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Ecuador Travel Information

Ecuador Travel InformationEcuador has declared a national state of emergency and has implemented strong measures against the covid-19 virus. The country's borders are closed. Air traffic is suspended. The country's inhabitants are asked to stay home. From March 25, a national curfew has been introduced for all citizens between 14:00 and 05:00. Colonial businesses, banks and service providers in the health sector can still operate. It is recommended to familiarize yourself well with measures and local regulations. For more information about coronavirus, see the section Health.

Safety

Most trips in Ecuador take place without problems, but caution should generally be exercised. In October, Ecuador experienced several demonstrations, violent protests and blocked roads due to the government's economic reforms. The nationwide state of emergency was declared by the Ecuadorian authorities on October 3. This has now been lifted and the situation in the country has normalized.

Social protests occur on a regular basis. Although the demonstrations are usually peaceful, there have been some very serious clashes with the use of tear gas against the protesters. If new demonstrations arise, Norwegians are encouraged to avoid these, large crowds and generally keep a low profile and be careful. It is recommended to keep up to date on the current situation through local and international news, as well as information from local authorities if staying in, or considering a possible trip to Ecuador.

  • Countryaah: Quito is the capital of Ecuador. Check to find information of population, geography, history, and economy about the capital city.

Other major threats to travelers are natural disasters such as earthquakes, tsunamis, floods and volcanic eruptions. The crime in Ecuador is considered relatively high and caution should be exercised. Particular care should be taken in border areas against Colombia in the provinces of Esmeraldas and Carachi, where several terrorist attacks and kidnappings have taken place.

Ecuador is located in the official district of the Embassy of Bogot¨¢, Colombia. Norwegians can contact the Consulate General in Quito or the Consulate in Guayaquil.

The risk of terrorist incidents in Ecuador is considered low. Local authorities report that smaller bombs are causing damage to property.

Crime is relatively high in Ecuador and caution should be exercised, especially outside established areas of major cities. One should not travel alone in the evening and at night. Pocket thefts and purse are widespread, take precautions such as leaving passports, credit cards, valuable jewelry and the money you do not need in the hotel's lockers, and only carry a copy of the passport and entry card for identification.

There are reports of kidnapping for ransom in Ecuador, but tourists are rarely the target group. Most kidnappings take place in the big cities and on the border with Colombia. Express kidnappings, where the victim is run from ATM to ATM for a short period of time to withdraw money, occur.

There are well-maintained roads from north to south in the country (Pan-American Highway), as well as between Quito and several of the major cities. Traffic in Ecuador is confusing and especially in cities, caution and flexibility in traffic must be exercised. Not all roads are of a good standard and it should be investigated in advance whether it is advisable to travel on the road, especially at night. Note on maps etc. is not always updated in relation to the current situation. Traffic accidents occur frequently in Ecuador.

Social protests occur on a regular basis in the country. Although the demonstrations are usually peaceful, there have been some very serious clashes and large crowds of people should be avoided and be careful. Travelers are therefore advised to stay updated on the situation if considering a possible trip to these areas.

Women traveling alone must exercise caution and take precautions.

Harassment and episodes of violence based on sexual orientation occur.

Ecuador has many active and potentially active volcanoes both around the capital Quito and at other popular tourist destinations. Around Quito this can affect air traffic and other infrastructure mainly due to ash. Other potential natural disasters are floods, earthquakes and tsunamis.

Familiarize yourself with the Ecuadorian authorities' precautions and relevant sources of information, such as: Secretar¨ªa de Gesti¨®n de Riesgos

Norwegian citizens are encouraged to have valid travel insurance.

Local emergency numbers for the entire country, and for all emergencies are: 911

If you are in Quito or Guayaquil, the easiest way is to visit the consulate in case of emergency. If you do not reach the consulates, contact the Ministry of Foreign Affairs' operative center, or possibly the nearest Norwegian embassy.
The Consulate in Quito: +593 (2) 246 8558/246 1427 The
Consulate in Guayaquil: +593 (4) 238
1952/238 1667 UDops in Oslo: + 47 23 95 00 00 The
Embassy in Bogot¨¢: (+57) 1 651 5500

Entry

Please note that entry regulations may change. The Foreign Service is not responsible if the following information on entry regulations or visa requirements is changed at short notice. It is the responsibility of the traveler to ensure that travel documents are valid for entry and to familiarize themselves with the current entry rules for each country.

Norwegians can stay in Ecuador for up to 90 days without a visa. For longer stays, a visa must be applied for in advance. For import regulations to Ecuador, refer to the Ecuadorian customs website.

Entry requires a valid passport with a minimum of six months validity beyond the duration of the journey.

As of July 22, 2018, Ecuadorian authorities require that all foreigners arriving in the country have valid health insurance.

Health

Coronavirus (covid-19): The Ministry of Foreign Affairs has urged all Norwegian citizens traveling abroad to consider returning home as soon as possible, in a safe and quiet manner, in consultation with their travel or airline. Norwegian citizens who live abroad should heed the advice and guidance of local authorities.

