La Ronda is just around the corner

Tuesday, August 29, 2017

Personal safety tips and "how to" in Ecuador. August 2017.

Here are some tips and tricks how to explore Ecuador more or less safely.
People in Ecuador are friendly, most of them, but they have different concept of ...everything concerning your belonging and your private space. When they see an opportunity to get your stuff - they'll go for it.
For your Ecuador travel buy a cheap tablet or netbook, and or cheap unlocked smartphone.

Leave your iPad, expensive laptop and iPhone ether at your home-country or in your base apartment in Ecuador while doing small trips. 

On expats forums gringos living in Ecuador often complain that their laptops got infected with viruses. This is why one needs a tablet or iPad. Less chances to get these viruses. I always open emails, Facebook, anything suspicious with mini iPad first.
Buy Travel Money Belt, it's the best option to hide your passport, credit card, smartphone and money. Clothing with built in packets will do as well, or you can buy packets and attach them to your travel clothing yourself. I use all of the above options for many years now. Your passport, credit card should be as close to your body in Ecuador as possible. 
Cross-body purses are very handy for travel, hard for thieves to get to. My favorite brands are LeSportSac and Kipling. Lots of colors to choose from and they are lightweight.   

Book a place as a base to explore regions of Ecuador. For example book a place in Quito and do side trips on inter-provincial buses:  to Otavalo market, Cotacachi leather street and lake Cuicocha, Mindo, Thermas Papallacta , Banos, to Misahualli, a sleepy jungle town, great for quick trips into the jungle. 
When riding inter-provincial buses in Ecuador equip yourself with ear plugs, buy extra seat for your possession, or make sure your luggage is in the up bin, up and in front of you.   
People might try to tell you where to seat and where to put a luggage on a bus - ignore them, they are most likely thieve's accomplices. 

In Quito after 6:30 p.m. you can walk safely at a handful of places only, for example if you stay in La Ronda condo you can walk anytime at La Ronda and Plaza Cumanda and to the Plaza Grande. Police usually patrolling La Ronda at all times.
When in Ecuador, buy a local SIM card with mobile internet and install UBER, Cabify or local taxi's cooperatives apps. The best place to buy SIM card - in a brand store, for example in "Centro de Atencion Movistar" or "Centro de Atencion Claro".
When it's dark outside take an UBER or yellow taxi with four digit number on a shield, to get to your destination. In Quito using UBER, you have a choice of paying with cash or credit card.

Make a color copy of your main passport page, laminate it and carry with you instead of original. Keep in mind that in Ecuador you always will be asked for the ID when using credit cards. Laminated copy of passport sometimes accepted as ID sometimes not. In Ecuador cash is still a king and gladly accepted, except for $50s and $100s bills. 

Email to yourself your credit cards info or store it in the cloud. Just in case. 

Renew your passport if it has only one year left before expiration date.

to be continued..

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