Last Update: Reissued with updates to health information.
Exercise increased caution in Ecuador due to civil unrest and crime. Some areas have increased risk. Read the entire Travel Advisory.
Do not travel to:
- Carchi, Sucumbíos, and the northern part of Esmeraldas provinces, including Esmeraldas city, due to crime.
- Guayaquil, south of Portete de Tarquí Avenue, due to crime.
Country Summary: Crime is a widespread problem in Ecuador. Violent crime, such as murder, assault, express kidnapping, and armed robbery, is common. Transnational criminal organizations and gangs operate in Carchi, Sucumbíos, and the northern part of Esmeraldas provinces, as well as in Guayaquil, south of Portete de Tarquí Avenue.
Demonstrations occur regularly throughout the country. Public demonstrations can take place for a variety of political and economic issues. Demonstrations can cause the shutdown of local roads and major highways, often without prior notice or estimated reopening timelines. Road closures may significantly reduce access to public transportation and airports and may disrupt travel both within and between cities.
Read the country information page for additional information on traveling to Ecuador.
If you decide to travel to Ecuador:
Carchi, Sucumbíos, and northern Esmeraldas Provinces – Level 4: Do Not Travel
Transnational crime groups operating in Esmeraldas province have engaged in violent crime and killed local citizens in addition to carrying out bombings targeting Ecuadorian military and law enforcement.
The U.S. government is limited in its ability to provide emergency services to U.S. citizens in the Colombian border area, as U.S. government personnel cannot travel to the provinces of Esmeraldas, Carchi, and Sucumbíos without permission from the Embassy’s security office. However, U.S. government personnel are permitted to travel to the northern bank of the Napo River in Sucumbíos, an area approximately four miles wide, and the portion of Esmeraldas province that is south of Esmeraldas city.
Guayaquil, south of Portete de Tarquí Avenue – Level 4: Do Not Travel
Transnational crime groups and local gangs operating in Guayaquil have carried out a series of violent crimes in the region south of Portete de Tarquí Avenue, to include several murders and targeted assassinations, armed robberies, and assaults. The U.S. government is limited in its ability to provide emergency services to U.S. citizens in Guayaquil south of Portete de Tarquí Avenue, as U.S. government personnel cannot travel to this area without permission from the Embassy’s security office.
Visit our website for Travel to High-Risk Areas.