters and Climate for more information.

See Safety and security for more information.

Areas immediately bordering Colombia - Avoid all travel

Global Affairs Canada advises against all travel to the areas immediately bordering Colombia due to the presence of drug traffickers and criminal organizations. This includes the provinces of Carchi and Sucumbíos—except the city of Tulcán—and the town of San Lorenzo, located in the north of the province of Esmeraldas.

See Safety and security for more information.

Rural Areas south of Cuenca - Avoid all travel

Global Affairs Canada advises against all travel to to rural isolated areas in the southern provinces bordering Peru (Zamora-Chinchipe, Morona-Santiago and El Oro) due to the presence of landmines and unmarked minefields in the Cordillera del Cóndor, near the Peruvian border. De-mining efforts are under way to remove landmines; the goal is to have all landmines removed by 2017.

See Safety and security for more information.

Travel Health Notice - Zika virus

The Public Health Agency of Canada has issued a Travel Health Notice for the Global Update: Zika virus infection recommending that Canadians practice special health precautions while travelling in affected countries. Pregnant women and those considering becoming pregnant should avoid travel to Ecuador. See Health for more information.

Safety and security

Safety and security

Areas immediately bordering Colombia (see Advisory)

Travel to and within areas immediately bordering Colombia is dangerous due to the presence of drug traffickers and criminal organizations and the risk of violence, kidnappings, armed assaults and extortion. There have been reports of Canadian, American, British and Australian tourists and foreign oil workers being kidnapped in these areas. Armed robberies have also been reported at jungle lodges in the areas of Lower Rio Napo and Cuyabeno National Reserve.

Curfews and states of emergency may be declared in regions affected by civil unrest, natural disaster or other disruption. During a state of emergency, authorities have expanded powers to restore order, including suspension of some constitutional rights and expanded detention powers.

Petty crime

Street crimes, including purse snatching, car break-ins, thefts, pickpocketing and violent carjackings, are daily occurrences in major cities. Thieves often work in teams, in which one thief diverts the victims’ attention while the other snatches their possessions. Groups of street children who sell candy are often engaged in this type of team operation. Luggage theft is common at airports, bus terminals, on buses (city and regional) and at other transit points. Thefts of backpacks and other small bags are also very common on buses, even when the individual is being careful. Thieves can be very creative, such as cutting the purse or bag when you have it between your feet or spilling something on you in order to distract you.

In urban centres, thieves target cars stopped in traffic for break-ins. Hide your valuables and be aware of your surroundings when driving. The hotel zones in Quito are often targeted by thieves and muggers who believe tourists are affluent. Remain aware of your surroundings at all times and maintain a low profile when walking in these areas. Avoid walking alone—women especially—and avoid travelling after dark.

Carry only small amounts of money. Do not show signs of affluence and keep all valuable items and electronic equipment out of sight. Ensure that your personal belongings, passports and other travel documents are secure at all times, and carry colour photocopies of your identification documents.

Armed robberies are frequent. In case of robbery, remain calm and do not resist. Exercise caution and be attentive to your surroundings when using automated banking machines (ABMs). Use only ABMs in well-lit public areas where there are lots of people, such as malls or in banks, and do so only during daylight hours.

Assault

Robberies at gunpoint have also been reported along the hiking trail up Cerro Mandango near Vilcabamba, Loja. Those robbed, who are often foreigners, report being accosted by a group of masked, armed men while hiking along the trail. Thieves have resorted to undoing or opening articles of clothing to locate valuables and personal items to steal.

Armed assaults can occur in public parks in and around transportation terminals, especially in Guayaquil, Quito, Manta and Cuenca. In Quito, exercise caution in the areas of El Panecillo, Carolina Park, Guápulo, Old Quito, South Quito and particularly the popular tourist sector of Mariscal Sucre, where sexual assaults have occurred. Avoid walking up to the Panecillo.

In Guayaquil, remain vigilant when visiting the downtown area, the waterfront (El Malecón), the market area and the Sagrado Corazón de Jesús (statue of Jesus Christ) on Cerro del Carmen. Avoid wandering on deserted beaches, especially at night. Random attacks at gunpoint, robberies and sexual assaults involving Canadians have occurred in the Riobamba area.

Armed robberies on beaches occur throughout the country, especially in the province of Esmeraldas. Robberies have been carried out during the day and have even targeted large groups of tourists.

Sexual assaults against tourists are reported regularly throughout the country. Always exercise caution, avoid isolated areas and travel in groups.

