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Ecuador

If you’re travelling to Ecuador our travel advice and updates give you practical tips and useful information.

Security Status

  • Normal precautions
  • High degree of caution
  • Avoid non-essential travel
  • Do not travel
  • Overview
  • Safety and Security
  • Local Laws and Customs
  • Natural Disasters and Climate
  • Additional Information
  • Embassy Contact

Overview

General COVID-19 Travel Advisory in Operation

For the latest update please read the General COVID-19 Travel Advisory >

Overview

Security Status

High degree of caution.

Latest Travel Alert

Citizens should exercise a high degree of caution when visiting Ecuador and the Galapagos Islands.

We advise against all travel within the 20km exclusion zone along the border with Colombia, except for the official border crossing town of Tulcan in Carchi province, due to the security situation there. We also advise that you avoid non-essential travel to the Sucumbios and Esmeraldas provinces outside the 20km exclusion zone.

There were nationwide political protests in Ecuador from 13-30 June 2022, with some turning violent. The protests ended after an agreement between the government on the June 30 and the protesters and the situation has calmed significantly. Irish citizens should avoid all demonstrations and protests, which can turn violent without notice, and monito local media for updates

Citizens should exercise caution in any decisions about international travel, taking account of their overall health, their vaccine status, and the risk of testing positive for COVID-19 while abroad. Anyone considering travelling abroad should be aware that restrictions are subject to change at short notice, and additional restrictions may be imposed by the country of your destination, including during your visit.

Travel to Ecuador

Commercial flights are operating to and from Ecuador. 

The land border with Colombia is open for all travellers via the Rumichaca international border crossing, from 8am to 5pm.

The land border with Peru is currently open for all travellers via the Huaquillas and Macará international border crossings, from 8am to 5pm.

All those over 3 years old arriving in Ecuador must have either:

  • a vaccination card showing they have been fully vaccinated against COVID-19 with the primary schedule of vaccination (i.e. both doses if the primary course consists of two doses) OR;
  • a negative RT-PCR test taken no more than 72 hours before boarding their flight to Ecuador

Children under 3 years old are exempt from the RT-PCR test or the COVID-19 vaccination certificate requirement. 

All passengers arriving in Ecuador must fill in a Health Declaration Form.

Any passenger that shows suspected symptoms of COVID-19 on arrival at the airport in Ecuador as determined by airport health official, will be given another antigen test. If the passenger tests positive, they will be instructed to self-isolate for 10 days at their residence or other accommodation of their choice, at their own expense.

COVID-19 Restrictions

Ecuador continues to experience community transmission of COVID-19 and a number of restrictions are in place to control the spread of the virus.

Wearing facemasks in public spaces is mandatory throughout Ecuador. Fines will be given to those who do not comply.

COVID-19 vaccination is mandatory for all Ecuadorean citizens and foreign residents.

All people over 12 (including foreign tourists) must present their COVID-19 vaccination certificate (showing 2 complete doses) to enter establishments providing non-essential services (for example, but not limited to, banks, shops, supermarkets, restaurants, transport, etc). This rule has also been enforced at airports. This will not apply to public sector institutions and for essential services such as health and education. COVID-19 vaccination certificates are also mandatory for all passengers over 5 years old for all inter-district, interstate, urban and tourist buses.

If you are in Ecuador, you should monitor developments regularly and follow the advice of local authorities.

See links to relevant websites below:

CoronavirusEcuador.com – Portal with official information about the pandemic in Ecuador

Ministry of Public Health/Ministerio de Salud Pública (in Spanish)

Ministry of Health on Twitter (in Spanish)

Quito Municipality on Twitter (in Spanish, for updates on restrictions in Quito)

Guayaquil Municipality on Twitter (in Spanish, for updates on restrictions in Guayaquil)

Quito International Airport

General Travel Advice

Crime

Violent crime and theft are common. You should remain extremely vigilant and cautious about your surroundings whilst travelling around Ecuador. Armed robbery is a risk throughout Ecuador, but especially in Quito, Guayaquil and in remote areas. The threat of crime has increased in 2020 and 2021. Violent crime remains high in Guayaquil and Quito, with reports of homicide, gunpoint robberies and home invasions. Also armed thieves have intercepted vehicles and threatened passengers. Like other areas of the country, general crime rates and gang-related incidents have increased in Guayaquil during 2021. Particular caution should be exercised in the downtown and southern parts of the city.

Earthquakes and natural disasters

Ecuador is situated in an area prone to seismic activity. Please see the Natural Disasters and Climate section for more information.

Safety and Security

Safety and security

Crime

Crime can be an issue in Ecuador and you should take sensible precautions.

There is a continuing risk of violent crimes against foreign nationals with reports of European nationals being attacked, robbed and sexually assaulted. The area of La Mariscal, popular with tourists, can be particularly dangerous.

You should remain extremely vigilant and cautious about your surroundings whilst travelling around Ecuador, especially on arrival in the country.

Crime by unregistered taxi drivers is also on the rise. If you require a taxi, please ensure that you only hail an authorised radio taxi (yellow cab); these taxis display their taxi registration sticker on the windscreen and doors and have licence plates.

Interstate travel is dangerous, with an increase in robberies at bus stations. We advise against travelling at night.

