How Safe is Ecuador? A Town by Town Comparison

Quito– Taxis are safe and helpful. It is perfectly OK to walk a few blocks or so at night with no problems except for around the tourist zone of the “Mariscal” and in the south of the city (the more ghetto part). In those areas stay in well lit areas and limit walking to a minimum.

Cuenca– This is a safe, small city where I have walked distances at night with no problems or worries at all. The center of the city is quite deserted after dark though, taxis are still a decent and cheap option.

Salinas– This small resort town is perfectly safe, you can walk around at all hours with no problems. Unless you have really bad luck nothing will ever happen to you.

Manta– The center of Manta around the port area and bus terminal are to be avoided on foot at night, but the outer parts are fine for walking, even at night.

Guayaquil– Guayaquil has the worst rep for safety in Ecuador, and with reason. It is not advisable to walk more than a block or two at night…even taxis late at night are not particularly safe (better to call a taxi service to come pick you up than catch a random one in the street). I love Guayaquil: but I’d say about 10% of people love it, 90% hate it, to each his own.

A good taxi service I have used in Guayaquil can be reached locally at: 220-3737

Small towns on the coast– The small towns in Ecuador have, small, pleasant, warm people that are safe and generally try to avoid conflict at all costs. (Some even leave their houses unlocked!)

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