Never leave food or drinks unattended or in the care of strangers. Be wary of accepting snacks, beverages, gum or cigarettes from new acquaintances, as the items 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.

Sexual assaults and armed robberies have been reported in the area of the Pichincha volcano. Do not walk outside the limits of the Quito Teleférico or its pathway, and avoid hiking to the antennas of the volcano via Cruz Loma, west of Quito.

Women's safety

Incidents of attacks and sexual assault against foreign women, including rape and murder, have increased throughout the country, particularly in the city of Montañita (see Advisories). Never travel alone, especially after dark. Be aware that even women travelling in pairs have been targeted. Stay in accommodations with good security, and avoid hospitality exchange arrangements, such as couch-surfing. See Her own way - a woman’s safe-travel guide for travel safety information specifically for Canadian women.

Kidnapping

Kidnapping for ransom and express kidnappings, often in connection with carjackings, is a concern throughout Ecuador but is of particular concern in Guayaquil. To address the problem, the Ecuadorian government has installed cameras and panic buttons in taxis. The panic button is linked directly to 911, and as soon as you press the button, someone will be able to watch, live, what is happening in the taxi.

Express kidnappings involve the brief detention of an individual, who is released only after being forced to withdraw funds from an ABM or after arranging for family or friends to pay a ransom. Exercise caution when using taxis, as taxi drivers have reportedly carried out express kidnappings. You should always use reputable radio taxi companies, booked in advance, if possible.

Fraud

Credit card fraud is increasing in Ecuador. Credit card magnetic strips have been duplicated, particularly at restaurants and bars where swiping your own card may not always be possible. Pay careful attention when your cards are being handled by others. Scams involving debit cards also occur. Carefully inspect ABMs before using to ensure that they have not been tampered with.

Demonstrations and civil unrest

Demonstrations occur sporadically throughout Ecuador, and have escalated in recent months. The cities Quito, Guayaquil (Guayas), Latacunga (Cotopaxi) and Ambat (Tungurahua) are particularly affected. Public transportation is often disrupted during demonstrations due to heavy traffic and roadblocks. Although political demonstrations have not been directed at foreigners in the past, peaceful demonstrations can become violent with little or no warning. Protesters may burn tires, throw rocks and Molotov cocktails, engage in the destruction of private and public property and detonate small improvised explosive devices during demonstrations. Police response may include the use of water cannons and tear gas. Avoid areas where demonstrations are in progress, follow the advice of local authorities and monitor local developments. Be prepared with alternate travel arrangements. Foreigners are prohibited from protesting in Ecuador and may be subject to arrest for participating in any demonstration.

Strikes and disturbances by local fishermen in the Galápagos Islands sometimes affect the movement of tourists and prevent access to some sites. If you are planning to travel to the Galápagos Islands, obtain written confirmation from your travel agent or tour operator that your tour vessel is certified by the Ecuadorian navy (Armada del Ecuador) to meet the International Convention for the Safety of Life at Sea or SOLAS standards.

Road travel

Though road conditions have improved, road travel is slow due to unmarked speed bumps, large pot holes, traffic lights on major highways, heavy traffic (especially on weekends and statutory holidays) and police and military road blocks. Heavy rain and mudslides often close or wash out roads. Heavy fog occasionally poses hazards in mountainous areas.

Driving in Ecuador is hazardous and unpredictable. There are all types of vehicles on the road that do not meet acceptable safety standards. Drivers involved in accidents causing physical injury are immediately detained. In many cases, detention lasts until responsibility for the accident has been assigned and all parties are satisfied.

Robberies and assaults continue to be reported regularly on intercity and urban Guayaquil buses, especially after dark. Bus drivers often make illegal stops to pick up passengers on express routes, especially on the routes between Guayaquil and Cuenca and between Guayaquil and Riobamba. The Ecuadorian government has installed GPS units on buses to track their routes, where they stop and for how long, in an effort to improve security. Avoid travelling after dark.

Only use registered taxis, identified by orange licence plates and an orange and white registration number on the side of the car and on the windshield. Do not hail taxis on the street.

Marine travel

There is a risk of attack and armed robbery against ships in Ecuadorian waters.

Air travel

The Government of Canada does not assess foreign domestic airlines’ compliance with international aviation safety standards. See Foreign domestic airlines for more information.

Swimming safety

Seek advice from local authorities before swimming, as strong currents, undertow and underwater hazards may exist and are not always posted. Most beaches lack consistently staffed lifeguard stations.