Norwegian travelers should generally stay abreast of the development of the corona virus. Follow local authorities' advice, guidance and instructions on how to deal with the situation. See inter alia Link to COE. Information from Ecuadorian health authorities can be found on the Ministry of Health's website and on the Ecuadorian corona virus collection site.

You can find more information and guidance from the Norwegian health authorities on the website of the Norwegian Institute of Public Health. See also UD's answers to frequently asked questions about travel and coronavirus.

Other important information:

  • President Moreno has declared a state of emergency for up to 60 days.
  • Curfew is introduced between 21.00 - 05.00 and strict measures affect the freedom of movement of people. Exceptions to the rules are only given in strictly necessary cases that deal with health, safety, food supplies, etc. Hospitals, some grocery stores, pharmacies, police, and banks, etc. kept open.
  • Ecuador has introduced both national and international travel restrictions. Especially in Guayaquil there are very strict travel restrictions.
  • Both national and international air traffic are suspended. From March 17, 2020, and so far, it has been reported that no person will be able to travel by air in or out of Ecuador. Nonetheless, some flights are reported, for example with KLM.
  • The situation is constantly changing, so it is important to keep up with travel/airline companies, airport websites etc. on whether it is possible to travel by air out of the country again.
  • Travelers are encouraged to contact their travel or airline to confirm flight reservations, or to find alternative itineraries.
  • The status of flights can also be found on the airports' websites.
  • Travelers who come from, or have been in transit in several countries, including Norway, must quarantine for 14 days. These restrictions can change quickly.

Authorities also regularly publish updated information on Twitter:

  • Ecuador's Department of Health: https://twitter.com/salud_ec.
  • Ecuador's Foreign Ministry: https://twitter.com/CancilleriaEc
  • Ecuador's Government: https://twitter.com/MinGobiernoEc

Other relevant websites:

  • Servicio integrado de Seguridad Ecu911- national emergency website
  • Centro de Operaciones de Emergencias- website for the center that plans and directs all coordination actions between the institutions of the national system of disaster prevention and response.
  • National Service of the Riesgos and Emergencias- Website for National Risk and Emergency Management
  • Guayaquil airport
  • Quito airport

***

The Ecuadorian health system maintains a consistently lower standard than Norwegians are accustomed to, with the exception of some private clinics in the largest cities. It is strongly recommended to take out travel insurance before departure.

The sanitary conditions in hotels and restaurants are generally satisfactory. Bottled water is recommended. Visitors may experience some stomach upset due to the unfamiliar bacterial flora. If you are going up to the height of the mountains, you should prepare for this.

See vaccine recommendations from the Norwegian Institute of Public Health.

Practical information

Quito - Consulate
General Consul General: Marcelo Almeida Z¨²ñiga
Correspondence Language: Spanish, English
Address: Real Consulado General de Noruega,
Av. Republic of Salvador N ¡ã 1082 y Av. Naciones Unidas, Quito
Office hours: 08.30-12.30 Mon-Fri, Saturday closed
Tel.: +593 (2) 246 8558/246 1427
Fax: +593 (2) 225 4345
Email: maz@almeidateranabogados.com

Guayaquil - Consulate General
Consul: Giovanni Battista Ginatta Higgins
Correspondence language: Spanish, English
Address: Real Consulado de Noruega,
Urdesa Central. V¨ªctor Emilio Estrada 419A and Ebanos, Guyaquil
Office hours: 09.00-12.00, Mon-Fri, Saturday closed
Tel.: +593 (4) 238 1952/238 1667
E-mail: consulado.noruega.gye@gmail.com

Power: 110/120 V, sockets type A and B, adapter needed for Norwegian sockets.

The currency unit in Ecuador is US dollars.

Credit cards can be used in major cities, also to withdraw money from ATMs. Outside of major cities, however, it may be difficult to find banks or hotels that accept credit cards. Credit card fraud is a significant problem in Ecuador. Be careful when withdrawing at ATMs and do not drop your card when paying in restaurants and bars. It is recommended to withdraw money during the bank's opening hours, even when using an ATM.

Landline is developed largely throughout the country. Mobile networks are well developed in cities and urban areas. The country code for calling Ecuador is +593. In addition, some provinces have their own codes.

Time difference to Norway is six hours after Norway winter time, seven hours after summer time.

National holidays are January 1, Thursday, May 6, July 24, July 10, August 10, October 9 and 31, November 2 and 3, December 6, 25 and 31.

Identity certificates are often required, both on buses, trains and hotels. It is recommended that you always bring a copy of the passport. Spanish is spoken everywhere. In the main, it is difficult to communicate in English, in the province it can be virtually impossible. The dress code in a business context is more formal than in Norway.

The concept of time is flexible and it is therefore not uncommon for delays to occur.

Possession and use of drugs is punishable and even possession of small quantities of drugs can lead to long prison sentences.

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