Staying safe in Quito City – A Guide for your Visit and Quito Safety Tips
quito safety

How to be safe in Quito– A quick guide and Quito safety Tips

Yes, Quito is a must if you are planning a trip to continental Ecuador or Galapagos Islands. Also known as the “middle of the world”, Ecuador’s capital city offers you the unique opportunity to walk the equatorial line and immerse in amazing cultures while reaching overwhelming heights. Quito stands between mountians and volcanoes at 9,350 feet above sea level and, certainly, it is not one place to miss.

As good traveler you are probably making some research on Quito safety, trying to find out whether Quito is safe to travel. Well, Quito has become significantly safe in the past years. Both, the ministry of Tourism and the municipality of Quito have joined forces to turn the city onto a tourism metropolis. There are police officers at the old town and it is pretty safe to stroll around.  

quito safety city tips


 If this is your first time travelling in Latin America, you might need a bit of adjustment to the Ecuadorian lifestyle and safety differences. The truth is Quito is going to be safe providing you take an intelligent approach. Just like any other major cities, travelling Quito will require you to think smart about your belongings and places you go and at what time. This post will give you essential tips on how to stay safe in Quito.


When walking around Quito, basic alertness skills are needed

Every traveler will agree on this, the best way to get to know a city is to stroll on its streets. Quito is no exception; the colonial neighborhood definitely needs to be navigated by feet. Just like it any other city, some alertness skills are required and some basic tips.


quito safety colonial center
Walking in the Colonial Center is pretty safe at daylight and early nigth hours.


  • Wear your backpack on the front of your body in crowded places
  • It is better if you don’t wear expensive jewellery when walking. It does not mean you cannot keep your travelers glam, but honestly you are going to be walking a lot, and jewllery might call the attention
  • Carry a color copy of your passport, including the visa entry stamp page, and keep the original safe.
  • Look confident – have a general idea of the spots you will visit before leaving your hotel.  Making a list of your fav Quito spots will definitely help.


quito safety and tips to travel


  • Only take out as much money as you need.
  • Look after your belongings. Methods of distraction include requests for assistance, staged fights and pushing or shoving. Don’t resist a robbery.
  • Take care when withdrawing money from a bank or at an ATM



Public transport and taxis, which should you use?

Public transport is quite cheap in Quito. It costs only 25 cents to take a bus within the city. However, it does get packed; this makes it easy for pickpockets to rob you without you even noticing. Even locals are aware of this issue. Taxis are recommendable and Uber, Cabify and Easy Taxi work perfectly well in Quito. I would say that if you have the money, taxis are your best option. However, if you do want to take the bus, here’s what you should do.   

quito safety and tips
Panecillo Hill is an awesome viewpoint in the city, best to be visited by daylight and with a guide.
  • Keep you back pack in front of you
  • Do not expose you expensive belongings (cameras, cell phones, etc), Keep them stored in your back pack
  • Yes, you can use your cell phone of public transportation; you will soon see locals doing so. Just be careful and store it well after use.
  • Try to book a taxi through your hotel or by calling a known radio taxi service (look for the plates and registrations stickers)
  • Uber is a bit cheaper and comfortable than standard yellow cabs
  • Taxis cost around $2-4 USD for a 15-minute ride
  • Don’t get into a taxi unless the driver is using his taxi meter. 



Do not expose yourself and have a Quito travel plan

Some general common sense precaution is needed when visiting the city. Follow your instinct and be insightful. Quiteños are generally very open and helpful, but it is still a capital city and all that such entails. Booking a guided tour might also help you feel confident, at least during the first days of your trip.       

  • Look after your belongings. Methods of distraction include requests for assistance, staged fights and pushing or shoving. Don’t resist a robbery.
  • Be wary if you’re approached by a stranger offering you food, drinks, leaflets, perfume samples, telephone cards or cigarettes, no matter how friendly or well dressed they appear.
  • Quito has a Tourism Police unit with branches in the north and old town of the city but also at the airport and bus terminals

  • Avoid certain places after dark. Be aware of how to get to places without walking after dark. Old Town can be quite unsafe after dark, same as Av. de Los Shyris. These spots are perfectly fine in the morning, there are metropolitan policemen which can also help you to find directions.
  • Avoid travelling to ‘El Panecillo’ hill on your own or by foot. Use one of the standard Quito guided tours or reliable transport instead.
  • Having a travel plan does not hurt. This does not mean to stick to an unflexible list of activities but rather belong a general sense of where your are going to and which places are you visiting. Having a general idea will make you feel and look confident, which always helps when visiting a city. 

So here’s the bottom line. Do not be paranoid. Just be sensible and aware of the risks. In la Mariscal, don’t go wandering off the main streets at night. Do not advertise that you have a phone, iPad or fancy camera. Be aware of taxis and public transportation. Be aware of the people around you and trust your gut if it feels dodgy. If you keep this in mind, you will not have to worry and you will soon see why Quito and Ecuador are must-visits in South America.

And don’t forget, starting 2018, , you will now need a travel health insurance to when entering Ecuador. 

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Nature Galapagos & Ecuador


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