General safety information

If you intend to trek:

a) never trek alone;
b) always hire an experienced guide and ensure that the trekking company is reputable;
c) buy travel health insurance that includes helicopter rescue and medical evacuation;
d) ensure that you are in top physical condition;
e) advise a family member or friend of your itinerary;
f) know the symptoms of acute altitude sickness, which can be fatal;
g) register with the Embassy of Canada in Ecuador; and
h) obtain detailed information on trekking routes before setting out.

Your insurance should include provision for helicopter rescue, medical evacuation and treatment for accidental injury and medical emergencies.

Recently, spiritual cleansing and ayahuasca ceremonies, offered by shamans and other individuals, have led to serious illness and even the death of several tourists. Ceremonies involve taking substances that can cause medical complications and severely impair cognitive and physical abilities, and often take place in remote areas with no access to medical facilities. Tourists have also been assaulted or injured while participating in such ceremonies. These services are not regulated and there is no way to assess the safety of any of the services, the operators or the Shamans.

In case of robbery, assault, fraud or loss of belongings in Quito, you may contact the “tourist police”, a specially designated police unit, at (593 2) 254-3983.

The Ministry of Tourism has developed an app that can be installed on a smartphone of any traveller visiting Ecuador. It is available in English and allows you to ask for help in the case of an emergency and to be located through your phone’s GPS. To install the app visit: http://www.ecu911.gob.ec/aplicacionparacelulares/.

The Ministry of Tourism has a tourist service complaints management system e-mail: denuncias@turismo.gob.ec and their toll free number is 1-800-turismo (8874766).

Entry/exit requirements

Entry/exit requirements

It is the sole prerogative of every country or territory to determine who is allowed to enter or exit. Canadian consular officials cannot intervene on your behalf if you do not meet entry or exit requirements. The following information has been obtained from the Ecuadorian authorities and is subject to change at any time. The country- or territory-specific entry/exit requirements are provided on this page for information purposes only. While every effort is made to provide accurate information, information contained here is provided on an "as is" basis without warranty of any kind, express or implied. The Government of Canada assumes no responsibility, and shall not be liable for any damages in connection to the information provided. It is your responsibility to check with the Embassy of the Republic of Ecuador or one of its consulates for up-to-date information.

Official (special and diplomatic) passport holders must consult the Official Travel page, as they may be subject to different entry requirements.

Passport

Canadians must present a passport to visit Ecuador, which must be valid for at least six months beyond the date of expected departure from that country. Prior to travelling, ask your transportation company about its requirements related to passport validity, which may be more stringent than the country's entry rules.

Temporary passport holders may be subject to different entry requirements. Check with diplomatic representatives for up-to-date information.

Visas

Tourist visa: Not required
Business visa: Not required
Student visa: Not required

Canadians do not require a visa for stays of less than 90 days in a period of 365 days.

You must leave Ecuador before the departure date stipulated on the entry stamp you receive in your passport upon arrival. If you remain in Ecuador past this date, you may be deported and must then request a visa at the Ecuadorian embassy or consulate before re-entering the country. Your name may also be added to immigration records. Attempting to re-enter Ecuador without a visa pre-issued by Ecuadorian authorities in Canada will result in exclusion and you will be returned to your port of embarkation.

If you wish to stay longer than 90 days, visit Ecuador’s Ministry of Foreign Affairs and Human Mobility (in Spanish) to obtain a visa before your entry permit expiries. For information in English on visa requirements prior to travelling to Ecuador, call the Ministry at 1 844 668 4543 (from Canada).

If you enter Ecuador by land from Colombia or Peru, you are required to register with the Ecuadorian immigration office at the border. You must provide your passport and indicate where you are going and how long you intend to remain in the country. You must ensure that you receive an entry stamp in your passport. Failure to do so may cause significant problems when trying to exit the country.

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. Canadians entering or camping near indigenous communities have been murdered or threatened with violence. Exercise extreme caution in this area.

Dual citizenship

Dual citizens may enter Ecuador on an Ecuadorian passport and stay indefinitely. A dual citizen entering on a Canadian passport will be considered a tourist and only be granted a 90-day, non-extendable stay. See Laws and culture for additional information.

Children born in Ecuador to a Canadian parent must be registered with the Ecuadorian Civil Registry, obtain an Ecuadorian passport and present valid Ecuadorian and Canadian passports in order to leave the country. Ecuadorian immigration authorities do not allow children born in Ecuador to depart only on their Canadian passport.

