What You Need to Know About Travel to Ecuador

Following the escape of a high-profile prisoner and subsequent riots and violence, Ecuadorian President Daniel Noboa declared a nationwide state of emergency for a period of 60 days. That said, Ecuadorian authorities are reporting relative calm in major cities, with police and military deployed and no escalation of violence or attacks in those areas.

The U.S. State Department has not raised its level of caution for travel to the country in the wake of the internal conflict within Ecuador. In June 2023, however, it labeled certain areas as Level 3 (reconsider travel) and Level 4 (do not travel) and those remain in effect. U.S. citizens, the State Department says, should comply with all local laws, including the nationwide curfew. The Embassy additionally recommends that travel outside of daylight hours—especially in Level 3 or 4 areas—be limited to essential or emergency movements.

Mariscal Sucre Quito International Airport in Quito and José Joaquín de Olmedo International Airport in Guayaquil (the gateway to the Galápagos) remain fully operational; however, carriers have canceled some flights to and from the United States in recent days (with additional cancelations in the coming days possible). American Airlines, Delta, LATAM and United Airlines have all issued waivers for travel to the country.

To get the latest from those in the destination, Travel Agent reached out to Metropolitan Touring, an Ecuador-based tour operator and hotel owner. The short answer? Major tourist destinations—including the Andes, Amazon and Galápagos Islands—are safe for visitors.

Here is what María Cecilia Alzamora, vice-president of branding and innovation, tells us: “The Ecuadorian Ministry of Tourism has not reported any incidents involving foreign visitors to Ecuador and violent gang-related crime. Metropolitan Touring has not experienced any such incidents, either concerning our staff or our guests.”

She adds that “airports are fully operational, roads are open [and] daily life has continued over the last days, with a curfew in place from 11 p.m. to 5 a.m. There is a stronger police and armed forces presence in strategic locations as part of the government’s decree and efforts to provide greater security.”

Metropolitan Touring’s hotels on the mainland—Casa Gangotena in Quito and Mashpi Lodge, several hours outside of the city in the “cloud forest”—have remained open to guests, “as have all the hotels in the capital,” according to Cecilia Alzamora. Finch Bay Galapagos Hotel and the company’s three expedition cruise vessels in the Galápagos have also operated completely normally and will continue to do so.

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