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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

Ireland is implementing the new EU ‘traffic lights’ approach to travel, which applies to countries in the EU / EEA. Our current advice for travel to these countries is ‘exercise a high degree of caution’. Our general advice for any other overseas travel remains ‘avoid non-essential travel’ or in some cases, ‘do not travel’.

Our TravelWise app has been suspended while we move to implement the new EU system. We apologise for this inconvenience. Updated information will continue to be provided on this website.

On 13 October, Member States adopted the EU Recommendation on a coordinated approach to travel restrictions in the context of COVID-19. This ‘traffic lights’ approach provides for regions across the European Union (EU) and European Economic Area (EEA) to be categorised as green, orange, red or grey, on the basis of the risk levels associated with COVID-19. A combined indicator map will be published each week by the European Centre for Disease Prevention and Control (ECDC), based on agreed criteria, including the 14-day cumulative incidence rate, testing rate and testing positivity rates.

In line with the EU Recommendation, there will be no entry restrictions on passengers travelling from green regions. Each Member State will decide what entry restrictions it will apply to passengers travelling from red, orange and grey regions.

Information about what to do on entering Ireland from abroad:

All passengers arriving into Ireland from overseas are obliged to complete a COVID-19 Passenger Locator Form before entry. For further details please see the Irish Government Advice Page. Further information about current requirements for entry to Ireland is available on the Irish Government website and the HSE website.

In accordance with Government policy, which is based on official public health advice, the Department of Foreign Affairs continues to advise against non-essential travel overseas, other than to countries that are part of the EU ‘traffic lights’ approach, where the advice is to exercise a high degree of caution. Everyone is asked to comply with restrictions within Ireland, including those under the National Framework for Living with COVID-19. These are listed on the Official website of the Irish Government. The situation in relation to COVID-19 continues to evolve quickly around the world. Citizens who are considering any overseas travel are advised to carefully monitor the official advice and information from the public authorities in their destination.

If you are considering travelling outside of Ireland:

Should you decide that you need to travel, you should inform yourself about any requirements in the destination to which you are travelling. Information about entry restrictions currently applied by other countries is available on the country-specific travel advice pages. Additional restrictions may be imposed, including during the duration of your visit. Flight restrictions and route cancellations continue to occur worldwide and there is no guarantee that air routes will operate as scheduled. It is important to check with your insurance provider on coverage at this time. Any Irish citizen considering any overseas travel should monitor news and information from the public authorities in their country or region of destination. Citizens are advised to follow the public health guidelines of the local health authorities and to continue to practice physical distancing measures, hand hygiene and respiratory etiquette etc.

The purpose of the Department’s Travel Advice is to provide information to the general public so that individuals can make informed decisions for themselves. There are significant risks associated with international travel in the context of the COVID-19 pandemic, and this is likely to remain the case for the foreseeable future. Citizens should be aware of the possible limitations to any consular assistance that could be provided. Any citizens who are considering travel abroad, or those already abroad, are advised to monitor our travel advice, and follow us on Twitter. They are also advised to register with their local Irish Embassy or Consulate and regularly check their website and Twitter accounts for details of any local public health measures and travel restrictions.

Where to go for further travel information:

Overview

Security Status

Avoid non-essential travel.

Security Status Last Updated: 15 March 2020

Latest travel alert

COVID-19 Novel Coronavirus

In the last days, emergency responses to the COVID-19 crisis in many countries in Latin America and the Caribbean have included restrictions of flights from Europe; restrictive new quarantine arrangements in Central America as well as restrictions affecting admissions of Irish people already travelling in the region to other countries in Latin America.

There are no direct transatlantic flights to Ireland from the region. Therefore, given the uncertainty around transatlantic travel options into Ireland we strongly recommend that Irish travellers make early arrangements to travel out of /from the region.

Moreover, we very strongly advise against any further travel into the region until the COVID-19 crisis has been contained there.

The number of coronavirus cases across Ecuador is rapidly increasing and expected to increase in the period ahead.  The province of Guayas continues to be the most affected by the spread of the virus.

The Ecuadorean authorities have introduced a number of measures to limit the spread of the virus including travel restrictions and quarantined requirements.

The Ecuadorean government declared a state of emergency on 16 March that will last for 60 days.

Ecuador’s land borders are closed and international & domestic flights are suspended until the end of April. There are currently no commercial options available to leave Ecuador.

Authorities are requiring individuals to have a safe passage document when travelling between provinces and to the airport. If you have a flight confirmation and you require this document, please contact the Embassy at santiagoemexternalmail@dfa.ie

All public gatherings are prohibited. All public services, except health, security and risk management, are closed nationwide. Only supermarkets, pharmacies, take-away restaurants, petrol stations and some banks will be open.

All national parks, museums and entertainment centres have been closed until further notice. All school and universities classes are suspended throughout April.