Children and travel

Children need special documentation to visit certain countries. See Children for more information.

Unaccompanied minors under the age of 18 years who hold dual citizenship (Ecuadorian and Canadian) and are travelling with both passports, or who are landed immigrants in Ecuador, should have a letter of consent from both parents, preferably legally certified and translated into Spanish, authorizing the travel and stipulating the destination and duration of the intended trip. This document should be notarized at the Embassy of Ecuador or a consulate in Canada. Canadian unaccompanied minors travelling as tourists with Canadian passports do not need this authorization letter.

Yellow fever

See Health to obtain information on this country’s vaccination requirements.

Health

Health

Related Travel Health Notices
Consult a health care provider or visit a travel health clinic preferably six weeks before you travel.
Vaccines

Routine Vaccines

Be sure that your routine vaccines are up-to-date regardless of your travel destination.

Vaccines to Consider

You may be at risk for these vaccine-preventable diseases while travelling in this country. Talk to your travel health provider about which ones are right for you.

Hepatitis A

Hepatitis A is a disease of the liver spread through contaminated food and water or contact with an infected person. All those travelling to regions with a risk of hepatitis A infection should get vaccinated.

Hepatitis B

Hepatitis B is a disease of the liver spread through blood or other bodily fluids. Travellers who may be exposed (e.g., through sexual contact, medical treatment, sharing needles, tattooing, acupuncture or occupational exposure) should get vaccinated.

Influenza

Seasonal influenza occurs worldwide. The flu season usually runs from November to April in the northern hemisphere, between April and October in the southern hemisphere and year round in the tropics. Influenza (flu) is caused by a virus spread from person to person when they cough or sneeze or by touching objects and surfaces that have been contaminated with the virus. Get the flu shot.

Measles

Measles is a highly contagious viral disease and is common in most parts of the world. Be sure your measles vaccination is up-to-date regardless of your travel destination.

Rabies

Rabies is a deadly illness spread to humans through a bite, scratch or lick from an infected animal. Vaccination should be considered for travellers going to areas where rabies exists and who have a high risk of exposure (i.e., close contact with animals, occupational risk, and children).

Yellow Fever Vaccination

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.

* 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.
Risk
  • There is a risk of yellow fever in this country .
Country Entry Requirement*
  • Proof of vaccination is required if you are coming from a country where yellow fever occurs.
Recommendation
  • Vaccination may be recommended depending on your itinerary.
  • Discuss travel plans, activities, and destinations with a health care provider.
  • Protect yourself from mosquito bites.
Food/Water

Food and Water-borne Diseases

Travellers to any destination in the world can develop travellers' diarrhea from consuming contaminated water or food.

In some areas in South America, food and water can also carry diseases like cholera, hepatitis A, schistosomiasis and typhoid. Practise safe food and water precautions while travelling in South America. Remember: Boil it, cook it, peel it, or leave it!

Travellers' diarrhea
  • 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

Typhoid is a bacterial infection spread by contaminated food or water. Risk is higher among pediatric travellers, travellers going to rural areas, visiting friends and relatives or travelling for a long period of time. Travellers at high risk visiting regions with typhoid risk, especially those exposed to places with poor sanitation should speak to a health care provider about vaccination.


Insects

Insects and Illness

In some areas in South America, certain insects carry and spread diseases like American trypanosomiasis (Chagas disease), chikungunyadengue fever, leishmaniasis, malaria, onchocerciasis (river blindness)West Nile virus , yellow fever and Zika virus.

 

Travellers are advised to take precautions against bites.

Chikungunya

There is currently an outbreak of chikungunya in this country. Chikungunya is a viral disease spread through the bite of an infected mosquito that typically causes fever and pain in the joints. Protect yourself from mosquito bites, particularly around sunrise and sunset. There is no vaccine available for chikungunya.

Dengue fever
  • Dengue fever occurs in this country. Dengue fever is a viral disease that can cause severe flu-like symptoms. In some cases it leads to dengue haemorrhagic fever, which can be fatal.  
  • The risk of dengue is higher during the daytime, particularly at sunrise and sunset.
  • Protect yourself from mosquito bites. There is no vaccine or medication that protects against dengue fever.
Zika Virus

Locally acquired mosquito-associated Zika virus is currently being reported in this country. Zika virus infection is primarily spread by the bite of an infected mosquito and can cause fever, rash, and joint pain. It can also be transmitted through blood, semen and from an infected pregnant woman to her developing baby. Most people do not develop symptoms and recover fully without severe complications. There is scientific consensus that Zika virus infection is a cause of both microcephaly and Guillain-Barre Syndrome. Other neurological disorders have also been associated with Zika virus infection. Protect yourself from mosquito bites in daylight and evening hours. There is no vaccine for Zika virus infection. 