The Northern border with Colombia has a higher crime rate, including kidnappings, than the rest of the country, and we advise against all travel to this region.

Tours and Adventure Activities 

Transport and tour operators don't always follow recommended safety precautions and maintenance standards, including for adventure activities. Visitors are advised to exercise caution when undertaking these activities and ensure they are fully aware of the risks involved. Make sure you use a reputable operator and check that the equipment is in good condition. It is strongly recommended that you have a comprehensive insurance policy. 

Local Laws and Customs

Local laws and customs

Illegal Drugs

Drug trafficking is a serious problem in Ecuador. Do not handle illicit drugs, and do not transport packages in your luggage back to Ireland for anyone, even if they are well known to you. Arrests for drug trafficking are common and conviction leads to severe penalties, including up to two years being held on remand prior to sentencing and lengthy prison sentences in harsh and dangerous conditions in Ecuadorian prisons.

Natural Disasters and Climate

Natural disasters and climate

Please be aware that Ecuador is in an earthquake zone and is also subject to volcanic eruptions. Travelers should check the website of the National Ecuadorian Geophysics Institute for the latest information.

Earthquakes and natural disasters

There is increased risk of earthquakes, and other natural disasters. You should make yourself familiar with evacuation procedures in whatever area of the country you are in, and in case of emergency, follow the advice of the local authorities.

Climate

The country has a very wide-ranging climate. The four main regions of the country are La Sierra (Highlands), La Costa (Coastal Lowlands), El Oriente (Amazon region) and the Galapagos Islands and each of them has different temperatures, climates and seasons.

La Sierra (Highlands) has cooler weather and temperatures change with altitude. In the Andes, the climate changes according to the elevation and the period of the year. The temperature in Quito at night is 7ºC, 26ºC at midday; the average temperature is around 16ºC. La Costa's (Coastal lowlands) climate is normally very warm with an average temperature of 25ºC to 31ºC throughout the year. The rainy season is from December to May which is warm and very humid. The dry season is slightly humid. The climate in Piedra Blanca (settled between the upland and lowlands) is very pleasant. El Oriente (Amazon region) usually has a warm, rainy and humid climate. Average daylight temperature varies from 23ºC to 25ºC. The Galapagos Islands experience warm and dry climate which continue throughout the year, 28º C is the average temperature.

Additional Information

Additional information

Entry requirements (visa/passport)

If you are unsure of the entry requirements for this country, including visa and other immigration information, ask your travel agent or contact the country’s nearest Embassy or Consulate.

You can also check with them how long your passport must be valid for.

Passports

It’s advisable to take a number of photocopies of your passport with you. During your stay you should carry a photocopy of your passport at all times.

Health

Check with your doctor well in advance of travelling (8 weeks)to see if you need any vaccinations for Ecuador.

There is a risk of Zika Virus (a dengue-like mosquito-borne disease) in Central and South America and the Caribbean. Irish Citizens especially those with a weakened immune system or women who are pregnant or trying to become pregnant are advised to follow guidance available on the website of the Health Protection Surveillance Centre (HPSC) at http://www.hpsc.ie/A-Z/Vectorborne/Zika/.

Dengue Fever

Ecuador is a risk country for dengue fever transmission. Take precautions against being bitten by dengue-carrying mosquitoes, which are active throughout the day.

Malaria

Malaria risk is present throughout most of the country. You should discuss anti-malarial treatment with your doctor before you travel, and take adequate precautions against being bitten by mosquitoes.

Altitude Sickness

Altitude sickness can also present problems, especially in Quito which is located 2800 metres above sea level. You should seek medical advice on the risks of altitude sickness before traveling to Ecuador.

 

Embassy contact

Embassy Contact

The Embassy operates an out of hours service for Irish citizens requiring emergency assistance outside of hours, on weekends and on public holidays. If you are in need of emergency assistance during these times, you should leave a message on the emergency message system by calling +56 2 3304 6600. The emergency message system is checked regularly outside of office hours and a member of the Embassy staff will contact you as soon as possible.
When you leave a message, remember to state your name, the nature of the problem, where you are now, and the details of how the Duty Officer can contact you (e.g. leave your mobile phone number, or the phone number of the hotel/hostel where you are staying).

Alternatively, you may contact the Duty Officer at the Department of Foreign Affairs in Dublin on +353 1 408 2000.

Embassy of Ireland
Apoquindo 2929
Piso 1800
Las Condes
Santiago
Chile

Tel: Tel: +56 2 3304 6600
Monday to Friday 9.00-13.00

Contact us

Honorary Consulate Contact

Mr. George McCabe,
Honorary Consulate of Ireland,
Samborondon Business Center,
Torre B, Piso 3, Ofic. 301,
Km 1.5 via Samborondon,
Guayaquil – Ecuador.

Tel: +593 99569 7020

Monday to Friday 09:00 – 12:00
By appointment only.

Email: Email us

Get travel and medical insurance

From 1 May 2018 it will be mandatory for tourists to carry valid health insurance. The Department strongly recommends that you obtain comprehensive travel insurance which will cover all overseas medical costs, including medical repatriation/evacuation, repatriation of remains and legal costs. You should check any exclusions and, in particular, that your policy covers you for the activities you want to undertake.