A strict nationwide curfew has been applied since 25 March. This restricts all movement from 2pm to 5am. The province of Guayas (including the city of Guayaquil), which is the most affected by COVID-19, has been declared a National Security Zone, with the Armed Forces responsible for enforcing the curfew.

Journeys should be limited to essential trips, for example to buy food or medicine. From 6 April, new restrictions for private vehicles apply nationwide, as follows:

  • Licence plates ending in 1 and 2 can circulate on Mondays.
  • Licence plates ending in 3 and 4 can circulate on Tuesdays.
  • Licence plates ending in 5 and 6 can circulate on Wednesday.
  • Licence plates ending in 7 and 8 can circulate on Thursdays.
  • Licence plates ending in 9 and 0 can circulate on Fridays.
  • No private car is allowed to circulate on Saturdays and Sundays.

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

Please contact us on santiagoemexternalmail@dfa.ie or through the DFAT call centre +353 (0) 1 6131733 if you have a query.

If you are in Ecuador, you should monitor developments regularly and follow the advice of local authorities. See links to relevant websites below:

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

Ministry of Health on Twitter (in Spanish)

Quito International Airport

Be alert to common signs of infection: respiratory problems, fever, cough, shortness of breath and breathing difficulties. Seek medical advice if you experience these symptoms.

HSE medical advice to protect yourself from getting COVID-19 is below.

Do:

• wash your hands properly and regularly with soap and water or an alcohol-based hand rub
• cover your mouth and nose with a tissue or your sleeve when you cough and sneeze
• put used tissues into a bin and wash your hands

Don’t:

• touch your eyes, nose or mouth if your hands are not clean

Additional information on COVID-19 can be found via the following links:

HSE

HPSC

ECDC

World Health Organisation

Travel Alert

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.

We advise that you avoid non-essential travel to

- the areas of Tarapoa and the Cuyabeno reserve outside the 20km zone in Sucumbios
- the areas of El Angel Ecological Reserve inside the 20 km exclusion zone in the province of Carchi
- all other areas of Esmeraldas province outside the 20km exclusion zone.

Civil unrest

There were nationwide protests across Ecuador between 3 and 13 October 2019 which caused extensive disruption. Some of these protests became violent, especially in Quito, and led to a number of fatalities. Demonstrations and blockades could occur again in any location with little to no warning. 

If you are travelling in Ecuador, you should remain vigilant, avoid any protests or demonstrations and keep up to with developments via official sources and local media.

Earthquakes and natural disasters

Ecuador is situated in an area prone to seismic activity. 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.

Emergency assistance

The best help is often close at hand so if you have problems, try talking to your local contacts, tour operator representative or hotel management.

We suggest you learn as much as you can about Ecuador before your trip from travel agents, tour operators and guide books. The best help is often close at hand so if you have problems when you’re in Ecuador, try talking to your local contacts, tour operator representative or hotel management.

You can contact the emergency series in Ecuador by dialling (911).

There is no Irish Embassy in this country, and we are  limited in the help we can offer in an emergency. However, if you need urgent assistance, you can contact the Honorary Consul of Ireland in Quito, Ecuador or the Irish Embassy in Santiago in Chile

If you phone outside of working hours, leave us a message giving:

  • Your name
  • The nature of your problem
  • Where you are now
  • Your contact details (mobile phone number or phone number of where you’re staying)

We regularly monitor these messages and one of our staff members will be in contact with you.

EU Directive on Consular Protection

Under the EU Consular Protection Directive, Irish nationals may seek assistance from the Embassy or Consulate of any other EU member state in a country where there is no Irish Embassy or permanent representation.

Our tips for Safe Travels:

  • Purchase comprehensive travel insurance which covers all your intended activities.
  • Add an alert for your destination within the Travelwise App.
  • Register your details with us so that we can contact you quickly if there’s an unforeseen crisis like a natural disaster or a family emergency.
  • Follow us on twitter @dfatravelwise for the latest travel updates.
  • Read our ‘Know Before You Go’ guide.

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.

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

Outside office hours, for genuine emergencies involving Irish citizens, which cannot wait until the next working day, please call +56 8191 6981
You may also wish to contact the Duty Officer at the Department of Foreign Affairs and Trade in Dublin on +353 1 408 2000.

Embassy of Ireland
El Bosque Norte 0211
Las Condes
Santiago
Chile

Tel: +56 9 3918 3541 (Monday to Friday 9am to 1pm and 2pm to 4pm)

Due to COVID-19 restrictions the Embassy is not currently open to the public – visits on an appointment-only basis

Contact us

Honorary Consulate Contact

Ms. Dominique Kennedy,
Honorary Consul of Ireland,
Edificio Site Center,
Calle del Establo #50
Torre III, Of. 104
Urb. Santa Lucía Alta, Cumbaya
Quito
Ecuador

Tel: + 593 2 3801 345
Tel: For genuine emergencies involving Irish citizens in Ecuador, please contact the Consulate's emergency line on 00 593 999602777.
Fax: + 593 2 2494 251

10:00 - 13:00

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.