Malaria

Malaria

  • There is a risk of malaria in certain areas and/or during a certain time of year in this country.
  • Malaria is a serious and occasionally fatal disease that is spread by the bite of an infected mosquito. There is no vaccine against malaria.
  • Protect yourself from mosquito bites. This includes covering up, using insect repellent and staying in enclosed air-conditioned accommodations. You may also consider pre-treating clothing and travel gear with insecticides and sleeping under an insecticide-treated bednet.
  • Antimalarial medication may be recommended depending on your itinerary and the time of year you are travelling. See a health care provider or visit a travel health clinic, preferably six weeks before you travel to discuss your options.

Animals

Animals and Illness

Travellers are cautioned to avoid contact with animals, including dogs, monkeys, snakes, rodents, and bats. Certain infections found in some areas in South America, like rabies, can be shared between humans and animals.


Person-to-Person

Person-to-Person Infections

Crowded conditions can increase your risk of certain illnesses. Remember to wash your hands often and practice proper cough and sneeze etiquette to avoid colds, the flu and other illnesses.

Sexually transmitted infections (STIs) and HIV are spread through blood and bodily fluids; practise safer sex.

Tuberculosis

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 provider.

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

Medical care is available, but it varies in quality. In Quito, Guayaquil and Cuenca, private hospitals offer medical services similar to those found in Canada; however, in smaller towns and in rural areas, health services are below Canadian standards. Visitors to the Galápagos Islands are advised that surgical and cardiac services are extremely limited. Serious cases must be evacuated to the Ecuadorian mainland or to Canada for treatment.

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.

Laws and culture

Laws & culture

You are subject to local laws. See Arrest and detention for more information.

Illegal drugs

Penalties for possession, use or trafficking of illegal drugs are severe. Individuals may be found guilty by association if they have criminal associates. Drivers should not accept hitchhikers, as they could be held responsible for them as well as for the content of their luggage. Monitor your luggage at all times when travelling, especially at airports, and never agree to carry items for another person.

Laws

It is a legal requirement in Ecuador to carry identification at all times.

Pedestrians should cross streets only at designated crosswalks. Jaywalking and walking off the sidewalk are punishable by a fine.

An International Driving Permit is required.

Dual citizenship

Dual citizenship is legally recognized in Ecuador. However, Canadian officials may be limited in their ability to provide you with consular services if local authorities consider you an Ecuadorian citizen. You should always travel using your valid Canadian passport and present yourself as Canadian to foreign authorities at all times to minimize this risk. You may also need to carry and present an Ecuadorian passport for legal reasons, for example to enter and exit the country (see Entry/exit requirements to determine passport requirements). Citizenship is determined solely by national laws, and the decision to recognize dual citizenship rests completely with the country in which you are located when seeking consular assistance. See Travelling as a dual citizen for more information.

Money

The currency is the U.S. dollar (USD). Credit cards are accepted by many businesses, and U.S. traveller’s cheques are easily changed in tourist areas and in major hotels. Canadian currency and traveller’s cheques are not accepted.

Natural disasters and climate

Natural disasters & climate

Hurricanes and heavy rains

Hurricane Season

The hurricane season extends from June to the end of November. The National Hurricane Center provides additional information on weather conditions. Stay informed of regional weather forecasts, and follow the advice and instructions of local authorities.

Heavy rains at various times of the year trigger landslides in many areas, particularly in the Sierra (mountainous area), where road damage contributes to traffic accidents. Severe flooding occurs throughout the western provinces of Manabí, Los Rios and Guayas, particularly in Chone, Portoviejo and parts of Guayaquil. Monitor local news reports and plan accordingly. During flooding, transportation, utilities, emergency and medical care, as well as food, fuel and water supplies, may be disrupted. Water-borne and insect-borne diseases may also become a threat. If you are already in the affected areas, monitor local media for the latest developments, verify your travel plans with your airline or tour operator, and follow the instructions of local authorities.

Seismic activity

Ecuador is located in an active seismic area. Earthquakes and tremors occur regularly. There is a risk of tsunamis when earthquakes strike along the Pacific coastline. Dangerous landslides are frequent following even minor earthquakes.

