State Dept Travel Advisory - Level 4

Travel Advisory Updated for The Republic of Ecuador

US State Department advisory for Ecuador includes Do Not Travel warnings
ocean side town in ecuador

The U.S. State Department updated the Republic of Ecuador Travel Advisory to include Level 4 ‘Do Not Travel’ warnings.

The State Department said ‘serious, sometimes violent, demonstrations and road blockades occurred throughout Ecuador in October 2019, disrupting inter-city, inter-provincial, and international travel.’

‘These travel disruptions could occur again in any location with little to no warning.’

Additionally, Level 4 warnings were updated on November 7, 2019, for the Carchi, Sucumbíos, including Esmeraldas city in Ecuador’s northwest section. Ecuador is a country in northwestern South America, bordered by Colombia on the north, Peru on the east and south, and the Pacific Ocean on the west.

The country of Ecuador has about 16 million residents and includes the Galápagos Islands in the Pacific Ocean.

The U.S. government said in the updated Travel Advisory that ‘it has limited ability to provide emergency services to U.S. citizens in the Colombian border area, as U.S. government personnel cannot travel to the provinces of Esmeraldas, Carchi, and Sucumbíos without special authorization.’

But, U.S. government personnel are permitted to travel to the northern bank of the Napo River in Sucumbíos, an area approximately 4 miles wide, and the portion of Esmeraldas province that is south of Esmeraldas city.

Ecuador enjoys a substantial tourism industry, welcoming nearly 1.61 million tourists in 2017.

The U.S. Embassy in Ecuador also issued a statement saying ‘limited police and judicial resources contribute to Ecuador’s overall high civil unrest. Pickpocketing, purse snatching, and theft of travel documents are the crimes most commonly committed against U.S. citizens.’

If you decide to travel to Ecuador, the State Department suggests the following action items:

  • Be aware of your surroundings, keep a low profile, and avoid crowds.
  • Monitor local media for updates on possible demonstrations, potential road closures, and flight status. See ECU 911 and Quito / Guayaquil airport websites.
  • Have evacuation plans that do not rely on U.S. government assistance.
  • Keep travel documents up to date and easily accessible.
  • Enroll in the Smart Traveler Enrollment Program (STEP) to receive Alerts.

U.S. citizens in Ecuador can request assistance at these locations:

  • U.S. Embassy Quito, Ecuador +(593)(2) 398-5000
  • U.S. Consulate General Guayaquil, Ecuador, +(593)(4) 371-7000
  • State Department – Consular Affairs, 888-407-4747

Previously, on June 18, 2019, the U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) said to ensure you are up-to-date on several Routine Vaccinations prior to visiting Ecuador. 

Additionally, the CDC suggests additional travel vaccinations, such as Yellow Fever, Hepatitis A and Typhoid.

And, the Public Health Agency of Canada issued advice regarding the Zika virus, recommending ‘pregnant women and those considering becoming pregnant, should avoid traveling to Ecuador.’

Ecuador travel advisories are published by Vax-Before-Travel.


Article by
Dani Reiter