On April 16, 2016, a 7.8 magnitude earthquake struck the northwestern coast of Ecuador, causing over 500 deaths, and was felt throughout Ecuador. Aftershocks are still occurring, and may be felt for weeks. The earthquake has caused widespread infrastructure and road damage throughout the affected areas, resulting in disruptions to power, communications and transport. There are shortages of food and water supplies. Due to these factors, there is an increased risk of injury and illness related to insect and food/water related diseases.  Also, it may be difficult to access health care services. All major airports in Ecuador are operating; however, the Eloy Alfaro International Airport near Manta is being used for humanitarian flights only. If you are in the affected areas, you should ensure that your travel documents are up to date and consider leaving using available commercial means. Verify your travel plans with your airline or tour operator, if possible. Monitor local media for the latest developments and follow the instructions of local authorities.

There are several active and potentially active volcanoes on the mainland and on the Galapagos Islands, including around the capital Quito and the tourist communities of Banos and Riobamba. Eruptions could occur at any time and without warning. Most recently, the Reventador, Tungurahua, Sanguay and Wolf volcanoes have erupted. On August 14, 2015, Ecuador’s Risk Management Secretariat issued a yellow alert for the areas surrounding the Cotopaxi volcano, following a series of volcanic explosions resulting in ash fall in Machachi, Chasquis, Amaguaña and Quito. The Minister of Environment has declared Cotopaxi National Park off limits to tourists. Consult Ecuador’s geophysical institute Instituto Geofisico (in Spanish) website or press releases on the Ministerio Coordinador de Seguridad website for more information.

Ash fall from active volcanoes may disrupt domestic and international flights and cause the closure of major highways.  Exposure to falling ash and toxic fumes can also affect people`s health. If you suffer from respiratory ailments, consult a physician or travel medicine specialist well in advance to determine associated health risks.  

If you are planning to travel near active volcanoes, monitor local news and pay careful attention to all warnings issued, avoid restricted areas and follow the advice of local authorities. The Ecuador Secretariat of Risk Management issues public alerts (in Spanish only) for volcanoes displaying increased seismic activity. Be prepared to modify your travel arrangements or even evacuate the area on short notice. You should be familiar with local emergency plans (available at most hotels).

El Niño

A complex weather phenomenon called El Niño is expected to generate heavy rain fall which could cause flooding, landslides and mudslides and could severely disrupt travel. On November 13, 2015, the Secretary of Risk Management declared a yellow alert for 17 provinces and on November 18, the president of Ecuador declared a state of emergency for the same 17 provinces: Azuay, Bolivar, Cañar, Carchi, Chimborazo, Cotopaxi, El Oro, Esmeraldas, Guayas, Imbabura, Loja, Los Rios, Manabí, Guayas, Santa Elena, Santo Domingo and Galápagos. 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. 

Assistance

Assistance

Local services

Emergency services

Dial 911 for emergency assistance.

Consular assistance

Quito - Embassy of Canada
Street AddressAv. Amazonas N37-29 and Union Nacional de Periodistas, Eurocenter Building, 3rd Floor (one block north of the Supreme Court Building, near Amazonas and United Nations), Quito, EcuadorPostal AddressP.O. Box 17-11-6512, Quito, EcuadorTelephone593 (2) 245-5499Fax593 (2) 227-7672Emailquito@international.gc.caInternetwww.ecuador.gc.caServicesPassport Services AvailableFacebookEmbassy of Canada to EcuadorTwitter@CanadaEcuadorOffice hoursThe consular section of the embassy operates from Monday to Thursday, from 8:30 a.m. to 4:30 p.m., and on Friday, from 8:30 a.m. to 1:30 p.m.
Guayaquil - Consulate of Canada
Street AddressAvenida Francisco de Orellana, Number 234, Blue Towers Building, 6th Floor, Office 604, Guayaquil, EcuadorTelephone593 (4) 263-1109 Ext.101Emailcancongye@gmail.comInternetwww.ecuador.gc.caFacebookEmbassy of Canada to EcuadorTwitter@CanadaEcuadorOther social media Embajada de Canadá en Ecuador

For emergency assistance after hours, call the Embassy of Canada 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. The Government of Canada takes the safety and security of Canadians abroad very seriously and provides credible and timely information in its Travel Advice to enable you to make well-informed decisions regarding your travel abroad. In the event of a large-scale emergency, every effort will be made to provide assistance. However, there may be constraints that will limit the ability of the Government of Canada to provide services.

See Large-scale emergencies abroad for more information.

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